West Philadelphia native Omar Tyree’s path to becoming a “New York Times” bestseller began when he introduced the 1980s coming-of-age story, “Flyy Girl.”

The now urban classic novel followed the the material life of Tracy, her examination of her life, her goals, and her sexuality — ”as she evolves from a Flyy Girl into a woman.”

In an unprecedented power move, the “godfather of contemporary urban street lit” will publish an uncut and epic three-hour “Flyy Girl” screenplay, including a list of classic soundtrack songs from the 1980s, on Amazon.com.

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“I’ve written five screenplays in the last three months,” explained Tyree. “I’m going to write all my own screen plays now and start looking at other people’s screenplays because I know what quality writing is. I’ve got to be able to push down the doors of Hollywood, and that means I’ve got to excite some economic people and that happens through the numbers. And so we can’t keep talking about a 25-year-old book because we got to get new energy and new numbers, and that’s what this screenplay represents. We already know about the book. Now, it’s about the screenplay. And the screenplay is not the same as the book, it’s intensified. I added some stuff because I went all out because I know Philadelphia, the lingo, the culture, the politics — and I know the 80s. That’s what you’re going to get in this screenplay.”

Tyree, 49, graduated from Central High School in 1987 and enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh where he initially studied to become a pharmacist, before transferring to Howard University in 1989.

In 1991, during his senior year, Tyree became the first student in Howard University’s history to have a featured column published in “The Hilltop,” the award-winning campus newspaper.

In 1991, Tyree received a degree in communications from Howard and shortly after, he worked as a reporter and an assistant editor at “The Capitol Spotlight,” a weekly newspaper in Washington, D.C. Later, he was hired as chief reporter for News Dimensions, another Black-owned weekly newspaper.

In 1998, Tyree partnered with Simon & Schuster to produce more than 13 novels, including a reprint of “Flyy Girl” and the publication of “A Do Right Man.”

In 2001, Tyree won the 2001 NAACP Image Award for outstanding literature for his book “For the Love of Money.” He has also written books under the pen name of “The Urban Griot.”

“I’m going to be rabble rousing and talking a whole lot of talk,” Tyree adds. “My main thing is that I am a top-notch screenplay writer right now, and the Hollywood people can read my screenplay and tell me I’m not. I’m coming that hard, and I back it up, bottom line.”

bbooker@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5749

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