Stuart W. Mirsky
New York City
Reason for my interest here:
I’m a writer who completed an historical novel in 1996, spent two years trying to find an agent or publisher, gave up in 1998 and self-published the book. To my surprise it went on to sell 1300+ copies, earned me over $3200 in royalties and gave me some small credibility as an author. (My wife was pleased, as well, because I got back more in royalties than I paid the POD company.) I went on to write a number of other books as well.
My first novel, The King of Vinland’s Saga, about a fictional Norse attempt to settle North America from Greenland, can be found to this day on Amazon though it doesn’t sell much anymore (given the advent of many new Norse related novels):
Amazon.com: The King of Vinland's Saga (9780738801520): Stuart W Mirsky: Books
I originally wrote it because a colleague of mine, who had been involved in film production in his earlier life, wanted to find a story he could make into a film. In the event, he couldn’t raise the funds and I just went ahead and self-published as described. Surprisingly in the early 2000s I received two queries for the book about film rights, one from a self-described investor in films in California and the other, a few years later, from an individual who described himself as a Scottish director, looking for a property to do with vikings. Nothing came of either though I did have a contract with an agent for a year as a result of that first book.
Recently, I was contacted by an aspiring film director in Italy re: another book I had written, also inquiring about film rights but it doesn’t seem as if he’s been able to raise the funds either. So it seems this is a VERY tough business (as if I had to tell anyone here that). Stumbling onto this site of yours though, it hit me that perhaps the way to move this sort of stuff along is if people joined forces. Although I wrote a screenplay for my first novel back when I had an agent for it (at her suggestion), all my manuscripts for that novel and screenplay were lost in the flood we had here In New York from Hurricane Sandy back in 2012. And I haven’t the energy or focus to do the screenplay again (given that I am now engaged in writing another novel – my preferred form). But what if an interested screenwriter here were to join forces with me and, say, that film director in Italy (or perhaps the earlier inquirer from Scotland) to put together a package for a producer?
On the Norse thing, in fact, there is a lot of interest on the film side these days (History Channel’s Vikings, Netflix/BBC’s The Last Kingdom, and, of course, George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones on HBO). With the hunger for story content growing in the cable and streaming industries, perhaps the way to gain entry to that market is not via any single one of us going it alone but through a collaboration that could combine the work of a novelist, screenwriter and director to put together a package that could have appeal to the production side of the industry.
It’s hard to get agents and harder still to get to producers but perhaps a collaboration could work to reduce the odds against the lone artist? Even doing something on a small scale via YouTube might be a good start and a downpayment on access to a larger and more lucrative venue.
Anyway, that’s my reason for having joined this site: to find possible collaborators for my work, starting with the Norse novel I wrote about Vikings and Indians in 11th century North America though not necessarily limited to that one!
If anyone’s interested I can be contacted through Stareable or directly through firstname.lastname@example.org