I must start off by thanking the “great” ape for this rare opportunity to thrash around in his compound partaking in the fruits (bananas, specifically) of his labors. Though I do live alongside a jungle now, in beautiful and exotic Chiang Mai, Thailand, alas, not a single ape has come to visit. The gibbons, who used to live in these parts have met an untimely end, thanks to unsavory humans, but that is another story. My story, however, is this story, and here it is…
My story ideas come from my vivid imagination, but my inspiration draws from both extensive world travel and my varied and fascinating careers. I left the US military as an x-ray technician and did an about-face in civilian life to become a hairstylist. My desire to experience the harder edge of life brought me into the Washington D.C. Police Department. To capture the gritty sights I saw, I took up photography and left the force to pursue that dream in NYC.
Later, I met a metal sculptor and became so intrigued, I converted a chicken coop in the woods into a live-in studio and taught myself the technique. From that humble beginning, the rudimentary craft expanded into the fine arts with sculptures in bronze and fiberglass and shows across the US, England and Thailand.
My passion for all arts soon segued into other areas: costume designer (top 100 designers in the book, Fashion: 2001); a modeling agency art director; fashion show designer; and on to become a top sculptor for special effects, sets and props in the entertainment industry with work in over thirty major films, hotels and theme parks worldwide. My passion for art crossed boundaries into water feature design and computer illustration.
I began writing while working as a sculptor in the film and theme park industry in Los Angeles. My first effort was a novel, but after working on many well-known films such as Aliens, Predator, The Abyss, Poltergeist 2, Beetlejuice, Independence Day, and many others, I turned my passion to screenplays. I took a number of high-profile screenwriting courses, attended many industry seminars, and belong to a long list of screenwriting organizations.
As an adjunct to screenwriting, I was mentored in film directing by Jim Pasternak, Dov S-S Simens, and others, and mentored in film producing by Fred Caruso, all well-known industry professionals. Plus, I was able to pester the various actors, directors, and writers from the movies I worked on, picking their minds for creative insight. I wrote/produced/directed/edited four short student films, and a spec TV series. I’ve written 18 screenplays to date.
To reach deeper into character and environment, I went back to narrative fiction where I’ve completed and published 8 novels in various genres. A short story is included in the anthology, LOST IN THAILAND, and samples from several of my novels are included in the book, HOW TO WRITE DIALOGUE, published December, 2013.
On occasion, I run creative writing workshops in beautiful Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I also consult and mentor writers one-on-one to elevate their writing and help bring it to the next level. As a separate service, I provide content editing for fiction and nonfiction.
Although I love movies and writing screenplays, it is a collaborative business, and neither the story nor the characters come to life until a hundred-plus people have put their fingers into the pie, so to speak while properly mixing a metaphor. With narrative writing, novels especially, I have complete control to realize my vision, as far as the characters allow me, of course. A book can go places a film can never go. Like a river seeking a path the eye can’t see, the written story can delve deep into the hidden places of the mind, or wend its way between universes.
When I began writing, I didn’t know I had anything to say. Once I started, however, it was as though I was channeling some higher force and all these characters came into lives of their own. I spent years (and still am) learning the craft to allow them to speak their minds.
No matter which genre I write in, all my novels are highly researched. I make a concerted effort to get the facts right, whether it’s something physical, or historical. I never change history to suite my story, but rather weave my story and characters into existing history. My writing style suites the genre I’m writing in, so every story doesn’t sound the same. My style is subtle, and shows through the nuances of character development and story progression. Delicate plot twists, surprises, and unguessable endings help define my storytelling.
For the last few years, I’ve been self-publishing. In this way, I have complete control over my writing, formatting, and cover. I produce them all.
- ENDLESS SKY: The sergeant’s Pledge THE FUTURE IS WHAT THEY MAKE IT
When two enemy soldiers cease fighting in the midst of the Battle of the Bulge during WW2 to aid an injured alien, the American is snatched into the future where he meets up with his German counterpart. Together they vow to help the comatose alien return home. Thus begins an adventure that will span centuries, galaxies, and universes as they bring together a motley crew to carry out their worthy cause.
- CROSSING THE DOUBLE YELLOW
The trucker’s creed: If you got it, a truck brought it!
An incorrigible trucker discovers he’s hauling a nuclear bomb, but when trying to get help, he’s mistaken for a terrorist. With the aide from a vagabond and a hooker, he must drive the bomb cross-country before it explodes, and rescue his family, while being hunted by foreign and domestic terrorists, police, FBI, and the military.
- CLAIMING LIVES
Adapted from my award-winning screenplay, CLAIMING LIVES, is a crime thriller about Jake Smithson, a San Francisco homicide inspector who suffers nightmares from his youth when his teenage girlfriend was abducted. Now, his nightmares again become a reality in a brutal cat and mouse game when the kidnapper reemerges with a vicious vendetta, tormenting Jake by leaving dead women as clues. When Jake finally saves a victim from a bizarre death, his partner and adolescent daughter become targets of the incensed killer, while he’s drawn into the overpowering orbit of the mysterious woman he saved.
- BACK FROM THE DEAD: the true sequel to Frankenstein
What if Mary Shelley’s, FRANKENSTEIN, was really a true story?
