Darian Lane has worked in L.A. for more than 10 years as a writer, director, and producer for some of the music industry's top artists, as well as big-name advertisers, including the Black Eyed Peas, Chris Brown, Audioslave, Nike, Reebok, and IBM, to name a few.
His life in L.A. inspired his second novel, Flashy Fiction, which chronicles his encounters via short story-style fiction, or flash fiction. We caught up with the ASU alumnus to discuss his new book plus what else he's got up his sleeve for 2013.
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Lane was born in Philadelphia, raised in Bethesda, Maryland, and ended up in Arizona. He went to Paradise Valley Community College before transferring to ASU, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in communication. Five days later, he moved to L.A.
Lane says he started at the bottom in the film industry and worked his way up from a production assistant on music videos to being an assistant director, and then into producing. Although Lane says he had always been interested in writing, he ended up in film due to circumstance.
"I had my first job working in an editing facility, and we were stuck in a room for, like, 28 hours every day," says Lane. "So the first job I could get working outside I took, and I enjoyed myself."
He says his best job so far was a garbage-bag commercial.
"Best, as in an enjoyable experience," says Lane. "All of the people that I worked with on that commercial were the most loving and caring crew I've ever worked with. I just had a ball."
When it comes to most impressive, he says that would have to be the commercial he filmed with Muhammad Ali for IBM. Lane says that Ali was a huge practical joker, playing jokes on everybody involved with the commercial.
Working in his line of work, he's had the opportunity -- or misfortune, in some cases -- to work with hot celebrities, including musicians and athletes. Lane says there are always nice ones, as well as the a-holes. Regardless of which category his clients fall into, Lane says he pretty much gets along with everybody.
"The key is not getting too close," says Lane. "That's what I've always done. Because otherwise you'll become a fan, rather than a work associate."
Lane's life in L.A. provided him with a bevy of interesting stories, stories that his friends insisted he write down whenever he would recount them verbally. Finally, he acquiesced.
What he created was Flashy Fiction, a novel including many mini-stories, at under 2,000 words each. So far, he says the reception has been good.
"I haven't had any complaints. Everybody likes the way I write," says Lane. "It's a new style of writing, so that's what they like about I think. It's really quick and flashy."
Lane can remember as far back as third grade having a knack for writing.
"I used to write little Transformers stories for kids -- sagas, I called them," says Lane. "They would always ask what was going to happen next week. People liked it a lot. Kids like it."
Lane is already working on his next novel, which he's titled The Girlfriend Experience.
"This one will probably get me killed, but it's a good book," says Lane. "It's basically all of my ex-girlfriends' e-mails, texts, and letters from the beginning of our relationship to the very end."
Lane also is currently working on a project called The Collector, a film he wrote based on one of his friends, a woman who "collects" men. He hopes to sell it to a studio and be able to direct the movie himself.
As if promoting a novel, writing another, and trying to make a movie weren't enough for Lane, he's also working on selling a pilot for a TV show called Born to Act, essentially a female version of Entourage.
Lane confessed that the reason he was in Phoenix was because he has a contract with Starwood Hotels, and does modeling for them.
"I just had to cash in on my looks. It's terrible," says Lane.
What are you reading now?
You're going to laugh, but I'm reading right now Fifty Shades of Grey. Cause I'm writing The Girlfriend Experience, so I wanted to read about the female psyche and get the sort of vibe I'm looking for. I'm also reading White Oleander. I'm rereading it. I read it years and years ago.
I have a tendency not to like to read when I'm writing stuff, especially a novel. Because I don't want the writer to influence me in no way shape or form.
What was the last book you read?
The Bible. After you read the Bible you realize that every other writer just copied everything from the Bible, and all the stories in there.
How do you pick your next books to read?
Originality. I can tell if it's a good writer by the first sentence. That's why I haven't read any new, recent authors cause it seems like they're just writing. I mean the thing is, the reason I don't read that much anymore is because I've pretty much read everything there is to read. I used to have at least eight bookcases of books that I've read, until I sent them to my mom.
Is there a book next on your list?
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Nah, I mean, I'm reading 50 Shades now, and the first chapter so far is pretty interesting.
I have one favorite author, John Fante. He is probably the most brilliant and prolific writer I've ever read in my entire life. I don't give admiration to very many people, but he can write. The words fly off the page. If you've ever read Charles Bukowski, you would know that Charles Bukowski copied everything that Fante did, or tried to.
For more information on Flashy Fiction, see here.