Wanna know how we did in the film/TV competition?!

I recently let you all know that Charles and I made the semifinalist round of the ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch Competition, where we proposed the idea of the Mailboat Suspense Series as a TV show.

With that accomplishment, our next task was to submit a recorded pitch to try to get to the finalist round. (You can watch Charles and me here!)

Sadly, Charles and I and the Mailboat story weren’t chosen as finalists, so this ends our journey with the Spring 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch Competition.

But that’s hardly the end of our journey with Hollywood. We still have such big plans!

For starters, placing as semifinalists is still a big deal. We beat out almost 1,000 other pitches to get there. This credential can only help us on our forward journey.

And let’s not forget, I’ve been approached on two separate occasions by parties interested in my film and TV rights. I’m still nursing those leads along.

The competition is really only a small part of a much larger picture.

I couldn’t imagine this journey without you, my loyal fans. Thanks for putting the wind in our sails, cheering us on and believing in an eventual film or TV adaptation. We promise to keep you posted on upcoming developments!

Meanwhile, what can you do to help?

      • Recommend my books to your friends. The more people I have on board, the more Hollywood will take notice!
      • Support my store by purchasing or pre-ordering one of my books. (Mailboat V is coming this summer!)
      • Go above and beyond by joining my Patreon page! You’ll get to read my next story AS I WRITE IT while supporting me in a very tangible way.

Thanks so much for coming with us on this thrilling cruise. We can’t wait to tell you what happens next!

Charles and I Are ScreenCraft Semifinalists!

Previously, I promised to keep you informed of progress toward a film or TV adaptation of the Mailboat Suspense Series. Well, Charles and I did a thing recently, and it turned into a BIG DEAL.

About a month ago, we put together a written pitch for the Mailboat story as a TV series and submitted it to the ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch Competition.

To be honest, we threw it together last minute, figuring that, at the very least, we’d get professional feedback and learn how to write better pitches in the future. And at best, there was a shot at landing the Grand Prize and being personally introduced and recommended to influential names in Hollywood.

Today, we learned that we made the semifinals. 

As I write this, ScreenCraft hasn’t released the official numbers yet, but if it’s anything like the last time they ran the contest, Charles and I are one of 100 semifinalists out of perhaps 900 total entrants.

Charles and I may have danced in the living room, and Angel may have run up and down with one of her favorite toys. Fergus opted to steer clear of the chaos.

To be clear, this latest development is entirely separate from the TWO prior inquiries into my film and TV rights for the Mailboat Suspense Series. I’m carefully nursing those along, as well.

Next in the ScreenCraft competition, Charles and I have to submit a short video pitch, which will determine whether we make it to the finalist round.

But regardless, we now get to add our semifinalist status to our credentials (my first, Charles’ THIRD), and Charles informs me… that’s a big deal in Hollywood.

There’s a lot of work left to do, but Charles and I are so excited! Wish us luck as we keep pushing forward. All of this is so much easier knowing I have you guys at my back, putting the wind in my sails.

So, When’s the Movie Coming Out?!

There’s a giveaway at the end of this post! Read on for a chance to win a free book.

Guys, I haven’t been completely honest with you.

“I love your books!” you tell me. And then, half joking, half serious, you wink and ask, “When’s the movie coming out?”

“I don’t know,” I say with a grin. “Do you know anyone in Hollywood?” Half joking. Half serious.

The truth is, I didn’t want to say too much. I didn’t want to get your hopes up. I barely knew what was going on or how to navigate what was happening. But I’m ready to let you in on a little secret now:

I’ve been approached twice about the film and TV rights for the Mailboat Suspense Series.

Now, before you all get excited and rush to clear your calendar for movie night, let me explain to you what that means.

The Interest Is Out There

I’ll go ahead and say it. This NEVER happens. For Hollywood to contact an author out of the blue about a possible film or TV adaptation is extremely rare. In fact, during the first of my two experiences, I assumed it was a scam–until I looked the people up and found they were legit.

There are millions of books out there, and Hollywood can have its pick of whatever story it wants to adapt into a movie or TV series. The vast majority of authors will never hear from Hollywood. So the fact that this has happened to me TWICE is beyond unusual.

But It Could Be a While…

“When’s it coming out?!” you ask, no doubt bouncing in your seat.

Slow down, slow down! A lot has to happen before Mailboat hits the screen. First on my list is getting the right team together–an agent and/or manager and an entertainment lawyer. These people will make sure I make the right connections and garner the best possible deal.

And speaking of the deal… Most stories that catch Hollywood’s eye actually spend quite a while in limbo. The first thing a production company will do is “option the rights.” They literally pay the author for the exclusive right to consider making the movie or TV show. During that time, the author can’t allow anyone else to consider the property. This gives the production company time to consider if they can pull together the funding, attract a big enough audience, get the right people involved, and ultimately make a return on their investment.

At the end of this period, they might ask to renew the rights. A story can spend years being optioned, at the end of which a film or TV show MIGHT happen–or it might not. When it comes to Hollywood, absolutely nothing is certain. So it’s okay to get excited, but important to stay practical.

At this point, my rights for the Mailboat Suspense Series are not yet optioned. I’ve simply had inquiries from parties who may be interested, and I’m actively looking to option those rights.

So, Why Am I Telling You This?

Considering it could be years before the casting call–if that even happens–why am I bringing it up at all?

For one, moving the Mailboat Suspense Series towards Hollywood has become my number one priority. My publicist Rebecca and I are super busy talking to lots of people, educating ourselves, and networking. Considering that this project is taking a lot of my time and attention these days, I want to be able to talk to you guys about exciting new developments.

For another, you guys can help me! I know you talk about me and my books a lot. And every time you do, I make more fans and sell more books. The bigger my book sales and the larger my fan base, the better my odds of capturing a Hollywood deal. So please, keep talking about me! Let people know how excited you’d be to see the Mailboat Suspense Series on the screen. Together, maybe we can make it happen.

And finally… Do you know anyone in Hollywood? At the moment, Rebecca and I are doing a lot of networking and gathering advice. If you happen to know anyone with Hollywood connections, please reach out to me!

In the meantime, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on exciting new developments.

Enter the Giveaway!

I cleaned out my bookshelves recently and realized I have two copies of Discover Lake Geneva in my collection. I want one of you guys to have it! Full of photos from Lake Geneva’s past, this book is perfect if you want to learn more about the history and iconic landmarks of Geneva Lake, the setting of the Mailboat Suspense Series. I’ll even write a note to YOU on the inside of the book!

To enter to win, just answer the following question in the comments section below. (Or leave any comment at all!)

Would you rather see the Mailboat Suspense Series adapted into a movie or a TV series? Why did you choose that answer? 


Rules & Stuff:

    • The contest will remain open until Sunday, Nov. 7th, 2021 at 11:59pm Central Time.
    • We will randomly choose one winner from the people who left a comment. We will get in touch with them via email to let them know they won. The winner may be announced in the comments, in Danielle’s newsletter, on her website, and/or on her social media pages.
    • The winner will receive one free paperback copy of Discover Lake Geneva and can be personalized to the recipient by Danielle.

Are we excited for a film or TV version of the Mailboat Suspense Series? Start commenting for your chance at the free book!

Wanna see these books as a movie or TV series? Start reading now!