Cast Announcement for I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER

March 3rd, 2015

I’ve been talking about this movie for years, and talking EVEN MORE about that over the last several months, ever since we secured real funding. What I have not been able to talk about is the cast, because up until the point where everything was absolutely final, there was still the possibility that it might change. Well, now it’s final. Let’s talk about the cast.

John CleaverWe sold the option and started working on the movie about five years ago, and while I am not actually, technically involved in the film, I’ve become very good friends over the years with Billy, the director, and we consult with each other all the time. About this same time I saw the movie “Where the Wild Things Are,” and instantly thought that the kid in it would be a perfect John Cleaver. He was young, but I knew it would be a few years before we filmed, and I loved the way he was able to express such incredible loneliness. I called Billy and told him I’d found our John Cleaver, and he said he’d look into it. Before he even had a chance, though, one of our producers called Billy as well, and said “I just finished a project with a kid who’d be perfect for that movie you’re working on!” That kid was…the same kid. The producer and I, independent of each other, had both cast our dream John Cleaver, and both of them were Max Records. Billy met him and agreed with us, and for five years now Max and his parents have been on board, uncontracted but planning on it. Max has read all the books, he knows the character inside and out, and now that he’s all grown up he looks the part perfectly. We couldn’t be happier with our John Cleaver.

Mr. Crowley was much harder to line up, and that ties back to the five years we were trying to get funding. Take a script to Hollywood where the two leads are 15 and 75 years old, and they will laugh in your face. Nobody in either age group is a “star,” as defined by the kind of people who give money to movies. The movie Gravity, for example, languished for years, completely unable to get made, because even Sandra Bullock doesn’t count as a “star” either. Finally George Clooney, who was a big supporter of the film, stepped in and attached his own name to it, and it didn’t matter that it was a minor role–as soon as it became a George Clooney movie, it got paid for almost instantly, because now there was a “star.” Our movie doesn’t have a role for George Clooney, so standard Hollywood wisdom is that it will not make any money and we shouldn’t even bother.

imageWe bothered anyway, and managed to get funding from outside of Hollywood altogether. Once that was lined up, we were able to pay a Crowley actor what he was worth, and we set our sights on a long, long list of actors. You can’t name an old man actor we didn’t have on our list–we were thorough and exhaustive, and in the end it didn’t even matter because we were able to get our pipe dream actor from right at the top. Our Mr. Crowley is Christopher Lloyd, and we couldn’t be happier. Lloyd has done a lot of amazing stuff in his career, he can do happy and simple and vicious and evil and sad, sometimes all at once, and we think he’ll be perfect for Crowley. The role that really got me excited about him, though, was Reverend Jim from Taxi–not that Crowley is anything like Jim, but because it’s such a fantastically minimal performance. Lloyd played that entire role with a single facial expression, and that’s the sign of an incredible actor. He’s playing Mr Crowley as friendly, kind, and gentlemanly, but with terrifying undercurrents of desperation and despair. It’s wonderful to watch.

Most of the rest of the cast is being drawn from local actors in the Minneapolis area, and they’re all wonderful, and I’ll tell you about them soon, but I had to get the two leads announced before I exploded with excitement. I’m on set for the next nine days, so I’ll be posting snippets and photos and videos as much as I can.

I hope you’re as excited as I am.

Updates on Extras Casting

February 17th, 2015

Many of you responded eagerly to the possibility of being extras in the I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER movie, and I’ve been forwarding all of your emails to our Background Coordinator, Michelle Nagell. Finally we just decided to cut out the middleman: if you want to be in the show, you can email her directly!

Important Notes:

1) We can’t pay you. We’re a small indie production, and we’re not offering jobs–we’re offering the chance to be a part of a project you love as much as we do. You will have to provide your own travel, hotel, meals, etc.

2) We’re filming in Minnesota. Just outside Minneapolis, for the most part. If you can get there, awesome.

3) We don’t have a solid schedule yet. We realize this might make it impossible for some of you to plan far enough in advance, and I apologize. We’re working as fast as we can :)

Here’s a quick note from Michelle herself:

I would love to have you guys as extras on I Am Not A Serial Killer.
We don’t have the exact dates yet. Most of the filming will take place the month of March .
I know it is really important for Dan to have you guys on set and I will do my darnest to accommodate you so that happens! Filming can get tricky as time and days are subject to change with very little notice. I know many of you are traveling from a distance, so I’m open to keeping a dialogue over phone and email to keep you in the loop! If you are serious about coming please send a snap shot , email and phone number. Please put in the subject line IANASK so I can put you guys on my separate list . Feel free to ask questions! I look forward to seeing you on set !!!!!!! Thanks for your time!!!
Michelle Nagell
Background Coordinator Read the rest of this entry »

Reader Mail #5 – Vamos a Argentina!

