Number-one New York Times bestselling author Lorenzo Carcaterra’s highly successful career spans more than 25 years of writing for the diverse fields of fiction, non-fiction, television, and film.
Born and raised in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, Carcaterra landed his first job in the newspaper business as a copy boy for The New York Daily News in 1976. He worked his way up to entertainment reporter before leaving the paper in 1982, heading for the green pastures of then-Time Inc. and TV-Cable Week, as senior writer. Nine months later, the magazine folded, leaving him unemployed. A four-month stint at People magazine was followed by an odyssey of writing for a string of start-up publications—Picture Week, Entertainment Tonight Magazine, Special Reports Magazine—and freelancing for dozens of others—The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Newsday Sunday Magazine, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, and Twilight Zone Magazine among them.
In 1988, Carcaterra turned to television as a Creative Consultant for the syndicated weekly series Cop Talk: Behind the Shield, produced by Grosso-Jacobson Productions. That led to a job as Managing Editor for the CBS weekly series Top Cops, also with Grosso-Jacobson Productions. Running for four seasons, from 1990 to 1994, the show is still in syndication today worldwide. In addition, he worked on a dozen other pilots, one of which––Secret Service (NBC)––made it to air. It was while at Grosso-Jacobson Productions that Carcaterra wrote and published his first two books, A Safe Place and Sleepers.
First published in hardcover in 1993, A Safe Place: The True Story of a Father, a Son, a Murder, attracted widespread critical acclaim, with Newsweek calling it, “unforgettable—a remarkable book.” Currently in its 14th printing, it has been sold to 11 foreign countries and has sold close to 220,000 copies.
The 1995 publication of Sleepers, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, catapulted Carcaterra to national attention. Sold to 35 foreign countries and now in its 38th printing in the United States, the book has sales exceeding 1.8 million copies. In 1996, Sleepers was made into a feature film starring Brad Pitt, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, Minnie Driver, and Jason Patric. Carcaterra served as co-producer on the project, which was directed by Academy Award winner Barry Levinson. To date, the movie has earned in excess of $500 million worldwide in combined box-office, video, DVD, and TV sales.
Carcaterra made a smooth transition into writing fiction with his first novel, Apaches, a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. Published in a 14 foreign countries, the book has sold more than 450,000 copies and been optioned by producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
He followed that with Gangster, published in hardcover in 2001. The book has sold over 375,000 copies since its 2002 release as a Mass Market Paperback. The novel has been optioned by Joe Roth and been sold to 15 foreign countries.
Carcaterra then wrote Street Boys, a World War II saga inspired by an incident which occurred in Naples, Italy, in 1943. Warner Bros. and Bel-Air Entertainment bought the rights to the story in March 2001 before it was written, and developed the project for director Barry Levinson. Carcaterra wrote the screenplay. The paperback was released in July, 2003 and has since sold 150,000 copies.
Carcaterra’s next novel Paradise City was published in hardcover by Ballantine in September 2004 with the paperback following a year later. To date, the novel has sold over 100,000 copies and was optioned by Fox Television to be developed as a weekly series.
In 2007, Carcaterra published Chasers, a sequel to his bestseller Apaches. The paperback version was published in the spring of 2008 and movie rights to the story are once again controlled by Jerry Bruckheimer Productions.
With that, Carcaterra took a different turn and has just completed his eighth book, Midnight Angels, the first in the series of treasure-hunting thrillers featuring a female lead. The novel is slated to be published in May 2010.
In addition to books, Carcaterra has written a number of feature scripts and teleplays. Among his features are Dreamer, the story of singer Bobby Darin, for Warner Bros. and director Barry Levinson; Doubt, a thriller for Robert Lawrence and Touchstone/Disney, Street Boys for producers Steve Reuther and Paula Weinstein and director Barry Levinson and Gangster for studio boss and director Joe Roth. He has just completed work on Redemptions, co-written with Peter Gethers.
Carcaterra’s television credits include The Hall, a pilot for Fox-TV (co-written with Jacqueline Zambrano); Rounders, an NBC pilot, and The Force for the WB network, which Carcaterra executive-produced and filmed in Toronto in the winter of 1999. In 2003–2004, he worked as a writer and producer for the NBC series, Law & Order. In 2005, he wrote The Ghost, for Touchstone Television and Producer David Hoberman and is currently at work writing Night and Day for Nina Lederman at Lifetime TV
Carcaterra has also written a video game––Alone in the Dark V: Near Death Investigation—and, on occasion, writes for magazines, most notably for the National Geographic Traveler. He has also contributed six short stories to a number of mystery anthologies. One of those stories, Missing the Morning Bus, from the 2007 anthology Dead Man’s Hand, has been chosen by the editors of Houghton Mifflin for inclusion in their upcoming collection The Greatest Noir Stories of the 20th Century (Fall 2010). He is also a regular contributer to the TrueSlant.com site.
He is married, has two grown children, two dogs and one very old cat. He is at work on a new novel and his next feature script.