Wednesday, January 05, 2005

First-time Novelist at 57 is Teary-eyed
Chances are you've seen Ron McClarty. As a character actor, he was a cop on Spenser: For Hire, is a judge on Law and Order, and was a sex therapist on Sex and the City. He's done stage work and commercials. For decades, after a hard day emoting, McClarty would descend to his small basement office -- dubbed "the pit of despair" by his kids -- and write books. Ten of them. None of them were ever published, or even acknowledged by publishers. Then, McClarty, who also records books on tape, gave a copy of his latest manuscript The Memory Running, to his producer. She loved it and got it recorded. Then Stephen King gave it a rave in his column in Entertainment Weekly and the fun really started. $2 million later, the book has been published by Viking/Penguin and there's a possible movie deal in the works. "It's like a guy dying in the desert coming across the Ritz-Carlton," he says.

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