Thursday, January 26, 2012

The genesis of a book idea, from email to published novel....

First, on a whim and a prayer, as is my usual wont, one day in August 2011, i sent aform mass email bomb email as part of mass email bomb to everyone i knew in the writers field and specifically to a crime writer friend in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and asked him if he knew any other writers
who might want to take a stab at a sci fi novel about polar cities set in the future re global warming.

Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2011
Subject: Re: dan bloom Subject: "Polar City Red" looking for writer

To: charlessas in Tulsa [in my computer files address book, ***his address just came up by ***complete chance one day when
I was sending out this ***form letter to dozens of writer friends in the USA and Canada. As I had been doing reguarlu for 6 years. Nobody ever replied, but in 2011 summer of 2011 Chuck did.]

my mass email email bomb form letter read:

Subject: "Polar City Red" looking for Hollywood writer

I need writer to help bring a global warming sci-fi
thriller to book form , maybe later as either as a theatrical movie or
movie. This is fiction, but it is based on my current reseach, which
>> >> is getting worldwide attention via the Internet. The working title of
>> >> the movie is "Polar City Red". It is about a polar city in the far
>> >> distant future, which houses remnants of humanity who have survived
>> >> global warming in the North Pole area and whose "breeding pairs"
>> >> remainthe only hope for the continuation of humankind on Earth. The
>> >> year: 2500, maybe 3500. Not so far away, maybe even sooner than that.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> My name is Danny Bloom. See my blog at
>> >> and see the Wikipedia entry
>> >> under "Polar Cities". Also google the term "Polar Cities" and you see
>> >> where I am going with this.
>> >>
>> >> It's getting later earlier and earlier. In the line of such films as
>> >> "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Sunrise", my movie project titled "Polar
>> >> City Red" is based on my blog and represents a major opportunity for
>> >> our team to strike gold and have an impact on society as well.
>> >>
>> >> The storyline is this: in the distant future, a group of survivors of
>> >> global warming live in a polar city in the Arctic region of Earth, and
>> >> the 100 breeding pairs of males and females remain the only hope for
>> >> the continuation of the species. The movie explains how climate change
>> >> caused all this, how most of Earth's 6 billion people died in the
>> >> catastrophe of global warming, and all the things that led up this
>> >> event. However, the films is both a warming and a hopeful note that we
>> >> can survive in these polar cities of the future and that we will
>> >> survive.
>> >>
>> >> Email me here.
>> >> I live in Taiwan, far from the madding crowds and the madness of
>> >> modern life.
>> >>
>> >> Sincerely,
>> >>
>> >> Danny Bloom
>> >> Tufts 1971
>> >>

At first he said, saying it was a great topic but why didn't I write it myself?:

Dear Danny -- It sounds like a great concept. Why don't you write it yourself?
few writers that I know like to work off someone else's idea, but some
co-write. What do you think about your developing the concept, working
rough draft, perhaps story outline, and then see what happens? Book
packagers do that all the time--for example, Johnny Ringo, who writes
SciFi. Let me know what you think. chuck

I wrote back saying:

>> okay, i can write up a synopsis , summary , cast of characters.... and
>> ideas to throw into the pot..
>> but really, i am just a handyman news article writer, 600 words, i
>> have no idea or gift for creating or developing
>> characters or plot......but i know a good book when I read one...i
>> want to read this one.... i willing to go in as c0-writer
>> second billing but the main writer gets all teh credits and does all
>> the media interviews. its his book......i have no ego
>> involved.....but if you find a hungry young writer who wants to work
>> on this with me, i am glad to help out....i have many
>> thinking about this story for 4 years now ,,,,24/7....and i have lots
>> of outlines and scnearios....but have no idea how
>> to put it together....i am NOT a novelist.....i am a mere newspaper blogger
>> reporter....800 words max
>> dan

He wrote back to me:

Okay, Dan, I see what you are saying, YOU are not a novelist and have no idea how to create novel -- I understand now -- so I gave your e-mail to a friend of mine who writes a lot of
SciFi -- Jim Laughter in Tulsa. I think you have a good idea, but don't know if he'll
be interested in developing someone else's plot. You may hear from him.

I wrote back to Chuck and said:

thanks, Chuck......and if Jim wants to take it all in his own direction that
is fine with me, maybe he can just mentioon the idea of polar
cities,,,that's enough

it will be HIS BOOK......i am open to that..

also i can do great PR for him and the book when it's ready, because i
already know many reporters covering this beat
NYT and everyone!


