Category Archives: Uncategorized

Independent producer to turn The Black Lens novel into a film

An independent producer has just secured the rights to turn The Black Lens novel into a full-length feature film.

Matt Starr, the president and CEO of Kokosing River Productions, has teamed up with Director of Photography Dan Parsons to find the right director, actors and investors for a movie version of my debut novel.

This partnership came after the screenplay version of The Black Lens became a quarterfinalist in the Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition, thanks to the hard work and adaptation by Jon Anderegg. Anderegg’s script also placed third in the Oregon Independent Film Festival Screenplay Competition. In addition, it received both developmental editing and industry circulation by Script Pipeline executives after my novel beat out more than 1,300 other books to become a semifinalist in the national Book Pipeline movie competition.

About Matt Starr

Matt Starr is President/CEO of Kokosing River Productions (formerly I-CONN Video Production). He has been a producer for over 16 years with film credits in feature films, commercials, documentaries, television programs and short films. His background in psychology and his passion for storytelling permeates throughout his many award-winning documentary, dramatic narrative and corporate media productions.

In 2016, Matt was recognized for his humanitarian work on the documentary The JJ Project and at several film festivals, including the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Film Festival, The Accolades Film Festival and The IndieFEST. Starr is the recipient of several other film festival awards and numerous Telly Awards for corporate, commercial and industrial films. He also served as producer for Looking for the Jackalope, which was recognized in several categories at the Austin Revolution Film Festival including Best Picture and Audience Favorite.

Matt has performed in several musicals and plays as well as in film and television shows, including ABC’s Final Witness. Other film credits include principle roles in Pregnant Pause, Caleb’s Gift, April Dreams, Recoil, As We Walked In The Woods and the documentary Hunting for Hunger. He is represented by Cam Talent in Columbus, Ohio.

About Dan Parsons

Dan Parsons has been working as a cinematographer for over 17 years with more
than 200 shooting credits on feature films, commercials, documentaries and television
shows. Dan’s experience includes all film and digital formats from 16mm and 35mm to
the latest digital formats.

In 2008, he earned an MFA in film production with an emphasis on cinematography
from Chapman University, where he served as the teaching assistant for esteemed educator and ASC cinematographer Bill Dill. Before relocating to Southern California, Dan had established himself as a cinematographer in Austin, Texas, where he shot numerous
independent films and was privileged to work with talented and award-winning directors.

Dan relocated in 2010 to his home state of Ohio, where he spent seven years as a
professor teaching digital media at Zane State College while continuing to work full time
in production. Dan was awarded a “Distinguished Professorship” endowment during his
time at Zane State College, and this experience enabled him to fulfill his other passion for
training filmmakers as visual storytellers.

About Jon Anderegg

Jon Anderegg is the author of The Black Lens screenplay, which became a quarterfinalist in the Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition and placed third in the Oregon Independent Film Festival Screenplay Competition. His third script, Ascension of Jerome, was also a finalist in the 2016 Creative World Awards for Action/Adventure. Jon is an Assistant Professor of Communication at George Fox University and a former lecturer at The Ohio State University, teaching classes in journalism, public speaking, communication theory and writing for scientific research. Jon attended film school at Bob Jones University, where he developed a love for script writing.

Learn more about Kokosing River Productions here.

You might also like:

The Black Lens script takes 3rd Place in Oregon Independent Film Festival
The Black Lens script places in national screenplay competition
Great review of The Black Lens screenplay

Guest Post: From Awareness to Action

The following is a guest post by Aaron Daniel Behr. Aaron loves God, literature and rhetoric. His first book, The Husband, a memoir of divorce and mental illness, is now available from Columbus Press on all major markets.

The Black Lens does what a narrative is supposed to do—it raises awareness by immersing readers in an unfamiliar world. It unflinchingly sheds light on the darkness in our society, the evil hiding in our backyard. Sex trafficking is real. It’s a horror that claims 14,500 to 17,500 new victims a year, and it occurs in every state in the U.S. The average entry age into this modern-day slavery is 13. It is an industry that claims mostly young girls, many of whom have already suffered sexual abuse.

These numbers are staggering, but the problem only continues to grow. Every day we stay silent, every day we neglect meaningful discussions about this epidemic, is another day of opportunity for exploitation. Evil triumphs in our apathy while young men and women suffer. Real change will only come with action, with legislation, with engaged everyday people who commit to using their voices.

