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Anne R. Allen's Blog


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Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."

Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Must-Read Story for Writers with an "Impossible" Dream: Walter Reuben and "The David Whiting Story"

by Anne R. Allen

"Be fearless… The world is filled with people who will be more than willing to give you self-defeating, negative advice. If you have a dream, the single most important question you must ask yourself is—how can you fulfill that dream? If your resources are very limited, that is not an excuse."

…Walter Reuben, writer-director of the award-winning film, The David Whiting Story

We don't usually talk much about screenwriting here, because, well, Ruth and I aren't screenwriters. But I'm pretty sure most writers (me included) have a lurking fantasy of seeing our work on the silver screen one day. 

However, most of us figure screenwriting is even harder to break into than book publishing because of the financial investment involved. Besides, everybody and their grandmother is writing a screenplay. So the chances of fulfilling that dream are slim to none...right?

Not if you know the story of Walter Reuben, winner of the prestigious L.A. Film Critic Association's Douglas Edwards award for his indie film The David Whiting Story.

When he received his award on January 10th, 2015, Walter shared a stage with people like Angelina Jolie, Wes Anderson, and Patricia Arquette. The Douglas Edwards award has previously gone to the likes of Jean-Luc Godard and Gus Van Sant.

Walter Reuben, writer-director of The David Whiting Story

Walter is right about the negative advice. Go to any writing blog and you'll be presented with tons of scary rules.

  • Follow the conventions of your genre. Don't color outside the lines.
  • Limit the number of characters and subplots. Don't make anything too complicated.
  • Tell the story in linear time. Don't confuse your reader with lots of jumping around in time and place.  
  • Kill your darlings. Whatever you think is clever and innovative, most people will hate. 
  • Forget the literary stuff. Anybody who drops references to Henry James is NOT going to have a career as a writer. Get yourself a job teaching literature in a nice stuffy prep school.

I admit I've given some of that advice myself. I know from experience that it's tough to get anything literary, quirky, or rule-breaking in front of the public, and it's even harder to get recognition for it. 

I've learned the hard way that unless you're a regular contributor to The New Yorker, you'll have a lot better chance of making a living if you stick to writing thrillers, romances and mysteries and forget about the cerebral stuff.

So let me introduce you to the man who proves us all wrong.

Walter Reuben has had his shorter screenplays produced in the past, but last year marked the debut of his first feature film: The David Whiting Story,

Oh, and did I mention that Walter is sixty-nine years old?

Yes, you read that right. Walter is nearly seventy. Until last year, he had never made a feature film, although filmmaking has always been one of his passions.

His story is one of persistence, grit, and the triumph of quirky artistic vision. It's a story to inspire writers everywhere, no matter what their age.

I don't actually know Walter, except online, although we think we probably met in person a very long time ago. We went to college together. That is, he was an upperclassman at Haverford when I was a freshman at Bryn Mawr. They're sibling schools. (And yes, I'm outing myself as a geezerette.)

Like me, Walter once befriended a strange, compelling, tragicomic young man named David Whiting, who later died under mysterious circumstances on the set of the Burt Reynolds film The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, in 1973.

Walter and I met again online this year because we both recently created works of art that addressed David Whiting and his mysterious story.

A prep school classmate of David's who had read my book about David, The Gatsby Game, phoned me to ask what I knew about the real David. He dropped a remark about an upcoming film called The David Whiting Story written by somebody named Walter Reuben.

That was the first I'd heard of the film, so I Googled Walter and friended him on Facebook (see, social media is good for something!) We started an email exchange. He sent me a link so I could watch the film online.

A few months later, I saw the news that he'd won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award. He was over the moon. He says he's still reeling from the "surreal" experience, but I talked him into doing an interview for this blog. (Although he's hard at work on his next feature film.)

The David Whiting Story continues to get kudos. It was recently listed as one of "The Best Films Not Yet Showing at a Theater Near You"


Thanks, for visiting, Walter!

I know that I've wanted to write about David Whiting pretty much ever since I heard about his death. Maybe even before. He was such a quirky, over-the-top character. (Last week Ruth Harris told us how characters like that can fuel the best fiction.

The news accounts of David's death never made sense to me. I felt I knew a lot more about him than anybody who was writing about him.

What about you? Have you had this story at the back of your mind for a long time? 


Not at all. After I knew David in college, I lost touch with him. Although the news of his death was a scandal, which got reported in the media, I did not read about it at the time, and was not even aware of his death.

