Born in CA; daughter of a scientist and an educator. Education: University of California, Berkeley, B.A. (with honors). Hobbies and other interests: Travel, dance.
Home—Los Angeles, CA, and Raleigh, NC. Agent—(Film) Frank Wuliger, Gersh Agency, 232 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210; (literary) Scott Miller, Trident Media Group, 41 Madison Ave., 36th Fl., New York, NY 10010.
Screenwriter. Also served as writer and actor for an improvisational theater group, San Francisco, CA; taught in the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court system; worked as a reader for various film companies.
International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, Writers Guild of America West (member of board of directors), Sisters in Crime, WriterAction.com (founder).
Diane Thomas Award, for screenplay; Bram Stoker Award nomination, Horror Writers Association, 2006, for The Harrowing.
(With Kimball Greenough and Thomas Reuter) Kalte Küsse (screenplay; based on the novel Cold Kisses by Sabine Deitmer), RTL, 1997.
The Harrowing (novel), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Also author of novel adaptations and original suspense and horror scripts for movie studios, including Sony, Fox, Disney, and Miramax.
Screenwriter Alexandra Sokoloff is the author of The Harrowing, a critically acclaimed horror novel published in 2006. A native of California, Sokoloff developed an early interest in musical theater and began singing, acting, and dancing while still in elementary school. She directed her first play at age sixteen, and majored in theater at the University of California, Berkeley. "Theater was a fantastic training ground for writing," Sokoloff noted on her Web site. "I worked my way through acting, which taught me how to create character and connect with an audience; dance and choreography, which taught me rhythm and pace, fearlessness and sensuality and seduction (and oh, yes—discipline!); then directing, which taught me design, structure, theme. Writing was the next natural step—the ultimate expression of all those things."
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Sokoloff wrote and acted for an improvisational theater group in the San Francisco area, then moved to Los Angeles to begin a career as a screenwriter. While working at a series of odd jobs, including an instructor in the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court system, Sokoloff tended to her craft, viewing numerous films and working as a reader for various film companies. She eventually established herself as a writer, winning the Diane Thomas Award for her first screenplay and selling her second to Twentieth Century-Fox. Sokoloff later penned novel adaptations and original suspense and horror scripts for Sony, Fox, Disney, Miramax, and other studios. Kalte Küsse, her adaptation of Sabine Deitmer's novel Cold Kisses, written with Kimball Greenough and Thomas Reuter, was filmed in Germany and released in 1997.
When Sokoloff tired of the Hollywood mind-set that placed profit above creativity, she turned to writing novels. "All writing is impossible, so in a way writing a novel was just a different kind of impossible," Sokoloff commented on her Web site. "I knew how to tell a story, and about character and dialogue and theme and suspense—it was the device of narration that was the brand new thing I had to learn: authorial voice, I guess I mean. And you have to use a lot more words!" The Harrowing, Sokoloff's debut work, is based on actual incidents from her years in high school and college. "Very early on in life I noticed what seemed to be a correlation between mental/emotional illness and paranormal events," the author noted. "Emotionally disturbed people seem to have a high level of psychic awareness, and they attract synchronicities and even weirder occurrences. That's a theme in a lot of my writing (and reading)."
The Harrowing concerns a group of five college students, including troubled freshman Robin Stone, who spend their Thanksgiving break on campus. On a stormy night, one of the students uncovers a charred Ouija board in the ancient residence hall; as Robin and another girl begin using it, they contact the spirit of Zachary Prince, who died in a mysterious dorm fire decades earlier. After a series of inexplicable events, however, the students realize they have awakened a malevolent demon. "Sokoloff sustains pace and suspense while encouraging the reader to identify with Robin," noted Booklist critic Whitney Scott, who called the book "good, engrossing fun." "Sokoloff's background as a screenwriter is evident in The Harrowing," remarked Joe Hartlaub in a review posted on Bookreporter.com. "As is the case with the best writers, she shows rather than tells, letting the subtle but explosive interaction among her characters propel her narrative."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2006, Whitney Scott, review of The Harrowing, p. 68.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2006, review of The Harrowing, p. 653.
Publishers Weekly, July 17, 2006, review of The Harrowing, p. 140.
School Library Journal, November, 2006, Tasha Saecker, review of The Harrowing, p. 152.
Alexandra Sokoloff Home Page,http://www.alexandrasokoloff.com (March 1, 2007).
Armchair Interviews Web site,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/reviews/ (March 20, 2007), Mayra Calvani, review of The Harrowing.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (March 1, 2007), Joe Hartlaub, review of The Harrowing.
Jive Magazine,http://www.jivemagazine.com/ (September 15, 2006), review of The Harrowing.
Spinetingler Magazine,http://www.spinetinglermag.com/ (winter, 2006), Diane Bane, review of The Harrowing.