Our Writers

Tod Goldberg

When a writer talks about how he or she became a writer, the story invariably ends up sounding a bit like a fairy tale, replete with statements about dreams fulfilled, amazing good luck and the grace of strangers. But when you think about it, most fairy tales are pretty damn frightening—Hansel and Gretel comes to mind, with its cannibalism as a central theme, or even Sleeping Beauty, which deals with the hazy subculture of drugs and midget gangs. With that in mind, Iím always hesitant to tell my story because Iím afraid it just wonít match up, historically speaking, with the fairy tales of yore. Suffice it to say, I come from a family of writers—my mother was a journalist who wrote a book about a subject near and dear to her heart—divorce; my brother is a mystery writer and TV producer; my sisters are writing a book on art and journaling; my uncle writes True Crime booksÖin short, the Goldberg family is lousy with writers, and I just happen to have fallen into the family business, too.

Tod GoldbergIíve written three novels—Fake Liar Cheat, which is okay, and came out in 2000; Living Dead Girl, which is really good and lost some pretty prestigious awards, came out in 2002, and Even The Losers, which is even better, though, it should be noted, not as somber as Living Dead Girl, which will be released sometime next year. I also write a weekly column in the Las Vegas Mercury and maintain (as in, I remember to update it about twice a month) a website at www.todgoldberg.com and generally make my living as a writer. Itís a good gig—I get to stay at home with my wife and dogs, I get to wear my boxer shorts with no pants for as long as I want (save for days when UPS comes) and I never, ever, have to sit in a cubicle, which is the greatest thing I can imagine. Iím dabbling in screenwriting now because, well, youíll have to read about that here in Conversely. If the truth were known, however, Iíd like to just write short stories all day, every day. Itís my favorite form of writing and I hope, one day, peopleís attention spans will dwindle down to the point where Iíll be in regular demand to do just that.

I also teach fiction writing on a pretty regular basis at the Writersí Program at UCLA Extension, which isnít really like teaching at all because I rarely wear tweed and I get to swear as much as Iíd like and I give everyone Aís.

And, oh yes, I slay dragons and save damsels in distress and help families of pigs keep their houses upÖitís a fairy tale life this writing business, and Iím pretty happy if I can just keep one step ahead of the big, bad wolf.

Tod Goldberg can be reached at tod@todgoldberg.com.

Tod Goldberg's writing on Conversely

Listed from the most recent.

Romantic Comedy
Weíre rooting for love, in the end, no matter how absurd the premise, how contrived the plot, how bad the movie. Date: 03/1/04

Faith, Love, Hope
Love's on a downward trend. But I know how to kiss a market, how to snuggle it and exploit it and...  Date: 07/1/01

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