Last Dance: and A Loving Mother

Stephen Manning

Book Cover

GENRE

MEMOIR FAMILY YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE BIOGRAPHICAL

    Core Theme

    LOVE LOSS & GRIEF

    TIME PERIOD

    20th Century (multiple decades)

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    LOVE STORY (1980)

    CHARACTER LIST

    MARY ANN MANNING: 20S-30S-40S-50S-60S. LEAD. LOVELY,ORGANIZED, DEVOTED TO HER FAMILY.

    STEPHEN MANNING: 21-62. MARY ANN’S HUSBAND. FATHER OF THEIR FOUR CHILDREN. LOVELY, DEVOTED, HARD WORKER.

    KRISTIE:0-30S. FIRST DAUGHTER. ATTENTIVE AND CONSIDERATE. HOSPITALIST AT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL.

    KARIE. 0-30S. SECOND DAUGHTER. SWEET AND ADORABLE. TEACHER IN HIGH SCHOOL.

    RYAN. 0-20S. FIRST SON AND THIRD KID. WORKS WITH FINANCES. WELL-SUCCEEDED.

    KYLE. 0-20S. SECOND SON AND FOURTH KID. PLAYFUL AND ACTIVE. WORK WITH SOFTWARE DESIGN. DIED AFTER TAKING MEDICINE FOR PAIN

    Logline

    Last Dance is a gripping story of how a loving family deals with many great successes life has to offer but also how a family deals with some significant tragedies. Including the loss of a son and the devastating effects of breast cancer on a Loving Mother.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Chicago, Pittsburg, London, San Francisco

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Self-published

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    The first part of the story describes how Stephen and his lovely wife Mary Ann first met, married, and started their family together.

    Ending Description

    The story ends with the family dealing with the loss of our youngest son Kyle and Mary Ann being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Then Mary Ann struggling to make the Last Dance with our son Ryan at his wedding. Mary Ann passed just 72 hours after that dance.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    978-1-7346240-0-7

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Mary Ann Manning

    Age: 20 to 60 years old

    Gender: Female

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Modest,Charming,Confident,Selfless,Engaging,Outspoken,Faithful,Romantic,Gracious,Honorable,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Stephen Manning

    Age: 21-62

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Aggressive,Confident,Patriotic,Religious,Engaging,Faithful,Skillful,Gracious,Visionary,Romantic,Educated,Leader,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Kristie, Karie, Ryan and Kyle

    Age: 0-32

    Gender: Other

    Role: emotional

    Key Traits: Modest,Charming,Empathetic,Selfless,Engaging,Gracious,Educated,Honorable

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    This would be best for a film. It's a wonderful story of love and family development. How two people can come together from different backgrounds, fall in love and build a family together. It talks about all the challenges and decisions that have to be made to raise a family and pursue a career together. How decisions have to be made together and focused on the long-term effect of those decisions is on the family. Although this family enjoyed many successes, they also had to deal with some significant tragedies, including losing their parents, their youngest son Kyle and their loving mother's diagnosis with stage 4 breast cancer. Throughout the story, the reader learns the strength and influence of a loving mother on the health and development of a family unit. Her strength and love for her children are well demonstrated in the story as she struggles with all of her strength to get to that last dance with her son at his wedding. Against all odds she gets to that dance only to succumb to her stage four breast cancer 72 hours after that dance.

    Genre

    ROMANCE, DRAMA

    Brief

    Stephen Manning is a talented and hard worker accountant who becomes very successful with high-paying jobs at a young age. He met Mary Ann at his first job, and she becomes his wife and a loving mother of their four children. While spending a prosperous and pleasant life together, they have to deal with losing their youngest son Kyle, who died suddenly after taking medication. After a while, Mary Ann is being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Her goal is to make the last dance with her son Ryan at his wedding. Mary Ann passed 72 hours after the event.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: FAIR

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, it is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    Although the main subject is the family and their loss, the story brings fascinating insights into the American lifestyle in the 1970s and 1980s, discussing the opium epidemic, suicide, elderly care, cancer treatment, financial business dealings, and the costs of California residential real estate at that time.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The book has a slow pace during the first half, making the reading sometimes tiresome. There are also many specific details concerning Manning’s auditing jobs, over-explanation of daily activities, and work-related projects that are not very relevant. It takes the focuses on the essential part of the story (Mary Ann and her children).

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    As Stephen Manning tells the story of how he met Mary Ann and how they fell in love until she died, he retraces every moment of the relationship in great detail. Throughout the narrative, the audience is immersed in social celebrations, weddings, and childbirth, as well as the tragedies of death. The book is also an interesting snapshot of the prosperous American lifestyle in the 1970s and 1980s, with accounts of Reagan's Star Wars program, Sears credit cards, travels, and communication before cell phones and the internet.

    Fanbase Potential

    Although this is not a narrative for fanbases, stories featuring loved ones dealing with tragic events are usually popular.

