The Shadows of a Man

Book Cover


1960s & '70s,1980s & '90s,20th Century (multiple decades)

James M. Sellers

TaleFlick Pick!

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The story is about how I was raised and molested as a child, and became addicted to crack at 15 years old trying to help supply my mothers crack addition. getting involved in adult situations that will have a deep impact in my life. The story is about how I did every thing to take care of my family,


Crime, LGBT, Drama, Epic, Memoir, Young Adult, Horror, Suspense/Thriller, Biographical, Adventure, Action, Religious

Short Summary

I was the youngest of 4 children and the only boy. My father was a military man and my mother was a surgical nurse and a Black Panther just like my father so they was strict and violent people. i grew up around violence and my father taught me how to fight before I could barley walk.

I come home from prison and none of my sibling recognize me because I have not seen or heard from them in 15 years. Then a few months later my mother gets deathly ill from a kidney infection leaving a decision up to me should they pull the plug. something I couldn't decide on.


Youngstown, Ohio

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Tragedy, Other

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message, Twist, Philosophical Questions, Other

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence, Nudity, Sexual Abuse, Substance Abuse, Incest, Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: James Minard Sellers

Age: 4 years old thru 45 years of age

Gender: Male

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Confident,Crazy,Desperate,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Blunt,Religious,Sexy,Villainous,Outspoken,Selfless,Skillful,Secretive,Seductive,Sophisticated,Strong Moral Code,Leader,Honorable,Greedy,Flexible,Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

Name: My mother Jackie sellers

Age: 25 to 55

Gender: Female

Role: Tempter

Key Traits: Adventurous, Badass, Aggressive, Charming, Confident, Crazy, Criminal, Desperate, Power Hungry, Blunt, Religious, Villainous, Outspoken, Skillful, Visionary, Sarcastic, Secretive, Greedy, Leader, Seductive, Sophisticated, Strong Moral Code, Manipulative, Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Joe Cook

Age: 41 to 46

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Adventurous, Aspiring, Badass, Aggressive, Charming, Villainous, Masculine, Narcisstic, Crazy, Confident, Complex, Criminal, Decisive, Desperate, Selfless,Power Hungry, Blunt, Religious, Sexy, Outspoken, Skillful, Sophisticated, Seductive, Secretive, Sarcastic, Romantic, Visionary, Funny, Strong Moral Code, Manipulative, Unapologetic, Leader, Honorable, Heartthrob, Greedy

Additional Character Details

Name: Nino (Thanas Scott)

Age: 36

Gender: Male

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous, Aspiring, Badass, Aggressive, Charming, Masculine, Sexy, Confident, Lone Wolf, Manipulative, Sophisticated, Seductive, Secretive, Funny, Skillful,Outspoken, Selfless, Blunt, Engaging, Flexible, Greedy, Educated, Insecure, Leader

Development Pitch

The Shadows of a Man is a disturbing true story about a little boy abused and sexually molested by the people close to him. A boy taught that the most important thing in his life was to take care of his sisters and brothers no matter what, which he did even when he had to start stealing and selling his body at a young age in order to feed them. A boy who murderd for his sister and was introduced into the adult world much to soon. Into a world of crime, drugs, and prostitution to supply his mother's crack habit, which soon became his own at the age of fifteen. A boy arrested and tried as an adult for cutting a mans throat, and sent to prison, and abandoned by his family when he needed them most. A compelling true story about a boy and his MINDSET. I believe my book will be a great featured film/series because it will shock and bring forth emotions that will inform parents that they need to watch the people ar around their children and make them more aware on what thay allow their child to witness or be subjected to and how they show TALK more with them, than at them. it will inspire those who live with the belief that they cant get out of them street or stay out of prison, be free from drugs and hate. It will help many change their MINDSET. i believed it, because it will encouarge them to be stronger.

About The Author

James M. sellers is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, but now resides in Kansas City, Missouri, where he is an writer and also a artistic mime praise dancer and teacher where he imparts wisdom and shares his experiences with adults, teenagers and children alike. he has toured many states and cities and have been in company with many great performers. James is a first-time author who has written and self-published his own autobiography and memoirs titled; The Shadows of a Man. James comes from a back ground of sexual abuse, drug addiction, crime, prostitution and a long prison experience. He survived.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal, Male Leaning, LGBT Leaning, Other

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: OutskirtsPress

Year Published: August 16

Hard Copy Available







James Sellers is a boy born in a hostile environment, surrounded by drugs and crime. Constantly sexually harassed by older cousins, he discovers his homosexuality through violence, ends up getting involved in crime to take care of his family, becomes a drug addict, and is sent to prison after killing a man. James feels the frustration of being abandoned by his family at a time when he most needs their support.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: FAIR

Premise: GOOD

Structure: FAIR

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

Mostly yes. However, I would remove some genres from the profile, such as horror, epic, and adventure. Also, James is the protagonist, not the mentor of the story.