So THEN I wrote a letter email to Jim saying on August 18, 2o11:

Dear Jim

Charles told me about you.....let's chat. i would love to hand this
idea over to you, i want NO money or credit and i can do
great PR for the book when ready. see my NYTimes story about
polar cities here

but it's your plot, your characters, your book......all i want is
PLEASE PLEASE....the word POLAR CITY in the title somehwere
and i will help with PR.....i want no credit or money

i am 62, heart attack, amost dead.,,,,danny, stationeed in Japan,
1991-1996....i speak nihingo...worked for newspaper there

Tufts 1971

thanks......and if he wants to take it all in his own directiont aht
is fine with me, maybe he can just mentioon the idea of polar
cities,,,that's enoiugh

it iwll be HIS BOOK......i am open to taht..

also i can do great PR for him and the book when it's ready, because i
already know all the reporters covering this beat

NYT and everyone!@


Jim wrote back to me on August 18, 2011 saying:


Your proposal intrigues me and has stirred something in my gut that says this might be a viable project. I must tell you that I know absolutely nothing about global warming. I remember seeing a movie a few years ago about people living in Antartica after the "final" global war. I don't remember the title of it or who was in it; George Kennedy, I think, but I wouldn't bet the house on it. Seems to me it was a survival story where the women were out numbered 6 to 1 and used as lottery prizes for sex, that sort of thing. As you can probably guess, it was a completely forgettable movie, one that I would never sit and watch again.

However, from what I've read on your blog and blogs of other people, your premise is based on solid research. I'm sure it would take me considerable time to read up on global warming so I can get a clear picture of how a book like this should develop. I don't have a problem piecing a story together as long as I know where I'm going and what I'm talking about.

I doubt you are familiar with my work since you are apparently a much deeper thinker than I am, but I invite you to take a look at my website to see the kind of stuff I write. My most recent book, The Apostle Murders, is a suspense thriller about a serial killer that is an ordained minister who believes God has called him to recreate the martyrdom of the original apostle of Jesus Christ. Of course, it's fiction, but the facts of church history are correct,which required quite a bit of research and outlining, and then crazy enough of an imagination to weave a believable story around it.

Previous to that, I wrote the true crime novel From Victim to Hero -- The Untold Story of Steven Stayner. Steven was a 7-year old little boy kidnapped by pedophile Kenneth Parnell in 1972 and held captive and abused for seven years. Then in 1980, Parnell kidnapped 5-year old Timmy White with the intention of abusing him too, Steven decided he wasn't going to let it happen. So on March 1, 1980 he escaped and took Timmy with him, returning him to his family in Ukiah, California.

Much like your proposal, I was approached by friends and family of Steven Stayner to write a book about him that would tell his story in a positive light. There was years of research that I had to plow through in order to get the facts straight so I could write the book. Although the facts in the book are correct, I wrote it as a fiction novel.

My other work is a young adult sci/fi - fantasy series that I co-author with a friend, and I have a children's book coming out in October. I see by your comments that you see Polar City Red as science fiction, which I guess is as good a genre as any for a futuristic book.

In any case, ***give me a ***week to study your blog and other sources on global warning, and if you don't mind, send me any ideas and material you have about plot, characterizations, etc., so I can get a feel for the project. If it's something I think I can do well, it might be a fun project to work on. But again, I don't know global warming from microwave popcorn, so it would be a stretch for me... May I recommend that you take a look at The Apostle Murders and/or From Victim to Hero to see if you like my style? Chuck read The Apostle Murders pre-publication and enjoyed it. He even wrote a blurb for it which is published in the book and on my website. From Victim to Hero received endorsements from two major child safety organizations, Safety Kids, Inc., and The Surviving Parents Coalition.

This email has turned into a journal so I'll close. I won't have time today to dig into your blog, but I'll be able to get into it this weekend. We'll take it slow and easy, and see how it develops. Like I said, I'm intrigued, but I want to see if it's a project I can grasp and do justice to.

Jim Laughter

BINGO! I was getting close. I was so happy to get Jim's letter, expressing some interest in his writing the novel I had in mind about polar cities.

I wrote back to him saying:

wow.....Jim.......thamks for this good letter.....and if you're
intrigued, then I'm intrigued......this might an answered prayer via
Chuck..... he told me about you and said you and I might have a fit
on this.......i am delighted.....

let's go slow and see how things develop....

a few things

1. i am not a scientist and know little about global warming other
than what i have read and my main teachers are James Lovelock and Mark
Lynas in the UK. i am notr a fanatic on climate change, i can see all
points of view,,,, and i have an open mind about it all....... and i
am not really a deep thinker.....more of an imagineere, dreamer, ring
the alarm and wake people up kind of person.....