The Salvation Army has been amplifying voices into action for hundreds of years. They pioneered undercover investigations into sex trafficking in the 1800s, leading to the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 and harsher penalties for sex traffickers. The Salvation Army has provided shelter, counseling, food and continual support for victims for over 200 years.

Today, they work closely with organizations likely to encounter sex trafficking, including the FBI, ICE and local law enforcement. Through these partnerships they work to identify, rescue and restore victims of sexual exploitation.

One hundred percent of donations to the Salvation Army’s Human Trafficking Prevention Program are used to directly impact the lives of those affected by human trafficking. The Salvation Army lives by a simple motto, “Do the most good,” and it stands by that philosophy in the application of funds and donations.

Many years ago I was asked to take a part-time position as a local Salvation Army case worker, where I saw firsthand the role the Salvation Army takes in the lives of victims. I worked the case of a girl who had been sold into sex slavery at 15. She was forced to work in the industry for three years before she was rescued. The Salvation Army transported her from Florida back to Ohio to be with her family, provided a place for her to stay, counseling and career help. It was my job to facilitate the girl’s financial needs as she began to create a life for herself, and those funds were pulled directly from public contributions to the local Salvation Army branch. Last I checked, she was finishing up her GED. This is a story from a town of 18,000 people. Imagine how many other lives are being impacted across the country.

I’m donating the first $200,000 in royalties from my book The Husband to the Salvation Army to help kids who are bullied and abused, as I was, receive the love and encouragement they need from people who care. The Salvation Army takes action to change lives—from helping victims of sex trafficking across the country to after-school programs for kids in my hometown.

You don’t have to give money or write a book to fight sex trafficking. Seek out organizations in your community that promote action. With hundreds of years of experience, the Salvation Army is a great place to start. Find out how you can help here.

The world does not need more Christian literature

One of my favorite quotes comes from British author C.S. Lewis, who wrote that “the world does not need more Christian literature. What it needs is more Christians writing good literature.”

Aaron Daniel Behr is one of those rare Christian authors who did just that with his first nonfiction book The HusbandReal, raw and brutally honest, The Husband is an unflinching look at one man’s struggle with suicide and mental illness. Aaron dared to explore the depths of depravity while still clinging to hope in the end.

I strove to accomplish the same thing with my debut novel, The Black Lens, a dark literary thriller that exposes the underbelly of sex trafficking in rural America. While my book is fiction, I also wanted to write a hard book about the real world — just like Aaron. In fact, one of the most common questions I get from readers is why I decided to write about such a dark topic.

It’s a great question, and one I’ve reflected on ever since Boyle & Dalton released my debut novel in 2016. So, here are my three main reasons for writing The Black Lens, which won Grand Prize in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards:

1. Raise trafficking awareness

I have always wanted to use my story to raise awareness about sex trafficking. While this topic has received more press in the last few years, some people still don’t think trafficking happens much in the United States. But nothing could be farther from the truth.

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline has received reports of at least 14,588 sex trafficking cases since 2007. It’s a harsh fact, but that’s why raising awareness is so key. And it’s why I decided to conduct more than three years of research on this issue. I personally interviewed more than a dozen survivors, social workers and police officers right here in Ohio.

That research paid off. During the past two years, several readers have told me they wanted to become more involved in fighting trafficking as a result of reading my debut novel.

But the best feedback came from one recent reviewer on Amazon. She said reading The Black Lens opened her eyes to this underground world and actually helped her prevent a potential trafficking situation:

“Since reading this, I have become more aware of the issues and the prevalence of human sex trafficking and have recently witnessed an (incident) at Disneyland Shopping District of someone preying on a young teen sitting alone waiting for her parents to finish shopping. I stepped in and made sure she was not alone and not targeted by the man asking her inappropriate questions and inviting her to help him with his bags to his car.”

The reviewer continues:

“I enjoyed the story line and the characters but what I appreciated the most was the movement to bring the sinister world of sex trafficking into our awareness so that more can be done to protect our youth and change our own story line as a culture (that) does not allow the opportunity for these crimes to become a reality for future at risk youth.”

