Last Friday I was checking my email and happened upon one which I thought was an advertisement. It was from Todd Williams and the subject was “Creating Radiant Health.” I usually delete emails like this, but for some odd reason, I opened this one up. As I perused through the well-written email, the excitement grew. The email stated interest in making my novel, The Shattered Vase, into a movie.
My first response was … this has got to be a joke. I emailed back asking for the production company to be named. In the email, it said it was a “reputed production company.”
Then I googled Todd Williams and saw his work. He is a director who would be perfect for my story! So I sent another email apologizing for not having done my research before I asked him to verify his authenticity.
Over the weekend, I contacted the mama bear of self-publishing, Victoria Strauss. She is a brilliant lady who exposes all the scumbags who take advantage of self-published authors. Her blog can be found at https://writerbeware.blog/. In addition, I contacted another author I know, who is actually getting his novels produced in Hollywood.
On Monday morning, I got a call from Los Angeles. Jack Marshall, a talent scout, said he was calling from Amazon Studios. They had selected my novel to be presented to some producers! He said they needed a Cinematic trailer produced for the meeting. I said I had a book trailer. Jack said that was not the same as a Cinematic trailer. I asked him how much that would cost. He said they were investing in my project, which led me to believe that I would pay nothing.
So, then he gives me the line about how much money I am going to make when I sell my film rights. Believe me, if I made that much money I would have a very cushy life. After this line of baloney, he told me they already had two books for this meeting lined up and I would be the third and last one. Then he said that I would only have to pay 30% of the cost for the cinematic trailer. Well, apparently they were not really investing, just kind of investing in the project. At that point, I told him I needed to investigate them and ended the call.
I could not find Jack Marshall anywhere and if you are a talent scout, you should have a digital footprint. Todd Williams is actually a phenomenal director. On the off chance that this actually was a real deal, I sent him another email and informed him I would be in California in December. If he was really interested, I would arrange an in-person meeting with him and we could discuss the details then. I am not expecting a reply.
I received affirmation from Victoria Strauss and my author friend, Don Holbrook, that this was indeed a scam. I am so grateful for the people that God has placed along my journey who are protectors instead of predators. There are far too many predators that feed on the dreams of self-published authors.