Story Concepts & Development for Novels, Comics, Games, Film and TV

A Sense of Adventure

Like all of us, I had influences as a child that helped to shape the person I am today. As I think of the pop culture that guided my interests and storytelling as an adult, game titles like Pitfall, Q-Bert, and Donkey Kong come to mind. Movies like Candleshoe, Labryrinth, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars. Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books. TV Shows like Scooby Doo, Thundercats, Battlestar Galactica, and Buck Rogers.

There are plenty more to add to the list – but as I look back – I realize they helped to instill in me a passion for adventure stories. Kidnapped princesses, roguish heroes, friendly monsters, buried treasure… these were the stars of my exuberant childhoods imaginings.

I have been fortunate in my career in that I have never been asked to abandon those childhood imaginings.

When the Alien Confidential webcomic first dropped into my lap, I was excited but nervous, as I perceived webcomics to be more like online comic strips with an emphasis on the funny. And funny was outside of my normal “wheelhouse”.

I had a choice. I could have turned the project down, not trusting that I had the skill to pull it off. I could have accepted the project and then failed to come through on the deadline – I’ve known writers who do that… but that’s not me. Instead, I decided to look deeper into the material, to determine what my experience and voice could bring to Alien Confidential that would enhance it or make it uniquely mine.

I encourage any other, aspiring writers to do the same in their own work, whether they consider the work in their wheelhouse or not.

Since I am more of an adventure or action-adventure writer, it made sense to bring a sense of adventure to the tales that are being told in and around Arash’s “otherworldly” underground bar, Black & White. And coupled with a backdrop of aliens secretly co-mingling on Earth with humans, the potential for dynamic stories seem endless. Mystery, romance, missing persons, mayhem… only this time, on a galactic scale.

The major storyline of Alien Confidential took its most exciting turn when a friend from my writer’s group suggested that Black & White could use a barmaid. Of course, I thought. How could I not have thought of that before? The series was itching for a strong female presence. But where to go with the character? Was she young or old? Humble or snarky? Good at her job or terrible at it? It would be a wasted opportunity to make her just any barmaid.

Everybody loves a character with a secret, so, with an adventure-writer’s sensibility, I decided the character – Liucy – needed to be hiding something. Not only is she more than she appears, but she has brought with her something that will threaten everything Arash has worked for. Arash is at a tipping point in his life, looking for something to believe in, searching for a purpose.

His and Liucy’s destinies are on a collision course, and if Arash doesn’t step up, he could lose everything…

Stay tuned.

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