(Walter probably avoided supermarket tabloids, which was where much the story played out. It has been called one of "The 10 Most Notorious Sex Scandals in Hollywood History."...Anne )

However, in 2007, I went on vacation, and one of the books which I chose to take with me was a collection of essays by Ron Rosenbaum. I read a number of essays, one of which was about David and the curious circumstances of his demise in Sarah Miles’ hotel room, during a film shoot. 

(Ron Rosenbaum's book is called The Secret Parts of Fortune and the David Whiting essay is titled "A Corpse as Big as the Ritz: in Which we Encounter Sarah Miles, Burt Reynolds and the Ghost of the Great Gatsby"...Anne.) 

When I read the essay, it did not even occur to me that the fellow being described was the same David Whiting with whom I had gone to college. Apparently, David at some point claimed to be (or to have been) an undergraduate at Harvard, not Haverford College (which he actually attended with me, however briefly on his part).

 David, clearly, was very “flexible” with the facts of his life, and he may have thought that Harvard would be a more impressive alma mater.

(He told me he was a Princeton student on an exchange program. He was obviously obsessed with the Ivy League...Anne.) 

But that is one reason why I did not immediately realize that the subject of this essay was my old college acquaintance. But, somehow, the essay nagged at me, and, a few years later, I revisited it, and found an ancient 1966 diary of mine. It contained a couple of brief references to David Whitingwhich confirmed my suspicion that the college David of 1966 was the fellow written about in the essay.


When did you decide to make David Whiting's story into a film? And how long did it take from concept to wrap?


Three years ago, I was visiting Austin. I had spent almost twenty years of my life there and had made my earliest experimental short films there, in the 1980’s. I had not been there in 20 years, and I was having dinner with one of my oldest friends, a person who shares my passion for film.

Somehow, I got to bringing up the story of David Whiting, his mysterious death, and Sarah Miles. My friend was very familiar with the entire business.

 Somehow, I blurted out that I was going to make a movie about Sarah Miles and Ayn Rand. I, honestly, have no idea how this idea arose. It was spontaneous, and came from something very intuitive inside me. He smiled and said some encouraging words, because, earlier in the dinner, he had remembered fondly my early short movies.

That dinner was in April, 2012. The film wrapped in July, 2013.


I love stories of people who get ideas when speaking them out loud to somebody else like that. It has happened to me and it always feels sort of magical.   I go..."did I really say that? I guess I'll have to do it, then." But I'm not always brave enough to follow through.

So what gave you the courage—at an age when most people are happily settling into retirement—to make a feature film?


Why not? There are various examples, especially in late 20th Century British literature, of writers who only started to write, or at least to publish, at what some consider to be an advanced age.

As for "happily settling into retirement," for whom is that really true? If you utterly love what you do, why would you want to retire? Of course, if you hate what you do, then you cannot wait for an unhappy career to be over.

As for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous dictum that "there are no second acts in American lives," well, I simply beg to disagree. I have started what is for me a third act, and I am loving it.

I read earlier today about a film director who made his first feature at the age of 20. I do not know this man’s movies, but, truly, I saymore power to anyone of any age who wants to make movies, and who finds a way to fulfill his or her dream!


I love your positive attitude, Walter!

You met David Whiting when he was a freshman, and I didn't get to know him until he was an upperclassman. I met him as a wannabe-ladies' man who had recently worked as a still photographer on the sets of several high-profile films where he had hobnobbed with the likes of Roger Vadim and Jane Fonda (or so he claimed.)

But in spite of his obvious phoniness, I liked the guy. I found him compelling. Maybe it was his intelligence, or maybe it was that desperate emotional neediness just under his veneer.

You met him when he was a pudgy kid right out of an upper-crust prep school, so we met quite different versions of the man.

Do you want to talk about what qualities drew you to David when you met him, and how you got to know him?


I did not know him terribly well. As depicted in my film, the 18-year old David Whiting was a con artist, a thief, and a pretentious poseur. The movie portrays the fact that he offered to help me sell tickets for a college film society screening which I had organizedand then, after, tried to get me to steal some of the money.


That is a memorable scene in the film. My fictional version of David, Alistair Milborne, is a thief, too, although I had no evidence the real David  actually stole. But everything he did seemed dishonest in some way.

But all in all, David Whiting is something of a tragic figure. And it's always sad when a person dies at the age of twenty-four. 

