WIN: I hear you’ve had some exciting developments since I interviewed you last.
Yes! Super Human’s been discovered!
WIN: Can you share details?
Someone who’s been very successful in the entertainment industry and was a highly paid motivational speaker LOVES the book— is intrigued by it— and wants to invest and attract other investors to take it to production. She’s hoping to produce it as an Independent film or series. It’s all in the early stages… we are seriously eyeing a TV series because my second book will also be out in 2020. Netflix has revolutionized the industry, which really works to my advantage.
WIN: Sounds exciting. How are you feeling?
It’s been a surreal past few weeks. When I got the first contact I was elated; it’s every writers dream to have the opportunity to continue working on second book and maybe I end up writing full time. I’m working on Books 2 and 3 simultaneously, but I have to pay the bills, so those things get tucked into my life after everything else; you know what it’s like.
If it gets picked up then the series will be my full-time job, every writer’s dream come true. I look forward to the happy challenges that will come in the process. So I shared the details with a literary agent and a screenwriter; but, only sales will push the project. It’s like everything else … the book should be loved and the more people read it the better chances for it to make it as series or independent film.
So Amal Monzer and I are putting together a marketing strategy to get the word out. I’ll be doing book signings at schools, libraries, Starbucks, anywhere that will have me. I’ll be in newspapers, magazines, and would like to hit the morning shows, Super Human is worth the buzz.
So how I’m feeling has swung from elation to overwhelmed by the attention Super Human is getting. The book is taking on a life of its own and I’m along for the ride.
WIN: Who is Amal Monzer?
She’s someone who loves books; she’s always looking to read something different and Super Human got her attention. After she bought it she thought that it deserves a marketing campaign so everyone gets to read it.
Amal also started the Windfall Weekend Book Club, she feels that there are many books that deserve attention and felt that writers work hard and need the windfall to continue writing, so she’s a real-life angel. And she picked Super Human the book this month; the boost generated 250 sales this weekend alone for Super Human.
Buy the way … Amal loves books; the Writers Hut (Windfall Weekend Book Club) is her baby … she’ll chose another in 30 days, and she will be posting the selections with pictures of author and encouraging others to participate.
WIN: So the book is being well received?
Yeah, 250 sales in a weekend really validates that Super Human is starting to resonate with people.
I’m so pleased and honored that the reviews are all overwhelmingly positive, they love the book to a point where they like to tweak few scenes … hahaha… it is great the intimate engagement I get from the readers… that’s one of the wonderful aspects of being an indie author, is reader engagement is a two-way street.
I’ve gotten some incredible reviews, readers are incredibly moved by it. do you mind if I read some for your listeners?
“Super Human is awesome…but it has touched me even more deeply than that. I’m loving your writing, how easily the words flow on each page, how you are able to keep me intrigued… and again, it’s awesome.”
“YA sci-fi is no my genre but it grabbed me on page one. This fast-moving story made for a fun read with important messages for all ages. I want more. I now need to rethink my dismissal of this genre.”
“I expected a fun Sci-Fi novel. The deeper I got in the more I realized that there was so much more. By the end, I found myself adjusting the way I look at everyday situations. A must-read for people with anxiety. I highly recommend!”
So I’ve started a Super Human discussion group on Twitter; kind of like a Director’s Commentary plus a group reading activity so people can get the full value out of it.
WIN: Can you give listeners a brief synopsis of Super Human?
I’m still working on the synopsis. I have the beginnings of a couple, and I also have an elevator pitch. Would you like to hear my SWIPs? (Synopsis Work In Progress)
Okay, here’s the first:
“Rich! Rich! Pick me! Pick me!” Will had stopped his urgent pleas after having been passed over by both team captains the first dozen times for the more able-bodied boys.
Please don’t let me be picked last. If there was a God, that was his prayer. Again today, as with so many other recesses, his prayer was unanswered. Third-grade recess can be brutal on unathletic boys. And fourth, and fifth… and eleventh and twelfth too.
