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I am a graduate of USC film school. Yes, I have a master's degree in screenwriting and at this point, I love writing novels that are structured like movies.
Not that screenwriting was a complete bust. I won a Chesterfield Fellowship for my script House of Leaves, and Blue Valley was the winner of a Monterey County On-Location Award, as well as a finalist at the Sundance Labs. I optioned out Fall From Grace, which is another script, and had some heat on a comedy, but nothing happened.
I discovered novels after I had my first child in Kindergarden and I found ebooks right after the birth of my second. I live in Los Angeles, which you can read all about on my blog.
Thanks for reading.
M. Edward McNally
on July 23, 2011 :
I read more history than anything else, and I was intrigued by Blue Valley's story of fantasy-style, supernatural elements (pun intended, I could not help myself) set against the backdrop of WWII, post-Pearl Harbor paranoia and the internment of US citizens of Japanese descent. While the interments are not the focus of the book, they are a part of the texture and mood to the California valley in which most of the novel takes place, heightening the reactions of the people living in the agricultural community once something very, very wrong starts to happen to the land that is their life.
Most of the story belongs to Will Leary, a government scientist sent to the afflicted valley, where he meets Sarah. Sarah is the young woman who, without revealing too much, will come to be seen by others as the cause of the Valley's problems, the only chance of correcting them, or a weapon for the war effort.
The relationship between Will and Sarah is the heart of the novel, and though from the very beginning it is influenced by forces beyond their control, the exploration of it is one of the novel's strengths. Somewhat less successful are a few "action scenes" that seem a bit cumbersome and are not always easy to follow in their choreography. Those bits do not keep the book from being successful overall, and a well-done meld of Fantasy and Historical Fiction elements that bends the genres without breaking them. The series is positioned to move forward from WWII into subsequent eras, and promises to be rewarding along the way.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on April 19, 2011 :
Fair to good plot but poor editing made it difficult to read at times.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)