Jude Hardin

Author, Drummer, Turtle Whisperer

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Location: United States

Friday, May 18, 2007

Nothing New Under The Sun

My mystery, the one that got me an agent, is currently on submission to several New York publishing houses. Yays or nays are forthcoming, probably around the first of July.

So what's a writer to do while waiting?

The advice I've gotten--and I think it's sound--is to start working on something new. I don't want to start a second book in the mystery series, because if book #1 doesn't sell there won't be a book #2 in that series.

So I'm brainstorming.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend at my "day" job. She's a big Survivor fan (the only remaining one, I think), and I said, "They should make a show where they play for real. "

She said, "Ooh! Yeah. You should write a book about that."

So I wrote up a brief synopsis:

Twelve select death row inmates. A tiny remote land mass. Dozens of cameras mounted on electrically-charged towers.

The last man living wins.

In 2019, reality TV is back. This time they’re playing for keeps.

Broadcasted live, 24/7,
Survival Island is a big hit. Ratings are through the roof.

Then one day the channel goes black.

A law enforcement crew, sent to investigate, discovers that the finalists--two of the most notorious serial killers in history--have somehow escaped.

Bodies of identical twins start showing up in north Florida, with the contestants’ unmistakable signatures. Have the killers joined forces? Have they, in essence, become one maniacal bloodthirsty mind?

The hunt is on--with a five million dollar reward--but Dr. Michael Caldwell isn’t in it for the money.

His daughters are missing.

I showed it to a writer friend, and he sent me this link.

I'd never heard of the movie, and it amazed me that someone had stolen my idea. :)

It just goes to show, with so many creative minds in the universe, it's not unusual for two or more people to come up with the same premise.

Long before The Da Vinci Code became a publishing phenomenon, an author named Lewis Perdue wrote this. Dan Brown claims he never heard of Perdue or his work, and I believe him. At any rate, Brown and his publisher beat the plagiarism charges in court.

That's the thing. You can't really copyright an idea. If I wanted to go ahead and write Survival Island, I could. But what would be the point?

I have another thriller idea, but I'm keeping it to myself for now. I think it's pretty original, but who knows? Another author or screenwriter might be working on the same thing. Or, maybe it has already been written and just not become well-known, Like Lewis Perdue's book.

I need to hurry up and write it before the movie comes out. :)


Blogger lainey bancroft said...

Ah...don't ya just hate it when that happens?
Ultimately, I think EVERYTHING has been done. The trick is to put a slightly different slant on it, a fresh epiphany, more unique characters etc.

The movie you linked reminds me of a book we had to read in school....the mind is going...but I think it was by the guy named after a candy bar. It was about big game hunting, as in humans.

Woo Hoo! July! No open-ended 'one'a these days I'll hear something'. You could be signing papers in a matter of weeks, baby!

11:04 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Hi Lainey,

You might be thinking about the classic short story The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. I read that way back when, too, and my son read it for school recently.

Are there Connell candy bars in Canada? ;)

Keep your fingers crossed for me regarding signing papers. I'm getting loopy here waiting. :)

11:20 AM  
Blogger lainey bancroft said...

Ack! I had to run in here with my muddy little paws because it finally popped into my crazy head:
O Henry.
(leave it to me to remember the bit about chocolate, not the actual name)

But you're right, that's the story I was thinking of. We must have studied the two back to back or something.

Is it any wonder I was such a disappointment to my parents academically?

You, loopy? Nah, can't see it. :)

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your friend at work has great taste in TV shows!....P.S. Don`t ask me to draw any labs for you tonight-haha!

6:27 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

I need a type and cross on 603. :)

7:58 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Aw, man, can you believe that??? And let me tell you, that was a great idea. The hairs on the back of my neck tingled when I read about your idea!

10:21 PM  
Blogger KingM said...

So how is the submission coming? My book is also out on submission and every time the phone rings I jump, thinking it might be my agent, but of course, it isn't. Nerve-wracking, isn't it?

9:34 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Thanks, Spy. Maybe I can rework it with another hook.

Kingm: It is nerve-wracking. I'm still waiting, and my agent says things in publishing move even slower than usual during the summer. Argh!

12:23 PM  
Blogger Cat York said...

Life of Pi and Max and the Cat almost came to a lawsuit before the writers sat down and talked it out. Interesting what you said about so many creative minds. Dang collective conscious. ;)

9:45 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Thanks for stopping by, Cat. Like I said, the ancient Romans pretty much invented fighting to the death for entertainment. There have been many takes on the premise through the years, and there will undoubtedly be many more.

10:01 PM  

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