Quick worked furiously to communicate compelling characters like Pat, a Philly native just released from a mental hospital and seeking to reinvent himself in a community where folks don’t forget, and through Tiffany, an explosive but vulnerable character intent on holding the mirror up to expose Pat’s flawed thinking.
Though he is quick to point out to fans of the book and movie that Pat and Tiffany are fictional and aren’t a manifestation of his own persona, Quick notes there are definitely correlations between him and his main character, played by Bradley Cooper in the movie adaptation.
“Pat was working out obsessively in the basement when I was writing obsessively in a basement,” Quick said.
Just as Pat had “stepped off” and away from his former life for an extended stay in a lockdown facility, Quick draws comparisons to his own drop from the life he had known.
“Pat comes home and says, ‘You know that old guy you knew — that’s not me. I’m this new guy and I want to reintroduce myself to you,’” Quick said. “He’s trying to become the best man he can be — a better friend, husband and son. That’s largely what I was trying to do.”
Looking back at what has transpired since then, Quick can hardly believe his good fortune. “I was unpublished,” he said of that time in his life. “I never dreamed I would have the success or attention I’ve had from this book.”
He doesn’t credit good fortune alone, however. Quick believes some failed attempts at fiction helped him work out who he was, and what kinds of stories he’s uniquely equipped to tell.
To date, Quick has published two acclaimed young adult novels, “Sorta Like a Rock Star” and “Boy 21.” Another young adult novel, “Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock,” is due out in August and has just been optioned by the Weinstein Company. Dreamworks has just picked up film options for his fifth, as yet unpublished novel, “The Good Luck of Right Now.”