Wednesday, May 8, 2013

UNTAMED -- BACK STORY


Curtis Dawson and RC Bellars were characters created in my novel, PARTNERS back in 1981.  They remained true-to-form in the second writing of PARTNERS (partners 2.0) and also into the screenplay, PARTNERS.   The script was optioned but the movie was never made so the script rights were returned.  Several years later a producer of some merit wanted me to write five (5) screenplays for a mini-series on HBO; all on Spec, of course… Negotiations lasted almost a year.  During that time frame I began sketching shorts of some of the experiences, Rick and I had either been directly involved in or had witnessed firsthand.  The stories seemed to grow in my mind and I was almost finished with the first screenplay before the negotiations were complete.

I finally condescended when the producer sent me a check for ten grand; once he approved one, he would send me ten thousand for each following script; for a total of $50,000. 

I wrote two prequels to the Partners screenplay.  NO WAY & UP NORTH.  I revised PARTNERS so the three scripts would transition smoothly.  TRUST ME had been outlined for a novel.  I elected to convert it to a movie script.  All of these screenplays were stand-alone movies; two hours in length.  I sent this guy the two prequels and he was supposed to send me another ten grand.  That didn’t happen but I kept writing anyway. 

At no time during  'this non-communication -non payment' had I signed over any rights. The end of the story?  NOTHING!  Never a peep or a centavo mas. So, I had four screenplays with no buyer.  I turned the internet and the mail service  black with submissions to producers and directors.  After a couple of years of this lame nonsense, I discovered e-books. I posted the screenplays on line and sold a few…the format is entirely wrong for the Kindle and Nook.   I decided to write the screenplays into novels.  That was the case with NO WAY and UP NORTH.  Combined they became the outline for UNTAMED.
All the incidents in the screenplays were based on experiences my riding partner, Rick, and I had back in our earlier years.  The 1970’s and early 1980’s seem a long way back in history for some of the younger generation but for us this was the last of the truly ‘OLD WEST’ experiences.  The RIDE, ROPE & SHOOT, was leaving the west; we were the ones waving goodbye. That mentality and value set may be depicted in novels or movies but in real life; it’s gone.  It was a fun time in our lives and I really enjoyed writing the scripts and later the novel. Recapturing those feelings and experiences will always bring a smile to my face.   I’ve yet to turn TRUST ME into a novel. Perhaps I’ll start that conversion soon. 

UNTAMED has received 5 star reviews from those who have discovered the novel. 

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