Round Rock New Neighbors is a social organization of women welcoming women in the Round Rock area since 1978. Both "new" and "old" neighbors are welcome. For more information: rrnewneighbors.org [Barnes & Noble requires that RRNN's book club be open to the public, so you do not need to be an RRNN member to attend book club, and both men and women are welcome and do attend. ]
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Author Visit Goes Back to the Future
First things first! Our guest author, Ernest (he's definitely an Ernie) Cline, who wrote Ready Player One, drove his DeLorean to Barnes & Noble and parked next to Pam's car. Then he came into the store and regaled us with a fascinating rendition of his adventures in screenplay and novel writing.
Cline refers to a lot of influences from numerous aspects of life. He is an avid pop-culture fan, especially as it applies to books, movies, and computer games; not always in that order. He started his literary career by writing a fan-fiction sequel to the movie The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, from 1984. Cline posted his sequel as a screenplay online and was surprised to see that people were copying it to websites and even selling it. He tells more about this experience on his blog.
This success of his fan screenplay guided him to write a serious original screenplay, which he did, with Fanboys. Fanboys is about a group of teenaged friends who absolutely can't wait for the impending sequel to Star Wars, which they have become somewhat obsessed with, as were many young folks during the heyday of the Star Wars movies. Cline was one of those who grew up a Star Wars fanatic. Three Star Wars movies were released 3 years apart beginning in 1977, when Cline was very young. The next episode was not released for 16 years, when Cline was a teenager. During those 16 years, Star Wars was a pop culture phenomenon and a major theme in Cline's life. As circumstances led to Fanboys being produced, directed, and acted by successful Hollywood moguls and stars; Cline was surprised and delighted. His story of the long and winding road to the release of Fanboys had us all enthralled.
After learning that screenplays most often take years to reach the screen and also that the screenplay is often edited heavily to fit Hollywood, Cline decided his next project would be a novel. To prepare to write Ready Player One, Cline researched and tuned in to a variety of pop culture phenomena. He built the plot of Ready Player One around a hero's journey, which he learned about from Joseph Campbell's book, The Hero's Journey. Some other influences Cline mentioned include the Atari 2600 computer game machine, which Cline had when he was 5 years old; Roald Dahl's books, particularly James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Stephen King's books, Harry Knowles's website aintitcool.com, Warren Robinett, Richard Garriott, the novel The Westing Game, Stephen King's books, and lots more reading of books and screenplays, watching of movies, and playing of computer games.
While the author was signing our books, he graciously gave us access to his DeLorean, complete with Hoverboard and Flux Capacitor replica. We all went outside on that beautiful day and sat in the car and took photos. It was really quite exciting! Among 9000 original DeLoreans, there are approximately 6000 left. You don't see one or get to sit in it every day!
Most everyone read the book, and everyone who read it enjoyed it, and everyone enjoyed the author visit! It was gratifying to see how much Ernie Cline loves what he does. He gives book talks to groups of all ages (he was tickled to be the youngest one at our meeting), bringing his car around for everyone's pleasure; and he is working on a second novel and writing the screenplay for Ready Player One! We wish him continued success and look forward to more of his books and movies.