BACK FROM THE DEAD: the true sequel to Frankenstein is a contemporary telling of the thought-to-be mythical creature. The story follows the account by Sergio Carerra, the scientist who revives the “monster” from a two-hundred year arctic freeze, and with his psychologist wife, Sophia, brings him into the family of man. The creature’s 1790’s Gothic sojourns reveal a unique perspective on the original story, why he survived, and the fate of his mate.
How does present society see this formidable beast, so different than his movie counterpart, and how does he feel about his unwanted resurrection? Now that he’s back, others are interested in him, and they’ll do anything to get what they want.
Doctor Sam Enright and his geneticist wife, Dorinda, face turmoil in their small town when a dozen adolescent girls show up pregnant at Sam’s office—and they’re all virgins. When their own daughter falls victim to the same fate, the Enrights rush to Homeland Security for answers. As the questions multiply, they realize they’re at the vanguard of a worldwide epidemic. When events escalate, a disparate group of international doctors, scientists, and mothers-to-be are brought together at Dorinda’s genetics lab in Middle America. They race to find the cause and meaning of the mysterious pregnancies, but every discovery reveals a new, worse scenario, leaving humanity’s very existence in question.
- ORIGINAL BLOOD: Gailene’s Vow (book one)
DESTINY IS IN THE BLOOD
GAILENE’S VOW is the delicious, but tormenting tale of two women as they become vampires. Gailene must rise from devastation, rage, and vengeance in 1790s rural England, leaving her human family to become a powerful vampire matriarch in fledgling America. Two centuries later, college coed, Zondra, discovers she’s the leader of her grandmother’s empire when she begins turning, though never bitten. Gailene’s story unfolds to Zondra through their familial blood, revealing the tragic destiny, but poignant love both women have for Jeremiah. He lives in anguish while preparing Zondra to protect her new family against the retribution of Gailene’s creator.
- ORIGINAL BLOOD: Szejna’s Revenge (book two)
FOLLOW THE BLOOD
In SZEJNA’S REVENGE, the astounding conclusion that played out in GAILENE’S VOW threatens to tear apart the vampire nation, and start a global war with humans. Only Szejna, a vampire who looks 18, but is so old she’s lost her memory, has the solution to the coming Armageddon. But to find it, she must share her blood with her nascent protégé, Zondra, and together, journey back thousands of years to ancient Rome. In the present, while Szejna teaches Zondra how to use her unique abilities, they unintentionally resurrect dreadful vampires from beyond death, bent on retribution and world domination.
- Shadow House
SHADOW HOUSE follows two men who share a terrible secret that, through a quirk of fate, saved one, but damned the other. These seemingly unconnected lives begin interweaving between five-year-old PJ McAvoy, in 1920’s Massachusetts, and present-day family man, Aaron, when he purchases an antique toolbox. Through Aaron’s “visions” into PJ’s past, from the childhood injury that precipitates his paranormal ability to kill, through WWII combat years, every tragedy befalling PJ, or act of mayhem inflicted, he holds Aaron responsible.
To save his family from PJ’s vendetta, Aaron must learn the secret that binds them, and how to master his innate paranormal abilities. PJ’s plans, however, go beyond mere revenge, where his own death is not an obstacle, and Aaron’s demise will be but a footnote.
Awards for Screenplays:
TODD MCCOY’S ADVENTURE WEST – won 1st place, action adventure, Table Read My Screenplay 2014. Semi-finalist (so far) Screenplay Festival 2014
THE MACHINE – sold script to Chinese production company 2012
CLAIMING LIVES – won 2nd place, One In Ten 2012.
DHARMA – won 5th place, Writesafe 2005
MICHAEL’S GARDEN – finalist, Writesafe 2005; semi-finalist, Filmmakers International Screenwriting Awards 2005
Awards for Novels:
BACK FROM THE DEAD: the true sequel to Frankenstein – Finalist WriteMovies 2005.(2013 approached for option by Lawrence Konner, writer/producer – Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire)
SHADOW HOUSE – quarterfinalist, Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Awards 2009
ORIGINAL BLOOD – quarter-finalist, Writer’s Network; semi-finalist WriteMovies 2009.
EPIPHANY & ORIGINAL BLOOD – both nominated Reviewers Choice Award: best read of 2011, Paranormal Romance Guild – EPIPHANY won.
CLAIMING LIVES & CROSSING THE DOUBLE YELLOW – nominated best in thriller & action adventure, respectively, Paranormal Romance Guild – 2012
ENDLESS SKY – placed 3rd in Reviewer’s Choice, science fiction book of the year, Paranormal Romance Guild – 2013
6 thoughts on “Guest Novelist and Screenwriter Stuart Land”
You’re the man, er, ape, Chris. Thanks so much for letting me wail and chatter on your blog. If there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know, although, mangos aren’t in season here yet, so don’t ask.
LOL You’re welcome Stuart (mango juice in my fur makes other stuff stick to it – great for camouflage, not so good for appearing as a person of note LOL) 😀
Sir Ape, you introduce me to the most wonderful people! Thank you so much! Sending a virtual banana your direction…
Glad you’re enjoying them – why not catch up with the other 181 listed in my Author’s Hall of Fame to date 😀
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