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Virginia Coffman
#5
Sara wrote:
Quote:I’m a big fan of her writing too. I have a reference book published in the UK in the 1980’s which provides short biographies for many gothic and romance writers. It states Virginia Coffman worked as a publicity and fan-mail secretary in a variety of Hollywood studios in the 40’s & 50’s – including Monogram, Columbia and RKO Howard Hughes Studios - but there is no mention of script writing. Perhaps she worked on scripts but wasn’t credited or used a pseudonym?

The book also includes some wonderful quotes by her, including:

“Even a writer’s poorest work takes long agonising hours. One’s best work occasionally turns out to be a breeze. The work of romance writers certainly deserves as much respect as dead-blonde-in-the-alley novels and those repetitive, boring tales about children possessed of the devil, which have proliferated lately....

When I travel in Europe or the USA, or on shipboard, I am not too observant of people - so I’ll never be a great writer. But I feel that few writers can be observant as I when it comes to the atmosphere of places, streets, rooms, halls, alleys. I believe that the one special thing the reader will get out of my books is the atmosphere.

I am not ashamed of this. Some writers can’t even boast of one outstanding quality.”

Many thanks for taking the time to transcribe and post this information! It's inspiring to hear Coffman's words on writing. And yes, I've often felt that 20th-century Gothic authors don't get the respect some of them deserve.

It's possible that Coffman worked on scripts or teleplays without credit. Even if she had been in the Writers' Guild and received payment or even residuals for such work, screen credit has always been a negotiable proposition in Hollywood (even today).

Re: atmosphere. This aspect of a story -- perhaps more than characterization, I admit -- is one of the primary reasons I read novels. It's an underrated commodity in today's literary market, which seems preoccupied with dysfunction. The mood I look for in a good gothic is hard to describe -- sinister and yet soothing somehow -- and it's equally hard to find. Not all gothics are created equal. Coffman definitely had atsmophere down, and it's good to hear that she knew her strengths.
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Messages In This Thread
Virginia Coffman - by Penfeather - 10-17-2010, 01:47 PM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by Artemis - 10-18-2010, 12:11 AM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by Miranda - 11-21-2010, 01:03 PM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by sara - 04-23-2011, 06:15 AM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by Penfeather - 04-25-2011, 04:29 AM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by sara - 04-25-2011, 05:00 PM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by Terri Edwards - 10-30-2013, 08:33 AM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by maisonvivante - 06-27-2011, 05:36 PM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by Fiddlette - 07-28-2011, 08:04 AM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by Samarah212 - 12-25-2012, 12:39 PM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by RareMale - 07-10-2013, 12:25 AM
RE: Virginia Coffman - by Danceswithbunnies - 05-23-2018, 05:58 PM

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