Jake Vander Ark
“What I really want to do is direct.”
Yeah, I was that kid.
I spent my high-school career as the ghost of the art room, passionately constructing a portfolio that would provide the first step toward a creative occupation. Luckily, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago didn’t consider GPA when selecting applicants, so I was immediately accepted into one of the most prestigious art programs in the country.
Unfortunately, the only thing I learned in art school was how much I hated art.
But I found myself! And that’s important, right?
I graduated with a BFA in 2006 and moved to Los Angeles to harness my dream of becoming the next Ingmar Bergman (thanks a lot, art school).
In LA, I began writing screenplays as a means to direct. I found a job reading screenplays for the same reason. I read a lot of crap. I wrote a lot of crap. But little did I know… I was learning.
In the three-year process of creating short films and pursuing funding for features, I learned that directing came naturally to me, but producing did not.
I wasn’t able to get a project off the ground. When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, I moved back to my hometown of Grand Haven, Michigan with nothing to show but three screenplays.
One day, while working as a stage manager for a national dance competition, I had an epiphany that only a repressed, depressed, living-with-his-parents artist could have: what if I wrote books? Unlike screenplays, a book is finished when it’s finished. When the final draft is complete, a book becomes a marketable product. If I work my butt off, maybe I could actually make money doing what I love!
I’m not a millionaire yet… but I did write four novels in three years and I’m proud of the accomplishment. Currently, I’m engaged to my soul-mate, self-publishing all four books, and developing a sequel to The Accidental Siren.
Dreams, here I come.
Where to find Jake Vander Ark online
Where to buy in print
The Brandywine Prophet (Blank Canvas Series)
By Jake Vander Ark
Published: August 31, 2012.
Suburban life has turned William Carmel from a drug-fueled creative prodigy to a gentle husband and father. When the voice of God commands him to construct a million-dollar amphitheater on the hill behind his home, the budding prophet obeys and unleashes his dormant madness and savage narcissism on his family and town.
Lighthouse Nights (Blank Canvas Series)
By Jake Vander Ark
Published: August 28, 2012.
Jules and Trevor take advantage of potential suicide victims by encouraging them and profiting off their deaths. When Jules falls in love with their seventh target, she’s forced to make a series of life-or-death decisions and a single, impossible change.
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