February 16th, 2015

Voy a estar en Argentina este Mayo, para la Feria del Libro de Buenos Aires.

Reader Mail Video #4 – Another one about movies!

February 11th, 2015

I announced the I Am Not A Serial Killer movie, and have since been flooded with questions. One them has a complicated answer:

“Can I be in your movie?”

My LTUE Schedule

February 10th, 2015

I owe you a video or three, and you shall have them, but first: here’s my schedule for LTUE this weekend.

(LTUE is a SF/F convention in Utah, with tons of awesome authors and panelists. The acronym stands for “Life, the Universe, and Everything.”)


9:00 am
Philip K. Dick as an example of adaptation: Blake Casselman, Dan Wells, Oscar Bernie, Scott William Taylor, Scott R. Parkin (m)
(One of my favorite authors!)

12:00 PM
E-Sports: The Next Big Spectator Sport: Natalie Whipple, Dan Wells, Joe Coleman, Craig Nybo, Steve Setzer (m)
(My new SF series, Mirador, uses esports a lot.)

3:00 PM
Genre Mash-ups: Isn’t it all just fiction anyway?: S. A. Butler, Julie Frost, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Dan Wells, Suzanne Vincent (m)
(Most of my books fall into this category at some point or another.)

7:00 PM
Beatrix Potter, and A. A. Milne – Fantasy for the Very Young: Mikey Brooks, Candace J. Thomas, Jaclyn Weist, Dan Wells, Steve Setzer (m)
AA Milne is one of my other favorite authors!


9:00 AM
Drones: Dan Wells, Zachary Hill, Dan Willis (m)
(Mirador uses drones even more than esports.)

12:00 PM
Kaffeeklatsch with Dan Wells
(Roll for initiative.)

1:00 PM
Frank Herbert’s Dune – Of Religion, Ecology, and Substance Abuse: Dan Wells, Stephen Gashler, Paul Genesse, David Farland, Scott R. Parkin (m)
(My favorite book!)

3:00 PM
Putting Technology Ramifications into your World Building: L.E. Modesitt Jr., Howard Tayler, Dan Wells
(This one sounds awesome.)

Reader Mail Video #3 – The one about movies!

January 26th, 2015

Hey, Dan, have you ever considered making your books into movies?

This seems like a good time to show you my FanX schedule.

My FanX Schedule

January 26th, 2015

Thursday, January 29
6:30 pm-7:20 pm, Ballroom B: Bad Writing Advice

Friday, January 30
12:00 pm-12:50 pm, Room 150G – Remain as You Were – The Hero and the Status Quo
2:30 pm-3:30 pm, Room 151G – All You Need is Murder: Death and Other Perils of Being Young
4:00 pm-5:00 pm, Shadow Mountain Booth (#2000-2100) – Book Signing

Saturday, January 31
11:00 am-12:00 pm, Shadow Mountain Booth (#2000-2100) – Book Signing
1:00 pm-1:50 pm, Room 250A – The Brandon and Dan Show: Brandon Sanderson and Dan Wells On Writing and Anything Else
2:30 pm-3:20 pm, Ballroom B – I Am Not a Serial Killer: Special Announcement Film Panel

Reader Mail Video #2

January 16th, 2015

We’re back! I moved back into my office again for this one, where the background is boring but the lighting is better. We’re still working out the kinks.

This week’s question: What is the deal with Isolde’s baby? Major, major spoilers for the Partials trilogy here.

Book Contest Winners!

January 14th, 2015

Last week I got a big box of ARCs for the new John Cleaver Book, The Devil’s Only Friend, which comes out in June! It’s going to be awesome. In my joy I decided to hold a quick contest, offering a copy of the book to whoever could take the coolest picture of someone reading a copy of one of my books. This is not the only contest that will be held over the next few months, so don’t worry–you might still win one. But this particular contest is over, and I’ve picked some awesome winners.

