Excerpt from the Pineville Heist
Frustration constricting his chest and pulsing at his temples, Aaron was about ready to run again. Where? Who knows. He’d just rather be doing something. Anything. Not sitting around talking about what happened, what he saw.
Carl’s hand clamped like a vice onto Aaron’s shoulder, turning Aaron around to face him, Amanda, and the school. Aaron cringed to be looking at that stupid building again. This was supposed to be his oasis. But, after chasing it, turned out it was more of a mirage. He needed help, not concerned adults with all their questions.
Chat with the Author
Tell us about Lee Chambers
Lee Chambers is a writer, producer and director who has been lecturing and producing award-winning films and education film production workshops for over ten years. Feeding his passion and love for story-telling, he decided to turn his attention to writing. His debut novel The Pineville Heist becoming a Number 1 Best Selling Thriller in April and published his second novel The Sum of Random in July of this year.
Having produced many short films that have been nominated and won awards around the world; his heart-warming 2009 When Life Gives you Lemons short, starring Basil Hoffman, and Executive Produced by Academy Award winner Roger Corman, was shown in over 46 festivals worldwide; Lee is now turning his attention to turning The Pineville Heist into his directorial debut feature film.
How do you feel when you read reviews that say that The Pineville Heist is “better than the Hunger Games”?
I’m very honoured.
Similar to a painter or sculptor you have created a piece that someone admires and you have inspired them, then you have done your job as an artist. It’s not about the money, it’s about creating. You write a book and someone reads that book because they like that genre and you have touched them with it; and you are engaging readers in discussion about the story, then that is really, really cool and special.
What do you feel are the necessary ingredients to creating a stunning action-packed thriller?
You need a hero who is reluctant, who has a flaw and is not necessarily in a position of their choice, they have been forced into that position.
Then you need an antagonist with similar qualities, although unrelenting and will do anything to make sure they get what they want.
When you put these two together there is always the potential mix for high drama and fast-paced conflict.
Look at action thrillers such as Die Hard. You have John McClane, he has flaws, he has a fractured relationship with his wife. While trying to repair that relationship he is thrown into a hostage situation with his wife being held as a hostages by a group of terrorists out to steal millions, which leads to an exciting fight for survival.
As with Aaron in The Pineville Heist, he has a fractious relationship with his father and while trying to prove himself he ends up being thrown into a dangerous situation. A situation that requires him to fight for his and his young drama teacher’s life, as they are hunted down in his locked down high school by a psychotic robber who will stop at nothing to get the stolen money back.
Wow! Booboo Stewart, how great is it to have already your leading man and I’m curious who do you have in mind for the rest of your dream cast?
It is awesome to already have Booboo as the leading role. With regards to the rest of the dream cast, a lot would have to do with the schedule for shooting and until that date is known there is no point in engaging Ed Harris or Brad Pitt as they may not be available at the time we are ready to go.
Do I have a list of potentials? Yes I have a long list of potentials. But it would be unethical and not appropriate for me to publically share my views or choices. That’s because the nature of the funding model we are seeking, involves shooting in Canada and a requirement of having to cast mainly Canadian actors. The final casting decisions will also involve input from our investing partners. However, if Brad was available, how totally cool would that be… although Brad wouldn’t make a good Amanda.
You’re surrounded by a group of teenagers interested in your book, what’s your pitch to get them running to the shelves?
Having Booboo on board is certainly one good hook to get teenagers interested
However, what I would normally do, is to ask those teenagers to imagine being locked inside their school at night. Then imagine how cool it would be to have $5million, what would and could you do with that amount of money? Imagine you’re in your high school with $5million and that a bad guy is after you for that money, with a shot gun or a baseball bat.
The hook is asking them to imagine how they would feel if they were that particular character, what they would do, how they would feel in certain situations, putting it all together and getting them to imagine that it was actually them. Even with Twilight, you have young girls wanting to be like Bella and imaging themselves as Bella and having that dream wedding.
This is the great thing with movies and books they take you to a different world; and while it is highly unlikely that a teenager will find $5million and be chased around their high school by a psychotic robber, they can be transported into the emotion fully without getting their hands dirty.
Which do you prefer? Screenplays or novels? What are the pros and cons of each?
Screenplays are different, they are a like an architectural drawing; there is a logical sense to them, however they are devoid of detail, colour or texture. They have their own unique view about them. If you look at a blueprint for a house, you get the basis of the house layout, but you don’t get the detail of what the house will eventually look like.
Whereas novels, they are like a blank canvas and you get to paint in total full techni-colour and detail. Novels allow you to be descriptive and delve into the characters psych, you are able to provide the reader with an image and take them to the actual settings in detail; readers can hear the movement of the startled rabbit in the wood, or feel the ominous presence in the school at night, that is something a screenplay cannot achieve.
Are there any future projects in the works?
I am teaming up again with my writing partner Todd Gordon, who I co-wrote the screenplay of The Pineville Heist, to produce more of a gritty and edgy adult thriller, something quite different to Pineville but equally as exciting. Then I will look at adapting that story into novel format to share with readers.
However, the main focus and priority for the moment is getting all the fundamentals (and funding) for The Pineville Heist together so that we can start shooting in 2013.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest part was getting my head around the craft of writing.
As a director I view things visually and in screenplay format. My book has actually been criticised for not following a single point of view and jumping from character to character. Sure it may not be the normal way a book is read, or follow a particular model of writing; but it certainly doesn’t detract from the story, or the exciting flow and it may actually enhance the reading experience.
Invisibility or the ability to fly?
Invisibility would be cool, but could be open to exploitation and may also prove to be a bad thing, especially if come across a couple of people talking about you. Now flying would be super, super cool, although you would have to ensure to avoid high power electrical lines, be careful when landing and not fly into windows. So the choice would have to be flying, as long as there is no side effect of laying eggs!
What is the one question that you wish interviewers would ask and the answer to that question?
Q. “When will The Pineville Heist become a movie?”
A. “The first day of shooting takes place when $2m hits my bank account… mid 2013.”
About the Book
Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble
Aaron whipped through the long grass as fast as his legs would carry him. His eyes were filled with angst and adrenaline. He was still in shock. Not every day you see a dead man. Not every day you see that much money either – he glanced down at the backpack in his arms.
Must – keep – running
Seventeen year old Aaron stumbles into the aftermath of a five million dollar bank heist gone wrong. Hiding under a canoe, Aaron partially catches the murder of one of the robbers. In the chaos he sneaks away with the money and heads straight for the closest place of safety, his high school. Terrified, Aaron tells his shocking tale to Amanda Becker, his drama teacher, but it doesn't take long for one of the psychotic robbers to show up. In the locked down school the pair are relentlessly pursued in a quest to get the money back and wipe out the evidence.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube