It has been a very busy year for me. Moving to Los Angeles drop-kicked me back into the world of television. My one-hour horror pilot, The Gates of Midnight, found a producer in Dan Blatt and has been making the rounds. Though we havenít been able to sell it yet, people have been impressed with the writing and the script has garnered meetings with other producers and networks.
Itís interesting to note that Dan Blatt was best friends with Dan Curtis. As many of you already know, I worked for Dan Curtis as a writerís assistant before I got my first staff writing job on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Dan Blatt does the best imitation of Dan Curtis that Iíve ever seen.
And speaking of Dan Curtis, my latest Dark Shadows audio drama, The Lost Girl, was nominated for a scribe award! The Scribe Awards are handed out by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in licensed tie-in writing-novels based on TV shows, movies, and games. The other nominees included Mark Wright and Cavan Scottís Dr. Who:The Many Deathís of Jo Grant and Highlander: All The Kingís Horseman by Scott Andrews. The winner in this category was MIKE HAMMER: ENCORE FOR MURDER by Max Allan Collins & Mickey Spillane. You can find a list of all nominees and winners here.
But I digress. Since returning to LA Iíve developed four other pilot pitches, finished my novel STILLBORN (previously The Dead of Winters), and written 54,000 words of a new novel, THE SHAMANíS GENE.
The Shamanís Gene isnít exactly new. I wrote the original draft of this novel five years ago. I had the great pleasure of working with Emma Bull (War of the Oaks) and Will Shetterly (Dogland) when they were holding workshops in LA. I picked it up again when I decided to do Wellspring, a week-long novelist retreat in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, with a number of accomplished writers. I also used the Clarion West Write-a-thon as incentive to get as much written (rewritten) as possible.
I thought this might be a quick and easy rewrite. WRONG! I dropped a major point of view character and completely reworked a subplot I had going. Not to mention that five years ago I used passive voice like it was the new literary norm. Sigh.
So this rewrite is a lot of work… but oh so much fun. I love Sage, my protagonist, and the journey sheís taking though a dystopian world. I love Krane and Anna and the horror they are becoming. I love my three mysterious travelers who join Sage and what they mean to the future of this new world. And I love Sageís little dog Max, and how the changes in Sage are reflected in him.
And so I decided to share some of THE SHAMANíS GENE with anyone who wishes to take a little time and read the first few chapters. Right now Iím only posting the first three. They are in PDF format and they are free.
The novel is a cross between science fiction and dark fantasy. For the squeamish-the Krane chapters are rather horrific. Be forewarned.