Your film is essentially a comedy—although certainly a pitch-black one. My novel is a dark comedy as well.

Why do you think his story sparks a comic reaction rather than a sentimental one? 


David’s is the story of someone who wears multiple masks, who doesn’t really know who he is, and goes out of his way to tell a different falsehood to everyone he meets. Black comedy, not tragedy, is my forte. 

But there is no reason that his story could not be told in more purely dramatic terms. However, I think that it would be very difficult to prevent a purely dramatic rendering from falling into melodrama.


I agree that falling into sentimentality the way they do on those true-crime TV shows would ruin the story. Phony people do seem to be intrinsically funny. Without liars, comic writers would run out of material pretty fast. 

What else do you want to tell us about David Whiting in your film? I realize the film isn't only about him. It's also about the bigotry of your own parents and how it may be impossible to know anybody completely.


Actually, my film interweaves a variety of threads: the story of David Whiting; the search for the origins of a famous, but now forgotten, joke; the story of my parents' violent homophobia; staged interviews with Ayn Rand at two different points of her life; the reenactment of the single most famous scene from Henry James' The Wings of the Dove, with eight different casts. All interwoven as in an elaborate abstract collage.

The film attempts to ask two interconnected questions: How can we process our memories once we realize how fundamentally unreliable they are? And how is it possible to make sense out of our lives?

As we investigate people's college memories of David and also of that once famous joke, it seems that the very same people who remember that they do not remember David are the people who remember how funny the joke wasexcept that they can’t remember the actual joke at all….


Tell us a little more about how you made the film and how you got funding and were able to assemble your cast. 


I shot the entire film in four days, each day on a twelve hour shooting schedule, in three different locations (each of which was used to represent several different locations). There was a crew of about six people for each day, which, for me, was a great luxury.

I funded the film entirely myself. My cast started with a few gifted actors whom I already knew. They in turn referred me to a few other actors. The cast was uniformly superb, enormously talented and gifted men and women.


That is so impressive: you didn't use a Kickstarter campaign or find a rich patronyou made your film with what you had. 

What advice would you give young (and not so-young) writers out there who dream of seeing their work in film some day?


Be fearless. The world is filled with people who will be more than willing to give you self-defeating, negative advice.

If you have a dream, the single most important question you must ask yourself ishow can you fulfill that dream? If your resources are very limited, that is not an excuse.

If you imagine an elaborate science-fiction utopian film, which, in principal, would cost a studio a minimum of 100 million dollars, but all you have is an extra $2000, then you must really look inside yourself and find a way to realize your vision anyway.


That's such great advice, Walter! That's why I'm opening this blogpost with that quote. 

Are there any other things you'd like to tell us about your film and this amazing honor it has brought you?


I am already hard at work on my second film. It too is a collage, though of a very different kind. Being a movie director is like simultaneously being a mommy and a daddy. Every movie is one of my children, and every child is different, unique, and precious.

What about you, Scriveners? Do you have a dream you've been afraid you might be too old or poor to fulfill? Have you felt defeated by negative advice? Do you think there are second acts in American lives? Third acts? Have you ever known an unforgettable character you felt compelled to write about? 

Walter Reuben is one of the world's prominent dealers in vintage movie posters of all periods and from all countries.

He lived in Austin from 1971 through 1988 and directed his early experimental shorts there, including How Others Remember Us (1986), From Bad to Worse (1986) and How to Lose Weight (1987).

He wrote the screenplay for the festival award-winning film
3 Stories About Evil (2008). He produced and co-wrote the short film The Harvey Girl from Shanghai (2010).

The David Whiting Story (2014) is his first feature film.

Blog news: We got a kinda cool award this week, too. Marketing guru Penny Sansevieri, of Author Marketing Services named this blog one of the Top 30 Websites for Indies!

Next week we'll have a visit from Canada's Queen of Comedy, Melodie Campbell. She's going to give us tips for building atmosphere and setting tone in your fiction.


The Gatsby Game, my fictionalized version of David Whiting's story is only $2.99 in ebook. 

The paper version should be available later this month.

The ebook is available at all the AmazonsBarnes and Noble for NOOK, and Kobo. It's also available at Scribd and Inktera

When Fitzgerald-quoting con man Alistair Milborne is found dead a movie star’s motel room—igniting a worldwide scandal—the small-town police can’t decide if it’s an accident, suicide, or foul play.

