Sex, Screenwriting, and Sobriety

Author Diana Gould shares her inspirations for Coldwater, a story about a detective show writer struggling with alcoholism who gets wrapped up in her own real-life mystery.

gould-alcoholismYou may not be familiar with the name Diana Gould, but you probably know her work. She has written pilots, movies, and mini-series for network and cable. In the 1980’s she was the writer and producer of Dynasty, the executive story consultant on Knots Landing and she created and pro­ducedBerrengers. She’s also a friend of my father’s, and of Fix favorite Lawrence Block, so when I heard she had written her debut novel called Coldwater which happens to be about a TV writer/producer of a hit detective show, struggling with addiction… well, as a Hollywood industry bratand rehab veteran myself, it was a no brainer gotta read.

Coldwater is narrated by Brett Tanager, a writer tackling her alcoholism while her life, relationship and career go skidding out of control. As she tries to get sober, she is approached by her 16-year-old former step-daughter whose classmate has gone missing after being paid to “party” with high rollers. Brett is soon embroiled in a real life mystery dealing with Hollywood, wealth, murder, lies and sex. Sound good? Oh it is, if you happen to like celebrity, addiction, money, power and sex.

Is this the first time you’ve written publicly about your addiction?

Well, first of all, I need to say that Coldwater is a novel; it is fiction; it is about Brett Tanager, not me. So it’s her addiction, not mine.  Actually, I’ve written about addiction many times.  I think the first time was in college; I wrote a paper about amphetamines, while using amphetamines to write it! Also, I was head writer of Knots Landing, and one of the characters was an alcoholic who got sober and went to AA. I wrote all those episodes. When I worked for television, I wrote TV movies about sex addiction, food addiction, and various other “compulsions of the week.”

Still, Coldwater is different. Although it is a mystery/thriller, and I hope it stands on its own as such, it is also, at its heart, a story about getting sober. I am not so interested in the descent into alcoholism; I am very interested in the recovery process, which I think requires courage and effort, and is in its way, heroic.  I wanted to write a story about someone who always used drugs and alcohol to deal with fear and self-doubt, who was then thrust into situations more frightening than any she’d lived through while drinking, facing external as well as internal demons, and needing to find resources other than alcohol and drugs to prevail. I’ve seen the damage of the disease, and the challenges of recovery at close hand. I wanted to dramatize the recovery. Read More “the fix”…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.