Author: Thommy Hutson
Publication date: March 13th, 2018
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Young Adult
High School Can Be a Real Killer
Break a mirror
Walk under a ladder
Step on a crack
Innocent childhood superstitions …
But someone at the secluded Trask Academy of Performing Arts is taking things one deadly step further when the campus is rocked with the deaths of some of its star students.
Layna Curtis, a talented, popular senior, soon realizes that the seemingly random, accidental deaths of her friends aren’t random—or accidents—at all. Someone has taken the childhood games too far, using the idea of superstitions to dispose of their classmates. As Layna tries to convince people of her theory, she uncovers the terrifying notion that each escalating, gruesome murder leads closer to its final victim: her.
Will Layna’s opening night also be her final bow?
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
–I would say my style is a combination: there are some things I definitely outline and plan out, especially in a whodunit. I generally have the endings of things come to me pretty early and often I work backward from that. Sometimes I have an idea for a character or story arc and I just set out and start writing, going and going until it’s done. I’m not a super early or late night writer. Because I also work in film and write screenplays, I’ve become pretty disciplined when writing to keep a “traditional” workday and get things done during the day.
2. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
–In so many ways! For Jinxed, I’ve always wanted to write a teen thriller/horror film and I also loved the idea of the performing arts setting. I went to a performing arts school so it was an intriguing setting for me, but also to write characters that have agendas beyond just being friends. I think a lot of my ideas start with the question of, “What if?” If I can come up with an interesting answer and feel there is a journey to take in that answer, I’ll push forward.
3. How long have you been writing?
–I’ve always been writing and telling stories since I was a kid, but it’s been my profession for about a decade now.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
–I’m not the first to ay it, and I certainly won’t be the last, but write every day. Every day. Even if it is something small, or writing in a journal, keep at it. Getting the story or words from your mind onto the page is so critical to keeping that muscle active. The other thing is read. A lot! It helps you understand your own voice when you read the work of others. You see what you like, what you don’t like, what works and what doesn’t. I’s also say never give up and believe in yourself. You can’t please everyone with what you write but if you believe in it and work hard, your story will shine for the people it’s meant to reach.
5. Thinking about your story, are there any superstitions that you find you follow in your every day life?
–It’s quirky, but I am a huge believer in things being “even.” Not a fan of odd numbers!
6. What are your favorite:
–I am a big reader and try to read at least a fiction book and non-fiction book every week or so. I love coming-of-age books as ell as horror/thriller books. I’m a fan of so many authors, the list could go on and on. Stephen King, Wes Craven, Shirley Jackson, Agatha Christie, S.E. Hinton, Mark Twain, Jack London, John Green … and so many others!
–I love 80s movies, especially John Hughes films. (Pretty in Pink is one of my favorite films.) Horror films from the 80s/90s are also a big part of my life. (The “Elm Street,” “Halloween,” “Friday the 13th” and “Scream” franchises are big favorites of mine.) As for television, I’m a big fan of Degrassi. I’ve been watching since I was a kid. I love how it always tackled real issues in a real way. (I was pretty thrilled when one of the movies I wrote, “Truth or Dare,” starred someone from the show. That was awesome!)
–80S! I love listening to pop and rock from the 80s. I’m also a country fan. When I am writing, though, it is film scores, usually horror and thriller.
–chocolate covered raisins. I’m addicted!
Born and raised in Upstate New York, Thommy graduated from UCLA and launched his career co-writing the story for the Warner Bros. animated hit SCOOBY-DOO IN WHERE’S MY MUMMY? He followed that with co-writing the concept and additional material for CHILL OUT, SCOOBY-DOO!
His career then took a thrilling turn when he wrote and produced several definitive genre film retrospectives for television and home entertainment: SCREAM: THE INSIDE STORY, NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: THE ELM STREET LEGACY, MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD and HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13th.
He was also a staff writer on Hulu’s daily web series “The Morning After,” a smart, witty, pop culture program aimed at getting viewers up-to-date on the latest entertainment news and celebrity interviews.
Thommy also produced the critically acclaimed feature THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH, an insightful relationship drama starring Lea Thompson and John Shea. He also produced DREAMWORLD, a quirky, romantic dramedy.
He co-wrote and produced ANIMAL for Chiller Films and Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films. The project debuted in iTunes’ top ten horror films (reaching #1) and became the network’s highest-rated original movie.
Continuing his passion for uncovering the stories behind the story, he went on to produce CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13th, which is the most comprehensive look at the popular film franchise.
As an author Thommy crafted a limited-edition coffee table book detailing the making and legacy of Wes Craven’s 1984 classic A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. A trade version distributed by Simon and Schuster reached number one in Amazon.com’s Movie History and Criticism category. He also has a deal with Vesuvian Media to write a YA thriller trilogy with the first book due out spring 2017.
He produced and made his feature directorial debut with THE ID, an independent psychological drama/thriller. Filmmaker Magazine stated it was “a deeply unsettling thriller that’s as moving as it is frightening…with skillful, provocative direction that has echoes of early Polanski.”
Most recently, Thommy wrote the screenplay for CineTel Films’ supernatural horror film TRUTH OR DARE. He is also directing, writing and producing a documentary with Clive Barker’s Seraphim Films in addition to developing other film and television properties with the company.
As an author, he is currently writing another book that definitively details the history, making and legacy of another fan-favorite genre film from the 1980s.
A member of the Producers Guild of America, Thommy continues to develop unique, compelling and provocative projects across multiple genres for film, television, publishing, and home entertainment through his company Hutson Ranch Media.