Skip to main content

Out Today: Touchback - Don Handfield (With Guest Post and Freebie Info)

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU GOT A SECOND CHANCE?

When Scott Murphy scored the winning touchdown in the 1991 state championship game, it should have launched a golden future—the full scholarship to Ohio State, the million-dollar signing bonus, marriage to the beauty queen, and NFL glory.

Instead, it all ended with a sickening pop as his leg shattered in four places. The next twenty years would be a study in Murphy’s Law—whatever could go wrong did. Just when things seem at their worst—he's losing his farm, his relationship with his wife is crumbling—a miracle happens: Murphy gets a chance to reboot his life.

Back in his teenaged body in 1991, he realizes by changing his past, he can have the future he always wanted. Everything he lost is within his reach, even his high-school sweetheart.

But what about the devoted wife he left behind? Torn between two women—two lives—he can only choose one future. Murphy must decide if getting everything he’s ever wanted is worth giving up everything he’s ever had…

 TODAY, APRIL 17, THIS BOOK IS 100% FREE ON AMAZON


Watch the Trailer HERE


What came first, Touchback the book or Touchback the film?

Touchback began as a screenplay many, many years ago. It was written at a time of great personal turmoil (I was going through the end of my first marriage) and ended up being a breakthrough work for me, as things written in that state of heart usually are. The script got me signed with my first real agent, and was soon optioned by Goal Line Productions, a company owned by the family of football great John Madden, who wanted to produce it independently.

I did several passes at improving the script with them, but it never got off the ground. The option expired and the rights reverted back to me. A few years later, Warner Bros. wanted to produce it. We got close, but ultimately they chose to make We Are Marshall instead.

About a year after that, Morgan Creek came forward and was enthusiastic about making it with legendary TV director David Nutter at the helm. That, too, fell apart.

After the dust settled on the last failure, I was told Touchback was “dead.” The movie would never get made. There were two reasons why the movie was so hard to produce:

First, American football movies don’t play well overseas. Second, Touchback was, at its core, a Capra-esque love story. These kinds of films don’t get made much in Hollywood these days. The ones that do are based on books with built-in followings, and many of those are written by the same person—Nicholas Sparks.

It was this train of thought late one night that led me to Nicholas Sparks’ web site and blog. I had always been a fan of his work, and his personal story behind The Notebook inspired me. I decided that to get Touchback the movie made I would write Touchback the novel, hope it got published, and then pray it became a best seller.

Then, they would have to make the film.

My plan seems ridiculous now as I write this, but, in a way, it worked. I was 70,000 words into the manuscript when I got a call from the company that ended up financing the movie—Freedom Films. Though I had never shared the novel with anyone at that point, I will always believe the act of writing the book helped to will the movie into existence.

So, I put the novel aside and went on to make the movie, but, because I had done so much work on the book, I retained the rights to publish it when I made the film deal.

The production rewrite I did on the film before it shot used a lot of elements that weren’t from the original script, but were born in the act of writing the novel. In fact, throughout the process, one informed the other.

After the film was completed it was picked up for distribution. When we got our release date of April 13, 2012 I realized I had 70,000 orphaned words collecting cyber dust. It occurred to me that if I didn’t publish the book by the time the movie came out it was never going to happen.

United Talent Agency, the company that represents me as a writer and director also represents some of the best authors in the business, including two of my personal favorites—Nicholas Sparks and Wally Lamb. I approached my agents there about helping me find a publisher for Touchback the novel and the response was an enthusiastic yes, we can help you get it published—in two years!

So began my crash course in self-publishing.

I set to work refining the manuscript, building it out and getting it ready for publication. I was fortunate to find a wonderful editor named Alice Peck to help me get the book into shape. Alice steered me to the team at novelpublicity.com, which has been a great help in navigating the oxymoron that is modern book publishing. It is both an arcane and technologically challenging undertaking, but ultimately liberating.

