Screenwriter Leigh Dunlap Pens First Novel, "Halifax"
Accomplished Hollywood screenwriter Leigh Dunlap (A Cinderella Story, 16 Love) releases her debut novel, the self-published "Halifax" available on the web only.
- (1888PressRelease) October 03, 2011 - HALIFAX is the debut novel of accomplished screenwriter Leigh Dunlap (A CINDERELLA STORY, 16 LOVE), a science fiction thrill ride suitable for audiences of all ages. Set in the San Fernando Valley, where Dunlap spent her teenage years, HALIFAX tells the story of three siblings sent to Earth with far greater concerns than proms and pimples. Walking along the halls of Lexham Academy, 16-year-old Farrell, his sister Izzy and little brother Rom certainly look like their adolescent peers, but one thing sets them apart: they're looking for aliens sent to destroy the population. HALIFAX is a teen Torchwood meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer --- with a little bit of old school The Breakfast Club thrown into the mix.
The rich and layered characters that Dunlap creates are not dissimilar to her own trailblazing attitude. After studying screenwriting at USC, she worked as an agent's assistant at the high-powered Gersh Agency in Los Angeles for over four years. When she grew weary of the long and sometimes thankless hours, she decided a change was in order and threw a dart at a map. It landed near Athens, Georgia, so she packed her belongings and moved across the country not knowing a soul in the small college town.
"I wanted to escape LA and my job there answering 300 calls a day and dealing with actors and all that's good and bad about them," explains Dunlap who now calls Atlanta home. "As a young child I lived in Missouri and the South with the heat and humidity and the sound of locust in the trees and chirping cicadas, reminded me of those days."
Dunlap was a shy child, reading whatever she could find, writing down stories on whatever scrap paper was available. She says that a not-so-stellar home life led her to life lived inside of her head.
"There are definitely aspects of my life in Halifax, especially the relationship Nora has with her mother," says Dunlap. "I'm still, even today, in awe when I see confident teenagers with great relationships with their parents. It amazes me."
A CINDERELLA STORY starred Hilary Duff and is Duff's biggest money-making film to date. 16 LOVE stars dreamy newcomer Chandler Massey (Days of our Lives) and Lindsey Shaw (Aliens in America) with an expected 2012 release.
With two motion pictures under her belt and a sports-related television series in the works, many agents and managers often come knocking, but have ultimately failed Dunlap in the follow-through department. Frustrated with the Hollywood system for which she once worked, she took her fate into her own hands and published HALIFAX all on her own.
"I just wanted to get the book out there and see what happened, on my own terms," she says. "I may not have benefited from having an agent or an editor, but at least I feel like had the chance and didn't have to wait for validation from someone else."
After designing the cover herself, she used a service called Publish Green to format the book and upload it to all the different e-reader outlets. It is now available for only $2.99 via Amazon's Kindle, iTunes, Barnes & Noble's Nook or at her web site http://leigh-dunlap.com.
"All told it was a couple of thousand dollars, which was a lot of money, but at least I'm not waiting around," she enthuses. "There's a whole industry built around independent film, why can't authors do the same?"
Through Facebook and other social networking devices, Dunlap is spreading her words, once again venturing out on her own which suits her just fine. The sequel to HALIFAX is already in the works.
For further information or to download a review copy, please contact Holly Aguirre at 213.268.0927.