“The best thing that can happen to people entering creative professions is the dwindling of all other possibilities.” – Dennis Lehane
Born on this day in 1965, Lehane has had striking success with both his novels and screenplays – but while many of his books have been made into successful films, he has rarely written those scripts himself, noting “I really didn’t have the desire to operate on my own baby.” Most noteworthy of his own books to film are the award-winning Gone, Baby, Gone and Mystic River. He did finally give in and help produce 2010’s Shutter Island,
which also was very well received.
Many of his own screenplays have been for HBO series like The Wire and Boardwalk Empire, which won rave reviews for their smartly written scripts. Lehane said his initial plan was not to be a writer, “But from the moment I took my first writing workshop, I was a writer.”
Since achieving literary success he also has become a noted teacher of writing, giving back some of what first got him started. He taught advanced fiction writing at Harvard and since 2006 he has been writer-in-residence at Eckerd College (his alma mater) in Florida, usually during the spring semester. He also co-directs the Writers in Paradise conference there each January. Occasionally making guest appearances as himself on the ABC comedy/drama TV series Castle, he continues turning out one writing hit after another.
“I love to write,” he said, “so it rarely seems like work - even when it gets arduous.”
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