Out of the Blue book coverOut of the Blue

“Do you ever really know anyone? I mean, deep down, do you really know?” Mary ignores her mother's warning and leaps into marriage with a man she hardly knows. She soon learns that appearances are illusory, and she questions why he married her. When a freak accident splits them apart and almost destroys her life, an obsession for vengeance leads them to discover each other’s raw, true nature.

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Story Origin

The main story concept appeared while walking down a street in Los Angeles. It stopped me short for seeming both intriguing and a bit cheesy (and caused me to laugh). Shortly after, another scene flew into consciousness—a pivotal scene where the two main characters discover each other's ferocious, brutal nature. I wrote it down and put it on a back burner as something I may or may not develop. Over the years, other bits and pieces appeared and were noted.

Several years after that first spark, scenes for Out of the Blue began popping up fast and furious. I was working on a novel for a different story, but being newly unemployed, I put Out of the Blue at the forefront and spent the next six months writing and rewriting the first draft. It took another six months to revise again and again until every scene conveyed meaning and every character had value. The process took longer than expected because the original ending wasn't good enough, certain characters needed more back story, the thriller element needed to be clearer up front, and some characters unexpectedly changed from the original. The story's complexity also needed to be woven together in a way that would absolutely surprise the reader, but on rethought would come together perfectly.

Sidenote. Many authors share a need to tell certain stories. Out of the Blue was one of those needs, as its central theme is about how people present a facade that hides an often darker nature—something I've been analyzing since childhood. Years later, I discovered that my hobby had a name: FBI profiling. I think it's why characters and scenes kept appearing into consciousness and telling me to convey, through story, certain truths about human nature—and how easily people can be fooled.

Un/fortunately(?), I often spot the shadow personality that others seem to miss.

Deleted Scene

The following scene was deleted from the latest version. The scene's purpose was to dive deeper into Steve's parents' attitude toward their new daughter-in-law. Other scenes were deleted, but their publishing here would be too revealing. Why delete scenes? Unfortunately, screenwriters are held to a specific page count. So scenes and detailed description are dropped. A screen novella allows the author to overcome some of that limitation.

INT. MARY AND STEVE'S HOME - BEDROOM - EVENING

The bedroom is finally complete: the room is painted, walls are decorated, and the room is now furnished with more than just a bed.

Mary and Steve dress for an evening out. Mary's trying hard to impress, but obviously so. Now ready, she approaches Steve, who wears nice jeans and a suit jacket with no tie. In spite of being underdressed, he looks stylish without trying. Mary reaches up, straightens his collar. 

MARY

Didn't your parents say you had to wear a tie, not to mention a suit?

STEVE

And ruin my style?

MARY

I can't tell if that's the real you or you're still rebelling.

STEVE

It's the real me. Better get used to it.

Mary's not so certain.

STEVE (cont.)

Have you ever seen me wear a tie?

Mary realizes she hasn't. She leans in, kisses his cheek.

INT. UPSCALE RESTAURANT – NIGHT

Mary and Steve are escorted past tables draped in peach linen and set with lead crystal and white china. They’re led to a cozy spot near the back, where Steve's parents patiently wait, sipping cocktails. Mrs. Ellis glances at Steve's attire then at Mary in a manner that says it's all her fault. She glances back to Steve.

MRS. ELLIS

There you are.

She smiles lovingly at him. He leans in, gives her a kiss. She turns immediately back to the table, ignoring Mary.

MRS. ELLIS (cont.)

We wondered what happened. Did someone take too long to get ready?

STEVE

How's your day Mother?

MRS. ELLIS

I'm just thrilled you... two finally took a break from your busy "home chores" so that we could have a nice dinner and get to know our new daughter-in-law.

MR. ELLIS

And talk about the future, plans, whatever.

He says this confidently, like someone used to getting his way.

After Mary sits, Mrs. Ellis looks over at her as though suddenly pleased.

MRS. ELLIS

Mary, what a lovely dress.

MARY

Thank you.

MRS. ELLIS

Steve must have picked it out.

Steve glares at his mother. He picks up his menu, gives it a glance, puts it down.

STEVE

Ready to order?

LATER

Middle of dinner.

MR. ELLIS (to Steve)

All we wanted was to buy you a nice home. Who would turn down a nice home?
   (glances sideways toward Mary)
Who would be so—

STEVE

I did.

A moment of silence. Steve’s father smiles thinly.

MR. ELLIS

And that's... that's okay.

He leans in.

MR. ELLIS (cont.)

I know you two... you're going to make a great life for yourselves with Mary's help here.

STEVE

I know where you're going—

Mary obviously hasn't been clued in.

MR. ELLIS

So, Mary, did Steve tell you about an amazing job offer extended by a good friend of ours? A job offer Steve won't even consider.

STEVE

It’s the tie thing.

Mary suppresses a grin. Mr. Ellis’ expression tightens.

MR. ELLIS

Play your cards right, you'll be way ahead son. You want to take two years or twenty?

MRS. ELLIS

Every woman wants her husband to have a head start, if she cares about him.

She glances at Mary, who smiles confidently. 

MARY

I know Steve can do it on his own. I trust him.

Steve looks pleased.

Mr. Ellis isn't comfortable with defeat. He leans back, snears ever so slightly.

MR. ELLIS

Well, I'm disappointed. I hope you're not going to disappoint us like your brother.

STEVE

Christ! I’m not a child.

After a moment of silent tension, Mrs. Ellis turns to Mary.

MRS. ELLIS

So Mary, tell us, why did you wait so long to get married?

Steve grits his teeth, starts to respond— 

MARY

I was waiting for the right one — one from a good family.

The elder Ellis' are silenced. Mrs. Ellis seems to be scheming, unsuccessfully, how to respond rudely. Mary raises her brows quizzically.

MARY (cont.)

Did I make a mistake?

Moments later, Mr. Ellis grows a fake smile.

MR. ELLIS

Well! You know, Mary, I'm glad you said that because we've done everything for our sons and we expect Steve here to take advantage of all that I've worked hard for.

MRS. ELLIS

I'm not worried. Soon, you'll see it our way.

She picks up her cocktail, glances away.

MRS. ELLIS (cont.)

You weren't like this before you were married.

INT. STEVE AND MARY'S HOME - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Mary and Steve are awake in bed. Steve turns to the nightstand, picks up the TV remote, clicks the TV on to late night news.

Mary stares at the ceiling; a look of disquiet.

MARY

Why did you marry me?

STEVE

What? I married you because I love you.

MARY

     (uncertain)
Why do you love me?

STEVE

Because... because we share the same goals, the same values.

MARY

Your parents still hate me.

STEVE

You don’t need their approval. The only thing that matters is how I feel — and how you feel. Are you going to let anyone stand in the way of that?

Mary smiles confidently.

MARY

I never do.

Steve warms, sharing the same over-confident smile as is father.

STEVE

Neither do I.