HUGE announcement!!

“I am pleased to tell you that we have completed negotiations with  Raymond De Felitta for a feature film of HUMPTY DUMPTY  by Marc Blatte. Raymond has written and directed four films, most recently CITY ISLAND, starring Andy Garcia, Juliania Margulies, Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin, which won the Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival.” ~Barbara Lowenstein, Lowenstein-Yost Associates

YEA! This is amazing news. We’re so  honored to have the opportunity to work with Raymond De Felitta. If you haven’t seen CITY ISLAND, do it! It’s a wonderful piece of work.

Songwriter, Hip-Hop producer to Novelist Part II

I’ve always been a voracious reader. I own a hundred times more books than I do CD’s. I am a big fan of mysteries and literature. Love Michael Chabon, Elizabeth George, John Updike,William McIlvanney, Elmore Leonard. Evan Hunter/ Ed McBain is someone I knew very well back when I was seventeen. He encouraged me to pursue my music and gave me faith through his own personal history -from the Bronx (like me), the son of humble immigrant parents, gone on to become one of the biggest selling authors of all time- that anything was possible.

Around 2004, my wife and I sold our apartment, closed our offices, and hit the road. (More about that in later posts). As we experienced one astonishing encounter after another, I felt compelled to write about them. The more I wrote, the more in tune with my inner self I felt.

I sent travelogues back to the States from China, Tasmania,  Australia, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, small islands no one’s ever heard of, you name it, we were there. Each tale was around four hundred words. They were meant to be foolish. Meant to amuse. The response was very satisfying. They were cracking everybody up. People back home kept asking for more.

My cousin, Ken Kalfus, is a writer. Big time stuff. This year, he was awarded with a Guggenheim Fellowship, just one of his many accolades. Among other things, he is an occasional book critic for The New York Times. One day he tells me I’m funny and I should write a book. So I asked, “How do you do that?” He advised me to “start it and finish it.”  Well, ok, then.

So I wrote my book. Worked on it for a year until the first draft was finished. Next, I found an editor on Craig’s List. For a tidy sum, she worked on the manuscript with me for another year. When it was completed, I hired another editor to offer a different perspective.  I rewrote it with him for one more year.

I was then referred by an agent, who liked the manuscript but felt it was not ready for publication, to a third editor. This editor told me the book’s main character did not seem credible. I spent 8 months changing the main character, and after that I felt like I had something pretty good. Next, I hired a copy editor to format it properly. Her work added another 6 months to the process. When she finished, I felt really good about what I had. I liked the story, but I especially liked the voice. It felt unique and righteous.

After that, it was something of a piece of cake. Got an agent and a publisher. The publisher and I spent a year on a re-write and then voilá! Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed was finally complete.

The inspiration for me, in the end, was my love for the act of writing. I enjoy delving  into the process and amusing myself with my mental flights of fancy. It is an adventure, an exploration of the mind. I guess I like adventures.

Songwriter, Hip-Hop producer to Novelist Part I

I was never very interested in becoming a writer-writer. A songwriter, yea. I was interested in that from the day my grandfather took me to see The Music Man.  I was in 4th grade. Seventy-six trombones hooked me and Till There Was You solidified my passion for music.

So that’s the dream I chased. I wrote songs. My first song was recorded on a mono tape recorder at a professional home studio in White Plains when I was 15 years old. I paid for it with money I had made caddying.

The engineer then took the taped version of the song and manufactured an acetate record of it, which, unlike plastic, is soft, and only good for about fifteen plays before the grooves literally wear down. Having the acetate in hand gave me bragging rights to tell everybody I had made a record, which, I guess you could say I did.

When I was seventeen, I recorded some songs with a band I was in. Tapes were the rage then and everyone had a tape player in their offices. I carried them to the Big City and was told how much they sucked. Undaunted, I faced continuous rejection from these same people for the next 8 years. Eventually, there was a consensus among the the big dawgs that my songs were beginning to sound like hits.

Finally in 1981, I had a hit. A big hit with The Four Tops, When She Was My Girl, a song that went to be #1 and earned me a Grammy nomination. I kept at it, and had my songs covered by Celine Dion, Kenny Rogers, and was bestowed with an award for Most Performed Country Song when Marie Osmand covered my tune Read My Lips.

I eventually began composing jingles. Jingle writing is about the most fun a person can have. Great money, too.

During those lucrative jingle years, I followed hip-hop. Back in the day, I had written and produced for Profile Records, RUN-DMC’s label. My love for the genre led my intrepid wife, herself a hugely successful music producer, and I to put some of the money we were making from Pepsi, Texaco, Disneyland and other clients towards the creation of our own hip-hop label. Our venture lasted for 2 years. Eventually, the financial hits we were taking at the label led us to bail out. But we have a lot of great memories and are honored to have been able to work with some of New York’s finest talents.

Sometime after the Trade Centers went down, our parents passed away. I think the combination of events lead to me wanting to express myself in a lengthier format than song. I had more to say. Regarding songwriting, I felt like I was done. After almost a lifetime of being a songwriter I now had no interest whatsoever.

(Please join me for Part II of my story, which will be published Thursday, July 2)


My wife Jeanne and I were at Book Expo America in NYC,  promoting my debut novel,  Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed. The previous night, Jeanne was up late, seeking out events that could be relevant to our mission. She found the mother lode. Tavis Smiley is going to be on the main stage interviewing Cornell West. We are certain he’s the perfect audience for the book.

The strategy and outcome seem simple: We attend the event. Afterwards, we approach Tavis. I give him my book. I get invited to appear on his show. Ta-daaaa!

“Hi Tavis, I’m Marc Blatte and this is my wife Jeanne. I was just on NPR with Linda Wertheimer, talking about my new book,” cue flashing book  in his face, “it’s really happening.”

“Nice man,” is the response. I hear crickets chirruping in the background.

Intrepid Jeanne says, “It’s based on a hip hop label we had.”

A little more than nothing. Call it courtesy.

My inner voice is crying out for me to do something as we all stand around looking at each other. It reminds me of when the WB frog gives up his performing, throws down his cane and top hat and lets out that slow, ‘Ribbit…’

A thought! I blurt out: “The Four Tops hit, When She Was My Girl, I wrote it.”

Big smile. Huge hand shake as he breaks into song.

“Yo, Cornell!” he says to Dr. West, who is on the other side of the stage, “My man here wrote When She Was My Girl for The Four Tops.”

Cornell runs the fifty feet across the stage to me. Standing above me, he bows to the floor. “Man I love that song.” He reaches down from the stage and I reach up. We embrace. “That’s what I’m talking about.”

I show him my book. “I want an autographed copy,” he says.

Tavis says he wants one too.

The Village Voice describes…


Humpty Dumpty was Pushed as “Dr. Dre-meets-Raymond Chandler“