Writing a novella is no small undertaking. To write a novella manuscript with a Hollywood icon like Carl Reiner, well, that’s a once in a life time opportunity. Peggy Cramer’s manuscript, The Devil’s Legacy, was picked from over 1000 participants.
The writing contest was designed as a promotional tool for the launch of Reiner’s new book, I Remember Me. The book is a collection of memories from Reiner’s life, which recounts his work and remembers the people he did it with.
Cramer has published before, but not a novella. “I had a story published in the Stamford Advocate about the blackout in New York City,” she said. And she wrote a short essay for “Without Child” about “how infertility influenced the way I parented.”
As a marketing professional, Cramer has written plenty, and learned how to tighten up her skill through a Harvard Extension Oral Communications class. Although her work has been non-fiction and business related, when the creativity sparked, like all good writers, she got lost in the story. “The characters took on personalities,” she said. “I knew I was going to submit it. I had a wonderful sense of accomplishment and that was all I could hope for.”
The Devil’s Legacy is about how evil finds a way into the soul of some people perpetuating, generations of more evil. Adolf Meistermann’s evil burns the very life out of his employees, wife and most of his children yet he is powerless, seemingly, to stop it. Evil kills in many ways as we find out in The Devil’s Legacy.
Cramer won a publishing package, a $949 value from the contest sponsor Author House.
To write well, Reiner said, “Sit down at the same time every day, and don’t get up until you have written two or three pages that inspire you to write a fourth page.”