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I Challenge You to Put Out into the Deep

There is a fine line between giving God the glory for something and bragging. For a few days, I’ve mostly been sitting on a little news, sharing it with just a few people, trying to check my motivations. I’ve come to the conclusion when GOD moves–whether it be in a spectacular, awesome way or not–GIVE HIM the GLORY. 🔥
 
I had a conversation Tuesday with film producer Brad Wilson about my script for A Lady in Defiance. I was looking for a critique and input. And maybe what to do next. Brad ran Robert Duvall’s production company for 11 years and now is an indy producer who has done a lot of films.
 
 Right before I submitted the script to him, I felt led by the Holy Spirit to do more than polish it. I took a knife to it and rewrote some scenes. The script went from 127 pages (which is ENTIRELY too long) down to 101. Issues I’d struggled with before cleared up and smoothed out almost easily.
 
Brad is absolutely the nicest man in the world. And he could not have been any more complimentary about the script. He LOVED it! I mean, he raved about it. I was shocked. He told me not to change a thing about it if I wanted to go out and pitch it to some production companies!
 
He told me things are just now barely starting to move again in the film industry and he has financial people who are specifically interested in westerns. He just can’t commit to any timing yet for a meeting but he asked for permission to share the script with them. He would really like to tell them about it!
 
He also said if I wanted to pitch the script to some production companies in the meantime, to use his name, that he wanted to be involved with the project.
 
So, wow. I can’t believe he didn’t suggest ANY changes. He loved the characters, especially Naomi. He loved the dialogue. He mentioned a couple of scenes that just hit right between the eyes. He was so complimentary, I told him I thought he was setting me up to tell me what was WRONG with the script. He said, “Nothing.”
 
I nearly fell over.
 
i'm coming (1) The film industry is in a weird place right now, but he really loved the story and said he thinks one day it’ll be on TV.
 
I still can’t believe he didn’t suggest any changes. He said he would never have known I was a novelist–or that it was my first script. He kept saying he was really impressed.
 
Y’all, that is ALL God. Pure and simple.
He’s told me repeatedly not to quit writing and “to put out into the deep.” Over and over, he’s given me that scripture from Luke. I can’t tell you the doubt and persecution I’ve suffered trying to follow this profession. I’ve been called worthless and lazy, even selfish, by members of my own family. And, yes, pursuing this not-so-lucrative career hasn’t made sense most of the time. I’ve doubted. Applied for jobs. But I couldn’t even go through with the interview it felt so wrong. 
I’m sharing this story to brag on God. He has a plan for my life and watching it unfold has been faith-affirming. He has a plan for you, too! I hope my story encourages you to keep pursuing your dreams if they’re from Him–but seek FIRST the kingdom! Draw close to Him. Fight the enemy when he comes to steal your dreams because he will. Be courageous and put out into the deep.
Most importantly, KEEP MOVING FORWARD with God.

 

Blanton’s Defiance Novels Optioned for A Limited TV Series

How did all this come about? It’s one crazy God-story!

mattagain

Actor Matt Williams

I was on facebook private messaging with my assistant when I happened to see actor Matt Williams announce that he’d done well in an audition, got the part, and probably another one. I hopped over to just quickly congratulate him. He commented back that he’d like to get a part when one of my books was made into a movie. I said, “Well, it just so happens that I do have a script for A Lady in Defiance, but I haven’t done anything with it.”

Matt immediately private messaged me and asked me about this book. I told him to date it had sold over 50,000 copies and I did write a script for it, passed it around to a few professionals in the industry, but they wanted me to make some changes to it. I wasn’t averse to doing that, I just didn’t feel like working on the script. Really, I’m a novelist.

Matt said there was someone he wanted me to meet and even over the facebook messenger I could hear his excitement!

The next day Micah Lyons reached out to me and wanted to know all about my Defiance books. After a few days of back-and-forth, he made me an offer! And get this–in the course of our conversations, Micah mentioned that he’d seen A Lady in Defiance one day in a Books-a-Million and kept the story in the back of his head! Honestly, we both took that as a sign.

micah

Micah Lyons–the man in the middle after directing a fight scene.

I suddenly realized I might be on the verge of a life-changing decision and reached out to some wonderful folks like Brian Bird and Bodie Thoene for some advice. They were kind enough to offer their thoughts. Like get an agent, don’t give Micah the option on all three books, etc. Then JD Dewitt of 5×5 Productions answered my inquiry and wanted to talk.

jd

JD and her sons

JD is precious. I love her to death. Her favorite genre is Westerns and she had already read A Lady in Defiance back in 2013! In short, she now represents me and helped hammer out the deal with Breath of Life Productions.

As I mentioned, one of the things that some professionals recommended I NOT do was give Breath of Life the option on all three books. In case the first one sold, then I should have the ability, they argued, to maneuver for a better deal on books 2 and 3, maybe with a bigger producer. Honestly, that just didn’t feel right to me. Micah was the first producer to look at this project and want to commit immediately to a series, not just one movie. He said he couldn’t see it any other way. That was when I knew. The “up-and-comer” in Hollywood had to have his shot. If Breath of Life Productions and Micah can sell this project, then they deserve to handle all of it.

I’ve heard NOTHING but good things about Micah Lyons and have enjoyed my talks with him immensely. A Godly young man, he is living in a dark kingdom and taking the Light to it.

I say let’s take the good news to those living in Defiance! I hope you’ll pray for this project. We would all appreciate it very much.

Now, a question. Who would you like to see play Naomi Miller and Charles McIntyre? I vote Reese Witherspoon for Naomi, but I’m still deciding on Charles!

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