LOS ANGELES, March 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Author Lani Sarem, whose initial offering Handbook for Mortals debuted at No. 34 on the USA Today Bestseller list, continues promotion on the national Comic Con circuit alongside American Pie, Rookie of the Year star Thomas Ian Nicholas. The film is scheduled to shoot later this year, based on the book. In a year of empowering females within the industry, it's important to note that the film is not only very female-driven, but also includes a strong female protagonist, female director, female line producer and Sarem herself as the author.
Handbook for Mortals is about a young woman with supernatural powers who joins a Las Vegas magic show only to find that love is more dangerous than magick. The novel continues to expand its audience, finding readers of all ages and future books are planned.
Nicholas will be producing and acting in the film. He has produced four feature length films that were distributed by various companies such as LionsGate and MTI. His recent movies, Living Among Us, was released by Vision Films in association with Sony for U.S. distribution and FOX internationally.
Sarem and Nicholas took an interesting approach to find an early audience for the franchise. Nicholas was booked as a celebrity guest at many conventions including Motor City, Alamo City and all the Wizard World Comic Cons starting early in 2017. They promoted the story and pre-sold Handbook for Mortals all across the country before the book even had a cover. In fact, it was at Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia where they met comic book artist Ryan M. Kincaid, who ultimately drew the cover art.
Initially, Sarem wrote Handbook for Mortals as a screenplay. She was focused on making it into a single film, until the head of a small publishing company read it, convinced her that she should adapt it into a book and helped her start the process. On creating a story centered around a female lead, Sarem notes, "That was always the idea. Even at a young age I noticed what was going on."
Sarem saw that the majority of strong lead roles were for men and female roles were typically the romantic sidekick. She had dreams of being an actress herself and began writing scripts at a young age to create more female driven stories.
To keep that momentum going, Sarem and Nicholas have signed on to be at all the Wizard Worlds across the country for the remainder of this year, along with various other Comic Cons. The conventions attract up to 150,000 attendees depending on the city and have been a major factor in promoting the project.
"It's a great place to meet fans looking for the next source of entertainment," Sarem explains. "They're excited to find something new and there's nothing like watching them walk away clutching the book like it's the most valuable thing they own."
Nicholas also says, "It's fun getting this project off the ground by connecting directly with people in the right environment. Plus, spending the weekend with other guests like Gregg Sulkin, Jason Momoa, Holly Marie Combs, Bonnie Wright, Sebastian Stan, Ian Somerhalder– it's starting to feel like one big supportive family."
Nicholas and Sarem also participate in Wizard World panels including their popular Disney Trivia panel with Jon Heder (of Napoleon Dynamite fame). Nicholas portrayed Walt Disney in the film, Walt before Mickey and Heder portrayed Walt's brother Roy. Sarem moderates the panel and explains, "We break the audience into teams. One side teams up with Jon and the other side teams up with Thomas to compete for prizes. It's fun to see how much everyone knows about Disney." The latest panel included Disney artist Clinton T. Hobart who drew a special grand prize for a panel participant.
In each city, Sarem also does book signings at Barnes & Noble, Half Priced Books and other independent bookstores. Traveling city to city is nothing new for Sarem who grew up in the entertainment business. For several years, she was one of the youngest female band managers with two platinum selling, Grammy award-winning acts nestled in her roster of bands. Music is another area of the entertainment business that is typically a boys club. Sarem is no stranger to breaking down those walls and says, "It's always an interesting challenge to find your place as a woman in a male-centric business. I hope I'm one of the many people that bring about positive change to the film industry. I want to inspire young girls to know they can dream big and achieve whatever their heart desires."
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SOURCE Handbook for Mortals