Many AuthorHouse authors dream of seeing their story on the big screen. The number of participants in our recent book-pitch challenge on the AuthorHouse Facebook page is evidence enough. A lot of authors turn their books into screenplays, hoping they will be picked up by executives in Hollywood.
What makes Mark Hanley such an interesting author is that he has done the reverse. Today he joins the AuthorHouse Author’s Digest to talk about how he has turned a selection of his screenplays into Screemplays, making him a published author.
The Evolution from Screenplay to Novel
By Mark Hanley
First, I just wanted to say thanks to AuthorHouse for giving me the opportunity to talk about my new book, Screemplays and how it came to be.
I suppose I should start out by saying that my novel was never actually meant to be a novel at all. But the story of how it came to be is pretty interesting none-the-less. Hopefully.
Stirring Writing Passions
I’m a film student graduate who earned my B.F.A. from the Academy of Art University after five long years of online studying and course taking. My original intent was to become a film director by taking courses in film and television directing from here in Illinois in order to allow me to stay home and help out where I was needed most.
I originally planned to take my final semesters of production classes in person in San Francisco as would be required. But as the semesters neared, I knew I would not be able to go. So I switched my major over to screenwriting. I figured that since I love writing and a great story is the heart of any great film, it would be a practical and creative way for me to tell a cinematic story, graduate and still stay at home.
So, I took more and more screenwriting classes. So many in fact that I soon found that I liked writing more than being on a set. It’s just me and the idea. No soundstage getting in the way.
Attracting Hollywood’s Attention
Finally, school ended, but I realized my next goal was perhaps the hardest yet – get Hollywood’s attention. A feat much, much easier said than done, especially where I live.
Frustration and desperation soon followed. I didn’t know what to do next.
Then one day I thought to myself, if I can’t get my work into Hollywood the traditional way of query letters and such, why not get it out there another route?
A book, I thought.
Turning a Screenplay into a Book
I can’t remember anyone else having published a novel of formatted screenplays, so I figured I’d take the plunge – making absolutely certain to preserve the format. In screenwriting it’s all about formatting. And since AuthorHouse allows us to format the way we want to, it was a perfect fit.
I then compiled four screenplays I’d written in school from the genre I know best – horror – and compiled a 400 page novel from them.
Once the book was proofed and on its way to being printed, I set about designing a book cover and trailer for my work. This is where a lot of my schooling came in very handy. I used the software and training I received in my non-film classes to do all the graphic and media aspects of my book. I think that all arts are intertwined in some way, and by doing all the writing and artwork myself it allowed me as an artist to come full circle.
The Similarities Between Self-Publishing and Film Making
In many ways self-publishing is a lot like independent film making. Both are ways that people can freely express themselves without the intervention of a large entity such as a studio or editor telling us that something doesn’t work.
So there’s a quick wrap-up on, Screemplays and how it entered the world. Hopefully, in the near future I’ll set about compiling another series of my scripts for a follow-up book. Perhaps one in an entirely different genre? But for now I’m just glad to get my work out there. It’s certainly better than letting a pile of unsold scripts sit in the bottom of my desk and collect dust. At least this way someone can read them. And who knows, maybe Hollywood can still come calling?
Never hurts to dream.
Mark Hanley’s AuthorHouse Bibliography