me virtually introduce my wife Carolyn. She's an award-winning television
producer, and the more talented half of our couple.
inspired the wonderful part of my heroine Cornelia. The flaky part
is more me.
she's not in production, we live on the beach in South Florida. So
welcome to our little sanctuary.
up a lounge chair. Let the sun bake your brain...uh your body a little.
the palm fronds swaying, the waves caressing the white sand? Does
your mind fell a little sluggish?
like a good time to read my bio and learn how I won the Nobel Prize
for inventing penicillin. Just kidding. But a publicist wrote it,
so you know she stuck in all the good parts of my life and left out
the failures and heartbreaks and gritty stuff that make it into my
books one way or another.
---"Chris Gilson grew up in Manhattan.
---After seeing Hitchcock's "North by
Northwest" as a boy, and becoming convinced that advertising people
chased spies and hung from Mt. Rushmore with their girlfriends, he
dreamed of working on Madison Avenue.
---So he studied film at New York University,
then went to work for a Madison Avenue ad agency and became a Creative
Director in his twenties. His first ad campaign for JVC launched the
VHS video format in the U.S. Soon Advertising Age named him one of
the "100 Best and Brightest Young Advertising People" - on the same
page as Warner Books author James Patterson.
---Chris won awards for his work on behalf
of clients such as Bacardi, Citicorp, Heineken, Norwegian Cruise Lines,
and Steinway. He also wrote college textbooks on Advertising (Random
House) and Consumer Behavior (Wadsworth).
---Like many Creative Directors and their
clients, he enjoyed flying to locations in Europe, Russia, Hawaii,
and South America to shoot commercials. "My favorite client in the
midwest," he explains, "loved to hear that we'd found a location in
France that looked just like Columbus, Ohio."
---In 1989 he launched his own commercial
production company in New York and South Beach to create and produce
campaigns around the world.
---"To me, the glamorous part of our
work was hiring people with great personal stories," Chris recalls.
"We had a pregnant runway model from Milan, an indicted Paris banker,
a Red Army commando from Moscow. One morning, ankle-deep in the mud
of Tuscany at dawn shooting a commercial, I looked around at these
people and realized that I was subconsciously building inventory to
write a novel."
---Chris began getting up two hours early
every shooting day (at 2 a.m.) and scribbling a journal.
---He was encouraged by author James
Michener when they met in the Caribbean. Michener laughed at his anecdotes
and told him to keep at it - "I believe Michener thought I was writing
---His first story "Two for the Money,"
about a failed Wall Street investor and his Mensa-card-carrying pool
man who hatched a scheme to kidnap popular CEOs and manipulate the
stock market, was optioned by Disney.
---Next Chris started his first novel
- Crazy for Cornelia - the Rapunzel-like story of a doorman who falls
in love with a seemingly-crazy debutante. The book was sold, literally
overnight, to both Warner Books and New Line Cinema.