The story draws heavily from my various careers in publishing, media, and academia. Several of my screenwriting instructors have reviewed drafts, including Tal McThenia (Gotham Writers, NYC). Tal writes: “What comes roaring through, each and every scene, is not just a sharp wit and an ear/eye for emotional nuance… but a heartfelt connection with the protagonist and her struggle.”
I’ve written professionally for a national audience for many years. Publications include children’s books for HarperCollins, a book about how technology can help struggling readers and writers ("Literacy Online, Heinemann), and an educational book for Harvard Education Publishers that I am co-authoring with an award-winning teacher in the U.K. (see www.juliemwood.com). I’ve also been on the faculty at Harvard University, an experience that offers endless material for fiction writers.
The locations serve as characters in and of themselves. Those who share my affection for Boston will appreciate the scenes that take place at the Copley Plaza Hotel, Fenway Park (with God) and Johanna's climb to the top of the Citco sign. This is the city my ancestors settled in three generations ago, driven out of Ireland by the Potato Famine. It's my tribute to them.
NOTES FROM HELL’S KITCHEN, an update of the classic tale of Faust, is a romantic comedy/satire about an aspiring media diva, Dr. Johanna Lucky, who must find a way out of the pact she’s made with the Devil or else civilization as we know it will descend into a modern-day version of Hell.
Hell, as we come to know it, is a result of Johanna’s invention—“Thrill TV.” This entertainment experience is so seductive that people lose their souls as they succumb to its promise of wish fulfillment––regardless of the cost.
God arranges a meeting with Johanna to tell her she is furious about her pact with the Devil and insists that she destroy it. Johanna does. But the fallout of this take down wreaks havoc with the Devil, her investors, and her “deep throat” at MIT--the mastermind behind “Thrill TV.”
The location for NOTES FROM HELL’S KITCHEN spans New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, the glittery world of the high-tech industry, and Boston’s Beacon Hill and Fenway Park.
By the end of the screenplay we’ve seen Johanna have it all, lose it, and win it back by doing exactly what the Devil has forbidden--falling in love with Barney, the man whose heart she has routinely trampled.