"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steele

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interview with Vanessa Morgan and a Review of A Good Man

It is my pleasure to welcome Vanessa Morgan to my blog today. Screenwriter and novelist Vanessa Morgan is known as the 'female version of Stephen King'. You can find out more about Vanessa Morgan and her work by going to her personal blog http://vanessa-morgan.blogspot.com. If you like cats, you might also like the web comic about her cat Avalon at http://avalon-lion.blogspot.com.

1- Short of sounding sexist, is it unusual for a female to write horror stories such as yours?

There are many women that love horror and that work in the horror business, but we're definitely a minority.

2- What was your inspiration for A Good Man

In 2010, my short story The Strangers Outside was brought to the screen. The main actor in that film, Pierre Lekeux, is also a producer. He loved what I had done with The Strangers Outside and he asked if I’d agree to write their next feature film. He wanted to jump onto the wagon of the current vampire-craze and he thought that I was the ideal person to bring this project to life. I was free to do with the story whatever I wanted; all I knew was that he had to be the lead in the film. I observed the actor during his daily activities and I imagined what he would be like if he were to be a vampire and what his worst possible fate would be. It really helped in creating a highly original vampire character that suffers from insecurities, wrinkles and arthritis.

3- How far along in the production phase is A Good Man?

A Good Man is currently in pre-production. The most important members of the cast and crew are now attached to the project and the production is finalizing the funding phase. They hope to start shooting the first couple of scenes by the end of the summer. I will keep everyone updated on the progression of A Good Man through my blog.

4- Were your other two works, Drowned Sorrow and The Stranger Outside originally slated to go to production or did that happen after publication? Have either been on the big screen yet?

Drowned Sorrow started attracting the interest of several film producers as soon as it was released. Some big Hollywood names (such as Drew Barrymore) are attached to the project which means the budget is high and takes time to develop. The director of The Strangers Outside, Philippe Geus, had read Drowned Sorrow too and he wanted to meet me to check if I had written other stories that could be suited for film development. I was just busy rewriting The Strangers Outside, so I gave him an early draft of it and it was immediately accepted to go into production. The film is now finished and is currently touring festivals.

5- Do you find that the film versions to your stories have been changed dramatically from the original or have they remained true to the stories?

Oh, yes. I'm very proud that The Strangers Outside got chosen for a film adaptation and it was fun to be on the film set, but at the experience was a bit frustrating too because the film was different than the way I imagined it. The director made a slasher comedy out of it, while The Strangers Outside is originally dramatic horror with philosophical elements.

6- Do you prefer one particular genre of book over another? If so, why or why not?

When it comes to movies, I'm 100% into horror, but when it comes to books I prefer reading stories where the characters and their personal obstacles are fare more important than the action. That's why I like to combine both elements in my own work. They are suspenseful and creepy, but the characters and their personal obstacles are certainly as important.

7- What does Vanessa do for fun and relaxation?

Going to film festivals, watching movies, eating out, reading, going to concerts, cuddling my cat.

8- How can the readers contact you?

Here are a few places where you can find and contact me:

Books by Vanessa Morgan

A Good Man

Loved Dexter and American Psycho? Then chances are you will love A Good Man.

Louis Caron is a good man – vegetarian, he feeds the homeless, takes care of animals and is concerned with the ecological future of the planet. But his altruism has a sinister edge – he's a vampire - and local detective Taglioni is becoming increasingly suspicious. Louis' attempt to escape the police will take him on a journey into his own private hell where he is not only forced to confront his worst fears, but also to destroy the lives of those he cares about most.

The Strangers Outside

Two sisters, Jennifer and Louise, return to their remote holiday cottage after a day at the seaside. But little do they know they're being surrounded. Soon after their arrival, the girls will come face to face with the strangers outside. When the assailants make their intentions known, things take a shockingly terrible turn and an intense battle for survival will begin.

Drowned Sorrow

Megan Blackwood has just lost her son in a terrible accident. Now she has come to Moonlight Creek with her teenage daughter Jenna, hoping that a change of scenery might help to put her life back together. But something odd is going on in Moonlight Creek. When rain falls over the village, the inhabitants commit grisly murders, leaving the village deserted with the first rays of sunshine. Beneath the lake's surface, an eerie presence watches... and waits... Waits to reveal a tragic past drowned in mystery and fear. One that doesn't bode well for visitors. By the time Megan realizes that her daughter is in danger, it might already be too late.

Review of A Good Man

A Good Man
A Screenplay
Vanessa Morgan
Kindle Edition

   Louis Caron is not your typical vampire. He is a vegetarian, feeds the homeless and takes care of animals. For all intense and purposes, Louis is a good man. That may be on the surface, but there is something sinister about him and he is forced to confront his issues and may destroy those he loves in the process.
   Detective Taglioni is becoming suspicious of Louis and is keeping close tabs on him. As time goes by, Louis has to use his ability to stay ahead of the police.
   This was an unusual read to begin with because it is a screenplay and so does not have all the usual information and extensive dialogue like a regular novel. Our protagonist, Louis, has been a vampire since 1750. He was 55 years old when he was turned and has issues of a fifty five year old man. He has wrinkles and according to Louis he is old. The story line is easy to follow and flows well. The author has made an interesting twist on the vampire and his life. There are numerous characters that come to life in the story and if the script is followed once on the screen, it will make for an interesting and moving story. If you are into vampires or just like a good story, I highly recommend it.
   I wish to thank the author for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated except for receiving the book to review.

I give A Good Man 4 out of 5 stars


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