HBO + Lehane

Here’s an article I read this morning in the Seattle Times about the writing staff for HBO’s series The Wire. (Be aware please that the link won’t last long). The Wire‘s producers are bringing more novelists onto the writing staff, specifically Dennis Lehane and Richard Price. While I really like the series and I am in awe of Lehane, the key paragraph for me is this:

“This show prides itself on being a haven for writers who are committed to storytelling, regardless of the medium, just as HBO is a haven for anyone in television who is trying to tell stories in a different way,” series creator David Simon says.

This is why HBO is so successful at putting together quality programming. This is the key, and they’ve got it. Hats off to them, and may it long continue. Now, if only (1) HBO would pick up Farscape and fund it appropriately; and (2) they knocked on my door to ask me to sit in on the writing sessions… my gawd. What else could a storyteller ask for?

The Wire is great stuff, and bound to get better with George Pelecanos as the story editor, a writing staff like this, and people like Lehane and Price coming on board.

2 Replies to “HBO + Lehane”

  1. Hi Sara — Have been checking your posts erratically, but must jump in on this one. Lehane and Price on The Wire! That was my favorite HBO show the last couple of years (tho most of their stuff is terrific). Smart, quick, well-developed characters, a zingy plot. Excellent acting, and even better writing. You gotta pay attention as there is absolutely no talking down to the viewer. Ever. Can’t wait to see what they do with the next season.

    For the last year, one of my fantasies has been that HBO will discover my second book (Border Dogs) and want to turn it into one of these series. Like egomaniacal scribblers everywhere, I can’t help thinking that the story is perfect for them. Good ensemble cast, exotic border setting, murder, drug-running, people smuggling, racial tension, decades-old secrets waiting to be uncovered, I even thought about writing a spec script for them, though I know nothing about how to do that, or who to show it to were I even able to complete such a thing.

    Switching gears — I have been reading two of your books simultaneously. (Slowly, I’m afraid, I have so much other work on my desk …) These are the “real” one and the “fake” one. It’s an interesting way to read. You can see how the material is organized — the books are different, no question — and yet the author’s voice (yours!) is clear and recognizeable in both. I don’t understand why publishing doesn’t make room for both types of story. Serious and literary are not qualities that preclude sharp and entertaining — and vice versa. It seems the flap about this subject will never end.

    Hope all is well with you.


  2. I’ve got your Border Dogs on my TBR pile. Sounds like I should move it up a bit. You’re right about The Flap. I am trying to learn how to ignore it.

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