Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mernit Man's First Novel

Screenwriter and writing instructor Billy Mernit plays a nice tug-of-war with the romantic comedy genre that has been his forte in his first novel,
Imagine Me and You, released by
Shaye Areheart Books

Protagonist Jordan Moore is a struggling Los Angeles screenwriter whose screenplay is currently being courted by one of the more chichi directors in Hollywood. It’s an exciting time, until his marriage comes unraveling at the seams. When his beautiful wife, Isabella, returns to her homeland of Italy, Jordan decides to play on her jealousy, thinking she will return to him.

However, because he loves his wife and wants to get her back, he doesn’t want to have an affair with another woman. To fulfill his goal of making his wife jealous, he makes up a fictional girlfriend, Naomi, patterned after one of his former students. Shortly after beginning his fabricated affair, the woman of his visions appears, and is seen and heard only by Jordan, creating unimagined complications.

Without his beloved Isabella at his side, Jordan finds himself blocked on his screenplay project, jeopardizing the production of the film he’s longed to see on the big screen. His fictional girlfriend encourages him to be true to himself and to do what he was born to do in his life. Still stuck in the illusions placed upon him by society in general and Hollywood specifically, he becomes bogged down in his self-created deceptions, particularly after his wife and the flesh-and-blood Naomi both arrive in Los Angeles.

As Jordan undergoes some serious soul-searching, he pokes fun at his own life as he sees the similarity between it and the standard plot points of the basic romantic comedy story. Mernit notes the seven basic plot points (or “Billy Beats” as my critique partner and I call them – see
Writing the Romantic Comedy ) at the beginning of the chapters in which Jordan notices these beats in his own relationship. Mernit successfully fulfills all the standard romantic comedy, a.k.a., romcom, beats in his first novel with smart dialogue, interesting characters and refreshing flair for capturing life in southern California. I look forward to reading his next novel.

To learn more about Mernit’s work, stop by his blog at:
Living the Romantic Comedy.


Blogger mernitman said...

Thanks for the read and the nice review, Diana! Coming from an afficionado, that means a lot -- glad you enjoyed the book.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Diana Celesky said...

Hey, Billy

Thanks for your post. I enjoyed the book immensely, finishing it in just a few hours. Can't wait to read your next novel and am also eager to see a film made of one of your screenplays. Peace to you.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Devon Ellington said...

To me that sounds like a premise that either totally works or totally doesn't. Not much room for middle ground. I'm intrigued enough to hope for the former, and will probably pick up the book.

12:56 PM  

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