As evidence of murder emerges, Nicky Conway, the smart-mouth nanny, becomes the prime suspect. She’s the only one who knows what happened. But she also knows nobody will ever believe her.

The story is based on the real mystery surrounding the death of David Whiting, actress Sarah Miles’ business manager, during the filming of the 1973 Burt Reynolds movie The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing.


VIGNETTE WRITERShere's a contest for you! The Vine Leaves Vignette Collection Contest. The prize is for a collection of vignettes and poetry up to 20,000 words. Fee $25.  Prize is $500, publication by Vine Leaves Press (paperback and eBook), 20 copies of the paperback, worldwide distribution, and promotion through the Vine Leaves and staff websites. It will be judged by an editor from Simon and Schuster. Deadline February 28, 2015.

Ruminate VanderMey Creative Nonfiction Prize Entry Fee: $20. A prize of $1,500 and publication in Ruminate is given annually for a work of creative nonfiction. Using the online submission system, submit an essay or short memoir of up to 5,500 words with an $20 entry fee, which includes a copy of the prize issue. Deadline: February 20, 2015 

The Playboy College Fiction Contest Prize is $3000 plus publication in Playboy Magazine. You must be enrolled in college to be eligible. Stories up to 5000 words. Deadline February13th. $5 entry fee for non-subscribers.

Saraband Books prize for a book of poetry or literary fiction. Prize is $2000 and publication. The entry fee is $27. For fiction, submit a manuscript of 150 to 250 pages of stories, novellas, or a short novel For poetry, submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages.  Deadline February 13th, 2015

Unpublished Literary Fiction Authors looking for a Traditional Career! Tinder Press, a division of Hachette, is going to be open to UNAGENTED SUBMISSIONS for two weeks in March. More information at Tinder Press.

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Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Funded the film himself - he had total faith in it then.
Our memories are unreliable. We can't remember everything so we embellish on certain aspects and warp the truth.
Walter, congratulations on the success of your film and well done for daring to do it.

February 1, 2015 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

A wonderful interview! What a positive man Walter Reuben is, and how encouraging his advice. It's so refreshing after reading so much negative advice full of dos and don'ts. I loved your comment, too, about warnings not to "color outside the lines". BTW, I've order the e-version of your book.

February 1, 2015 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Alex--I think it's fair to say Walter is 100% confident in his film and his vision. That's kind of rare, isn't it? Most of us need some kind of outside validation before we put our money into something. But as he says, the key is to "be fearless." (Easier said than done for most of us.)

You're right: the unreliability of memory is a powerful subject. We all embellish and warp the truth without realizing it.

February 1, 2015 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Sasha A. Palmer said...

"Be fearless" - a great opening line :-)
Thank you for the interview - inspiring.

February 1, 2015 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Elizabeth--I love Walter's attitude! We do get hit with so much negative advice that it can be paralyzing. Thanks for buying the Gatsby Game!

And congrats on the upcoming launch of your Victorian mystery, Imogen and the Case of the Missing Pearls!

February 1, 2015 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger CS Perryess said...

A fascinating post. It's so true that there are folks on the planet who are inherently compelling: funny, tragic, crazy, determined, but compelling. Thanks to both of you for introducing those of us who missed him to the enigmatic David Whiting.

February 1, 2015 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Walter, Congratulations! Thank you, too, for an inspiring story about a different kind of profile in courage—one that speaks to all creative people.

February 1, 2015 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Linda Maye Adams said...

I hope I'm not the only one answering the questions at the end! So true on the negative -- often just plain wrong -- advice. I spent years spinning my wheels with novel writing because of how-to advice. I'd write a novel and it would turn into a horrible, twisted mess. I went through a revision course and just pulling out my hair (figuratively) because I kept thinking, "How can this be this bad?" I knew how to write, and yet, if I touched the longer form of a novel, it twisted into a contorted mess. Every. Single. Time.

The problem was that I did know how to write, and I was letting the how-to advice -- much of really bad -- creep into my writing. In my case, I don't outline at all, and I have this sort of internal map for navigating the story that I'm not aware of. So when the random advice crept into my story, it screwed up the map, and the story twisted into incoherence. It was so bad that I was at the verge of giving up and saying maybe I could only write short stories.

