Larry Brooks is the author of four critically-acclaimed thrillers, and the guy behind www.storyfix.com, one of the fastest-growing and most respected writing sites on the internet.
Brooks’ resume reads like a Cheesecake Factory menu, an analogy that honors his favorite restaurant. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon in 1952, he graduated with a degree in marketing communications from Portland State University in 1975, where he attended in the off-season during an unremarkable five-year career as a professional baseball player (he pitched in the Texas Rangers organization).
This led to his first published writing: a magazine article on the life of a minor league pitcher. Still not keen on a writing career – he had his eye on the money back then, like most of the newly graduated– his first lives in a business suit had more than a few more swings and misses. He likes to say he was history’s worst stockbroker for the world’s largest brokerage firm, then the world’s worst personnel manager in a major department store (remember what Dirty Harry said about Personnel managers?), in addition to a couple of other humbling career fliers he chooses to forget. Each abandoned career resulted in another published magazine piece lampooning the experience, and his interest in writing began to emerge as his best – and perhaps last – viable career option.
In 1983 he answered an ad for a “script writer” at a small audio-visual production company – eight "arteests" and a slide projector. Cut to 1996, when the company was one of the largest marketing and training firms in the western U.S., and Brooks was the executive creative director and a partner, with some 120 employees and a portfolio with more corporate videos, brochures, websites and other useless stuff than Harlequin has romances. He and his partners sold the business in 1999, at which point Brooks took the money and ran toward the career he’d been quietly cultivating on the side for the prior two decades – writing novels and screenplays.
His first published novel, DARKNESS BOUND, was based on one of his original screenplays, featuring – here’s a surprise – a stockbroker who hates stockbrokering. It debuted in October 2000, spending three weeks on the USA Today best-seller list. His second novel, PRESSURE POINTS – an ad exec who hates the ad business – appeared to solid reviews in December 2001, with comparable sales. His third novel, SERPENT’S DANCE, was a February 2003 release from Signet paperbacks, and was also well reviewed despite selling like parkas in Pakistan. And his fourth, July 2004’s BAIT AND SWITCH , earned a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, who also named it their lead Editor’s Choice for that month, and at year end to two of their lists: Best Overlooked Books of 2004 (the only paperback so named; perhaps, says Larry, a dubious honor) and Best Books of 2004 (lead entry, mass market).
His book on writing – Story Engineering: Understanding the Six Core Competencies of Successful Writing – will be published by Writers Digest Books in February 2011. That book leverages the growing audience for his writing-skills website (www.storyfix.com), which explores a fresh and rhetoric-free perspective on writing fiction from a carefully articulated model and plan, rather than the seat-of-the-pants creative chaos so many writers employ.
Screenplays for all his books are in various stages of development. In late 2002, Brooks’ script for the adaptation of DARKNESS BOUND was named a finalist in the prestigious Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the folks who bring you the Oscars. It was one of ten scripts selected out of 6044 submissions, which he hopes you find impressive, especially since he didn’t end up winning one of the five Fellowships. He got the t-shirt anyway.
Brooks has been developing and teaching writing workshops since the mid-1980s. He has been named a Mentor by the Oregon Writer’s Colony (www.oregonwriterscolony.org), and teaches at writing workshops around the country.
Brooks is very happily married to his wife of nearly fifteen years, Laura, an artist and interior designer, who wants you to know she “is not the Dark Lady” (the villainess from his first novel), though central casting might disagree. He also has a wonderful son, Nelson, who is 19 and a sophomore at USC; three supportive step-children, Tracy, Scott and Kelly; and seven step-grandchildren who have no clue what “Poppy” does for a living. Nor says Larry, do they give a rip, as long as he keeps tossing them around at family gatherings.
Larry and Laura divide their time between homes in Portland and Scottsdale. He is at work on a new novel, as well as his writing book and the continued growth of his website.
Feel free to contact Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through Sons of Liberty Publishing.
< Back to Main Page