The Pineville Heist is an edge-of-your-seat YA adrenaline rushed story, full of twists and turns.
It’s about a 17 year old who stumbles into the aftermath of a $5m bank heist gone wrong, witnesses a murder and is relentlessly pursued in his locked down school by one of the psychotic robbers. Not only does he have to keep himself alive but also his young drama teacher. So there is that slightly heightened sexual chemistry, that is sometimes found when the stakes are high and lives are at risk, although the tension doesn’t cross the line.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
The Pineville Heist started life from an idea I jotted down about ten years ago about a kid under a canoe.
That kid was me. When I was about 12 years old on a camping trip with my elementary school, we played hide and seek and I hid under the canoe. I remember watching the feet of the people looking for me; they never looked under the canoe. That gave me the idea of, ‘what would happen if a kid was a witness to a murder while hiding under a canoe?’ Of course, I never actually witnessed a murder.
Why will readers relate to your characters?
It is about an everyday young man facing the everyday challenges of growing up; the difficulties of relating to his father, fitting in with his peers, having a crush on his young drama teacher. All the difficulties and emotions that are experienced, and what readers can relate to, with growing up. The only difference being, Aaron finds himself entangled in an exciting life and death fight for survival, while trying to prove himself to his father.
How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
Each character is different, as they have their own voice, motivation and flaws. I think that while I write, I’m writing as if I’m almost them and take on their persona. I also read out aloud, which enables me to hear that the dialogue is real, that it takes on the age of the character, their status, where they are in a particular part of the story and give them their own uniqueness.
Are you writing to reach a particular kind of reader?
Although The Pineville Heist is marketed to the young adult reader, it does contain violence, although not gratuitous, and some sexual tension, although at the same time not crossing any boundaries; so it does also cross over into the new adult market as well. The original story, which was developed from a script I co-wrote with Todd Gordon, had quite a bit of swearing. We consciously made the decision to modify that aspect of the script to enable both a cross section appeal and rating.
What is your goal for the book, ie what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
The Pineville Heist is a non-stop, action packed thriller which is for pure entertainment value.
It does touch on the transverse journey from childhood to adulthood; touches on the difficulties of growing up; and explores the strenuous relationships between father and son.
But in essence The Pineville Heist is a good fun, action packed thriller.
If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what accords would you like to see playing your characters?
Have a guess what? It is! The Pineville Heist is currently in the funding stages of being developed into a major motion picture. Booboo Stewart, who plays Seth Clearwater in the Twilight Saga Eclipse and Breaking Dawn has signed on as the main lead, Aaron Stevens.
Although, why not check out a recent table read to find out some of the possible actors who may be involved http://www.youtube.com/user/pinevilleheist?feature=results_main .
In all seriousness, and while the table read spoof was fun, I do have a list of who I would like to see play the remainder of the characters, the funding model we are seeking contains specific criteria of the actors we are able to have come on board the project. Also, the other partners involved in the project will also have input. So it will be a case of negotiation and at this stage it wouldn’t be prudent of me to go into who I would like to see on set.
But as some fun and a challenge for your followers, maybe they would like to come up with a dream cast! There are already You Tube videos of dream casts for The Pineville Heist, so let’s see what they think!
Who designed your cover?
The Pineville Heist’s cover has actually undergone a number of changes. The initial cover was designed by LA artist, Jose Pimenta, who has also produced a number of the storyboards for the movie. Although the original version of the cover had more of a graphic-novel feel about it, which perhaps appealed to a much younger audience, rather than capturing the young adult audience it is intended.
So I updated the cover and gave it a more mysterious, vampish look. With Booboo coming on board the project, I recently did an update to include his image as Aaron Stevens on the back of the cover. What do you think?
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Research. Write what you know and if you don’t know… research! If you wanna write a book or movie about cops, don’t base your research on other books and movies. Go out and talk to real cops! Find out what it is to be in their shoes… on their beat… experience it firsthand.
Do you keep a pen and notepad on your bedside table?
Not quite the pen and notepad but my iPad. Not only is it great for keeping notes, but I also have a lot of fun with the creative applications it allows me freedom to explore with. I shot my 2011 short film, Eyes on the Road entirely on my iPad.
How many stories do you currently have swirling around in your head?
Too many! I love and have a passion for telling stories, so there is always an idea popping all the time.
What are you working on right now?
My main priority at the moment is getting The Pineville Heist fully funded so that we can start shooting in spring next year.
From a creative aspect, I am currently working on my next screenplay, again teaming up with writing partner Todd Gordon, to develop definitely more of an adult thriller, which is has a lot more of a gritty, raw edge to it.
For a change of pace I am also working on my next novel, which is a comedy and good fun. It is based on a screenplay I worked on about ten years ago with Olly Perkin and Ra-ey Saleh.
Where people can buy The Pineville Heist
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=The+Pineville+Heist
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?keyword=The+Pineville+Heist&store=allproducts&page=%2Findex.asp&prod=univ&pos=&box=