The War of The Roses
to Hit Broadway
By Ava Roosevelt
Warren Adler, the world-renowned author and playwright, best known for The War of the Roses, a masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into a box office hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito, hardly needs an introduction.
Ava: News about War of the Roses went viral fast. How do you control the content when your book is adapted for theater?
Warren: “In Hollywood, the book author controls nothing. In live theater, the playwright has a lot more to say. I have sold or optioned 17 books for adaptation. Two were major movies, The War of the Roses and Random Hearts with Harrison Ford. Adaptations of five additional books are in development. If they happen…great. I don’t hold my breath.”
Ava: Do you remember our first meeting?
Warren: “I sure do. We met for lunch at Gino’s the day you sold your apartment.”
My heart was breaking that day as I was bidding adieu to my beloved pied-a-terre on Fifth Avenue. Teary eyed, I fell into welcoming embraces of Warren and his wife Sunny, two perfect strangers who became my closest friends. I soon found what a multimedia mogul Warren is. A former owner of radio and TV stations, Warren created his own advertising and public relations company and, with his Sunny and son David, founded the Washington Dossier magazine. Warren is noted for naming and marketing real estate projects in Washington. One of them, which he named, was Watergate.
The savvy author understands the revolution in the publishing business. I have learned from him how difficult it is for new writers when millions of books already flood the market. After 27 of Warren’s books were published by Viking, Putnam, Crown and Warner Books, he converted the entire library to digital formats under his own company, Stonehouse Press. His work ethic is impressive. Even at age 86, Warren writes daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., isolating himself to create his parallel domain.
Ava: How do you generate the ideas to write so many original stories?
Warren: “I fashion original stories from my imagination and my life’s experience and insights.”
Ava: What do you see happening to the publishing world in the next decade?
Warren: “Print is in a precipitous decline. Nevertheless, I do not see a world without literature. Humans are resilient, curious, searching, and indomitable. Civilization
cannot survive without the wisdom and insight dispensed by the written word. Great works of literature will find their way into the public arena.”
Ava: What can we expect from Warren Adler in the future?
Warren: “Aside from the Broadway and foreign productions of The War of the Roses, movies in development include The War of the Roses — the Children; a television series “Capital Crimes” based on my Fiona FitzGerald detective stories; the Target Churchill, Mourning Glory and Residue film adaptations; a controversial new book The Torture Man; and two plays The Sunset Gang, and a play Libido, about the conflict between an adulterous President and his wife.
Unlike my friend Tom Clancy, Warren believed in my talent as an author from the start. He gave me an important gift:
my book title, The Racing Heart. He is advising me on negotiating with producers to shepherd my book to the big screen.
Warren: “Creating fiction stories out of your imagination is an art form. Unless you are passionate and willing to take the putdowns and rejections, try another career. But if it is genuinely your passion, nothing should ever stand in your way. Like all artists, a writer writes because he must.”