Books are the one artistic medium that can truly be authored. You are the talent, and often the director, the producer, and the distributor (with a little help from Amazon) as well. It’s truly an amazing time to be a writer, and the stories of other self-published authors I’ve come across (from John Locke to James Redfield to Thomas Paine to James Joyce) in the process of pursuing this have been inspiring.

After years spent working in film and television, writing books is magical. If I want Bob Costas in my movie, I have to deal with studio executives asking me why I want Bob Costas when I could try for Bob DeNiro to play the sportscaster because he means more overseas. If I manage to clear that hurdle, I have to talk to Bob Costas’ agent, and then if he says no or we can’t afford him, it’s back to the drawing board. It’s a whole involved process that, at the end of the day, may or may not happen. And if I do happen to luck out and get Costas, he might forget his lines, not like me, or any number of other issues could prevent it from working out. And it doesn’t just apply to talent—one is constantly restricted in filmmaking by factors like location, budget, time and other factors beyond your control.

If I want Bob Costas in my book, it’s as simple as typing his name. He will always be there, on time, and speak every line I give him without complaint. If I want Bob Costas riding on a gorilla’s back and jumping from a skyscraper on a bungee cord, it’s just a matter of typing it. In a movie, there would be endless meetings, stunt doubles, green screen, and computer generated gorillas…the list goes on and on.

Note: Bob Costas is not in Touchback the movie, nor was he ever intended to be. He is however in the book. It’s a bit of a flight of fancy, but you can do that in books. It’s also important to note Bob Costas does not bungee in Touchback and there are no gorillas in the movie or book. And no animals were harmed in the making of either!

The whole process gave me so much respect for prose writers. It's damn difficult work. Despite twenty years of screenwriting experience, ten of that professionally, writing prose is an art unto itself, and something I don’t take lightly. It’s a process I enjoy immensely, but have a long road ahead to master.

* Guest post by Don Handfield, author of Touchback, screenwriter and director of Touchback the major motion picture.

Comments

  1. Thank you for the heads up! I snagged the freebie. Happy Tuesday :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds good. I don't have a Kindle, though. I have a Nook and it's not available there. Hopefully it will be.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Comments are for Google Users Only due to spam comments. Thank you for taking the time to leave your opinions and comments.

Popular posts from this blog

Dr. Suess' The Grinch (With #Giveaway)

AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 5TH!
RATED PG
86 minutes
AMAZON US

Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss' beloved classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous spirit. Funny, heartwarming and visually stunning, The Grinch is fun for the whole family!



REVIEW:
Such great animation!
There was always something going on in this movie. Even though it was a story I have seen played out a million times and a million different ways, they all are different too. This had more of a story. It was very magical and is definitely fun for the whole family.
Want to point out, Max, the dog, stole the show for me. He is so adorable, even if animation. Such a good dog.
This is one of those Christmas movies that you really can enjoy all year round. It has enough laughs, fun and morals to be played anytime. Plus there is nothing wrong with Christmas cheer in February.


4.5/5



WANNA WIN…

#Win The Secret Life Of Pets 2 (US/CDN)

AVAILABLE AUGUST 27!
Rated PG
173 minutes
AMAZON
The Secret Life of Pets 2 explores the emotional lives of our pets, the deep bond between them, the families that love them and answers the question: What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home? Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favourite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) gets delusions of grandeur that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be.Can Max, Snowball, Gidget and the rest of the gang find the inner courage to face their biggest fears?


REVIEW…

#Win A Spider-Man: Far From Home Prize Pack (US/CDN)

AVAILABLE NOW!
RATED PG
129 minutes
AMAZON
Our friendly neighborhood super hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter's plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent.
Starring Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal and more!



REVIEW: Inside the prize pack my family received, was some super cool experiments to try. Here is a snap of our Levitation adventures;


It was so much fun to do! It was super cool to watch the tinsel levitate too! Then we sat to watch the movie.
What a good movie for the whole family! It was filled with action and adventure. Plus the story line was what I appreciated most.
The hubby had lots to say about this one. He was happiest that the film focused on one of the original Spider-man nemesis', Mysterio. He is one of the best Ma…