I had intended to give out just one book, but as the pictures rolled in I realized I couldn’t possibly choose just one, so I decided to pick two winners: one in the normal category, and one in the “why are you letting your adorable child and/or animal corrupt themselves with my book” category. And then someone offered a picture I couldn’t NOT give a book to, so now we have two winners and a special prize.

Main Category: Valerie Dircks
Valerie Dircks

Cute Category: Eliyanna Kaiser
Eliyanna Kaiser

Special Achievement Category: Nathaniel Darkish
Nathaniel Darkish

Congratulations, dude and ladies! We’ll be contacting you. And Nathaniel, if I find out that’s a real corpse I’m taking the book back, AND I’m telling you how it ends before you read it. And, you know, calling all the police in the world.


January 13th, 2015

Wonder_WomanYesterday I saw a talk by psychologist Amy Cuddy about body language, and specifically what she called “power posing.” It’s a good talk, and I recommend watching the whole thing, but the idea that really got my attention was this single hook: “Standing like Wonder Woman for 30 seconds a day can change your life.” From a pop science point of view, that’s new and crazy, but from an exercise point of view it’s a total gimme. Of course standing like Wonder Woman for 30 seconds a day will change your life. It’s called yoga.

Back when I had real office jobs, one of those jobs was at a personal fitness place, writing box copy for treadmills and catalog entries for health supplements and, yes, manuals and video scripts for yoga programs. I’d never really done yoga before, but the more I studied it the more I loved it. I won’t speak to any of the more mystical claims, but as a pure exercise program it’s shockingly effective. My wife and I do yoga regularly (she much more regularly than I), and it’s a great way to wake up and stay fit and keep your body doing what it’s supposed to be doing. Yoga builds confidence and strength–not the kind of strength that helps you lift cars over your head, but general, sometimes even invisible strength inside your body, in the muscles responsible for balance and posture and breathing. If you’ve never worked those muscles before, you’ll be shocked at how much better it makes you feel. Even sitting becomes more comfortable. Trust me–most of the minor inconveniences we face in our bodies come from how out of shape they are. Even basic yoga can make a huge difference (if you stick with it, which is always the catch).

So: with all this in mind, I commented on twitter/facebook that it would be fun to run with this Wonder Woman idea and put together a whole yoga routine full of superhero poses, and call it LARPercise. This got a much bigger reaction than I expected, with people tossing out suggestions and offers to help, and the more I think about the more I think that this is a thing that should totally happen. The use of licensed characters means it will never be published or official, but it could be a fun web page and it’s perfect for an 8am Con panel, if nothing else. I don’t have the time to take off from writing my other books to give this the mental energy it would take to do it by myself, though, so let’s crowd source this thing.

Do you know yoga? Or do you just have google and some time to kill? Let’s use this page, and the comments below, to aggregate ideas about which yoga poses could be rethemed toward which superheroes. As you research yoga you’ll see that some of the poses have pretty standard English names (like Downward Dog), but others have a lot of variations, and some places use only the Indian names, and basically no two yoga places will use exactly the same terminology; this makes it hard to talk about the poses without images, but it’s also exactly what we’re doing, so I won’t complain :) Start with some basic sites like this and this, and let your imagination run wild.

To get the ball rolling, I would suggest some of the following:

Wonder Woman: this is the classic Lynda Carter pose, feet apart, hands on hips. This is a basic variation on Mountain pose, which is a fancy name for “just standing there,” but trust me–if you do it right, it’s an indispensable start to a yoga routine.

Superman: this could be the other standard variation of Mountain, sometimes called “Raised Arms Position.” You stand with feet close together, arms raised straight up, neck tilted back to look up at the ceiling. Throw in some moves where you bring one hand to your chest, and you look exactly like Superman flying around. Done and done.

Aquaman: I’m not in love with this one, but we have to do something with Downward Dog, and it does kind of look like a dive. I’m open to better ideas on this one.

Hulk Smash: my wife immediately suggested this one when I pitched the idea. Triangle pose has one hand planted on the ground, and if you clench that hand into a fist it does feel surprisingly like you’re smashing the street to cause an earthquake. Awesome.

That’s all I’ve got right now. Obviously we need something for the Warrior poses, and if you can come up with cool names for Cat/Table/Cow I’ll be impressed. Give me your comments, toss in your own ideas or fix my lame ones, and I’ll add them up here as we go.

This is going to be fun.