Hollywood screenwriter Scott Frank talks first novel, 'Shaker'

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Sandy Kenyon talks to the screenwriter-turned-author

For 30 years, Scott Frank has earned praise from some of Hollywood's biggest stars and most famous directors for his scripts. But now, he is earning high marks for the first time as an author.

His first novel is in stores, and even if you don't know his name, it's more than likely you know the many of his films. "The Wolverine" is one, and star Hugh Jackman says Frank made his famous character more interesting.

He took "A Walk Among the Tombstones" with Liam Neeson in New York City, and at the United Nations, Nicole Kidman spoke his words as "The Interpreter." He also penned a "Minority Report" for Tom Cruise in a Steven Spielberg film. But Frank put his career as one of Hollywood's top screenwriters on hold to pursue a passion, which he spoke about at the famous "Mysterious Bookshop" in Lower Manhattan.

"I would describe 'Shaker' as somewhat of a poisonous valentine to Los Angeles," he said. "It takes place a week after an earthquake in Los Angeles, and it's not necessarily the big one, but it's big enough to be annoying."

It is particularly bothersome to the hitmen and gang members that populate the pages, as well as to the flawed detective who pursues them.

"Kelly Maguire is a very angry policewoman," Frank said. "She's gotten herself in trouble. She has a big mouth. She has some violent tendencies."

Frank has often written strong female characters, and his words for Jennifer Lopez helped him earn an Oscar nomination for "Out of Sight." But despite his success, his book came out of frustration.

"When you're trying to write a movie, trying to please all the people you need to please is like picking a lock with a wet noodle," he said. "Whereas when you're writing a book, it's a very direct thing. There's no one between you and the page."

"Shaker" is now in bookstores everywhere.
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