feature film and
television credits I Lorenzo
on Writing I
one New York Times bestselling author Lorenzo Carcaterra's highly
successful career spans more than twenty years of writing for the
diverse fields of fiction, non-fiction, television, and film.
Born and raised in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, Carcaterra
landed his first job in the newspaper business as a copy boy for The New
York Daily News in 1976. He worked his way up to entertainment reporter
before leaving the paper in 1982, heading for the green pastures of
then-Time Inc. and TV-Cable Week, as senior writer. Nine months later,
the magazine folded, leaving him unemployed. A four-month stint at
People Magazine was followed by an odyssey of writing for a string of
start-up publications - Picture Week, Entertainment Tonight Magazine,
Special Reports Magazine - and freelancing for dozens of others - The
New York Times Sunday Magazine, Newsday Sunday Magazine, Family Circle,
Ladies Home Journal, and Twilight Zone Magazine, among them.
In 1988, Carcaterra turned to television as a Creative Consultant for
the syndicated weekly series, "Cop Talk: Behind the Shield," produced by
Grosso-Jacobson Productions. That led to a job as Managing Editor for
the CBS weekly series "Top Cops," also with Grosso-Jacobson Productions.
Running for four seasons, from 1990-94, the show is still in syndication
today worldwide. In addition, he worked on scores of other pilots, none
of which made it to air. It was while at Grosso-Jacobson Productions,
that Carcaterra wrote and published his first two books -
A Safe Place
First published in hardcover in 1993, "A Safe Place: The True Story
of a Father, a Son, a Murder," attracted widespread critical acclaim,
with Newsweek calling it, "Unforgettable - a remarkable book." Currently
in its tenth printing, it has been sold to ten foreign countries and has
sold close to 200,000 copies.
The 1995 publication of
Sleepers, which was a #1 New York Times
bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, catapulted Carcaterra to
national attention. Sold to 35 foreign countries and now in its 30th
printing in the United States, the book has sales exceeding 1.4 million
copies. In 1996, "Sleepers" was made into a feature film starring Brad
Pitt, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, Minnie Driver, and
Jason Patric. Carcaterra served as co-producer on the project, which was
directed by Academy Award winner Barry Levinson. To date, the movie has
earned in excess of $500 million worldwide in combined box-office,
video, DVD, and TV sales.
Carcaterra made a smooth transition into writing fiction with his
first novel, Apaches, a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover
and paperback. Published in a dozen foreign countries, the book has sold
more than 450,000 copies and been optioned by producer Jerry
Bruckheimer, with Carcaterra slated to serve as an Associate Producer on
He followed that book with
Gangster, which was published in
hardcover in 2001. The book has sold over 375,000 copies since its 2002
release as Ballantine Books Mass Market Paperback and was a bestseller
in the UK. The novel has been
optioned by producer Joe Roth and Revolution Studios and been sold to a
dozen foreign countries.
Carcaterra then wrote
Street Boys, a World War II saga inspired by
an incident which occurred in Naples, Italy, in the early fall of 1943.
Warner Bros. and Bel-Air Entertainment bought the rights to the story in
March 2001, before it was written, and are developing the project for
director Barry Levinson. Carcaterra wrote the screenplay and will be an
executive producer on the movie. The paperback of the book was released
in July, 2003 and has sold 200,000 paperbacks and sold to eight foreign
In 2004, Carcaterra published PARADISE CITY, a novel
featuring a hard-charging Italian detective who returns to his Bronx
birthplace and continues his war against the Camorra, the Neapolitan
Mafia, this time for very personal reasons. The paperback was published
in the spring of 2005 and has thus far sold over 75,000 copies. It has
been translated in six foreign languages.
Carcaterra's short stories have appeared in three mystery anthologies
thus far: "A Thousand Miles From Nowhere" for
dangerous women (2005);
"Yellow Mama's Lost Weekend" for
murder at the race track (2006) and the upcoming "Missing the
Midnight Bus" for dead man's hand
(2007). He has also written "The Girl in the Park,"
(The Strand Magazine, Spring, 2007), and “The Strega’s Last Dance” (Dark
Matter, Fall, 2008). In October of this year, “Missing the Morning
Bus” will be included in the anthology,
The Greatest Noir Stories of the
Century, edited by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler.
Carcaterra has written introductions to three Modern Library Classics:
the count of monte cristo
and the knights of maison-rouge
(by his favorite author, Alexandre Dumas) and for Jack London's
the star rover.
chasers, a sequel to
apaches, was published in both hardcover (2007) and paperback by
Ballantine Books in 2008. It is also available in the UK and has
combined to sell over 50,000 copies.
In addition to his books, Carcaterra has written a number of feature
scripts and teleplays. Among his features are "Dreamer," the story of
singer Bobby Darin, for Warner Bros. and director Barry Levinson;
"Doubt," a thriller for Robert Lawrence and Touchstone/Disney, and
"Street Boys" for producers Steve Reuther and Paula Weinstein and
director Barry Levinson. He also adapted his novel, “Gangster,” as
a feature for producer/director Joe Roth in 2005. He
has just completed work on THE GHOST, a script written for
Touchstone Television and producer David Hoberman. Carcaterra's television writing credits include
"The Hall," a pilot for Fox-TV (co-written with Jacqueline Zambrano); "Rounders,"
an NBC pilot, and "The Force" for the WB network, which Carcaterra
executive-produced and filmed in Toronto in the winter of 1999. In
2003-2004, he worked as a writer and producer for the NBC series, "Law &
has also completed writing his first video game,
alone in the dark: near
death investigation, for Atari/Eden which was released in
the Fall of 2008.
He contributes to The National Geographic Traveler
and Maxim Magazine and writes a column, The Red Zone, for
Carcaterra resides in New York; he is married and has two children.
Now, with Midnight Angels,
Carcaterra explores fresh terrain with a new cast of characters he
expects to carry through a number of future adventures. He is at
work on the sequel to Midnight
Angels and is writing a pilot, “Night & Day,” For Lifetime
Lorenzo on Writing:
an essay by Lorenzo on his background, including his family and neighborhood,
favorite books, movies and TV shows -- and how they have influenced his writing.
THE TOUGH ART OF THE STREETS: In September 2003, Lorenzo Carcaterra was invited by The Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis to participate in their Writers Series, where he read from his work and did an audience question and answer session. In addition, he was interviewed about his work by Professor Gerald Early, director of The Center for the Humanities, for their publication, belles lettres -A Literary
Review. Click here.