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Mystery Manuscripts May Mature into Movie Pitches

One goal of most authors is to see his or her work end up in print or perhaps make it onto the silver screen. Conversely, a desire of many filmmakers is to stumble across the perfect idea for a Hollywood script, something often found between the covers of an undiscovered or yet-to-be published novel.

    This makes the formation of a partnership between Todd McFarlane and Scottsdale, Arizona-based Poisoned Pen Press a perfect marriage. This new creative venture forms an even-more powerful genre-based publisher for fiction writers.

    Poisoned Pen Press was founded in January 1997 by Barbara Peters and her husband, Robert Rosenwald, with a goal of publishing a few mystery reference works and out-of-print books labeled Missing Mysteries. Before long, consolidations in major publishing conglomerates opened a path for the publication of original works of crime fiction as well. Books published by Poisoned Pen Press have, as of January 2002, earned three Edgar nominations; starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist; and coverage in major media like the New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Wall Street Journal. Two titles were included in January Magazine's Books of the Year for 2000 and 2001. In addition to the publishing company, Barbara's other business is the Poisoned Pen Bookstore, one of the three largest mystery bookstores in North America.

    "This partnership opens up a unique avenue for relatively unknown authors to have their works end up in Hollywood," Barbara said. "We've got many great storytellers whose voices wouldn't be heard in other channels."

    In just a few weeks since the partnership was formed, Todd has already taken a look at a few manuscript summaries culled from the hundreds that Barbara reviews each week as editor-in-chief for Poisoned Pen.

    "There are a 1,000 stories here," said Todd. "I have to believe that at least one will make a great movie idea. I just need the experts, Barbara and Robert, to help me find that one, the needle in the haystack."

All stories are Copyright © and TMP International, Inc., and may not be reprinted without permission.

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