Marilyn Ida Horowitz is a producer, writing coach, and award-winning professor of screenwriting at New York University. From her books on her trademarked writing system—now standard reading at NYU—to her appearances at Screenwriters World and The Great American Screenwriting Conference & PitchFest, Marilyn has guided the careers of literally hundreds of writers.
She is currently featured in the Now Write! Screenwriting Anthology (Tarcher/Penguin) and in the upcoming The Expert Success Solution (Morgan James). Her production credits include And Then Came Love (2007), starring Vanessa Williams.
Enjoy this interview.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?
I am a native New Yorker. I have been teaching writing for over fifteen years, and writing off and on for most of my life. I have a trademarked writing system that I teach at New York University and in my work as a private writing coach. I have written several books on screenwriting, two of which are textbooks at NYU.
Tell us about your latest book. What do you hope readers take away from it?
The Book of Zev is a political thriller about two ordinary people who stop a terrorist from blowing up the U.N. and Israel. The theme of the book is about how one’s faith affects behavior. One of the main characters is a handsome, fallen religious Jew who drives a cab, and the other is a beautiful red headed kosher chef who believes in God, but hates him. They team up to stop a seemingly unstoppable terrorist who has diplomatic immunity.
Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?
I hope that BOZ is widely read, sells many copies and that they make a movie out of it. I am in the middle of a new book, and have an essay coming out in the Expert Success Solution series in January 2015.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
Wow. I read so much. Interesting is a loaded word. A Natural History of The Senses by Diane Ackerman, Molecules Of Emotion by Candace Pert, and A Brief History Of Myth by Karen Armstrong come to mind in non-fiction. Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Truman Capote, A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle and Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky in fiction.
Aside from the above mentioned, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joan Didion, and Thomas Harris.
Book you’re currently reading?
I am reading A Farewell To Arms by Hemingway.
Any type of writing ritual you have?
I write in long hand standing at my kitchen counter. I pray a lot.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I read, dance tango and ballroom, see movies and plays, travel and pet my cat.
In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?
Success is a relative term. It’s important to complete projects and get them out into the world, but it’s even more important that you follow your creative impulses and write for yourself first. If you like it, chances are other people will, too.
Where can we learn more about you?
My website is: http://www.marilynhorowitz.com/
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity. I hope you enjoy The Book of Zev.