As an author, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

2. Take sin seriously

When you consider recent Christian novels or books, most of them don’t take sin seriously. They focus so much on the truth of grace that they hide from the truth of evil.

And yet if you spend any time reading the Old Testament, you discover that it’s filled with descriptions of evil. You’ve got rape, incest — even torture. None of these authors glorified those crimes or described them in graphic detail, but they also didn’t shy away from them either. Why? Because they were trying to contrast the depth of man’s evil with the depth of God’s grace.

One of my favorite Christian authors is Flannery O’Connor, who became famous for her dark, brutal and violent short stories. She once wrote: “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” That’s great advice for every Christian writer. We need to contrast both good and evil if we want to have any chance at engaging the world with our words — especially with such dark topics like sex trafficking or suicide and mental illness.

We need more authors like Aaron.

3. Engage the arts

As created beings, Christians have so much to contribute to the arts — especially in the area of writing. For centuries, believers were at the forefront of art and culture.

The Catholic Church sponsored some of the most famous artists of all times, such as Michelangelo. But for decades, Christians have retreated from the arts. I don’t know all the reasons, but Swiss author Francis Schaeffer once wrote: “I am afraid that as evangelicals, we think that a work of art only has value if we reduce it to a tract.”

Nothing could be farther from the truth. C.S. Lewis wrote that, “Art … has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” Literature is a form of art, so it too has no inherent survival value. But literature can give value to survival in unique and powerful ways. Think of the impact behind books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin or To Kill a Mockingbird. Those stories affected so many people’s views of race and slavery in ways that no other medium could.

One of my favorite books in the Bible is Esther, because it reads like a work of modern fiction. You’ve got a strong female heroine, romantic suspense and even a murder plot. But most interestingly, the book doesn’t mention God once. Yet for those who have eyes to see, every sentence in the story points to God and gives value to the idea of surviving suffering.

That was the same goal for The Black Lens and The Husband. One is fiction, and the other is autobiographical, but both stories were written for those who have eyes to see.

Learn more about The Husband at http://aarondanielbehr.com.

Speaking at Shared Hope International’s anti-trafficking summit!

I just got invited to speak at one of the largest anti-trafficking conferences in the country.

Shared Hope International accepted my speaker application for the 2018 JuST Faith Summit from June 20-22 in St. Paul, Minn. This three-day conferences provides attendees with practical knowledge and effective action steps to address trafficking in their own communities.

Here is a brief summary of my presentation, which incorporates research I conducted through my work with both She Has A Name and The Black Lens novel:

Why do men solicit? That’s a complex question, but one we must strive to answer if we’re ever going to reduce the demand for juvenile sex trafficking in the United States. While some women pay for sex, the fact is, most of that demand is coming from men. No national or scientific research exists on the factors that fuel the demand for sex trafficking, but this class will explore some studies that have focused on the connection between issues like pornography and prostitution.

It will also offer 9 reasons why men solicit based on first-hand research I conducted during a John School program in Ohio for men who are mostly first-time offenders with no record of violence. The goal of this class and similar programs is to decrease the demand for paid sex, and hence, reduce the amount of human trafficking and sexual exploitation that occurs.

Learn more about the conference at Shared Hope International’s website.

You might also like:

9 reasons men solicit prostitutes
Why we must never end the fight against sex trafficking
5 reasons men solicit prostitutes — and why I’m trying to help them

 

The Black Lens is coming back to New York!

Live from New York, it’s the Stollars — once again!

My wife and I will be going back to Manhattan this August since I just got accepted as a main speaker at the annual Writer’s Digest Conference. I’ll be giving two talks, one about the value of research in fiction and the other about self publishing The Black Lens novel. Here’s a brief summary of the sessions:

How to Research Like a Reporter

Too many fiction writers start their stories without any research. And those who do some research barely scratch the surface, sticking to what they can find on Google or watch on TV. This class will teach you the basics of how to research like a reporter from a former journalist who is also an award-winning author. Learn how to interview actual sources and research primary documents that can enrich your stories, whether you’re working on a crime thriller, a cozy mystery or even science fiction that involves new technologies.

How to Self Publish an E-Book

The old saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover doesn’t apply to the world of self publishing e-books. If you decide that this is the path you want to pursue as an author, you must resolve to produce the best product possible — one that contains zero copy errors and a compelling digital cover that grabs the reader’s attention. Learn the five key steps it takes to self publish an e-book that can compete with its traditionally published counterparts. This class is taught by the Grand Prize Winner of the 2016 Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards.

