Gail Cooper, Script Doc, Story Analyst
Professional coverage: Get an industry insider's take on your script.

About me

I've had a wildly eclectic career: I've been a journalist covering the aerospace beat, interviewing international figures such as physicist Freeman Dyson, astronaut Pete Conrad, and cosmonaut Alexei Leonov ... a writer for the United Nations, including ghost-writing for the Secretary-General ... a book critic for two major newspapers, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the St. Petersburg Times ... and a staff editor for publishers as prestigious as Oxford University Press, editing books on subjects as diverse as Weber & Fields (early vaudeville comedians) and hysterical musicians' anecdotes from the golden age of jazz.


I've lived all over Manhattan and Brooklyn. Not quite Jay McInerny territory, or even Tama Janowitz's....



Another passion is sailing. I've had the great pleasure of crewing on 19th-century rigs, mostly schooners: the Pioneer (an 1885 schooner built in Marcus Hook, Penn.); and the Lettie Howard (an 1896 Gloucester fishing schooner). I've sailed on the square rigger H.M.S. Rose, which was later used as the ship in the Russell Crowe film Master and Commander. And I had my own little boat, a 22-foot pocket cruiser, which I rescued from the weeds on City Island, N.Y., and restored.



I grew up in the Carolinas (which I adore), in an old Southern family. Now I live in an 1881 "Old Law" tenement on New York City's Lower East Side: there's still a mezuzah on the door from when this neighborhood was home to Jewish families like the Marx Brothers. There's still no sink in the bathroom, but the place is seething with charm, as Groucho would say. Original stamped-tin ceiling and all. And I'm still in love with New York: you never get to the bottom of it.


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