Another Movie is in the Works for another Outskirts Press Author

Not too long ago, we shared the exciting news of Outskirts Press author Skip Stover and how his book was being turned into a movie. And shortly thereafter we announced the TNT Mini-series starring Chris Pine, which was based upon Fauna Hodel’s memoir One Day She’ll Darken.

Self-publishing author Stephen S. Janes is now the latest Outskirts Press author to join those exclusive ranks. His book The Prayer Wheel Odyssey is currently in pre-production.


The Fate of the World Is in One Woman’s Hands…

A man climbs the fence at the White House and is shot to death. A passerby, a young American Everyman, finds a document fallen at the site of the tragedy. Suddenly, his life changes beyond his capacity to imagine – for this document is of crucial importance to the shadowy and subterranean forces that rule the world in the barely known realm at the peripheral vision of the ordinary citizen. But the powerful figure at the center of this web is anything but ordinary. She is a modern Medea: brilliant, ruthless, who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. And our Everyman – drawn into a mythic hero’s quest – must thwart her, or the world will pay the price. Brilliantly crafted from the political and environmental realities we face, The Prayer Wheel Odyssey is a uniquely spellbinding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat while it opens your eyes to what could happen to our planet if just one mistake is made… or just one person tips the balance for personal gain.

“The Prayer Wheel Odyssey” is described as “a uniquely spellbinding thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat while it opens your eyes to what could happen to our planet if just one mistake is made…or just one person tips the balance for personal gain.”

Sounds like a good movie, doesn’t it? Los Angles based talent management company Harris Management thought so and put the wheels in motion. Click here to read the full press release.

We caught up with Mr. Janes to discuss his success:

Q: Why did you decide to write The Prayer Wheel Odyssey?

Janes: I have always been concerned about reliance on fossil fuels as our primary energy resource, not only because that supply will one day be exhausted but because of what its products appear to be doing to the health of people and of the planet. After some reflection, writing a book seemed to be the best approach for expressing my views. I decided to publish the book myself. I knew the book would have to be worth reading and I wanted it to be a work of fiction based on a number of relevant facts. I wrestled at length with how best to write a novel that would hold reader interest while conveying a message in an entertaining manner. An action/adventure storyline was the solution I settled on and after considerable research I determined that Outskirts Press would be my best resource for publication and support services.

Q: Tell us about the plot . . . what happens? 

Janes: A woman and a man face off in a struggle that may have implications for the welfare of life on the planet. The woman is the modern-day Medea, she of ancient Greek mythology, searching for something of incredible value. She is ruthless, cunning, and has resources and connections beyond those of most world leaders. He is Everyman, young and somewhat naïve, thrown into a battle of wits simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. At the center of their contest is a document resulting from the work of one of the world’s greatest chemists centuries ago. That chemist was a real person and the novel is based on some of his work as well as that of his son at the behest of a Russian Czar. The storyline, reflected in the title of the novel, follows the path of that document from the late 1700s to now.

Q: Tell us about the process of getting your book turned into a movie…? 

I participated in the Outskirts Press Book Awards Program and received a professional book review that I shared with others, including a close friend, Sharon Justice, who had read and commented on the manuscripts for my books. She shared that book review with Earnest Harris of Harris Management in Los Angeles. He expressed interest in the book, so I sent him both books that I have published with Outskirts Press. Mr. Harris indicated after reading The Prayer Wheel Odyssey that it should be made into a feature film. He agreed to become Executive Producer for the film and to shepherd the book through the process involved in making the movie. I feel fortunate that Earnest Harris agreed to write the screenplay himself.

Q: Why will The Prayer Wheel Odyssey make a great movie?

 Janes: I believe it will make a great movie. Some readers have indicated that this book is one of the best mystery stories they have read. Their comments centered not only on the plot line but on the intrigue and action involved as the story progresses. I wrote it almost visualizing it as a movie, each scene and every confrontation guided by what I saw happening as I wrote. As other writers well know, the outline for the book was often outpaced by the characters as they developed. I am anxious to see what those characters do on a big screen.

So are we, Stephen. Congratulations on your remarkable success!


Author John Dukes raises awareness, opens hearts to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Author John Dukes is changing lives. His son, John Jr., passed away in 2016 after living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In his latest book, Dadders, Can I Pet the Whales?, Dukes takes readers on an emotional journey through the story of his family and the story of his son, whose take on life and the world is both powerful and life-changing. We interviewed Dukes as his book began to receive public recognition.

Q: Tell me a little about your book.

JD: The book is about how a child with Autism can affect a whole family and people surrounding him. I starting writing the book when I took a trip to SeaWorld® with just John and myself. I had finished the book and had it on the back burner until my son John died from septic shock from a gallbladder infection. That’s when I decided to finish the book.

Q: This clearly has enormous personal significance to you, not just as in terms of the finished project, but in terms of content. The subject of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one which has long been poorly understood. What was important to you about exploring this subject, with all of its personal implications, in the form of a book?

JD: This question has a lot of answers. First of all, Autism affects 1 in every 57 families. That means 1 in every 57 children are diagnosed with some type of Autism. My wife and I knew something was different about our son John but couldn’t put our finger on it. Once he was diagnosed with PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), which comes under the Autism umbrella, that’s when we started with research and reaching out to others in the same circumstance.

My book is to let you know if you have a child with Autism you are not alone. The one thing I learned about myself is how much patience you need to deal with a child with Autism, and not just Autism but all children with special needs. God only gives you what you can handle. I learned what unconditional love is. John didn’t know the seven deadly sins. He only knew love, and his smile was awesome. The writing of my book was therapeutic for me. It helped me get through a tough time in my life. When my book was published, it made me feel like I was complete and John would live forever through the book. Everyone that reads the book gets to know John and my family.

Q: We’ve already seen some incredible community engagement surrounding your book. Could you describe how it has been received by your community, the attention you’ve been getting, and what you hope to be the result of this engagement?

JD: The book has been received exceptional by the community. I have received accolades not only from every person that read the book but I also received a Proclamation from Delaware County Council for Autism Awareness.

I have received recognition from State Senators and State Representatives. My book has touched the hearts of the people that read it. They either knew us or know someone with an Autistic child. It shows some of the difficulties families go through with children that have disabilities.

[Interviewer’s note: Since the interview itself, John’s book has also been covered in the Delaware Valley Magazine’s September 2018 issue, and his first book signing on August 1 raised $2,207 for charity. All proceeds from the book go to the District 19 Challenger League and the National Autism Society. John’s book is moving people all over the country.]

Q: What did the average day spent writing look like for you, and what writerly habits helped you along the way?

JD: On average I spent each day writing and rewriting page after page to make sure my words came across the way I wanted them to, in order to portray me and my family. My writing habits were simple: from my earliest education about writing to my college days, I always wrote from the heart. I don’t believe in fluff. Tell it like it is and keep it short and to the point.

Q: What’s next for you and your family? Are there more books in store?

JD: My amazing son John passed away on July 21, 2016. I was lucky enough to have John with us for 25 years and 2 days. I was blessed to have him for that long. John died from septic shock from an infected gallbladder.

I don’t know what’s next for me. I thought about another book related to John and my family and I am in the process of writing, but if it turns into a book only time will tell. If enough people show interest in it maybe I will publish it. The only thing all proceeds from my book go to the Challenger League which John played baseball for and the National Autism Society.

Visit Outskirts Press for more information on John Dukes and to purchase Dadders, Can I Pet the Whales.