Friday, April 28, 2006

What happened with the Hollywood Pitch meeting...

OK, everybody is asking me for an update on what happened in Hollywood!

Here's what happened: 1. The Producer that met me in the Hall at the Sheraton, turned out to be Legit. She did infact call ACTOR Kym Whitley, twice... telling Kym she needed to meet me. When Kym finally got to speak to me, she told me the Producer I'd met...who called her... was actually a Producer on one of Kym's other Television hmmm, kind of wonderful to have just bumped into her, while I was in Hollywood, praying for a way to get to Kym Whitley, whom I wanted to star in the sitcom (along with Rachael Harris).

About two weeks ago, Kym's people
called to set up a meeting while I was in LA. But, I was too busy, and couldn't do it. Then Kym wasn't available when I was. So, finally, YESTERDAY we finally all had the pitch meeting. It went very well. So well in fact, that I'm thrilled. What? You want details? OK, below are some details. Incidentally, before the pitch meeting, I did have a consultation with my Entertainment Attorney. So, that I wasn't allowed to talk business, just creative stuff. What? (if you are a new author) You are wondering...why I need an Entertainment Attorney when I have a literary Agent? Well, here is something I've learned in my few years in publishing books. Literary Agents do not or should not handle deals where a TV project or film is being adapted from a Book that is already copyrighted and published by (in this case) a division of Random House. It is best for a Hollywood Entertainment Attorney who is experienced in deals like this to handle this stuff. My Entertainment Attorney has handled deals with such well known authors as Nicholas Sparks. This is a good thing.

Now, if you're an experienced author, editor, agent... You are wondering it was that I retained Film and TV rights to my books. Well, it's a small miracle, that I did. But, it had to do with the fact that when I signed the three book deal, with WaterBrook/Random House, in 2002, it was supposed to be for a certain type of book, that at the time did not seem to be adaptable to Movies, or Film, but after I signed the contract, the Publisher decided they wanted very different types of books, which turned out to be very adaptable, but they didn't remove the clause that had already been agreed to on the contract. So, I got to keep all TV and FILM rights.

It all sounds kind of unbelievable, but it all happened.

Now, earlier in the month, it was going to be Michael Morris and I writing the script together, but after spending one weekend with Michael in LA meeting with people, it occured to me that we worked better seperately. We are still close friends. He just called today. And he will actually be a writer for this sitcom if I have any say in it, but at the time, it's just me.

Now comes the problems with everything: I want to be the Executive Producer on this project, and everyone is telling me that NO ONE is going to make me executive producer. But, here's the thing, I want the sitcom to be FUNNY and FAMILY FRIENDLY. I don't want any sexual jokes in the sitcome. It's called AIR MARSHA (about an airhead Flight Attedant and her Flight attendant co-worker) It's LUCILLE BALL MEETS SWEET HOME ALABAMA, only in this case Lucille Ball is a larger -out-there black woman, and her Ethel is a smaller uptight white woman who goes to Church. (Both Characters are based on my stories in my books). They are both Flight attendants, and when I pitched 8 different scenes to Kym Whitley, and her people, they loved them. So, I might have to get the funding myself, and produce the Pilot myself, which is possible. I mean, "What is impossible with man, is possible with God." And I want this Pilot to be funny and family friendly so Christians, and other 200 million believers in God, in America alone, can watch it with their young children. Like, heeellloooo - the old I Love Lucy shows. I don't think you have to have sexual content to be funny! So, if I get the funding and backers myself, and shoot the Pilot, and it goes well, then we can sell it and I can stay on as Executive Producer.

Also, I desperately want Rachael Harris to star in the Sitcom with Kym Whitely.

But, Actor Kym Whitley, is very good friends with Commedian Caroline Rhea,
And even though I LOVE Caroline, and have another project she'd be great in....
I don't want her in this sitcom with Kym. Because she and Kym are too much alike...and the whole funny thing in any sitcom is CONFLICT. And Rachael Harris (google her, she played the assistant in Kirstie Alley's FAT ACTRESS) would be the perfect straight person to Kym Whitley. Rachael, is the best DRY HUMOR actor I've ever seen. In fact it was in watching an episode of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (The Car Pool Lane) where I saw how funny it was to see an out-there character played by KYM WHITLEY pitted against the uptight, neurotic white guy, Larry David...that I got the idea for this show. OK, that's not exactly true - the idea for the show came all the dumb things I've done that is all documented in my books. But, the casting of actors, came from watching Racheal Harris on FAT ACTRESS and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM and on watching KYM and Larry David.