The worst part is that everyone passes along advice like they know what they're talking about, and there are those in an authority position who will tell you you're doing it wrong (especially when it comes to pantsers; there are two well-regarded author sites that do this). I've learned that I have to screen the writers. If they've only written one or two books, they're probably not going to know what they're talking about (and that does go against what I heard initially online, which was that you could learn something from even an unpublished beginner). If the writer is an outliner by preference, I also stay away from them because they won't get how I write even though they will say they do. The default seems to be that if they don't understand how you do it, you're doing it wrong. It's hard when you hear that over and over again.

What people don't understand is that you are only authority of you and how you write. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. If it works and looks weird to everyone else, so what?

February 1, 2015 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Sasha--Thanks! you can see why I was so jazzed that he agree to give us an interview!

February 1, 2015 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

CS--It's true that some people beg to be included in fiction. David kind of fictionalized himself, so he's an ideal character--he came ready made for comedy.

February 1, 2015 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Ruth--I sure find his story inspiring. And he did it all without social media. I tried to tell him how to get a Google ID so he could comment, but he's much too busy working on his next film. He says he'll deal with social media after it wraps. :-)

February 1, 2015 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Linda--Thanks for your thoughtful comment. There is negativity in so many aspects of writing advice--from the people who say if you can't write a novel a week, you're just a wimpy loser, to the people who tell you that you should write a 100 page character sketch of each of your characters and spend months writing the outline.

Everybody is different, especially creatives. I'm a pantser myself. I'm in the last quarter of my WIP and had a head-slap moment last night when I realized I need another character to be present in the whole novel. If I was trying to keep to a strict outline, I'd be tearing my hair out.

I think the beginners who dictate advice are examples of the Dunning-Kruger Effect: the most confident people are usually the most incompetent. :-)

February 1, 2015 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Wm. L. Hahn said...

At last, an author I can look up to (in terms of age!). Great interview, and it's hard to find a writer who wouldn't want to see the book on the screen, as you say. "City of Angels" is my favorite Broadway show! And like maybe a million other people, I have a fine treatment for a baseball movie in my desk, alongside an hour-long screenplay for an adaptation of an old Robert E. Howard horror story. Just did the one, never tried again really. But I have a most-excellent friend who kicks out tremendous work for film- and the style is so open and, um, cinematic! Forces you to think about what the reader/viewer is seeing. It's well worth the exercise, I say.
I never forgot the need to have stuff happen on every page. I just sometimes ignore it!

February 1, 2015 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Melodie Campbell said...

"Be Fearless" - I love that! Taking your advice to my fiction writing college class, Walter. And you are so right about lots of people ready to give you negative advice. I have students in my class every year who have been whipped by negative comments from former 'teachers' and colleagues. It's hard to undo that damage sometimes. Your words are inspiring. Thank you for this post.

February 1, 2015 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Melodie--I'm glad you can take Walter's message to your students. You're right that early negative teaching can be hard to undo.

Reading the comments this morning, I had a memory from childhood. I used to write songs all the time. I took one to my piano teacher and she told me it wasn't a proper song because a song had to have X number of measures and X number of notes and it was wrong for children to make up their own music. Nothing I ever heard before or since said there was any such rule for songwriting. But she shamed me so much for even trying to compose music that I gave up the piano and never wrote another song. People like that have a lot to answer for.

February 1, 2015 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Wm--I do think that writing a screenplay or two (or a stage play) is great practice for the novelist. Screenplay rules keep the dialogue snappy and make us cut the long descriptions and have stuff HAPPEN.

I have probably ten unfinished stage plays in my archives. :-)

But some of those might work as radio podcasts. I sometimes think it would be fun to get a cast together and do an audio version of one of my old plays.

February 1, 2015 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Eileen Goudge said...

The world is full of naysayers. If I'd listened to all the people who told me I should get a "real" job (ie. the kind that has you wearing pantyhose to work instead of collecting rejection slips) I never would have had the courage to realize my dream. This week I saw my first novel, Garden of Lies, originally published in 1986 (I'm outing myself as a fellow gezerette, Anne!), in the top 100 on the Kindle list. Still going strong after 30 years. Amazing. Just think if I'd chosen pantyhose over typewriter ribbons. Walter's story is yet another example of what one can achieve with persistence and plenty of elbow grease.

February 1, 2015 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Wm. L. Hahn said...

Hah! Have to come back on that one. I wrote stage plays for so many years I forgot to even count those. Boys summer camp, when all a kid really wants to do is run onstage, kill someone, and then die. I was REALLY good at those kinds of plots... and one of my best pieces ever was a super-hero spoof based on a radio play I composed for Creative Writing in high school. Those were the days! I guess I was writing all along...

