Friday, August 16, 2013

William McNally

Guest Blog Post and Excerpt by William McNally

Coming to a Theater Near You

It may be literary heresy to admit this, but I love movies almost as much as I love books. Both mediums offer a wonderful escape from normal life. In some ways, a book can be a script for the movie generated by one’s imagination when it’s read. Picture, if you will, the characters and locations described in the last book you enjoyed. Did the author tell you every single detail? No. They painted a series of dots that your imagination connected together. Your mind added the clothing worn by the lead character or maybe the color of his or her eyes.

In reality, a book is a joint effort between a writer and a reader. The writer sends the signals and the reader decodes them into their own personal world. I’ve received several comments from readers that my stories read more like movies than traditional books. Some authors might take offense to these observations, but I consider them a compliment. When I write, I picture a movie unfolding in my mind and by the time a manuscript is complete, I envision every detail for each character, place and action. The art is in deciding how much to leave in without turning the story into an encyclopedia.

My latest book, Beneath the Veil, is set in a ghost town known as a Auraria. In a movie version of my book, the location could take place in any small mountain town passed over by the modern world. Collapsing farm houses and untended farms would be the landscape during the daytime, but at night, the town would resurrect into a twisted version of its glory days.

The numerous residents of this tormented place would keep a casting director busy for sometime with key roles and lots of extras. Here are a few suggestions that come to mind:

Barry (Rhodes) Ryan is a successful sculptor suffering from a terminal illness. He’s in his mid-thirties, private, with an easy-going personality. Think Joseph Gordon-Levitt in this role.

Jen Ryan, Barry’s adopted younger sister, is brave, independent and free spirited. Jennifer Carpenter would be a perfect fit to play her on the big screen.

Jackson is Jen’s boyfriend. He’s an easy-going dude who runs a small record shop. The actor Common might be a good choice here.

Willow is a young local girl with a charitable heart. This is a tough one. The actress would need a calm intensity and be around eight years old. Mackenzie Foy…maybe?

James Downs survived a plane crash that stranded him in Auraria. He’s affable but capable and a former pilot. Think Thomas Jane.

Don “Doc” Randolph is the de facto mayor of Auraria. Doc is the glue that holds a group of survivors together. Anthony Hopkins comes to mind…I wonder if he has the time.

Evangeline Rhodes hails from an uncertain past and preys on the locals. Famke Jannsen would be perfect, minus the fake British accent from Hemlock Grove.

Ezra Rhodes is Evangeline’s constant companion and takes care of many of her more unpleasant tasks. This character should be charming and vicious. I picture an Americanized Clive Owen in this role.

Owen Bigsby loves to sample the corn liquor grown locally and is Auraria’s own town drunk. A physical actor would be required here in order to pull off certain scenes. John Goodman is my choice.

Well Mr. Spielberg, that should take care of things for you. Just send a check and contract over and we can get the filming started. Thanks to Cloey’s Book Reviews and Other Stuff for hosting!

His headache began again with a dull ache in the back of his head. He walked to the kitchen, opened a cabinet door and grabbed a bottle of aspirin. Swallowing two pills, Barry Ryan leaned against the counter and gazed across his loft. The wood floors were covered with tarps, and chips of stone surrounded a car sized sculpture of a pyramid. The piece was a commission for an insurance conglomerate and almost completed after two years of work. He walked around the sculpture and into a service elevator, then rotated a brass handle and the lift shuddered to life.

He descended into a warehouse filled with massive stones and slabs of marble. Unfinished and abandoned works lined one wall, while a dozen cars lined another. He pulled a tarp from a 1967 Corvette Sting Ray convertible and then climbed in and fired up the engine. He drove the car out of the building and turned onto Spring Street, where the sun shined between glittering high-rises. After driving twenty blocks he pulled into a garage and parked, then grabbed his sketchbook from the passenger seat. The streets were quiet as he walked to a café on a corner. His agent, Peter Harper, sat outside in a tailored suit wearing gold rimmed sunglasses.

“Morning, Barry,” Peter said. “How’s the chiseling on the Daecom rock going?”

“Good,” he answered. “Just about finished.”

“Nice. I’ve got three more lined up when you’re ready. Word’s out on your work. All these companies want to enshrine themselves in stone.”

“Need a break for a while, Pete,” Barry answered. “These will have to wait.”

“I’ll hold them off as long as I can, Barry, but these are big time offers. I recommend we jump on them as soon as we can. One bad quarter and these deals are gone,” Peter said.

“I hear you Pete. I’ll keep you posted,” Barry answered.

The two men enjoyed breakfast at the restaurant, built in a former bank building. The original safe stood empty in the back, surrounded by tables of chatty patrons. The trees lining the street were beginning to sprout green leaves and birds were busy gathering materials for their nests.

“So, Pete, how’s Angie?”

“Well,” he hesitated. “Let’s just say now Pattie.”

“I see,” Barry replied. “The revolving door has turned again.”

Barry coughed into his napkin then took a sip of water. He glanced down at the blood splattered linen, then spirited it into his pocket and stood up from the table.

“You okay?” Peter asked.

“I am fine,” he answered. “Something just went down the wrong pipe. I better run. Thanks for breakfast.”

Beneath the Veil
William McNally

Genre: Paranormal/Science Fiction/Horror

ASIN: 978-1481953627

Amazon Paperback Kindle

Book Description:

Welcome Beneath the Veil, a Place Where the Dead Have Never Left...

With his life turned upside down, a terminally ill man seeks answers from a family he never knew. Barry Ryan, a successful sculptor, goes on a journey to find his roots and the extraordinary family that somehow evades death and ties him to a terrifying future.

Driven to find answers, Barry is joined by his sister and her boyfriend on the road to Auraria, a mysterious ghost town where terrible secrets lie hidden since the days of gold and greed.

All is well until they cross the city limits and fall beneath the veil, a place where the bizarre rules the living, and the living are prey trapped in an ever-changing web.

Generations of conflict come to light as these unfortunate visitors struggle to survive. Echoes of the past are lethal this place where the dead have never left.

About the Author:

William McNally is a former executive, husband and animal advocate based in the mountains of Dahlonega, Georgia. Drawn to dark and thought provoking stories, he released his first book, Four Corners Dark in 2012 and recently followed it with his second, Beneath the Veil. Visit him online at for updates and events.

Look for William's next release, The Knights of Moonshine, spring 2014.

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