OK, so that's what happened. KYM is going to try and pitch this to ABC, (who, I can guarentee you... isn't going to let me be the Executive Producer). But, the good news is, KYM is under a development deal with ABC.

And in an amazing twist of fate, I just emailed an Entertainment Attorney I met 7 years ago, at the Maui Writers conference,
and told him what's going on with this...and you're not going to believe this, but he represents Racheal Harris... my other dream actor for the sitcom.

So, as a Christian, I have to say, this whole experience might be God on the move in my life, trying to get the idea of a FAMILY FRIENDLY funny sitcom with a tiny bit of Christian values in it, on NETWORK TV.

But, we'll have to wait and see, I mean, hey, look at Moses, he went before Pharaoh 9 times pitching his script, and he got rejected each time, until finally God granted release from the Negative enviornment and fullfilled his dream, but not before having him walk a while on hot sand.

More later, as I try and set the people free to get to the promise land that is flowing with a Funny Family Friendly sitcom.

Love, Marsha

Friday, April 07, 2006


Ok, you all, this is coming direct from beautiful downtown Burbank, where I have just returned from a day meeting with writers and some producers. Then tomorrow, I pitch first to one production company - for our sitcom. Then to the second largest (talent) agency in the world, for the movie. Everything we're pitching is based on the stories in my books! We've had amazing success today - thanks to those of you who said prayers for me. How much success? OK, I'll just tell you one thing. In the sitcom, as you know, I want two stars. 1. For the lead, I want Rachel Harris. She's funny and has a great dry sense of humor and would be hilarious opposite the co-star, which I wanted to be Kym Whitley. (They are so opposite not just in looks but in humor, but are both hilarious!!!)

So, I go into one meeting at the Sheraton in Universal Studio's and walk out of the meeting and start talking to a girl I see in the hall. I have no clue who she is, I just liked her. You know it was chemistry or something. So, I start telling her why I'm in town, and about the sitcom...Then I ask her if she's ever heard of a star called Kym Whitley, she say's "Yeah, she's a friend of mine". I say, "NO WAY! ABSOLUTELY NO WAY! Then I say, "I love her! I think she is so funny! I loved her in CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM! I want her to star in the sitcom!" She says "Let me call her." She whips out her cell and calls KYM right there! Can you believe it!!

She gets her message machine. And leaves KYM a message!

It was almost as if our meeting was divinely ordained. Proverbs 21:1

OH and almost forgot to tell you, the girl I met in the hall was a PRODUCER for half hour TV shows. And a believer! (We had lunch together with a screenwriter, who had just sold her script after 9 years. Please God, don't make me wait 9 years.)

There's more, but no time to write right now.

So stay tuned to see what happens next.

Best, Marsha

Monday, April 03, 2006

The New Sitcom for Hollywood.

OK, here is the freaky twilight zone thing: I was doing a TV show in Agusta GA, about six months ago. It's a religious show which is mostly an hour of fun banter with the talk and I love it. But, the last time I did it, the host, stopped and said, right in the middle of the show... "What we need is a SITCOM of your life Marsha Marks. Let's pray for that." And right there, on her TV show - she paused and prayed for me to have a sitcom. That the powers that be would want this sitcom. I had this thought that she didn't know Hollywood, and how they are not too receptive to a sitcom about a Christian Intellectual/who feels too wordly for the Church and too Churchy for the world, and is a Flight Attendant/surrounded by airheads, and trapped in a steel cigar while trying to make it as a writer. But she prayed anyway.

Then, and this is the twilight zone part. ...two week ago, my good friend "Award Winning Author Michael Morris (A Place Called Wiregrass, and Live Like you were dying)
called my house, and said, "We have to do a sitcom of your life, of every dumb thing you've done as recorded in your books - like the time you went to Church and made your daughter spit out the communion wafer because she's allergic to wheat and you didn't realize the wafer was wheat, until she ate it... and the whole Church thought you were demon possessed. Or the time you rushed your daughter to a Doctor because you thought she had a hematoma on her leg and it turned out to be a gummie bear. Or the time you called everyone because you thought you were dying of cancer and it turned out to be a "food activated tumor' that was making your hips spread. The Initials were FAT. It wasn't a real tumor at all but cellulite.

So, anyway, I agreed with him, we need this sitcome and so we got a great name for the sitcom (actually title credit goes to the Southern Living Editor who loved the idea and gave us the great title) and got it all down out of my books (I own the TV rights to my books)

And we are now going to LA with meetings on Friday - Sat and Sun to pitch the thing, and we are pretty dang excited.

