Monday, June 24, 2024

Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Last Decade of Cinema by Scott Ryan @ScottLuckStory @RABTBookTours

Nonfiction, Television, Performing Arts

Date Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Publisher: Fayetteville Mafia Press, 2024  (FMP Publishing)


“I feel like Scott Ryan could have written this directly to me and others in our generation who have basically ‘given up’ on movies. It is at once tribute and eulogy, so bittersweet.” – Screenwriter Helen Childress (Reality Bites)

 “The nineties are lucky to have Scott Ryan.” – Actress Natasha Gregson Wagner (Two Girls and a Guy, Lost Highway)

 Ah, the nineties. Movies were something in those days. We’re talking about a decade that began with GoodFellas and ended with Magnolia, with such films as Malcolm X, Before Sunrise, and Clueless arriving somewhere in between. Stories, characters, and writing were king; IP, franchise movies, and supersaturated superhero flicks were still years away. Or so says Scott Ryan, the iconoclastic author of The Last Days of Letterman and Moonlighting: An Oral History, who here turns his attention to The Last Decade of Cinema—the prolific 1990s. Ryan, who watched just about every film released during the decade when he was a video store clerk in a small town in Ohio, identifies twenty-five unique and varied films from the decade, including Pretty Woman, Pulp Fiction, Menace II Society, The Prince of Tides, and The Shawshank Redemption, focusing with his trademark humor and insight on what made them classics and why they could never be produced in today’s film culture. The book also includes interviews with writers, directors, and actors from the era. Go back to the time of VCR’s, DVD rentals, and movies that mattered. Turn off your streaming services, put down your phones, delete your Twitter account, and take a look back at the nineties with your Eyes Wide Shut, a White Russian in your hand, and yell “Hasta la vista, baby” to today’s meaningless entertainment. Revel in the risk-taking brilliance of Quentin Tarantino, Amy Heckerling, Spike Lee, Robert Altman, Paul Thomas Anderson, and others in Scott Ryan’s magnum opus, The Last Decade of Cinema. 


Interview with Scott Ryan

    Does writing energize or exhaust you?

    Writing energizes me. Trying to sell a book is exhausting, but creating it is a gift and a wonderful place to be at. I feel very lucky that I get to write books and they come out and people are reading them. It energizes and amazes me.

    What is the first book that made you cry?

    Well I am sure I cried at the Three Bears because I didn't want to go to sleep, but I remember crying at John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany which I read in High School. It is still one of my all-time favorite books.

    How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

    My first published book was thirtysomething at thirty and I interviewed the cast of the 80s TV series. At the time, I wasn't confident enough to write anything in it. The book is all interviews. After it came out, I felt more like I had something to say, so being published gave me confidence to believe I had something to add to the conversation.

    What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

    I am so lucky to have so many people give me interviews for my books. If it weren't for all these strangers to be willing to speak to me about their work, I wouldn't get to cover the art that I so love. Each of my books started because someone trusted me enough to give me an interview. I am thankful for Richard Kramer, Barabra Gaines, Glenn Gordon Caron, Sheryl Lee, Patricia Arquette, and Helen Childress for helping me along the way.

    Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

    It all started with the TV show Soap which was on in the 1970s. I loved that show so much and I was way too young to watch it, but I wanted to be a writer from that. Then when Moonlighting came out in 1985 that really did it. Television really had an impact on me as a young writer. I started writing my own shows and it all started to spring from there.

    What do you like to read in your free time?

    I don't read much for fun anymore because I run a publishing company called Tucker DS Press so I read so many manuscripts and design so many books, but right now I am reading a Star Trek novel that I am really enjoying. I am trying to force myself to go back to reading fiction because I miss it but I basically read for a living, so it is hard to read on my off time.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    I was so lucky to interview one of my writing heros, Helen Childress. SHe wrote the 1994 film Reality Bites. I think that script is a masterpiece in character development and how to create fun and friendships on screen. Helen and I had a very heart-felt interview that I think is the centerpiece of The Last Decade of Cinema. I was really hoping that we were gonna become best friends, travel the world, show up at each other's birthday parties, maybe she would drive me to the airport and maybe I would pick her up when her car needs repaired. That didn't happen, but it still could.

    Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

    I sort of stumbled into writing Non-fiction. I always wanted to write screenplays, but this is sort of how it turned out. I love getting to write about how art is created and I feel like my sense of humor comes out and adds a little bit of fun to books that are usually kind of bland. I used to run a magazine about Twin Peaks and I would work on that and my books at the same time. I am also publishing other author's works, so I am good at jumping from project to project. I think it is just about focusing on what is right in front of you and keeping your head in the right space depending on which project you are working on. In fact, I had to stop three different times in answering these questions and take calls and work on other deadlines. That is the fun of being busy.

    How do you begin writing a new book? What challenges come with it?

    My projects always begin with interviews. Then I have to figure out how to present that interview and if I will be able to get several and do an oral history, or just have that interview be a chapter. That is the most fun part when you have no idea what you are doing. I like being unsure and uncomfortable, so I don't mind not knowing what I am doing. I don't think words are precious, so I always know if I don't like it, I can toss it out and start over.

    Share a place that inspires you to write.

    I don't think places inspire me to write. I can write on a plane, I can write at my desk, in the pool, or in between calls. For me it is about thinking and I usually do most of my thinking as I am falling asleep. That is when I am deciding how I am going to approach this particular project. I wrote a lot of this 90s book standing at the end of my pool.


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