Since I first started working on The Black Lens novel, my wife has always been my strongest supporter. Last year, we both got the opportunity to attend the Writer’s Digest Conference, where I talked on a panel about self-publishing The Black Lens.

The invitation came after my debut novel won Grand Prize in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book AwardsThe Black Lens beat out more than 600 other books in this national contest, which “spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.” The Grand Prize included books for sale at the actual conference and:

In case you haven’t read it yet, here is the official book review of The Black Lens from Writer’s Digest:

“Gritty, unforgiving and in some places downright shocking, THE BLACK LENS is nevertheless a stunning read, from the first page to the last … This book rivals — if not surpasses — its commercially published brethren. It may indeed raise awareness of human trafficking and exploitation of women in the same manner as UNCLE TOM’S CABIN and TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE did for slavery.”

To read more reviews of The Black Lens, please visit the Reviews page or go to Amazon.

Reader helps prevent potential sex trafficking situation

Is it possible for a piece of fiction to help fight sex trafficking?

That’s a question I asked myself for years while writing The Black Lens. It’s an important one, because one of my main goals has always been to use this book as an awareness tool to battle modern slavery, especially during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Thankfully, one reader just answered that question for me in her recent review. She said reading The Black Lens opened her eyes to this underground world and actually helped her prevent a potential trafficking situation:

“Since reading this, I have become more aware of the issues and the prevalence of human sex trafficking and have recently witnessed an (incident) at Disneyland Shopping District of someone preying on a young teen sitting alone waiting for her parents to finish shopping. I stepped in and made sure she was not alone and not targeted by the man asking her inappropriate questions and inviting her to help him with his bags to his car.”

The reviewer continues:

“I enjoyed the story line and the characters but what I appreciated the most was the movement to bring the sinister world of sex trafficking into our awareness so that more can be done to protect our youth and change our own story line as a culture (that) does not allow the opportunity for these crimes to become a reality for future at risk youth.”

Several other readers have also said they wanted to become more involved in fighting trafficking as a result of reading my debut novel. As an author, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

To read more reviews of The Black Lens or order a copy, please go to Amazon.

Great review of The Black Lens screenplay!

 

After more than six months of writing and editing, Jonathan J. Anderegg finished a draft of The Black Lens screenplay — and the Senior Executive of Script Pipeline just gave it a great review:

“Really fresh and almost heartbreakingly relevant in how this type of exploitation can happen … you captured something very current, which is of course crucial to give justice to the reality of situations like these. Bravo for turning a spotlight on a shadowed issue we don’t see addressed as often as we should.”

Anderegg’s screenplay received rigorous developmental editing by Script Pipeline after my novel beat out more than 1,300 other books to become a semifinalist in the related Book Pipeline movie competition.

The Black Lens script also placed third in the Oregon Independent Film Festival Screenplay Competition and became a Quarterfinalist in the Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition.

Placing in Book Pipeline’s contest means its executives will now consider pitching Anderegg’s screenplay to several production companies that are looking for an original dark thriller or drama. The Black Lens will also continue receiving consideration for industry circulation and personal development assistance from Script Pipeline as part of this national contest, which awards “authors with material appropriate for film or television adaptation.”

The Book Pipeline competition builds upon the success of Script Pipeline, which has discovered hundreds of new writers over the past 16 years. Book Pipeline aims to deliver unique, compelling stories to the industry with the specific intent of getting them on the fast-track to film and television production. Here’s the official review of my debut novel from Book Pipeline:

“A provocative story through and through that exposes the “underbelly” of sex trafficking in America. Revolving around two daughters and a mother who struggle to survive in a cruel and day-to-day lifestyle, the story is both gritty and incredibly eye-opening to a world that has remained largely ignored or hidden due its depraved and illegal nature.

The writing style was extremely vivid, pulling the audience into the raw realism of a chaotic environment and the constant state of self-preservation victims of the sex trade have to endure. This narrative also seems to promise a gripping progression of events when one of the daughters chooses to pursue vengeance on her pimp for killing their mother. From what can be seen here, it seems very plausible that a concept of this design would garner interest from producers or studios seeking to adapt an original dark thriller.” 

