Episode 43: Tom Sawyer

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Given the stuff on TV at the time, and especially conditioned by the dreck on which I'd been working for the past few years, I really didn't expect much. But, alone in that room, within a few minutes I was convinced that finally, here was a show I could be as enthusiastic about as I was for my own series concepts. The new series, developed by Peter Fischer and the remarkably talented William Link and Richard Levinson, was Murder, She Wrote. -- Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of the REAL Tom Sawyer I couldn't be more excited to be talking to (the real) Tom Sawyer about his writing career, which spans not only two political thrillers and a lively PI series, but television stints on some of my favorite shows -- including both The Law and Harry McGraw and the iconic Murder, She Wrote. The stories he tells in the interview are only a taste of the insider stories he shares in his new memoir, The Adventures of the REAL Tom Sawyer. In addition to chatting about his Hollywood career working with Angela Lansbury, Jerry Orbach and Tony Curtis, among many others, Tom gives a shout out to The Maltese Falcon -- and a great story about the influence it had on Murder, She Wrote. We also discussed his books on writing (Fiction Writing Demystified), as well as his thrillers, The Sixteenth Man and No Place to Run. And I was happy to learn that he's writing a follow-up to Cross Purposes, which launched his Barney Moon, PI series. But as Tom's memoir, The Adventures of the REAL Tom Sawyer, makes clear, he's done more than we could ever talk about in one twenty-minute interview, including a musical about JFK (Jack); a film which he wrote, directed, and produced (Alice Goodbody); and a book about what it takes to succeed (9 Badass Secrets for Putting Yourself in Luck's Way). To learn more about these and his many other projects, check out Tom's website, ThomasBSawyer.com. Tom graciously sent me an autographed copy of a Murder, She Wrote which he'd written, and at the end of May, 2017, I will be giving it away to one lucky person on my mailing list. So if you're not on my mailing list yet, now is definitely the time to sign up. I send out one newsletter a month, and I never share your e-mail with anyone else. So sign up now, in the box on the top right. Good luck! -- Laura Transcript of Interview with Tom Sawyer Laura Brennan: Tom Sawyer has written for the stage, television, movies and mystery novels, and his memoir, The Adventures of the REAL Tom Sawyer, launches today, May 1st. While his adventures -- and accomplishments -- are legion, two are of particular interest to Destination Mystery listeners: first, his crime novels, which range from thrillers to a PI series; and second, his involvement with none other than Jessica Fletcher, as a writer, producer and showrunner on Murder She Wrote. Tom, thank you for joining me. Tom Sawyer: Well, thank you for having me, Laura. LB: You have had a career writing for just about every possible medium, and now you've turned your hand to memoir. And your adventures are just amazing. TS: Well, thank you. They amazed me as I had to revisit them to write the memoir. It was one holy moly moment after another because at the time that these extraordinary things were happening in my life, with most of them, I had no perspective. I just figured, oh, this is how it works. Next. LB: You have done some amazing things. Let me see where I even want to start. I think, you working in New York as a visual artist. TS: Well, that was my boyhood ambition. Back when I was a kid, they did story comic strips. Realistically drawn, three panels a day with dialogue balloons. The idea, of course, was to sell newspapers, to get the readers to want to buy the newspapers so they can find out what happens next in your comic strip. And that became my goal from the time I was 12 years old. Went to New York when I was 20 and started working in comic books.

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