Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bob's Big Break

Bob’s Big Break


Normally I just post trip reports and photo links to my blog. But today I thought I would share a true story about one of my hiking buddies, James Robert Smith (aka Bob).



I met Bob about 8 years ago on one of my online hiking group message boards. We both share a love for hiking and the outdoors and we have become very frequent hiking buddies. We have also gone on camping trips including several where our wives got to know each other. We have become close enough friends that Amy and I invited Bob and his wife Carole to our wedding last year.

Bob works as a letter carrier (aka Mailman) for the US Postal Service. This is a good blue collar job that pays a fair wage and offers good benefits and excellent job security. A typical middle class American type job, which is a good step up from how Bob was raised




Bob grew up in poor, rural Georgia. If you have seen the movie “Deliverance” you know the part of Georgia where he was raised. As one of eight children, whatever money his parents had was spread very thin. As a result he was not privileged to things like medical care and a formal college education.

Bob’s father ran a used book store, so while money was always tight, there was never a shortage of reading material. As a result, Bob developed a love for books at a very early age and eventually started creating and writing some of his own material.

Over the years he has sold numerous comic book scripts and short stories. But nothing that would ever give him the chance to make enough money to quit his job with the US Postal Service!





In 2006, Bob’s first full length novel was published. The Flock, by James Robert Smith


http://www.amazon.com/Flock-Five-Science-Fiction-Fantasy/dp/1594143773/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247668560&sr=8-1



I probably would not have heard about this book, but since Bob is a buddy of mine, I bought one of the first copies available and read it immediately. I am not sure what I was expecting, but this book far exceeded my expectations! I would recommend this book to just about anyone!

However, as of right now, most of the public still has not discovered Bob’s work and he still has not made enough as a writer to quit his job with the US Postal Service!


Having known Bob for the past eight years, I can say that he is one hell of a nice guy! And most people who meet him in person would probably agree!

However, Bob does have a dark side! He can be very critical and is not afraid to say what he is thinking. Especially when it comes to online forums, blogs, message boards, etc.

Some of the things that Bob posts on message boards are downright shocking! I am sure there are many people that know Bob only as an online moniker think he is a total asshole! It is this dark side that lead to his big break!


It turns out that Hollywood Producer, Don Murphy is a real person.
http://www.donmurphy.net/
This guy has produced several blockbuster hits including “Natural Born Killers”, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, and both Transformers Movies. He likes to troll the internet to see what people are writing about him.

Bob was a frequent visitor to the Blog of writer Eddie Campbell.
http://eddiecampbell.blogspot.com/
Several years earlier, Don Murphy made a movie based on one of Eddie Campbell’s Books, “From Hell”. I have not read the book or seen the movie, but Bob had. And apparently Bob did not like the movie, and had posted several negative comments on the Blog.

So Don Murphy stumbles across Bob’s posts and gets defensive. The next thing you know, a heated web battle erupts between the two. Don got so pissed off that he needed to find out more about Bob in order to gain some ammunition. He discovered Bob’s book and purchased it with intent of obtaining some good Bob Bashing material.

It turns out that Don Murphy actually loved the book and sees potential for a huge summer blockbuster hit. He went ahead and purchased the movie rights for Bob’s book.


It was a nice payday for my buddy Bob, but still not enough for him to quit his job with the US Postal Service.

However, if the movie is a hit, this could definitely change!

Questions Remain:

Will the movie ever get made?
Will it be the next summer blockbuster hit?
Will the movies popularity cause Bob’s book to hit the bestsellers list?
Will the publishing world start jumping at the chance to publish some of Bob’s other novels?
Will Bob finally be able to make a living as a writer and quit his job with the US Postal Service?

Only time will tell, but I am looking forward to finding out! It sure would be nice not to have to wait until Sunday to get a hike in!


Here is a link to the official press release:
http://www.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idUSTRE56C0H020090713

1 comment:

HemlockMan said...

Pretty accurate, I have to say!

The only thing is that I didn't really argue all that much with Don Murphy. What it boiled down to was that I felt the film in question (FROM HELL) should have been a mini-series rather than a 2+hour movie. At any rate, he didn't let it bother him when he was reading my novel.

The movie looks closer than ever to becoming a reality. My agent tells me that they've announced a writer for the film, so that's another step in that direction.

So far, Don Murphy has been a great fellow. As busy as he is with promoting the #1 movie this year, he still has times to respond to my inquiries and answer my questions in a timely manner. A really nice man.