Will’s experience is at once deeply personal and at the same time universal. Pick me! We might all sum up the urgency of our lives just so. When our plea falls on deaf ears enough times, we may feel unloved, and decide to be cynical, bitter. We decide we are all alone.
But that decision is but a perspective. An assessment, a conclusion arrived at long before we even hit puberty. Yet that assessment remains with us, as if we take our life advice from an elementary school child. Unsurprisingly, as children, we get much wrong. Surprisingly, as adults we reassess our younger-selves’ conclusions with insufficient frequency. Are we all alone? Or are we all one?
Here’s the second:
I live inside a space ship powered by thought. My flight is erratic; I’ve crashed more than a few times. I’ve been told I can generate my own rocket fuel but I haven’t mastered that yet so I get it from others. Better pilots have tried teaching me but I guess I’m stubborn that way. I’m headed straight for a minefield, I’m not sure I’ll survive.
Here’s the elevator pitch.
Remember, this novel has layers. I’m writing the synopsis to get at that juicy inner layer. The elevator pitch, at least in its current form, gives readers a snapshot of the outer layer, the plot:
Super Human by Dan Pouliot is a 44,000-word YA (14+) Science Fiction short novel, think The Karate Kid meets Stranger Things meets The Power of Positive Thinking.
Will Freeman is an anxious teen. He discovers—along with his new friend Lily— an unusual item in his attic. She shows it off in public, unleashing a series of events that changes their lives forever. A stranger claims it holds the key to the next stage of humanity’s evolution. Will and Lily learn the world they thought they knew is all an illusion, as they are thrust into a world of psychic spying, alien craft, spontaneous downloads of information, angels, and sinister figures who will stop at nothing to keep this mysterious item a secret, even abducting Lily. Will—along with his socially awkward best friend Russell—must rescue her, all the while feeling afraid, lost, and shy. But even with Russell, Will is on his own when it comes to discovering the courage to confront his greatest fear: a first kiss.
WIN: What made you to write this book?
My answer would be long and winding, how much time do you have?
When I was young my mom shared with me her near death experience. She met beings to told her the Earth is a classroom. That notion really grabbed me. But if this is a classroom, what is the curriculum? What are we here to learn? So I’ve spent most of my life pondering that question, and Super Human is the beginnings of my attempt at an answer.
Religious traditions have much to offer; all of them. Young people see the corruption, violence, shaming, animosity, and the plain inability of religious folk to get along with those they deem different and conclude—rightly—that there’s no true spiritual leadership there, just people aping the words but not following the spirit. So I don’t blame atheists for their rejection of all things religious. They have a point.
So they reject religion, and not without good reason. So spiritual illiteracy abounds, even (maybe especially) among the self-proclaimed devout. Young people aren’t stupid. Those that don’t fall into the vacuum of spiritual negativity are looking for ethical leadership from those who live what they say. From those whose stated values align fully with their words and actions. Compassion? Forgiveness? Indeed.
So religious talk has become a trigger topic for most people; tempers flare quickly, and people dig in their heels. So it’s really hard to have a transformative conversation with someone if they don’t already agree with your religious beliefs. But we need those conversations, we yearn for them. We know there is value in there somewhere, but with such a heated topic the lessons are hard to get at.
This book is the culmination of 30+ years of closely considering the nature of our relationship to outcomes in our lives, and the personal responsibility we have to create our own realities.
I was trained as a positive thinking teacher 25 years ago, and have read many books on the subject. Over that time I was convinced that I could write a better book than all the ones I had read but wasn’t sure where to begin. Eventually, I realized science fiction was the best way to tell this in metaphor.
As I was writing I got an earworm… Rush “Closer to the heart.” Just that line, over and over in my head. I realized my subconscious was giving me writing instructions. Closer to the heart! So that’s what I did.