2. i see the book as YOUR book, your story, and entertainment all the
way, pure fiction, maybe takes place in 2500 AD or so, so as not to
scare people, but the theme of survivors of some kind of climate chaos
catatrrophere like the moive THE DAY AFTER in
desperate isolated POLAr CITIES, SOME above ground, some below
ground, some builit into mountain caves..... and one city in
particular called POLAR CITY RED where our hereos, WHOEVER you come up
with, a family, a thriller, romance, dytopia, but above all,
entertainig and fun to read....and with a hopeful ending.....or
somewhat hopeful...that maybe this POLAR CITY RED will serve as a
lifeboat for our characters adn their descendants....and

3. sicnece fiction or science yarn...or dystopia thriller ..or like
Cormac McCathy's THE ROAD.......but is is all up to you......

4. time: distant future.....2500 AD or so
setting : POLAR CITY RED, just outside Fairbanks Alaska
characters: your cast
plot: your plot

5. where i can help is later with promotion and PR, because i have
been focusing on polar city ideas for 6 yeares now, ....24/7.....and i
have already lined up a list of newspaper reporters who will jump at a
chance to revieew this book of YOURS....and i am a pretty good PR fact, PR is my game.....

6. my main focus is to read your entertianing and fun book, and to see if help
to wake people up about the very reall chance of global warming being
a real problme, but even people who don't believe in global warming
will still enjoy t he i don't have an agenda, and not a
rightwing or left wing agenda....just a wake up call agenda and let
readers decide on their own.....

7...i will study your website now too and let's talk later....

BUT I AM VERY GLAD TO KNOW YOU...and i hope this can work out....and
mostly FOR YOU,,,it is your book.......


On 9-1-2011, about two weeks after our initial email contact re the idea of his writing a book POLAR CITY RED, Jim wrote back to me:

Dear Dan,

Just a note to let you know I've not forgotten you. I've. Started writing polar city red. Haven't got much more than an idea, but that's where it starts.

Sent from my iPhone
Jim Laughter

We were on our way. I replied:

WOW. SO HAPPY. those magic words "......Just a note to let you know
I've not forgotten you. I've. Started writing polar city red. Haven't
got much more than an idea, but that's where it starts....."

You just made my day, Jim! And now I await quietly in the wings and
will be as patient as patience takes. In fact, my middle name is
PATIENCE, and I will be just simply delighted to read your book when
it is done......WOW....this is a dream come true...... !

''I've. Started writing polar city red.'' -- I will never forget those
6 words.......FANTASTIC email, sir....and GO GO GO at your own hurry, no deadline, it's all in your arms (and mind) (and
heart) and typing fingers now........

Delighted I am,


The next letter from Jim said:

Dear Dan, ....given the study you've done on global warming, how do you see the oceans inundating the world? Island nations first, Australia, central America, etc.? Would the rising waters force Americans inland, perhaps to the mountain ranges? When would the polar cities project begin? 2020, 2030, or as late as 2050? If the world's population is going to double by 2040, it's going to cause major chaos on economies, food supplies, transportation, etc.

Oh well, too much thinking before I've had my morning coffee. But don't think for a minute that you're going to sit back patiently and watch. I don't know enough about the cause and effects of global warming to be believable. You'll need ton pitch and inning or two.

Sent from my iPhone
Jim Laughter

I replied the same day: 9-1-2011, with my comments IN CAPS BELOW to his original letter

Hi Jim
Looking forward to many such emails back and forth, and my inbox is
open to your questions anytime, of course. Ask away. I don't know
much, but I will tell you my research results so far....... -- DAN

1, given the study you've done on global warming, how do you see the

oceans inundating the world? Island nations first,..... **YES ..
Tonga, the Maldives, yes....island nations first.....and their
populations will relocate to India and China etc...... YES

2. Australia, central America, etc.?...... ***CENTRAL AMERICA LOW
LYING areas YES....maybe NORTH America and SOuth America are split
apart by water at Panama Canal zone.......?

3. Would the rising waters force Americans inland, perhaps to the
mountain ranges? YES YES YES YES....Forida
will go first...... Cape Cod too......coastal Texas....but it will
happen gradually, almost imperceptibly, but year by year, and YES the
people will love inland to Colorado and Vermont and high hill country
INLAND yes......BUT llater, as things get worse in lower 48, people
will be forced
to move EN MASSE up to Alaska and Canada to find food to grow and Lower 48 will be abandonned eventauly...but slowly.....

