Elevator Pitch

So what will be the one-sentence pitch I should use for my novel if I’m riding in an elevator with an agent?

Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry adopt Forrest Gump, and they’re all vampires. 😈

Life is like switching cars during a car chase,
you never know what you’re going to get…

Interesting trivia: Film director John Hough’s followup to Dirty Mary Crazy Larry was the Disney classic Escape To Witch Mountain, which also features a long car chase sequence, complete with fender-mounted camera shots and a vehicle sailing into a river, as seen in “DMCL“.
Eugene Daniels appears in both films, as Sheriff Hank in “DMCL“, then “Cort” in “ETWM“. 😉

Forrest Gump: Vampire

What keeps me, an author writing about vampires, lying in bed awake at night?

The ripping terror of disempathetic fanged human-beasts, ripping forest animals to shreds as they wage emotional and physical warfare on themselves and normal humans?
Maybe if I’m up late writing about them… 😈

Sparkling emo vampires dancing around a forest?
This is more disturbing than the first example (at least to me), but I’m not one to dash the hormonally-crazed fantasies of adolescent female youth, unless of course they should stumble upon my novel by accident.

No, the “forest” that disturbs me the most is the “forest” many publishers and Hollywood people would want me to create.

Forrest Gump: Vampire”

I can hear him now, taunting me: “Life is like a box of blood bags, you never know what you’re going to get.”

You see, I’ve created a novel that features a special-needs vampire as the protagonist. Jack is a sympathetic hero, as well. He frequently struggles with his vampire dark side.

Apparently, this would be more than enough of an “original” concept to keep the “commercial” crowd happy. They would be happiest if I kept the whole tale in Jack’s point of view. Simple, happy, sympathetic platitudes. Offset by occasional detours into the new darkness that dwells deep within him, that he always manages to overcome.

Sounds sweet, sentimental and touching, now doesn’t it?

To me, it sounds as saccharine and mawkish as the movie version of “Forrest Gump.” (which manages to be a good movie overall, despite these faults)

I can’t imagine who’d want to read a vampire story like that.
I know I wouldn’t.

What keeps my novel from being “Forrest Gump: Vampire” are my antagonists Damien and Lilith. The Yins to my protagonist’s Yang. Damien and Lilith are gleefully nihilistic, self-absorbed, power-hungry monsters that supply my novel’s, ahem, “bite.” They’re grindhouse Vampires, my Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, ready to bite you with a Razor Blade Smile.

Thanks to them, Jack will have to learn All The Lessons of his new vampire life the hard way. Machinations and manipulations abound as our hero fights to gain acceptance and survive. Paradoxically, Jack winning over Damien and Lilith will put him in greater danger as the story goes on. Damien and Lilith are constantly gaming each other, with Jack as the innocent pawn on their chessboard.

Two original concepts. “Forrest Gump: Vampire” and “Antagonistic Vampire Married Couple”. The Yin. The Yang. By themselves, simple and polarizing. Together, offsetting each others’ weaknesses.

The art of car “detailing” – Part One

Certain elements of my novel are inspired by the 1974 film “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry“. The Wikipedia page states this film will be re-released on DVD next month (April 2011) as a double feature, accompanied by “Race With The Devil“. The latter film is basically a re-setting of 1973’s “The Wicker Man” as a “road trip changing into a car chase” movie set in Texas, which alone makes this film infinitely superior to the 2006 “de-make”/abomination/waste of celluloid un-starring Nicolas Cage which does not in any way deserve to be described with the same three-word title as the 1973 film cited above. (although this “comedy trailer” is one of the all-time classic YouTube videos!)

Tensions between my husband and wife characters Damien and Lilith were inspired by “DMCL’s” gleefully nihilistic dialogue exchanges between Mary and Larry.

Remove the downbeat nihilism and combative nature from all the main characters in this film, replace those traits with cheery good ole’ boy optimism, change the 1969 Charger’s color from yellow to orange, and you end up with “The Dukes Of Hazzard”.

Something like if “Lost” was an original movie, and the TV version of it morphed into “Gilligan’s Island”… 😈

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Here’s a good “degree of separation” game:
*”The Fast and the Furious” (2001): Dominic Toretto’s Charger “throws a rod” (ie. a connecting rod inside the engine breaks) during the “quarter mile” scene.

*Probably inspired by a scene in “The Blues Brothers” (1980), in which the Dodge Monaco “Bluesmobile” throws a rod while Jake and Elwood are being pursued by the Illinois Nazis.

*And since “The Blues Brothers” extended chase scene is known to have paid tribute to several earlier scenes, their “throwing a rod” scene is most likely a tribute to the scene in “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry” where Officer Hanks’ Dodge Polara throws a rod while chasing Larry, Deke and Mary.

“DMCL’s” rod-throwing scene is much more dramatic than the scenes in the later movies, because the connecting rod breaks free of the engine block and blows the car’s hood open (unlike the later two movies where the pieces of the broken rod remain inside the engine and the cars’ eight-cylinder engines continue running on seven cylinders).

Note: I was not even slightly tempted at any time during my book writing to have my character’s Plymouth Fury throw a rod during the car chase sequence.