Marc Prey, from an early age, developed a love of reading and writing. His career spans from working in the industries of newspaper, film, and now print as an author with the debut "When It Comes to Spooning, I'm a Fork." I'm pleased to have him stop by and chat about his work as a writer and his book.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Well, not from the moment of birth, but certainly from a very young age. As a child, I wrote colorful stories on multi-colored notebook paper. As a teen, I spewed out reams of angst-filled poetry and pretentious short stories. In college, I dreamt of writing the Great American Novel while completing an English major. Even when I later went to work as a lawyer, it was writing briefs and memoranda that gave me the most satisfaction. Once I discovered I could make a living as a writer, the law didn't stand a chance.
Is there a particular author or book that inspired your career?
I consider myself a humorist. As such, the writer I have always looked up to, and derived the most inspiration from, is Dave Barry. Not only is he terrifically funny, he also happens to be a first-class storyteller. In the realm of fiction, I would cite Elmore Leonard and Neil Gaiman as inspirational, particularly in their ability to create worlds that draw you in and refuse to let you leave.
How was the transition from being a screenwriter to author?
Seamless. Over the years, I have delved into many forms of writing, from essays to short stories, comic strips to graphic novels, songs to plays, often working simultaneously on material in multiple formats and genres. Authoring a book of humor essays was a natural outgrowth of my interests and experience.
How did you come up with the title?
The title is lifted from one of the thirty-nine stories in the book. Over the years, my wife has tried her best to get me to spoon her while we sleep, and I have done my best to avoid the position like I do a telemarketer. During one of these episodes, she demanded to know why I couldn't spoon her. I happened to say, “Maybe it's because I'm a fork.” After she replied, “You're something that begins with an 'F' all right,” I made a mental note to write a new essay based upon this conversation. Of course, the essay's title was “When It Comes to Spooning, “I'm a Fork.”
The book was absolutely hilarious. What inspired you to write your book?
For many years, I wrote a humor blog around my experiences as a husband and father. I would post a weekly essay, and people seemed to respond favorably. Basically, I would reflect on what I had messed up that week, pick the funniest incident (there were always many to choose from) and post the write-up on my blog. The stories covered a period of time from the day I met my future bride to my oldest boy reaching his teen years. However, life eventually got in the way, and I was forced to stop writing the blog. As the years passed, fans of the blog regularly suggested that I take the stories and publish them as a book. To humor them, I compiled the best stories into a manuscript, added some new material, and sent the product to a few publishers. To my surprise, each responded favorably.
Once you finished writing, did you learn anything about yourself?
As I wrote the essays that eventually provided the meat of the book, I quickly realized that having a healthy sense of humor, including an unbridled ability to laugh at one's self, provides the basis for a successful relationship, whether with one's spouse or offspring.
This book definitely has tv written all over it. If your book was made for tv, who would you want to play you?
Funny you ask. As I write this, my screenwriting agent is actually shopping the book to television and cable networks as a potential sitcom. While I consider this to be a long-shot, it's certainly fun to dream. One of my favorite television actors happens to be a fellow Michigander – Tim Allen. If I could pick anyone to play me in a television series based upon my book, Tim would be my first, second and third choice. Of course, he would have to leave his current hit TV series, but that is a minor detail.
Are you currently working on anything that you can share?
At the moment, I am working on a new feature film screenplay about a shy and reclusive boy who, while reading a mysterious, old comic book, comes across a curious ad: Send in twenty bucks and receive back a real, live monster. When he does so, not only does receive a monster, he ends up with a best friend. Of course, hijinx and hilarity ensue.
Since your background is in writing, what advice can you share with those who would like to pursue as a career?
I will answer this while wearing my screenwriter's cap. Read as many scripts as you can get your hands on, particularly those written by professionals. Study them. Tear them apart. Learn from them. And while you are doing this, write, write and rewrite, your own scripts. Each screenplay you write will be better than the last. Eventually, when you feel like you have acquired a degree of mastery over the craft, send them out into the world. This could mean entering your best work in screenwriting competitions, querying producers and agents or hiring a professional to critique your work. And, while you do this, continue to keep reading and writing.
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