About four years ago I began writing my novel Shell Charms, which was then called A Pebble in his Pocket. Loved my character, loved my idea, but about a hundred pages into it, it needed something. I didn’t know what…. I didn’t know for about two days. A friend asked me for a favor, a four hour type favor, the type of favor that would kill my writing time, but since I was writing stuck, I agreed. Why spend another day not knowing where my characters were going? During the four hour favor, Hillary told me about growing up in Laguna, near the infamous Timothy Leary and the brotherhood of eternal love. Inspiration struck, research happened and the rest of the novel was like a love affair. (I love this story and I’ve Hillary to thank.)
Four years later and Shell Charms has seen nothing but the inside of a drawer. Last night inspiration struck again, surprisingly while I was, once again, doing something for Hillary. Her company folded and her two cars died all within a couple of weeks. I was standing on her front porch when I had the thought. It was like someone whispered in my ear, ask Hillary to turn your book into a screenplay. And so I did. And she said she’d love to. I told her that if she could sell it, we’d split the proceeds.
I gave this more thought and realized the book I’ve just finished would be a ridiculously expensive movie to make and then I thought – Shell Charms, the book she provided the inspiration for four years ago during that four hour favor! And so, I’ve resurrected Shell Charms and I’m sending it to Hillary. The chances of her selling it are probably zippo, BUT what if she did?
(Actually, I hope she’s able to find a job long before she finishes turning Shell Charms into a screenplay, but if not a job, how about an Oscar?)
For your reading pleasure, here’s the first chapter of Shell Charms, a mystery concerning a murder, a thief, an apple orchard, a lost history major, a misbehaving terrier, and the LSD counterculture.