To read more reviews of The Black Lens or order a copy, please go to Amazon.

 

The Black Lens: A Year in Review

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I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since publishing The Black Lens.

So much has happened in that time frame — especially this year — that I thought it would be good to give a quick update on my debut novel. But before I do, I want to thank God, the Great Author. Without Him, none of this would have happened. I also want to thank my wife, Natalie, along with all of the survivors, partners, reviewers and Kickstarter backers who made this book possible.

Here are just 10 highlights of what has happened in 2017:

  1. Winning Grand Prize in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards
  2. Becoming a Finalist in the Indie Book Awards
  3. Becoming a Semifinalist in the Book Pipeline Competition
  4. Earning third place in the Oregon Independent Film Festival Screenplay Competition, thanks to the hard work and adaptation by Jonathan J. Anderegg
  5. Becoming a quarterfinalist in the national Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition, thanks again to Jonathan Anderegg
  6. Speaking at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City about self-publishing The Black Lens novel
  7. Speaking at “Hope in the Darkness,” a unique event organized by Saratoga Federated Church’s human trafficking task force in California that drew more than 150 participants from the Bay Area
  8. Doing an interview with the national Writer’s Digest magazine, which ran a front-cover feature story about The Black Lens in its May/June print edition that reaches about 70,000 subscribers across the country
  9. Receiving 100 book reviews, thanks to all of the readers, reporters and bloggers who have given my debut novel a 4-star average between Amazon and Goodreads
  10. Earning media coverage in The Oregonian, The Mercury NewsThe Columbus Dispatch and several other major news outlets

Thanks again for all of your support of The Black Lens. From friends and family to readers and reporters, I couldn’t have done this without you.

I look forward to what the Great Author has planned for 2018!

 

 

The Black Lens novel hits 100 reviews!

perf5.000x8.000.inddThe reviewers have spoken — 100 of them, to be exact.

The Black Lens just hit 100 book reviews, thanks to all of the readers, reporters and bloggers who have given my debut novel a 4-star average between Amazon and Goodreads. Here are just a few of my favorite reviews over the past two years:

“As a survivor of sex trafficking myself, I went in with concerns that this fiction book wouldn’t accurately portray the reality of trafficking. Society has so many misconceptions about human trafficking because of movies like Taken and false imagery of girls with chains … With that being said, my concern of this book adding to those misconceptions diminished more and more as I read. This book is not only an engaging page turner but also accurately portrays how some young girls get pulled into this horrific life. I highly recommend this book.”

— Jennifer Kempton, survivor of sex trafficking and founder of Survivor’s Ink, a nonprofit organization that funds cover-up tattoos to replace slavery brands

“I am a survivor of this horrific crime and the author did a fantastic job capturing what a victim truly experiences. Though this book is fiction, it happens just like this in our country. It was compelling and riveting and I couldn’t put it down. It is a must read for every parent and teen.”

— Theresa Flores, trafficking survivor, founder of TraffickFree and best-selling author of The Slave Across the Street

“After many years of research and interviewing, Stollar peels back the curtain on prostitution in America. Although The Black Lens is fiction, it’s pretty close to the truth and it’s a gut wrenching book to read … Stollar paints a sad picture of society that screams for a solution and an end to human trafficking. Read it and weep for the poor women trapped in a terrible situation. Everyone should read this book.”

— Miriam Kahn, book reviewer for The Columbus Dispatch newspaper

“To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960, won The Pulitzer Prize for fiction. One critic called the book ‘the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.’ The Black Lens could have a similar impact – it is superbly written, and is getting a lot of attention. It recently made it into the Kindle books Top Ten Crime Thrillers. But the book is not an easy read. It made me feel gritty. It is disturbing. It is hard and raw. Stollar’s wordsmithing skill is that good. Above all, it made me wonder what I could do to help.”

— Leon Pantenburg, former reporter at The Bulletin newspaper

Chris Stollar uses all of his journalism skills to bring this meticulously researched novel to life while shedding light on one of the more horrific aspects of modern culture and globalization. Chris’s book puts you into the nitty gritty of how trafficking function in contemporary society. A helpful and engaging read for those diving deeper into this difficult subject.”