4. When would the polar cities project begin? 2020, 2030, or as late
as 2050? ***LATER........

5. If the world's population is going to double by 2040,*** TRUE AND
THEN.... it's going to cause major chaos on economies, food supplies,
transportation, etc. POLAR CITIES "planning" will begin around
2050.....but the need to move into them, reside in them, won't happen
until 2150 or maybe the action of your story of a family
IN A POLAR CITY RED in Alaska is the time frame of 2300 AD BUT THAT IS
LIKE SCIENCE FICTION......with earlier events leading up to
there....but no,....polar cities won;t be NEEDED by 2050....things
okay for another 100 years.....****but if you want to HURRY THINGS up
for your storytelling purposes, please feel free to so...maybe if the
story is MORE **immediate, it will have MORE of an YES,
we could need POLAR CITY RED by 2050 OR 2099......things are
> Oh well, too much thinking before I've had my morning coffee. But don't think for a minute that you're going to sit back patiently and watch. I don't know enough about the cause and effects of global warming to be believable. You'll need ton pitch and inning or two. YES YES YES I AM HERE 24/7 AND I LOVE THIS TO AND FRO...


Jim later said in response to a interview question i sent him:

QUESTION FRoM DANNY: When did you start writing Polar City Red, and when do you hope/plan to finish it and send it to your longtime publisher, where you have already published a half-dozen of your books?

JIM: I think I wrote the prologue for Polar City Red in August 2011. As you know, a mutual friend of ours, author Charles W. Sasser approached me with information that you had sent to him concerning the effects of global warming on the environment. He thought the information was intriguing and would make a good book, but he was tied up in two or three other projects that he could not get away from. Charles had recently endorsed my book ''The Apostle Murders'', so ***he asked me if I’d like to ***take a stab at ***global warming. After spending a few days on the computer reading everything I could find about the phenomenon, ***I decided this was ****indeed a story that ***needed to be told.

I don’t really have a deadline for ''Polar City Red'', simply because I have not yet approached my current publisher with the idea. I am not locked into a next-project contract, so I plan to keep my options open .... ....So, if I can stay on my current schedule and working outline, I hope to have the first draft finished by the end of January or February 2012. Since I am writing it as a fiction, it will depend on my characters and if they stay focused on the task at hand.

JIM: I hope this book will be read by everyone concerned about the world we live in; by people who care about the future of their children and grandchildren, and about the planet we leave for succeeding generations. I don’t really think I’d tag an age group to the readership of this book. It will be entertaining enough to hold the interest of the most avid fiction reader, yet factual enough to stir the heart of politicians and other civic leaders to action to protect our world. I had a man tell me yesterday that global warming is just a myth. He saw a program on television that said it’s a scare tactic to direct people’s attention away from truly serious issues such as the economy and the state of international affairs. He’s right about one thing; it’s a scary subject. And if projections are correct about the amount of carbon dioxide polluting our atmosphere, we’d better be scared. We may not be at the point of panic yet, but the day is coming when this is world is going to turn its back on us and invite us to leave forever.

JIM: .....back to your original question about the genre of my novel titled ''Polar City Red''. To say this is ''science fiction'' might be a bit of a stretch, and I don’t think it’s an adventure. It is shaping up into a bit of a thriller but I don’t expect it to continue in that vein.

You asked me what the book is about. My simplest answer would be that it’s about the effect global warming will have on future generations. From the reports I’ve read, and the research I’ve done, global warming is a real threat to the survival of our planet. I don’t really know enough about the hard science behind global warming to make any scientific predictions, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the worldwide climate is going through dramatic changes. Unless governments around the world get control of the carbon dioxide levels overtaking the atmosphere, we are going to lose our planet. We’ve seen weather-pattern shifts over the last ten-years that may set the standard for climate change for thousands of years to come.

JIM: I don’t mind telling the title of this new book. Unless something changes, the title will be ''Polar City Red''. I’ve never heard of speculative fiction, but I like the sound of it. I’m a fiction writer. I co-author a sci/fi young adult adventure series called Galactic Axia. It is fiction based in science, but it’s not hard science fiction. Although I have a vivid imagination, I’m afraid science was not my strongest class in school. I tended more toward business math and English, literature, spelling, typing, recess. You know, the creative arts. I worked on the school yearbook staff and found the publishing aspect of the procedure fascinating. When I entered the Air Force in 1971, I instinctively gravitated toward the administration side of the service and became a supply specialist. I won’t tell you the names the mechanics and other grease monkeys tagged us supply types, but I always let them know that you can’t fly without supply. Somebody has to be able to think.

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