Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Story Behind the Story -- Nightwing and "Forever Knight"

This is the letter I wrote in the front of Nightwing:

Dear Reader,

If your M&M's didn't melt in your hand when Frank Langella turned his head and looked straight into the camera in Dracula, then, my dear, you and I need to talk.

If your pulse didn't race when Errol Flynn buckled his swash in Captain Blood, well then -- never mind.

These are two of my favorite secret fantasies -- vampires and pirates -- which I really enjoyed mixing in Nightwing. I also had a good time poking fun at -- and holes in -- some of the sillier myths about vampires.

There's something deliciously kinky about a tall, dark and handsome man with a widow's peak and very sharp teeth...something dangerously wicked about a tall, dark and handsome man with a gleam in his eye and a frilly white shirt open to the navel...

Turn the page and find out what. And just to be on the safe side, leave the M&M's in the fridge.

And this is the dedication:

With thanks to:
Linda Randall Wisdom, for the "Forever Knight" tapes
Connie Severson, for helping me refine my vision
Nancy Haddock, B.S., M.A, Speech Language Pathology, for double-checking my sign language
Malle Vallik, my editor, for going on vacation at just the right time
Special thanks to:
Frank Langella, Errol Flynn and Geraint Wyn Davies, for their inspiration and very strange dreams

Do you remember Forever Knight? The awesomely cool Canadian vampire series? My husband Michael and I loved it! When our cable company dropped the show after the first season, my good friend and fellow author Linda Randall Wisdom recorded the show for me. Every couple of weeks I received a package of VCR tapes, which I still have.

Here are three interesting bits of trivia about Forever Knight from Internet Movie Database:

"Originally Forever Knight was a two-hour made for TV movie pilot titled Nick Knight starring Rick Springfield as the title character." (I've never seen the pilot but I love Springfield's Jesse's Girl.)

"The title was coined by Geriant Wyn Davies" -- the star and terrific actor that portrayed the vampire main character, Nicholas Knight.

"Ranked #23 in TV Guide's list of the '25 Top Cult Shows Ever!' (May 30, 2004 issue."

I wrote in my first "The Story Behind the Story" post that Once Struck was one of my easiest sales. So was Nightwing.

Because she liked my writing (always a good thing!) my editor did her best to get me into as many of Temptation's mini-series as she could. The Patriot was part of 'Rebels & Rogues', Aftershock 'Passion's Quest', Second Sight 'Lovers & Legends', and Nightwing 'Secret Fantasies.'

When my editor told me about Secret Fantasies I couldn't think of a single thing -- I drew an absolute blank. I'd been dying (pardon the pun) to write a vampire story, but I couldn't get my idea for Nightwing to gel -- until I talked to my friend Connie Severson. Connie was an astrologer; she was also deaf in her right ear. When she asked me to tell her about my vampire character, I started with, "His birthday is in July." Connie thought I said June.

"Oh, that's easy," she replied. "Gemini's are two-faced."

Bing! The light bulb in my head clicked on. I knew exactly what to do with Raven -- split him in half.

Several weeks after our initial conversation, I called my editor and told her I had a great idea for a vampire story. She said sorry, but they'd already bought a vampire story for Secret Fantasies.

I said, "Rats!" She said, "Well, tell me the idea, anyway."

I did, and she said, "Don't go anywhere. I'll call you back in five minutes."

It was more like fifteen, but she called me back after she'd talked to the senior editor. "Write the book," she told me. "We're buying it."

And that was that. Just like Once Struck, I didn't have to write a single word to sell Nightwing.

Ooh! And guess what I just discovered? All three seasons of Forever Knight are available on Netflix!

Oh, Linda -- you may be getting your tapes back!


Fran Baker said...

Great story, Lynn! I sold two books like that, too ... just an idea and a first sentence. I think those days are long gone, but the stories are still here!

Lynn Michaels said...

I agree, Fran -- those days are long gone, but they were fun while they lasted! I have one more easy-peasy sale story; I'll tell it when I do The Patriot. Which 2 books did you sell with just an idea and a first sentence?

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