Lights, Camera …

This big news has been out there for a while now, and I feel like I’m a little late to my own party. But I’ve been busy, dammit (again), and it’s just as exciting to report now as it would have been a few weeks ago.

So yeah … I’m totally charged to (belatedly) announce that the movie option for WESTLAKE SOUL has sold to Hollywood producer Stephen Susco (THE GRUDGE; TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D). There’s a long way to go, but this is still a big moment for me, and having Stephen in Westlake’s corner—as scriptwriter and producer—is nothing short of a rush. I spoke with him on the phone, and hearing his enthusiasm for the project was like a shot of adrenaline. I’m confident that WESTLAKE SOUL is in very good hands, and this makes me one happy duck.

It is worth noting, though, that a movie option does not guarantee the movie will be made. It is merely the first of many steps on the road to production. All we can do is sit and wait and hope. Maybe pray. Then wait some more. And always—always—keep the faith.

Whatever, baby. I’m stoked.

Anyway, here’s the official press release:

WESTLAKE SOUL Optioned for TV/Film

TORONTO, Ontario (June 6, 2013) — ChiZine Publications (CZP) and author Rio Youers are pleased to announce that Hollywood writer/producer Stephen Susco has optioned the film/TV rights to Youers’s novel WESTLAKE SOUL

Published in 2012 by CZP to wide critical acclaim, WESTLAKE SOUL is told from the point of view of the titular character, a former surfing champion who acquires mental superpowers as the result of a brain injury. Though assumed to be in a persistent vegetative state, Westlake can read minds, project his consciousness anywhere in the world, and mentally communicate with animals. Battling Dr. Quietus, the personification of death, Westlake strives to find a way to reconnect with his family.

“We’re incredibly excited about this deal,” says Brett Alexander Savory, co-publisher at CZP. “WESTLAKE SOUL combines beautiful prose and strong character work with terrifying images and gut-wrenching real-life decisions. A very personal story on the page, it has great on-screen potential. We’re also honoured to be working with Stephen Susco. We’ve loved the work we’ve seen from him so far, and can’t wait to see what he brings to the table for WESTLAKE SOUL.”

Susco is best known for writing THE GRUDGE and THE GRUDGE 2, both starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, as well as adapting Jack Ketchum’s novel RED into a 2008 film starring Brian Cox.

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