— Ken Wytsma, author of Pursuing Justice and founder of The Justice Conference

“This fictional account of sex trafficking was a fast paced page turner. It also has an important message regarding the horrors of this heinous growing industry. It takes brave people like C Stollar to help draw out an intolerance in our society for a crime that goes on under our noses.”

— The Guardian Group, a nonprofit organization that fights sex trafficking with the help of former elite military and special operations forces who work directly with law enforcement agencies across the country

“The Black Lens book written by author Christopher Stollar is by far the best of our time. It provides compelling truths of how greed and corruption thrives at the expense of our most vulnerable, our children, in his thrilling novel. A must read. We’re very proud of Mr. Stollar for his great efforts in shedding light on the greatest human rights violations of our time.”

— Dance For Freedom, a nonprofit organization that provides education on how to combat human trafficking

“Christopher Stollar did years of research into this hideous industry before writing The Black Lens and whilst it’s not an easy read, certainly not a fluffy subject matter, sometimes fiction can get the message across just as well as, if not better than non-fiction. The Black Lens endeavours to get this powerful message across and does it really well.”

— Maxine Groves, top 100 best global reviewers on Goodreads

“Sex-trafficking is a dark subject and the author has done a remarkable job in getting a message across. Looking at his ‘resume’, it shows that he spent several years digging into this subject and it has paid off with an extraordinary book … This was a very well-written compelling story.”

— Linda Strong, top 100 best U.S. reviewers on Goodreads

“This excellently written book is suspenseful, entertaining, hurtful, moving, thrilling and true … Yes, this is a Christian book, but unlike other Christian novels it doesn’t shy away from graphic descriptions of the cruelties. The language isn’t ‘clean,’ and although there is one Christian secondary character it’s not at all preachy or evangelistic. In (an) interview Christopher Stollar quotes C.S. Lewis: ‘The world does not need more Christian literature. What it needs is more Christians writing good literature.’ Christopher Stollar does just that.”

— Barbara Tsipouras, top 100 best German reviewers on Goodreads

“I definitely recommend this book as an ‘eye-opening’ piece of fiction. It will change the way you see things for ever.”

— Nicki Southwell, top United Kingdom reviewer on Goodreads

To read more reviews of The Black Lens or write your own, please go to Amazon.

The Black Lens script takes 3rd Place in Oregon Independent Film Festival!

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The Black Lens script just placed third in the Oregon Independent Film Festival Screenplay Competition, thanks to the hard work and adaptation by Jonathan J. Anderegg.

This is now the second screenplay competition The Black Lens has placed in. Last month Anderegg’s script also became a Quarterfinalist in the Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition. Founded in 1998, Scriptapalooza has helped more than 100 writers sell or option their scripts.

Anderegg’s screenplay is also still being reviewed by Script Pipeline executives after my novel beat out more than 1,300 other books to become a semifinalist in the national Book Pipeline movie competition.

17883750_1760778074252251_5766554001723858637_nThat means The Black Lens will continue receiving consideration for industry circulation and personal development assistance from Script Pipeline executives as part of this national contest, which awards “authors with material appropriate for film or television adaptation.”

The Book Pipeline competition builds upon the success of Script Pipeline, which has discovered hundreds of new writers over the past 16 years. Book Pipeline aims to deliver unique, compelling stories to the industry with the specific intent of getting them on the fast-track to film and television production.

Here’s the official review of my debut novel from Book Pipeline:

“A provocative story through and through that exposes the “underbelly” of sex trafficking in America. Revolving around two daughters and a mother who struggle to survive in a cruel and day-to-day lifestyle, the story is both gritty and incredibly eye-opening to a world that has remained largely ignored or hidden due its depraved and illegal nature.

The writing style was extremely vivid, pulling the audience into the raw realism of a chaotic environment and the constant state of self-preservation victims of the sex trade have to endure. This narrative also seems to promise a gripping progression of events when one of the daughters chooses to pursue vengeance on her pimp for killing their mother. From what can be seen here, it seems very plausible that a concept of this design would garner interest from producers or studios seeking to adapt an original dark thriller.” 

This is now the fifth contest total that The Black Lens has placed in. My debut novel also won Grand Prize in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards and became a Finalist in the Indie Book Awards.

Learn more about the Oregon Independent Film Festival here, or buy a copy of The Black Lens on Amazon.