I am honored to share with you today- my interview with writer Lee Martin, who is the screenwriter behind the very successful Hallmark Movie Channel film SHADOW ON THE MESA, starring Wes Brown and Kevin Sorbo.
Exactly one week ago, today, her new novel SHADOW ON THE MESA, based on the characters from the film, was released at Amazon, and other book stores.
I wanted to share this wonderful news with all of you and my exclusive interview (below) with writer Lee Martin.
SHADOW ON THE MESA is the story of stoic bounty hunter Wes Rawlins (Wes Brown) who sets out to find the outlaws who murdered his mother and uncovers deceptive family secrets he never expected. (via: Hallmark)
1. First of all, please share with us how ‘Shadow on the Mesa’ became a Hallmark Movie…
SHADOW ON THE MESA began as an unpublished novel. When I started writing screenplays, I used it as the basis for one of my scripts. It was on the site for a year before this producer saw my Westerns on InkTip and contacted me. They read quite a few of my Westerns scripts before settling on this story. They could not have been nicer.
It took six years to get it made after several renewed options, two times being dropped, and new personnel going for it. As usual, it was rewritten often to please Hallmark, which licenses the movie for showings. The producer still owns it.
It was filmed in 2012, premiered in 2013, and went on DVD late 2013. In the meantime, I rewrote the novel, which is now out in hard cover. The novel fills in the story and has 3 romances. It's already on AMAZON.
2. How thrilled were you, when you heard Wes Brown, Kevin Sorbo, Gail O’Grady, Meredith Baxter, Greg Evigan, and Andrew Lawrence would portray the main characters? That is a pretty amazing cast!
The producer says they have good luck with good actors because these actors like working close to home and seeing their families at night.
We had a day on the set in February, 2012 for one day of filming, which was great because writers are not usually welcome on set. My producer, by then a V.P., arranged it. Being female made it worse because when we arrived on set, they all thought my boyfriend Jim was Lee Martin. It was very funny because the crusty director and producer were greatly surprised (women cannot write Westerns, after all!), but I loved them both.
We met Kevin Sorbo, who was very gracious and tall. Wes Brown is also very tall and gracious. Gail O'Grady is sweet and not a bit tall. We met most of the actors while cooling off in the barn. Jim was fascinated by the "dead guys", young actors who go out and lie down after the action to take the place of the stunt men/actors. especially since one had a Masters from Harvard. Greg Evigan is, I understand, a musician and dancer, which probably is why in the scene in the barn he could spin around so fast to fire. All of the actors were terrific to watch.
We also had a tour of their prop warehouse, the largest in the world. It's amazing what's in that place.
|writer Lee Martin|
I write mostly Westerns because I grew up on cattle ranches. My brothers rodeoed. My sister and I followed them around. I got in the arena and took photos in the beginning. I drew them in pin and ink and sold them to the riders and ropers, but after a time, it was not allowed.
I started writing in the third grade and never stopped. I sold 42 Western short stories before turning to novels, after which I sold 17. After the movie, I sold my SHADOW ON THE MESA novel to make 18.
From the beginning, I used my middle name Lee because no one wanted to read an action Western written by a woman. It has served me well. Cowboys, especially, think only men can write a good traditional Western.
I love Westerns, not only because I grew up in that world, but because it's the best place to be. I live in the characters. The good guys win and get the girl. Everything comes out the way we wish the whole world could be. Westerns are also an American original.
Plus, the lead character was named for Wesley, a brother we lost when he was ten. It added something to my feelings while writing it.
4. Are there any talks of a sequel for Shadow on the Mesa? (Fans are hoping!)
|Shadow on the Mesa|
But I hope they read the novel because it has 3 romances and brings the families together. And of course, I hope it someday leads to a remake.
5. What do you hope viewers will take away from watching or reading your story, ‘Shadow on the Mesa’?
I hope readers just feel good in their hearts after reading the novel SHADOW ON THE MESA. In the novel, Rosalie is an Irish orphan, unrelated to Wes' family and ropes the wary hero in the end. There's a surprise romance for the widowed Ray Eastman and the beginning of one for Chuck. It all comes out the way we want life to be.
As we end this interview, and ride off into the sunset... I wish to say a very special Thank You to Lee, for doing this interview today with me.
I hope many of you have enjoyed reading Lee's insight into the world of westerns and movie-making!
For more information on Lee Martin, and her writings, be sure to visit her website:
You can read my Movie Review of SHADOW ON THE MESA, here.
You can order SHADOW ON THE MESA on DVD, or the new Novel via Hard Cover or Kindle Edition, at Amazon.
Lee also shared with me she is very grateful to God for the miracle of making SHADOW ON THE MESA. In turn, let me say... we are all blessed by her and her work, which exemplifies the true old west spirit of hard work, dedication to family, and American patriotism.