I admit it: I’ve been in a long dry spell the past few years. From time to time, it happens in a writer’s life. About all you can do is put on your big boy panties and soldier on through it.
So when my former agent and friend Nancy Yost sent me an email on May 12, 2011 and told me about an acquaintance of hers who was looking for a collaborator, I was open to talking about it. She hooked me up with Wayne McDaniel, a writer who lives on the west side in upper Manhattan, a few miles north of my old apartment in Chelsea.
Wayne and I began talking and emailing. He had a spec script he’d written that was based on the life of Alaska’s most famous serial killer, a twisted little eff-stick named Robert Hansen.
This guy was a genuine piece of work. He was a baker in Anchorage with a wife and kids. He was a deacon in the church. Every summer he’d put his wife and kids on a plane to the Lower 48, then he’d go kidnap a woman, fly her (in his illegally piloted Piper Cub) to a secluded spot in the wilderness, then turn her loose in the woods and literally hunt her like wild game (this is the sanitized version; the reality was much worse).
The script had been optioned, Wayne told me, but as so often happens, it had wallowed in the black hole of development hell until it was dead. His agent advised him to write a novelization of the script, sell the book, and thereby get the script back into play.
It was a good strategy, but Wayne was struggling with the novel and wanted to take on a collaborator.
We talked, made nice. I read the script; it was dynamite. I read what he had of the novel; I wanted to get involved.
So we played Let’s Make A Deal and went to work.
Some writers are wary of collaborations, but let me tell you, when they work, it’s magic. And that’s the way it was for us. This was, simply, the most successful collaboration and partnership I’ve ever had. Wayne and I have become close friends as well as literary partners and we’re seriously thinking about a second book.
And almost precisely three years after we first talked and emailed, the end result is nearly here. Resurrection Bay will be published on June 8, 2014 by Midnight Ink. Here’s the link to the book on Amazon.com, where you can pre-order it:
It’s a hell of a book, if I do say so myself. I hope you’ll take a look and I hope you enjoy it.
Want to know the really weird part? Wayne and I have never met. Never even been in the same room together…
More about that, and the whole collaboration process, later.