February 2, 2015 at 2:59 AM  
OpenID rolandclarke.com said...

Such an inspirational interview, especially for a writer in his 2nd/3rd life. All my life, through various occupations - organic wholesaler, photographer, film producer, journalist - I have struggled against rigid rules. So at 61 I should be thinking of retiring and gravitating to the couch. Walter has given my dreams new wings. Thank you both.

February 2, 2015 at 4:27 AM  
Blogger Christine Ahern said...

Wonderful interview. And so inspiring. I loved your book The Gatsby Game and hope to be able to see the film someday. How interesting for you to "meet" someone who also created art from a personal experience with the man who inspired your character. Wonderful writerly stuff!

February 2, 2015 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Eileen--Congrats on making the top 100 with Garden of Lies! It's a wonderful book! One of the best things about self-publishing is the ability to get our backlist in front of readers again.

I'm totally with you on the pantyhose! If it hadn't been for my hatred of wearing pantyhose, I might still be working in an office. :-)

February 2, 2015 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Roland--I'm so glad you've found Walter's story so inspiring. Age is just a number!

February 2, 2015 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Christine--So glad to hear you liked The Gatsby Game! Yes, in his weird way David Whiting has inspired a lot of people.

February 2, 2015 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger M.M. Gornell said...

Wonderful post! Made my day, week, heck--probably my whole year!


February 2, 2015 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Madeline--Isn't Walter an inspiration? I''m so glad he shared his story with us!

February 2, 2015 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Julie Musil said...

Wow, what a story! I'm impressed with his dedication and enthusiasm. And I agree--why retire from doing something that we love? I don't think writers ever retire. Words still float in their heads, no matter what.

I'd never heard about David Whiting and the circumstances surrounding his death. I checked out those links you provided. Wow. Truth is definitely stranger than fiction.

February 2, 2015 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Julie--Walter is right about retiring, I sure don't plan to retire from writing!

David was an odd, unforgettable character. Larger than life. A lot of reports say it was a suicide, but the coroner ruled it an accident. Of course there are some who think Burt Reynolds or Sarah Miles killed him. Speculation keeps the story alive.

February 2, 2015 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Rosi said...

Fascinating and inspiring interview. Thanks so much for posting this. I think all artists should be reading this. I really want to see the movie and read your book. Glad to know your book will be out in paperback soon. I don't do ebooks.

February 2, 2015 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger mindprinter said...

Walter, I love what you said about third acts. I'm doing the same though it feels like my fifth or sixth. Retirement is just another way to reinvent yourself and I'm loving every minute of it. I need to scroll thru the comments and see if anyone has asked where we can see your movie. I remember the Reynolds-Miles film and wonder if the scandal killed her career. If so, I don't think it did for Reynold's as he made several more A list films after Cat Dancing. Loved Anne's book, The Gatsby Game, too. It's all so intriguing. Thanks for a great post. Paul

February 2, 2015 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Rosi--The movie isn't in DVD yet and is only showing in a handful of cities. But I'll announce it on the blog when the book is available in paper. I'm supposed to get the proof this week, so it won't be long

Art doesn't have any age restrictions, and Walter proves it!

February 2, 2015 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Paul--I know you and Walter would like each other! He may visit the SLO area and maybe you can meet him. I'll ask him how/when people can get a chance to see the film. The shocking homophobia of his own parents is one of the most gut-wrenching parts of the film.

February 2, 2015 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger mindprinter said...

Great. Let's try to do that. I'd love to meet him.

February 2, 2015 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger florence cronin said...

Anne, so sorry I missed this the first time around and thanks for sending the link on my blog this week. Walter is an inspiration for people of all ages, but he does remind us "vintage" folks to forget numbers and follow our dreams. Reminds me of the man who published his first book at 96 ...

No ... it is never too late to realize a dream.

Great interview, Walter. Thanks for sharing your story here :)

February 5, 2015 at 5:47 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Florence--I think this posted while you were still on your blog-cation. But I wanted to make sure you saw this. We Boomers have to stick together!

February 5, 2015 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger LD Masterson said...

Excellent interview. Walter, your story gives me heart as I'm going into my third act.

February 5, 2015 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

LD--Thanks! I think Walter is a fantastic inspiration to anybody, no matter what their age, and I think he's right that there ARE second--and third--acts in American lives.

February 5, 2015 at 1:27 PM  

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