I'm reading "The Devil's Guide to Hollywood" by famous and infamous screenwriter Joe Eszterhas. It's a friggin' riot. I got it from the NYC Public library -- hey, I've given Mr. E enough of my hard earned money over the years seeing his many films like "Basic Instinct" and "Jagged Edge", not to mention "Flashdance"!
I saw "Flashdance" so many times when it came out that I probably funded Mr. E's 401K plan. That movie was my female Rocky -- and when Jennifer Beals (excellent now in The L Word) flew through the air in that leotard (or at least her body double) she signified all my passions for life -- and THAT famous wonderful, movie line that her boyfriend says to her when she's about to quit dancing... "When you give up your dream, you die."... well, Mr. E wrote that line... or co-wrote it... anyway, I love that line and the movie. So hats off to Mr. E (even if he did also write Showgirls).
Mr. E says in his book that it's NOT necessary to live in L.A. to be a working screenwriter. In fact, he rules against it -- says you'll lose your voice there. With the Internet and emails, and electronic script submissions, you can sell from a cave in Afghanistan these days (that's my take not his) but it may be slower dial up.
So check out this book. It's funny, scary, helpful and the best thing is I didn't pay a dime for it.
Whoohoo. Go to your local library and give Amazon and B&N a rest, people. Save a tree.