2014 – 2015 a look backwards and forward

2014 was a year of burning candles. Adding wicks and burning them from hidden geometric angles. Turns out having a kid means you burn non-stop. On top of having a day job and trying to get better at, and into this writing thing, it all amounted to a mountain of stress.

And a lot of happiness. Turns out having a family and working (towards) the dream job feels really rewarding when the arrow points upwards. And in 2014 the arrow swung both up and down, but mostly up.

Film

I didn’t get as much time as I hoped writing screenplays last year. I had plans of beginning my first feature script in Norwegian, but that never happened. I have a plan of writing a peculiar thriller/horror that would suit a Norwegian approach. But that plan includes directing it, as well. So I figured that could wait a while longer. There’s been sporadic interest and talks on my earlier feature scripts, but nothing has amounted to anything tangible yet.

Two of my earlier short film scripts were picked up, though. Disappearing Darlings from 2011 is now being produced as a puppet animation by Klipp & Lim. They are a local production company with brilliant people and I get to see this whole project come to life every step of the way. We ended the year by doing some test footage and doing a little Holiday salute, which can be seen on Vimeo. We hope to get full funding this year, so its 10 minute glory can come true before the end of the year.

My other short script, a quirky, atmospheric horror called Krusninger (English: Ripples) hooked a great up-and-coming director from Oslo and we hope to attach a production company on it as soon as possible. If not it’ll be DIY all the way.

A short film I was commissioned to write will be made these coming months and shown in May, if the gods be good. Based on famous psaligraph Karen Bit Vejle amazing creations.

Also, at the end of the year I decided to devote time to develop a sci-fi concept I’ve been harbouring for nearly a year. Firstly as a feature screenplay, then as a comic book series. I’m nearly there with developing it, so next week I’ll write the first draft of the screenplay. Goal: Black list.

TV

A large portion of my writing was in television last year. My brilliant co-writer Robert Klecha and I developed a 6-part occult crime noir show and wrote a pilot. We’ll be reworking and fine-tuning the pilot these coming weeks, then it’ll be out the door.

We also have another show in earlier stages of development. Perhaps there’ll be time for that one this year.

I’ve also been approached by a European producer to write a treatment and a pilot for a really interesting historical thing. This is something for the first half of 2015, and I’m not sure what to think of this yet, other than it being really interesting and something I’m excited to dive into.

Games

Since summer I’ve been heavily involved with Snowcastle Games, bringing their title Earthlock forward. I’ve been writing lore, game story, dialogue and a tie-in comic book one-shot. Been really fun to help develop such a fun world and such great characters. I can’t wait to reach the end of this thing and see/hear the reaction from players.

I’ve always been a big admirer of games, and before I decided to dedicate my time to become a writer I played a lot. So seeing how games are made and being part of a great team is really cool. I hope this will be one of many game projects going forward.

Comics

Outré had another good year, releasing two more anthology volumes. We’re also coming to Comixology now on the 7th. That’s a nice milestone to start 2015 with. Been really great to work with so diverse and talented comic book creators, so I hope there’s no end to it.

Spiral is in a sort of limbo. While we’re waiting to hear back from a certain big-name publisher me and Emerson are working to finish up the Earthlock one-shot. Fingers crossed Spiral will be enough of an uppercut to have this publisher get back to us. (I have another future project I’d love to pitch these good people!) Whatever happens with this publisher, I’m really looking forward to getting back to Spiral together with Emerson. People really seem to like Spiral, which is motivational beyond words.

Earthlock – The Clay Orchid and the Stormdog (one-shot) will be done January/February and hopefully the Kickstarter Backers can receive it in March. It’s turning out to be a really fun little double-adventure. A perfect addition to the Earthlock universe, I think. Emerson, as always, has really brought his A-game.

Empire of Blood issue #1 has been hand-lettered by the fantastic Gaspar Saladino and we’ll put it all together these coming weeks. This is a huge project that me and my co-creators Michael and Jelena have been working on a long time. The future is uncertain, but we have been toying with the idea of a Kickstarter. Firstly, we want to see the reaction to this initial issue.

Me and María José Barros have a short comic called Next Ovum in the wicked-crazy anthology Imaginary Drugs, hitting shelves now in January from IDW and Michael McDermott. Another nice way to start the comic-year!

I also have a date with Dave this year. We’ll see if that date ends with a crescendo in a haystack somewhere.

Books

Me and Steeven decided, after having no success getting any publishers (English or French) interested in our children’s horror comic, to rather go down the illustrated children’s book route. This story has been with me since 2011 and we aren’t going to let last year’s setbacks stop us. After some back and forth we decided to go down a slightly older age segment (11 – 13), so we’ll be tweaking the plot a bit before I go back to writing. This is a new venture for me (children’s/teen’s literature), and it’s a market that’s been cornered by a few big name writers. So nothing short of A+ game will make do here. It will take as long as it takes, but I hope to have a good portion of the book written by the end of the year. Maybe in 2016/17 you can buy The Sounds from the Sinkhole.

Lastly, but not least, I’m working with Marcus Muller in bringing another children’s book project to life. It’s got heart, thrills and a fantastical world. It’s so high-concept I’m not even going to reveal the title. But it’ll be fun, just wait and see!

That’s most of what happened last year and what’s on the plate for 2015. It will continue to be a struggle to do this writing thing full-time, but giving up is for the unhappy. And I don’t plan to be.

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