Forrest Carr has had a long career in TV news–33 years, in fact–and around half of that as a news director. He’s also been working on a novel since the ’80s, and finally came to the realization that the TV work and novel stuff could not go on at the same time.
So he dropped the day job, and published his novel Messages–an e-book set in a midsize market newsroom in the early ’80s–this month. You can pick it up on Amazon.
Carr set Messages in what he calls the “Golden Age” of TV news–reporters were stars and newsrooms were freewheeling places, and the industry was working out some major issues, including better integration of minorities into newsrooms, and the influence of major sponsors on content.
“A lot of stuff in the book is inspired by actual events,” says Carr, who calls the book “a buddy cop movie, only with journalists instead of cops.”
Carr, 55, departed KGUN Tucson in the spring to whip his 15th, and final, draft into shape. He returns to the station today, as a guest on the 11 a.m. show The Morning Blend, to talk about his novel.
He has five more books in the pipeline, including sci fi and a likely sequel to the TV news book, assuming Messages sells a few copies. Next up: a “zombie apocalypse…with a twist.” Judge his new career after those are done, he says. “I don’t want to be labeled a failed novelist until the sixth one fails,” he says with a laugh.
Also a former news director at KRQE Albuquerque and WFLA Tampa, Carr is not ruling out an eventual return to news management, but the writing life seems to suit him. “In the last five months, my stress levels are through the basement,” he says. He’s sleeping like he never did while working in news, health issues have cleared up, and he’s eager to hit the keyboard each day.
“It’s been a wonderful experience,” says Carr. “I can’t wait to see how people relate to what I’ve written.”