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“Sideways” Author Rex Pickett –Intimate Revelations From The Heart

By Meagan Sargent

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Part 3:

Rex Pickett, author of the novels “Sideways,” and its sequel “Vertical,” is enjoying enormous success of “Sideways” – The Play – that has been playing to sold-out audiences for weeks at the Ruskin Group Theatre.  In Parts 1 and 2 of a three-part, in-depth, highly personal interview, Pickett unveiled the genesis of both his novels and the unsatisfactory publishing deals into which he entered.  He talked at length about his disappointment in “Vertical” not being made into a sequel to the multiple award-winning film,“Sideways.”  In this third and final segment, Pickett reveals very personal details of his life.

The following exclusive interview has been edited for continuity and print purposes.

Cohn:  What were your school days like?

Pickett:   I grew up in San Diego and was considered bright but didn’t apply myself.  I was a surfer-stoner-slacker and that worked until the ninth or tenth grade.  At age 17, somewhere around the summer between my junior and senior years, something changed for me.  I looked around and saw all these guys who were going to be surfer-stoner-drug addicts and probably half of them are dead now.  I didn’t want to be like them, so I started to study a lot and read voraciously.  I wrote a poem that was kind of a satirical poem about the principal.  He called me into his office and he got it.   They published it and I thought, ‘the power of words.’  So, that senior year in high school was transformative.  I went from a “C” student to an “A+” student just by applying myself.  




Cohn:  What did you do after you graduated high school and how were you further inspired?


Pickett:  The day I graduated from high school, a friend and I went to Europe for two months.  I got the syllabus for my Lit 1A class at the University of California San Diego which I had gotten in to.  It was a great syllabus and included – D.H. Lawrence “Sons and Lovers,” Alan Ginsberg’s “Howl,” Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road,” and “Richard Wright’s “B

Published on Jun 26, 2012

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