Draw of Story

The level of detail and realism with which this memory is told makes us jump into little James's story right away. James listens from a very young age that he must take care of his family. This sentence (at first said by his father as a way to make this little boy grow as a responsible man) echoes in his mind throughout his life, tracing a trajectory of pain and frustration, guided by this heavy burden. It's an excellent way to introduce little James, which makes us understand most of his actions.

Possible Drawbacks

The book is quite long, mainly because it is deep in details about James' life phases. Some passages sound repetitive, like the different sexual experiences he has throughout his youth and every time he gets high. This sequence of facts makes us understand James' gradual changes in attitude and internal conflicts as a character, but the extensive line of facts, names, and details can make reading a bit tiring. The vast number of characters also makes the experience a little tiring. The book's adaptation could focus on the main events, removing the repetitions and unnecessary events but maintaining the logical narrative line and this character's gradual change.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is how childhood is able to affect a person's life. A maxim heard in childhood, interpreted by a child's mind, can echo unconsciously throughout life, leading an adult to wrong choices and suffering. A hostile childhood environment can shape personality and flaws in a person. In addition to following James' journey, this idea that everything he goes through in his life started in his childhood is a powerful hook.

Fanbase Potential

Suppose the adaptation focuses on the central line of events based on a problematic childhood, on the most relevant characters, on troubled but still strong family relationships, and the main character's countless internal conflicts. In that case, I believe the story could reach a large fanbase.

Awards Potential

It has the potential for awards because of its intense dramatic load and the author's courage to tell this story with honesty and numerous details. Crime, prostitution, and drug addiction are not romanticized here in any way, and it is this realistic approach in which James faces his own life that makes the book an exciting narrative. The scene in which James realizes that his mother used his savings to get high while he was waiting in jail for the money to pay his bond is a punch in the stomach.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

He does everything he can for the family, including prostituting himself, committing crimes so that his siblings and mother can have a good life, and having been abandoned by this same family when he needed it most. It is a point that makes the narrative even more solid and complex.

Lead Characters

James is a well-structured protagonist. From the beginning of the book, we have been prepared for the arduous journey ahead. He commits crimes, kills a man, prostitutes himself for money and drugs, but even so, we entirely understand the circumstances that led him to those attitudes. James' family, friends, and all those around him are complex, leaving the Manichaean image of the "murderer, drugged, criminal," and presenting humans as humans, with their nice personalities (especially regarding relationships), flaws, and failures. The family functions as a unique gear, as a single character driven by an erroneous mother who fights for her children in her own way."

Uniqueness of Story

It is not a rare gem, as it tells a story that has been visited before, but it has interesting elements to become a captivating audiovisual story.

Possible Formats

Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



The story looks like a highly detailed diary of a life full of challenges—an essay on how childhood events affect a character's entire journey. The level of detail makes the story even more realistic, more relevant. There is no room for romanticizing crime, prostitution, and drugs. The narrative here shows the reality of addicted people who leave their lives aside to feed this addiction. James' mother is an excellent example of this situation. The family's responsibilities fall on the little one James mainly because his mother spends most of her days high. James, who takes care of his relatives, is the person who notices what is wrong at home and the bad choices his sisters are starting to make. Despite deviations and events that are somewhat unnecessary for the reader, the narrative gradually shows how James transformed himself from a naive child into a criminal teenager. How childhood sexual abuse led him to a life of sex disconnected from love, how he came to view sex as a business, and drugs as an escape from reality. The characters are complex enough to raise many reflections on the human personality. Is a human being shaped according to the environment in which he is born and lives? According to James' story, it seems so. James is a complex character, likable despite his attitudes. At times, we feel angry that James destroys his own life for a family that does not appear to care for him. However, this is what moves him and what makes him a unique character. Some scenes are pretty strong, intense, violent, uncomfortable, and perhaps, due to the parental rating desired by the producers, the adaptation should soften some scenes, leaving them only suggestive, rather than showing explicit scenes of drugs and sex. The dramatic load is undeniable. One of the most breathtaking scenes is that of James realizing that his mother used his savings to get high when he was waiting in a cell for a bond. The feeling of abandonment, betrayal, frustration is exceptionally striking. Despite having sequences and scenes that seem unnecessary for the audiovisual story and excessive use of characters, which for the screen, would not work so well, has so many details, an intriguing narrative, complex characters, and a relevant theme. The book would work as an excellent support material for adaptation. Obviously, changes would need to be made, but the story is thought-provoking enough to be considered.