This month sees yet another new novel by Andy Conway, and a major change of direction following the Touchstone saga (don’t worry, Touchstone fans – the next Touchstone novel is a stunner and is coming very soon).
But this time I’ve teamed up with action novelist Jack Turner to deliver a gritty revenge thriller, LONG DEAD ROAD.
The book came about through an unusual process. And it owes its existence to up and coming film producer Richard Adams.
I met Richard on the set of my first feature film as screenwriter, revenge thriller Arjun & Alison, and we got on well. I get on well with anyone who says he likes my screenplay. I especially get on well with anyone who seeks me out a couple of years later when he’s putting together his first slate of film projects and asks me if I want to write one.
Richard had an idea about a man who comes out of prison and takes revenge on the gang who put him inside…
A few drafts later and I had the idea of turning it into a novel. And I think this is what every screenwriter should be doing right now. The thing about being a screenwriter is that your stories are at the mercy of a production process that almost always never sees the light of day. There are so many obstacles to film production, it’s a miracle that any films ever get made. This often means the stories you dream up and spend months creating, may never have an audience.
But now, with the advent of self-publishing, writers have an easy way to broadcast their stories and build a readership. (I do appreciate there are certain film stories that just can’t be novelized – I have a few myself – but many can, and precious philosophising about the unique nature of the medium is, in my opinion, simply an excuse for not trying).
Three years ago I began the process of novelizing a number of screenplays I had sitting doing nothing on my hard drive. The most notable were my Touchstone scripts for a TV series that was too big budget to ever get off the ground. That series of novels has become a hit, gained a fan base of readers all around the world, and sells copies every day that now pay my bills. And it’s a series that pretty much sells itself. (Who knows? It may one day sell its scripts).
If I’d left it to film and TV producers it would be nothing but a failed prototype tossed into the world’s rejected IP landfill.
With Long Dead Road, I can novelize my script way before the film ever goes into production. In fact, when we launch our Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the production, the existence of the novel will be a major tool in raising awareness of the story. It might even have already created a fan base who will want to invest in the movie.
This is a way that, as a writer, I can stop holding out a begging bowl and start taking control.
LONG DEAD ROAD launched on Amazon and all good book sellers a week ago, and the first person to get their hands on a copy was Mike Stewart, who subscribes to my mailing list and was the first to answer a very simple question to win a copy. (I do promotions like that with every release, so if you want to be the first to find out what books are coming out, and maybe even win a copy, get on my mailing list.)
So LONG DEAD ROAD is out in the world as a novel, and pretty soon it will be out there as a film. Richard Adams is putting together a crew and cast and we’ll be seeking funding to turn the screenplay into a movie.
That particular adventure is going to be a very long road indeed, but I hope it won’t be too long before I’m telling you all about it.
Meanwhile, get a sneak preview and read the novel…