{Guest} Anthony Sunderland

Why I Write by Anthony Sunderland

It is amazing when and where life changing moments can occur. There is no accounting for random acts that can drastically alter your life’s course or give you a purpose you could never have dreamed of previously.

My defining moment came about when I was watching the idiot box. I had always loved Buffy TVS, but the season one finale just totally blew me away. Sarah Michelle Gellar went through just about every emotion under the sun in a forty two minute tour de force.

I had seen other brilliant performances before and was a fan of several actors and liked to se everything that they were in, but until that moment I could never understand why so many people go nuts about any performer – whether actor, sportsperson, or musician.

I certainly couldn’t understand why people want to collect everything that celebrities appear on or put their names to. That’s not a confession that I went mad buying everything Buffy all of a sudden. I did want one of the lifesize cut outs but quite honestly was too tight to buy it. One large poster does have pride of place in my house. But that’s the lot, I swear!

I can’t remember exactly when that life changing decision occurred. Right then, the next day, or the next week, but something inside me clicked. I decided, or a passion awakened, that I wanted to write a screenplay as fantastic as the one I had witnessed. I wanted to write something so great that it would test Sarah Michelle’s incredible talent to its limit. Something so good that as soon as she read the script she would be begging to play the part.

If you had told me then how difficult it is to write a great screenplay, never mind how tough it is to sell it, then I would have probably ditched the foolish idea right there and then. Fortunately, or not, nobody did. It has been incredibly difficult to learn about the techniques of writing, and the technical aspects, formatting, presentation etc, and great fun. It has also been a time consuming and expensive education, but a choice I’ve never regretted.

I have written four full length big budget screenplays on spec. here’s another harsh lesson: nobody told me beforehand how expensive they are to produce.

So my next step was to look at producing a graphic novel as a web series. This was just before Hollywood started snapping up everything graphic novel and before the House of Mouse paid $billions for Marvel. See, I can think ahead of my time.

Unfortunately life got in the way. No excuses here. To some degree I let it. Looking back I wasn’t either focused enough or daring enough. Not willing to commit fully for fear of falling on my face.

I eventually found two enthusiastic art students at Calderdale College, Anna and Kelsey, who have produced some great design concepts. I found a very talented artist who could produce the exact look and feel that I wanted. His price of 20K for the project was reasonable, but he wanted half up front. A deal breaker.

After that I was promised the Earth by a group of designers who simple spent the next six months trashing and redoing the great concept artwork that I already had. Arghh!!

Up until this point I had ignored the Kindle although I had heard of some of the success stories. I still wanted to write for the screen, to describe images and have other people make them come alive.

Part of me remembered a piece of advice from a screen writing workshop regarding the difference between writing a screenplay and a novel. For the script you just need to write “A typical Bangkok whorehouse,” and then it is someone else’s job to create that exact set. For a novel you have to describe it, in as few words as possible, in such detail that your mother would grasp the feel and smell of the place without ever having stepped inside one.

No, I really didn’t fancy the idea of putting that much effort into writing a story.

So why have I ended up with four novella length stories published on the Kindle? Numbers 5 & 6 are on their way shortly. Because it is my passion to tell these stories. I won’t quit unless or until I have exhausted every possible avenue of producing and marketing them.

I may not be the fastest or most brilliant person at doing things, but I keep on going when all the easy pickings, and instant riches seekers have given up and moved on to pursue the next shiny object. I really hate giving up. I am still standing, battling to achieve my dream.

P.S. None of the characters in the two sci fi series I’ve published so far are inspired by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

About the Author

Anthony Sunderland – Sci Fi Writer

Anthony is an electrician living and working in Yorkshire in the UK. He was inspired to start writing after watching the seaon one finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

He likes watching and playing most sports from pool and snooker to football and badminton. He’ll try most extrme sports, including parachuting, bungee jumping, fire-eating, and is a qualified glider pilot. Diving with sharks and bungee jumping off a bridge or cable car are on the to do list.

Anthony has written four full length screenplays on spec and is publishing the Sci Fi epic ’59 and the Destiny’s Daughter alien mysterys series on the Kindle. His goal is to see his work on the big screen.

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About Bek Harrington

Writer, author, vampire fan and historical enthusiast. You'll often find me crusing the internet under the guise of my alter ego, 3000 year old vampire "Bektamun"

Posted on 18/09/2012, in Guests and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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