THE WHITE MAN IN THE GRAVEYARD
HORROR SUSPENSE / THRILLER SCI-FI SUSPENSE/THRILLER
Robert A. Atkinson
Ghosts. UFOs. Demonic activity. Shadow Governments. Margaret Sasha Davies had always felt more was going on in the world than the mainstream media was reporting. So when the left-leaning Brit met staunchly conservative Lucas Harrell while attending school in Charleston, an unusual and lasting friendship began. Lucas felt the same way and, over the years, the two built a large database of alternative news and paranormal material, investigating everything from cryptozoology to political corruption. Now a state law enforcement officer, Lucas feeds information to Sasha for her radio and internet show, Sasha’s Realm. She, in turn, helps him solve some very bizarre cases. When Lucas is partnered with straight-laced Navy veteran Carol Ann “Skipper” LeBlanc, the pseudonym “White Man in the Graveyard” is resurrected to protect his identity as Sasha’s source. From the Spanish Moss-draped oaks of the Low Country to the pine thickets of the Sand Hills, Lucas and Skipper confront some of South Carolina’s creepiest haunts and legends. Like when a massive thunderstorm leaves rural Lee County without electricity and a long-forgotten nightmare from African-American folklore returns. A missing person case puts the agents in the middle of it all to face the dreaded “Flats and Blacks.” They also discover that an old Cherokee blanket or a musty, stuffed animal can become the best friends that lonely children can have. They find out that even common farm animals can be trouble when filled with the wrong spirits and, of course, voodoo is nothing to casually dabble in. Lucas and Skipper are rescued by a WWII hero; the only problem is that he died in that war. A flamboyant Civil War officer also makes an appearance, to see how the South is fairing in the war of Northern aggression. Apparently, death isn’t even the end of the story, provided you negotiated your contract well. If that wasn’t enough, they stumble upon the descendants of a race of giants known as the Nephilim. Though not quite as massive as their forefathers chronicled in the Christian Bible, these “mighty men of renown” nonetheless prove to be quite a handful. And they’ve not forgotten the old plan to subdue the Seed of Adam! “The white man in the graveyard,” the old man said. “He’s tryin’ to put back what never shoulda’ been let out.” Those were the words that made Lucas a local legend and began his journey through the supernatural.
Horror, Suspense / Thriller,,Sci-fi,Suspense/Thriller
This book is a series of "episodes," centering on a set of main characters. The mythology begins about midway in and runs through the end. The X-Files is a good reference of both the setup and genre.
The two main characters are left with the realization that the US Government is working with the supernatural creatures that they have been fighting against. It is a clear ending, but left open for the next book in the series.
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Plot - Other Elements
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Main Character Details
Name: Lucas Harrell
Key Traits: Adventurous, Complex
Additional Character Details
Name: Carol Ann "Skipper" LeBlanc
Key Traits: Faithful, Charming
Additional Character Details
Name: Margaret Sasha Davies
Key Traits: Educated, Sexy, Sophisticated,Complex,Seductive,Sexy
Additional Character Details
The author has not yet written this
If you miss the X Files, you'll love TWMitG!
Lucas and Skipper investigates unusual cases in the South. Lucas relies on his knowledgeable friend, Sasha the radio host, for her wealth of supernatural lore. When the legends start becoming real, the three have to work together to solve the problems before the consequences get worse. The three could not be more different, but they make it work for the sake of the community.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT
Accuracy of Book Profile
The current logline functions more as a development pitch and should be switched to that section. It is a really good overview, but some of the background information presented would be helpful to include in the narrative as the relationships are already established which could be confusing to those new to the series. The logline itself should talk about what this volume in particular has to offer in originality in around one to two sentences rather than compare it to another piece of media.
Draw of Story
The cases that the team comes across are wide-ranging, super creative and provide intriguing folklore and legends. The side effects of each case and how they solve them are also compelling.
Because of the structure of the multiple cases without a larger case to link them there seems to be no lasting consequences or chronological order to the events or the character's trauma. This makes the main character's internal conflicts hard to track and thus they can feel somewhat static at times even if they are slowly being developed throughout the story.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that two straight-laced conservative detectives are in in cahoots with a left-wing supernatural scholar/ radio host to solve wild supernatural cases in the South. The monsters intertwine folklore and history as well as healthy infusions of imagination to create fresh gothic characters and a creepy tone filled with suspense. Because a lot of the monsters were created rather than adapted they're unpredictable which is intriguing.
This could have a huge fanbase if the main character dynamics are solidified and their internal conflicts are more apparent to create emotional investment in the detectives despite the procedural and episodic nature of the supernatural cases.
This is unlikely to have awards potential for film due to the slow development of the characters, but as a TV medium this could have potential either as the whole series or for select episodes.
Similar Films/TV Series
X-FILES, SUPERNATURAL, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (TV), LAW AND ORDER SVU, NCIS, TRUE BLOOD, POLTERGEIST, TERRIFIED
What’s New About the Story
Each of the cases has different monsters, different problems and different needs in order to be solved. The actual investigators themselves however could have clearer internal conflict to make them more memorable.
Lucas is surefire and quick on his feet. Carol Ann "Skipper" is determined and skeptical. Sasha is brassy and brilliant.
Uniqueness of Story
The protagonists need lasting consequences in their lives from the investigation in order for the otherworldly phenomenon to feel ground and chronological. The actual monsters are rare gems, but the episodic structure could benefit from fine-tuning.
TV Series - Network, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
Rounding out the main characters and furthering their relationship dynamics would help strengthen the emotional investment and link up the narrative between the monsters. Otherwise the episodes wouldn't require the specific protagonist investigators to solve.