They do say everyone’s got a book in them, but we all know that maybe some of those stories are better kept there.  I certainly learnt my lesson the hard way – having been an indie Film PR in the 80’s & 90’s, I was so sure that people (other than my friends and relatives) would find my authentic female, gossipy recollections fairly amusing and some shocking, full of big names, but also culturally insightful from a pre-social-media, pre-#MeToo aspect. Having put together all my best stories, it certainly needed some professional help (I have no delusions that I’m a good writer, just someone with an excellent memory!), so a good friend, an experienced film critic and journalist, helped me by ghost-writing and re-arranging everything in a more cohesive and linear fashion.

I was so naively confident that this finished book project, now entitled; GIRL ON FILM with the sub-title CONFESSIONS OF AN 80’S FILM PR, would be a relatively easy sell – boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong…

I carefully selected all my favourite publishers who include film biographies with their non-fiction titles. I wrote a tight one-page pitch with the target market in mind and enclosed two b/w photos of me at premieres, HAIRSPRAY & NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, to give the project a flavour and to show that I was a real person, involved right at the heart of the film industry of that time. I started sending out with the first three chapters to my targeted list. I received some fantastic responses – everyone seemed to like it, but just not enough.

I’d like to think that I came pretty close at least twice to having a deal.  Although I’m certainly not famous (nor would ever wish that upon anyone), my brushes with celebrity were many, so if stories about Sean Connery, Tilda Swinton, Denzel Washington, Debbie Harry, Tim Roth, Monica Bellucci, Jude Law and directors Quentin Tarantino, John Waters, Sam Raimi, Kathryn Bigelow, Ken Russell, Derek Jarman, weren’t enough to whet your appetite, what can I say? Plus an awkward afternoon with Harvey Weinstein, which certainly wasn’t for the faint-hearted. The second publisher initially appeared super-keen but made me wait for months before suddenly changing their mind.

As a Film Publicist I was well-known and respected for only selling projects that I believed in: with a film, there’s no hiding a ‘turkey’. My ability to sell something I believe in has only helped me in life, so my new current career as an agent for screenwriters means all my hand-picked clients trust me to sell their work in the best possible way.  Plus my former media relationships I had with film critics and features editors has now morphed into a different side of the media in the shape of producers and development executives.

This experience has certainly been a steep learning curve and taught me how to swallow some unsavoury slices of humble pie. My patience has also been tempered as I’ve come to realise that you can never hurry anyone to make an important decision. My general policy of always responding, quickly to anyone whether it was about a certain script that they’d sent or even a job still means a lot to me. Also being able to take critical criticism ‘on the chin’, is another important life lesson and not feeling that someone is making it personal.



Header photo by Tuva Mathilde Løland on Unsplash

Roz and Lucy at the Hairspray premiere, 1988