So, if you are the praying type, pray for me. I need wisdom here. And wit. And if you are not the praying type but want to see a funny funny sitcom that is family friendly and doesn't make the Church look like it's completely full of phycho's - just half full of them, then hey write me a letter of support about this. and I'll take your emails to Hollywood and show em, there are 250 Million fun lovin Christians out there, who feel they are not properly represented on TV!!!

Bye, Marsha Marks

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Joey Reynolds Show

OK, going to New York is fun - and not just for the food and the shopping! We're talking the JOEY REYNOLDS show (google him - you younger kids). I love doing this show! Listen in for a live in studio interview with Joey, and me, on St. Patricks Day, March 17th, 2006.

Also, just heard from my friend Suzane Hansen - and her new book YOU'LL NEVER NANNY IN THIS TOWN AGAIN - is #30 on the NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER list!

Heeelllloooo that is the dream of so many people. And it used to be my dream. Now, I just dream of having enough money/capital to publish my own books - make that all the books that are in my heart with lil ole (don't judge a publishing company by the website. And for those of you who do - it will get better next week!).

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New Gift Book

OK, running a small company involves a lot of running. That's all I have to say right now. Today we got the final edit of the new gift tag book - When you were 8, when I am 80...a story about being young and growing old. And already the interest in this book is overwhelming - (I'm not just saying that.)

It turns out there are so many people caught between their 8 year old children and their 80 year old parents - or near 80 year old parents...that we all could use a book that promotes understanding between the young, the old and those in between.

Also, SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE is coming to my house!!!! Heeeelllooo - I think this means, I need to clean! They are intersted in "The Southern (ha) Flight Attendant who writes books. (Oh, Thank you God for this publicity...or potential publicity)

The guy said not to get too excited yet. They are not bringing the photographer this time, just the interviewer, who will take a couple of 'shots' to let the photographer know what he is up against.

And tomorrow, in New York, I'll be meeting with the Senior Editor of Family Circle magazine. I don't want to be too nervous about know the old saying..."some trust in Chariots, some in horses...but we trust in something greater than the things money can buy..." Still, I wish I did have a nicer suit, which money could buy.

I'm just going to have to try and be who I am, and hope that doesn't scare her.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Just before the book Mary McCowski Was Not a Pretty girl came out

OK, back last summer (2005) I was walking through the Dallas Ft Worth Airport and saw the last book in my three book deal with WaterBrook Press (a division of Random House).

Here I am in that airport bookstore, with FLYING BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS - Flight Attendant Adventures on a Wing and a Prayer. But, just this morning, (March 2006) I was thinking that I'm glad I left all that behind - (I mean being owned by the big boys of publishing) to do my own little thing - which is publish Mary McCowski Was Not a Pretty Girl. Because - now there is great freedom and peace in knowing, that no one else has their vision inside of a book with my name on it. And (this is the really odd thing) I'm making more money per book and having more sales per store with Mary McCowski, than I ever was when I was with any 'corporate' publisher. Go figure. It's just the way it works, when you self publish a book that - well, that takes on a life of it's own.

Success and finding lost socks

OK, the little book Mary McCowski was not a pretty girl, is taking off so much, that I've had to order another 2500 books printed. This is the 5th printing I've had since the little book was published - just 5 months ago, and it's only been sold on Amazon, my website and TWO tiny bookstores for the last 45 days! So this is GOOD news on the business side. Also, the good press continues - which is good. But, here's the problem. I'm still without a US or Foreign distributor. I am the only one shipping orders except for So every morning I check new orders and ship them, while trying to find matching socks for my daughter and packing her lunch and trying to not totally neglect our 17 year old foreign exchange student. I never read books about men who go off to the office to be successful - who sweat the concept of what their child will eat for lunch, or if she has her Latin flashcards up to date. What is the deal with that? So, I've decided I don't just want to be Martha Stewart (without the Prison part) but also Mother Theresa (but with a better I've started working out) - and I've been thinking lately, it's not as important to be successful business wise, as it is to be kind to those I'm dealing with on a daily basis, so I'm praying a goes like this, "God help my business decisions, and help me to be loving to everyone, even my enemies - because that's just like you."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Flight Attendant report

OK, I'm not joking, this could have been me. I mean, she made a little mistake, she bought a little gift that her son would love.

So it was a hand wasn't active.

Now, please realize I'm not saying I work for this airline, but hey, I have done stupid things like this - I mean not exactly like it, but I did show up at the airport last week, with 6 inch steel nails in my bag, because they were garden stakes and I'd put them in my purse from my last trip to home depo and I forgot about them...and was detained an, this sooo could have been me. She want to jail and all...aggghhh