Adapted to motion picture screenplay!
Working in conjunction with Australian director/writer Tam Sainsbury, “Tuki” has been adapted for a major motion picture. The project is currently being shopped for a major motion picture.
A heartwarming story of a relentlessly determined young girl between the ages of 16-20, this horse-themed follow-up to the hit romantic comedy 12 Miles to Paradise has mainstream global appeal for audiences of all ages.
Tuki is a New Zealander, an ultra-internalized young woman who wants little more from life but a chance to be happy. This is her story between the ages of 16-20 and the decisions she’s forced to make.
This story takes place seven years after my romantic comedy 12 Miles to Paradise ends.
Rather than a sequel, This is a new story with a new set of characters. I wanted a different kind of story, an inspiring one, not another romantic comedy. While the book has a lot of funny scenes thanks to its ultra-quirky multicultural assemblage of oddballs, I wanted Tuki to be a heartwarming story that championed a message: success is possible for all, if you are willing to work hard (together with others) to achieve it. But once success arrives, careful what you wish for: Sometimes success is not all you imagined it would be.
I like the horse business and know quite a bit about it.The horse biz has everything a writer needs: good guys, bad guys, grifters, shysters, great and noble devotees, fast talkers, slow walkers, rich and poor; you name it, there’s one of all kinds at every track and barn in the country. I use the industry as a maypole to logically bring these fabulous diverse characters together.
The story begins in New Zealand and shifts to Los Angeles. From there it works its way to Kentucky.
Not long after the book’s release I got a nice compliment from a reader who wrote, “I’ve seen all these people in the business at one time or another, but never altogether. Congratulations to you for pulling that off.”
That’s what this story does — it pushes the boundaries of what’s possible. I like doing that, stretching the reader’s imagination and trusting their minds to handle the rest.
Tuki’s foil is a skinny African-American from Cincinnati named Deacon Truth. Deacon is a relentless optimist, a chatty motormouth. By force of personality, he is determined to will himself to a great life. I modeled Deacon after Muhammad Ali’s upbringing, mixed with Chris Tucker’s performance in the Jack Chan “Rush Hour” movies. Tuki is relentlessly determined but quiet; she rarely speaks. Deacon says two million words before lunch.
Together Tuki and Deacon defy very long odds to achieve great success. Both are from humble, hardscrabble upbringings; but when success suddenly arrives — greater than either imagines — fame and fortune isn’t what both expect. The pair face very difficult decisions on how to deal with it.
Tuki Banjo, Superstar has been adapted for movie development. The film is called Tuki. It is an inspiring, heartwarming story with a great cast of meaty characters and a terrific multi-layered storyline. Best of all is its happy ending.
One of my favorite fan letters said, “You made me cry with sadness, laugh from joy, and cry from happiness. Few books ever have.”
“Cha-ching!’ as my pal Steve Cauthen likes to say. When a story does that, it is resonating. That’s what I wanted, to invite everyone into Tuki’s world. Once there, you’ll never want to leave.