Famous Author Hated His Existence In Advertising

Former copywriter, Augusten Burroughs’ best-selling book, Running with Scissors, has been made in to a film by Ryan Murphy. Mr. Murphy is the 2005 Golden Globe winning (Best television series, drama) creator, writer, director and executive producer of the hit series, Nip/Tuck.The Sony Miramax film stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Jill Clayburgh, Vanessa Redgrave, Alec Baldwin and Annette Benning and is co-produced by Brad Pitt. It’s slated for release this holiday season.
Given the writer’s massive commercial success, it is all the more interesting to see how things looked to him a few years ago, at the time of the book’s debut.

Bookslut: I was in advertising for years. That was cushy, you know? It’s pretty cushy in a lot of ways, but I hated it. Right before Running With Scissors came out, like the month before, we had the galleys, it had the “buzz,” people liked it, but I’m just thinking, the chances are so slim that this book is really going to get any attention at all, especially because it’s got the gay content, that I thought, I can’t do advertising any more, so I was downloading all these PDF applications from community colleges. And I thought, I’ll become a paramedic. I’ll get a two-year associate degree, if I can get in.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.