Thursday, October 7, 2021

Status on a Pipe Dream

Those of you who have been following my "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride" path down the crooked alleyways of this shitty business know that last spring, my last "publisher" delisted every one of the 10 titles in my backlist. So I'm devoting the rest of the year to not writing new fiction but getting all 10 titles back up by Christmas.

I'm in the home stretch of doing the second and final copyedits for GODS OF OUR FATHERS, the first entry in the Vesey Van Zant series. At the same time I'm doing that, I'm also typing up for the first time material written about two years ago for a Van Zant prequel that I'd begun then dropped when I began HOLLYWOODLAND early last year.

Now, for my true motive for writing this post:

Earlier today, while looking through a follower's follow list on Twitter, I discovered a writer who's written projects for Netflix and Universal, as well as produced projects that wound up at Sundance and Cannes (He also wrote for Orphan Black). He specializes in screenplay development of novels then once he's finished the screenplays, he pitches them to his contacts at Netflix. Well, I followed him and he almost immediately followed me back so I reached out to him via DM about how he acquires properties for film development.

Even now, my copyeditor, Tamra Crow, whose services you should use if you want fast, affordable quality copyediting, is racing through the second and final round of edits for THE RIVER NEVER SPEAKS, the next title I'll reissue after GODS OF OUR FATHERS.

This screenwriter's rates are $11,000 for a full screenplay and if he decides to take on the project, obviously, he'll want money up front. This would essentially require a major crowdsourcing push on my end but if any of my projects deserve big or small screen treatment, it's THE RIVER NEVER SPEAKS. I just sent him the first 50 pages plus the synopsis, so please keep your fingers crossed for me.


At October 7, 2021 at 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JP, I need you to listen to me. I feel like I have a moral obligation to warn you away from this. What you have described is a textbook scam. I have many friends in the screenwriting business, and many of them have had their movies successfully made. No novelist PAYS a screenwriter to adapt their work. The screenwriter pays THE NOVELIST to adapt their work since they are the legal copyright owner. It's called what's called "an option."

Anybody who offers their services who then says they will pitch it to a studio is a scam artist. You're being taken for a ride. Do not communicate with this person further. This has red flags all over it.


At October 7, 2021 at 8:21 PM, Blogger Danny Chadwick said...

As a professional writer, hobbyist filmmaker, and long-time reader of your blog, I have to warn you that you’re about to fall for a big scam. What you’ve described is the precise opposite of how the publishing and filmmaking business works.

Producers pay novelists for the rights to adapt their work. This is called an option. The producer pitches the idea to a studio to try to get money to make the film. Only after the money is secured, the producer hires a screenwriter to adapt the novel into a screenplay. And even then, it’s not a done deal.

What you’re describing is a pay-to-play scam that targets eager, naïve writers to surrender the rights to their work then pay a fee (11k?!?!!) with no guarantee that anyone will be interested.

Don’t waste your time or money (or in this case other people’s money) giving this charlatan more money. If he is who he says he is, he has plenty.

A legit screenwriter or producer will pay you up front for the option to adapt your work. The most you’ll get out of this guy is a 100 page document (that you may or may not own the rights to) that you probably can’t do anything with. That’s the best case scenario.

Worst case scenario is that you sign away the rights to your work, pay thousand of dollars, and get nothing in return.

Don’t fall for it.

Danny Chadwick

At October 14, 2021 at 9:06 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Danny, for once, I have to actually thank you. When I showed him your comment, he reacted as I predicted he would- With anger and bluster and pointedly, while calling your comments "the stupidest" he's ever read, he pointedly did not even try to refute what you'd said. Email me and I'll show you the exact transcript of what we'd written to each other tonight when he, as I'd also predicted, agreed to take on the project while telling me how in demand are his time and services, In other words, pay me now and beat the lines!

At November 16, 2021 at 8:46 AM, Blogger Danny Chadwick said...

Robert, I’m glad to hear that. Con artists like him are all bluster and defensiveness. And if you’re going to thank me, reserve some of that gratitude for Dave as well. As he was the one who initially tipped me off to this post and wrote the comment above mine. We wrote them at the same time, unaware that we were saying essentially the same thing.

I know it’s probably hard to believe, but despite all the flame wars and other drama between us, we’ve both developed a strange respect and affection for you, and didn’t want to see you get taken in like that.

If you want to send me that transcript, my email is

At November 16, 2021 at 12:44 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Danny- Gratitude then certainly goes out to both of you twins. When Calvin realized the jig was up, he'd reacted quite badly, as you'll see, which is to say he'd reacted exactly as I'd predicted.

Since we're burying the hatchet, so to speak, let's back it up with more than just words. At the moment we're experiencing a serious cash crunch and a Papal donation would help tremendously until we get our next disbursement. Then I'd be very open to reciprocate anyway that I can.

At November 16, 2021 at 1:42 PM, Blogger Dave Chadwick said...

Check your paypal.

At November 16, 2021 at 1:44 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Thank you very much, guys.

At November 16, 2021 at 2:53 PM, Blogger Dave Chadwick said...


I hope this good faith gesture is enough to put all the craziness between you and me behind us. Danny was telling the truth when he said we have a bizarre affection for you and did not want to see you get swindled. In fact, we don't want any harm to come to you at all. Whatever is in the past is in the past, as far as I'm concerned. Be well and best of luck to you.

- Dave Chadwick

At November 16, 2021 at 3:02 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Agreed. The three of us understand each other.

At November 16, 2021 at 3:09 PM, Blogger Dave Chadwick said...

Just one last thing. We did a bit more digging on this guy and found this, dated 4 November. It matches your experience with this guy.

At November 16, 2021 at 3:18 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Your brother sent it to me just minutes ago, but thanks, anyway.

By the way, I'm glad you made it back home in one piece, especially after what happened to you in Mississippi. Nasty place, that state is.


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