It's Always Now

Writers know: the best stories are built around a moment; a point of no return. Kent Pierce is a writer. He lived two such moments just weeks apart. First came a car wreck that--for a few seconds, give or take--could have been the end. Instead, he walked away from his totaled car and went on with his day. But it was that other moment, three weeks later, in a doctor's office, that any writer would seize upon to power a good narrative: one of those rare moments that starkly, almost neatly, divide a story into what-went-before and what-came-after. The thing is, the story that hinged on that moment was the story of his life.

simon_lewis.jpgSimon Lewis also knows a good narrative moment when he sees one. Simon Lewis is a film producer. He too survived a car wreck, but in his case the wreck is that moment dividing before and after. For Lewis, those few seconds--give or take--delivered a terrible outcome. His wife of only a few months was dead at the scene. The first EMT's to arrive assumed he was too; that's how badly injured he was. But Lewis survived that moment. For him, the what-came-after began with a blank page. He had no what-came-before, no memory to work with. Somehow he rebuilt his identity from nothing. He's written a book, Rise and Shine. And, yes, he plans to bring it to the screen. (You can hear more about it on KCRW's The Business.)

A profile of Simon Lewis can be found at the nonfictional storytelling site The Atavist.

(This program originally aired on September 23, 2011.)



Bob Carlson