Elusive cult author Bret Easton Ellis fronts up to his first ever writers' festival in Byron Bay and talks psychos, film studios and moral boundaries in fiction. The sometimes controversial author of cult novels such as American Psycho and Less than Zero speaks with ABC Sydney radio host Simon Marnie – with some trepidation – about his approach to the writing process.
Along the way, he takes us through the journey of being courted and sometimes disillusioned by the Hollywood studios, the furor surrounding the violence in American Psycho and the politics of serial killers.
Bret Easton Ellis
Bret Easton Ellis is an American novelist and short story writer. He was regarded as one of the so-called literary Brat Pack, which also included Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney. He is a self-proclaimed satirist, whose trademark technique, as a writer, is the expression of extreme acts and opinions in an affectless style. Ellis employs a technique of linking novels with common, recurring characters. Among his best known novels are Less Than Zero, American Psycho, and Rules of Attraction.
Simon Marnie is a Sydney-based presenter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Local Radio weekend morning program in New South Wales. The program is broadcast throughout Sydney on Saturdays from 6am-12 noon and New South Wales from 10am, and on Sundays from 10am-12 noon in Sydney.
Less Than Zero author Bret Easton Ellis suggests that a movie version of Imperial Bedrooms, the popular book's sequel, may be less than likely to happen. Ellis takes the opportunity to riff on the unusual politics of studio filmmaking, which led to some dramatic differences between the first film and his original novel.
Himself no stranger to controversy, author Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, Less Than Zero) criticizes a tendency among his fellow writers to practice self-censorship in order to appeal to a more mainstream audience. "If you're going to do audience testing before you write to see what's going to upset people," says Ellis, "you might as well be in advertising."