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December 05, 2003 - Image 113

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-12-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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First-time authors Nora Zuckerman and sister, Lilla, won a two-book deal with
Simon 6- Schuster for their racy choose-your-own-adventure series.

The first agent they contacted took
on the project, and Simon & Schuster
quickly snapped it up.
They've already written proposals
for the third and fourth books in the
series. Future adventures might
include a tryst in Las Vegas or a
cross-country road trip.
"We'd love it to be a huge series,"
Nora said. "And we can spin it off
into a guys' version."
The sisters also are pitching the
series as an interactive television show.
A score of production companies are
already interested, Lilla said. "World
domination is really our next goal."
Now Lila is living the writer's life.
Once an aspiring actress, she said writ-
ing the book "totally-changed my focus."
"Before I was published, I was work-
ing at a golf course and selling fine art
at several galleries. Most of my job was
selling stuff that wasn't mine," she
said. "Now I'm selling my articles, my
books, my columns. It has given me a
huge boost of confidence, which is an
ideal way to launch a writing career."
These days, Lilla reviews restaurants,
nightclubs and spas for various online
travel publications. She's working on a
nonfiction book about the life of a
Hollywood insider and she contributes
a regular singles column to the Jewish
Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
"Growing up, our parents exposed
us to Judaism as family tradition,
history," Lilla told the Forward in a
recent interview. "They always made
it open to us — if you want to make

this an important part of your life,
we'll support you, and if you don't
find it compelling now, maybe in
10, 15 years you will."
What Lilla does find compelling is
her new lifestyle.
"I hit the jackpot early and that's
propelled me forward," she said. "But
the best part about writing is that you
actually get to bring to life some of the
wacky and ridiculous stories, theories
and scenarios you dream about when
you're sitting in traffic."
Being a published author brings
almost instant benefits in Hollywood,
Nora said. Even big-shot producers'
eyes light up when she talks about the
books she's written.
"Our success has given me a cer-
tain amount of confidence," she said.
"I've gotten more attention in
Hollywood. Somehow it gives you
more legitimacy. It gives people a
sense you have more going on in
your life."
It's also empowered Nora to take more
risks with plots on future screenplays.
She's currently at work on a "high-con-
cept high-school story" about the divi-
sion between popular and unpopular
students.
But Nora said that the most impor-
tant thing she learned from her book-
writing experience is that her sister is
"a fantastically funny writer."
"It may sound cheesy to say, but it's
true," Nora said. "It's great to have
this project with her. It barely feels
like work." ❑

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93

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