The Florida Radio Project began its new season just in time for the World Series. And as part of the line-up, they produced my Nick Files script; Spell Check. It's the prefect blend of autumn, baseball and witchcraft! After performing it live before a studio audience, they posted the audio at Soundcloud, so I hope you can take some time out to give it a listen. It's a home run!
From 1999 to 2004-ish, I was one of the contributing writers for Garrison Keillor's renowned radio show "A Prairie Home Companion." I learned a lot of things there, mostly how to spell 'prairie." It was a solid gig and I'm proud of my work there. But, like any other job, there were...things...
This piece has an odd history. It started as a college essay. Some class was looking for us to write an essay based on material we had read. One of the things was "The Maltese Falcon." So I latched onto that and wrote up a story about meeting an old-school private eye to find out what the job was really like back in the film noir days. I was very much in a Woody Allen phase in college (prose-wise) having read his collections of essays and short stories. I think I got an A on it. I know it's sitting in a file somewhere, if I really had to back up that claim. It was this time I started to believe I would be a writer, so I clung to my creations like something precious that I might get to release some day. Instead, whenever I kind of hit a dry spell, I would pull something out and rework it. This was one of those times.
I often would think that if I could nail one of the regular bits, it might impress PHC enough to be used. That thinking is very wrong; it's tricky to submit a version of their baby and not have them focus on the mistakes and shortcomings. Always better to hit them with something new (usually). Guy Noir is one of GK's signature bits, and having played around with the form with my own creation, Nick Flebber, and my Christmas-tery, Lost Claus, it was a genre I felt comfortable doing. A new week and month were upon us as the season was winding down and I remembered the detective bit and pulled it out, shaping it into a radio sketch. It didn't make the cut.
Back to Nick Flebber: as I played around with the character in different mediums, I turned Lost Claus into a novella. I would adapt it to radio. I pitched it as a series and wrote two pilot episodes, which I adapted into novellas. And I started writing more adventures. I needed to increase the page count for my one novella, Space Case, so I turned the radio sketch into a short story. From there, I adapted it back into radio episode. It's been produced by a local radio group and I'm awaiting the audio link. You can read more about Nick Flebber here. I still work my favorite line "I always get my man plus expenses" into a few other episodes. And not to spoil the ending, but I always liked my little "Some Like it Hot" reference at the end.
Guy Noir: the Spoiler
Through an amazing string of events and much confusion on my part, I submitted my award-winning script, "Cupid is as Cupid Does" to the Radio Theater Project in St. Petersburg in Florida (thinking it was some other group). Turns out they enjoyed the script and wanted to produce it! So, I sent them a couple of other Nick Files scripts I had written and they decided they were open to producing them! They do their shows monthly, usually the last week, and this was from their February show, so the Cupid script worked for their Valentine-themed show of multiple scripts. Just this week they produced another episode, "The Leprechaun Con" which worked for St. Patrick's Day in March. As soon as they post that I'll post it here as well. It's interesting to think that I've created a radio "series" of sorts. Right now RTP is sitting on 4 additional scripts. And because of that, I began another 2 scripts that I'll be sending them shortly.
Nick Flebber was created for my Christmas script "Lost Claus" and I've since spun him off into new adventures and cases. The first couple of scripts were cobbled out of a couple of TV scripts I wrote for that pitch. Then I pulled out my old research and ideas and started some original audio plays off the confidence I gained from my fractured success with other contests and stuff. RTP really put me over the top, being open to all the scripts. I hope people are noticing.
Anyway, if you enjoy the Nick Files, check out his other adventures on Amazon.
Freelance writer, still hacking away.