aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Blake Nelson – leaves Portland and finds success

The Oregon had an article in last Sunday's edition about YA author Blake Nelson. His latest book, Paranoid Park, is being turned into a movie by another local boy, Gus Van Sant. "Nelson's mother taught Van Sant in her American history class at Catlin Gabel, and more than 30 years later Van Sant filmed scenes from Nelson's novel at the Burnside skate park, Madison High School and the train tracks in Linnton."

[Full disclosure: how come my parents didn't know anyone famous? Well, my dad was Ann Curry's boss on her first job, but all that ever came out of that is that I spent a day with her at Portland's KGW many years ago trying to decide if I wanted to be in TV, too. A single day was all it took for me to come to my senses. TV people work hard, and since it's considered a glamour job, for very little money]

Another snippet: "He got laid off, collected unemployment and studied writing with Oregon author Craig Lesley. [Full disclosure number 2: I met Craig before I was ever published. He remembered my name and treated me as if were already a real author. That was worth its weight in gold.] His first novel, "Girl," began as a poem that he read at a cafe, one chapter per week. People asked about the characters, and he would write more. Back in New York, the manuscript for "Girl" was rejected 40 times. Undaunted, Nelson sent it to the editor of Sassy, which he thought was "the coolest magazine in America." The editor ran an excerpt, and teenage girls wrote and asked where they could buy the book. Nelson took it to the only editor who was remotely interested, Judith Regan, who bought the novel and reportedly put a picture of herself on the cover."

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