Fraser Heston, chief executive of Agamemnon Films, has long enjoyed rock climbing, mountaineering, sailing, and scuba diving. But the more leisurely pursuit of fly fishing is his true love.
It’s not just for fun either, he said, a day after getting back from a trip catching bonefish in the Bahamas.
“There’s kind of a business side of it, too,” Heston said, pointing to his latest thriller, “Desolation Sound,” which he co-authored with writing partner Heather McAdams. The film opens with a fly-fishing sequence set in British Columbia.
Heston, 61, credits Joe Canutt, a stuntman on films including “Ben-Hur,” “The Planet of the Apes,” and “El Cid,” along with his late father, Charlton Heston (who starred in those three films), with sparking his interest in a sport that now gives him creative material.
“It really makes it possible for you to write with some verisimilitude, and with some real accuracy and understanding,” Heston said. “Even people who don’t know the world will pick up on what you’re talking about and it rings true.”
Space for Sci-Fi
For a couple of years while writing his science-fiction novel, Westwood real estate agent Mark Rogo, 62, hardly got a wink of sleep.
“I could close my eyes and transport myself to this planet Yavari,” he said. “I would let my imagination just fly.”
Those nighttime imaginings became “23 Hours,” a 350-page book self-published in January about a machinist from Gardena who gets stuck on an alien planet for 250 years. He eventually becomes the Grand Galactic Overlord but can never shake the sadness of outliving his first wife left behind on Earth.
Rogo’s active imagination was just the starting point for the book. He eventually learned, “It’s really hard to tell a story.”
“I wanted to make it interesting, but I didn’t want there to be a battle scene every other chapter,” he said. Rogo also took on the challenge of weaving in Jewish history through “humanoid” characters that had adopted biblical laws. There was also hefty research required to make alien planets scientifically feasible.
Now, as Rogo continues to work at Coldwell Banker’s Beverly Hills office selling homes throughout the Westside, he is finishing a sequel meant to depict humans more admirably than they appear in “23 Hours.”
“The first book really painted Earthlings as the scum of the galaxy,” he said. And he might write another.
“I could care less if this book never sold,” he said. “It was probably the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life, but it was such a fun process.”
Staff reporters Natalie Schachar and Daina Beth Solomon contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Jonathan Diamond. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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