    Awards Potential

    There are plenty of love stories available on the market, so it's hard to say. The Awards have honored several of them in their nominations, but many more didn't make the cut. It would probably need to be reinforced by a notable director or cast if it wants to make an impact.

    Envisioned Budget

    LOW BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    LOVE STORY (1980)

    What’s New About the Story

    This story is filled with love, hope, and commitment, highlighting the challenges of managing career and family life. Although the main subject is the family and their loss, the story also brings insights into the opium epidemic, suicide, elderly care, cancer treatment, and financial business dealings. There are also opportunities to discuss California residential real estate costs and the lure of Napa Valley at that time.

    Lead Characters

    Mary Ann defined the role of wife and mother. Self-less and devoted to her family, she resigned from her job to be a stay-at-home mom and raise her children properly. The story of her life shows women living in middle-class lifestyles in western American culture throughout the years. Stephen Manning is a talented and hard worker accountant who becomes very successful with high-paying jobs at a young age. A man with great foresight, he is a sports enthusiast and spends a lot of time traveling on business. His way of dealing with the loss of his son and life partner is heartbreaking. Together, they created a long-lasting legacy with their family.

    Uniqueness of Story

    Unfortunately, this story is not rare, making it stand out among others in the same genre. Although they face tragic events, the narrative centered on a healthy, functional, and happy white American family is predictable. It’s a beautiful tribute, but there are no many conflicts, controversy, or extraordinary characters that make it attractive for a movie.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    Although this is a moving narrative, it is yet another love story about a healthy, functional, and happy white family growing up in a western culture in the United States facing life obstacles. There isn’t much unique in this story that sets it apart from other projects in the genre.

    Tips for Improvement

    The story could better serve by adding more conflicts, controversy, or extraordinary characters for dramatization purposes. It would probably also need to be supported by a notable director or cast to make a lasting impression.

    Brief

    Stephen Manning is a talented and hard worker accountant who becomes very successful with high-paying jobs at a young age. He met Mary Ann at his first job, and she becomes his wife and a loving mother of their four children. While spending a successful and enjoyable life together, they have to deal with the loss of their youngest son Kyle, who died suddenly after taking medication. After a while, Mary Ann is being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Her goal is to make the last dance with her son Ryan at his wedding. Mary Ann passed 72 hours after the event.

    What We Liked

    As Stephen Manning tells the story of how he met Mary Ann and how they fell in love until she died, he retraces every moment of the relationship in great detail. This story is filled with love, hope, and commitment, highlighting the challenges of managing career and family life. Throughout the narrative, the audience is immersed in social celebrations, weddings, and childbirths, as well as the tragedies of death. The narrative also provides an interesting snapshot of the prosperous American lifestyle in the 1970s and 1980s, with accounts of Reagan's Star Wars program, Sears credit cards, travels, and communication before cell phones and the internet. It brings fascinating insights about the opium epidemic, suicide, elderly care, cancer treatment, financial business dealings, and California residential real estate costs at that time.

    Film: As a movie, Last Dance offers great insight into the American lifestyle during the 1970s and late 2000s. Stephen is a sports enthusiast and spends a lot of time traveling on business, which brings opportunities to show different places and cultures. Although the main subject is the family and their loss, the story also brings insights into the opium epidemic, suicide, elderly care, cancer treatment, financial business dealings, and California residential real estate costs at that time.

    TV: Stephen Manning retraces every moment of his relationship with Mary Ann in great detail. Last Dance can be developed over a mini-series where each episode shows a different phase of their lives, from their first meeting until Marry Ann's death. Social celebrations, weddings, and childbirths offer opportunities to discuss the middle-class American lifestyle over the years, from the 1970s through the late 2000s.

    Key points:
    1. True story
    2. Family tragedies
    3. Meaningful message
    4. Love story
    5. Low budget

    Synopsis

    Stephen Manning grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1974 with a B.S. in Economics and Finance with a minor in Accounting, Stephen Manning found himself moving to Chicago to take up a new job opportunity at Inland Steel Company.

    As a young man, his mother advised him that he would meet a lot of girls, but "when you meet that special someone, please make sure she is the one you want to raise your children." The guidance profoundly impacted him, prompting him to form the ideal of a loving mother in his mind.

    As he settled at Inland, he noticed a beautiful young lady who worked in the sales department and came to perform transactions on the accounting floor. On his way to and from work, he happened to meet the same woman on the bus, and they soon became friends. He learned that she is dating a coworker, but things are not very well. After some time, he was pleasantly surprised to know that her relationship was over. He seized the opportunity to ask her out and began their romance.

    After a while, Stephen was headhunted to join the Operational Audit Group at Rockwell International, which he accepted. As Mary Ann took her time to process this news, she made it clear that she could not move with Stephen "without a ring on her finger." In no time, he proposed, and with excitement, they began planning their wedding.

    After Mary Ann revealed that she had a medical issue that could compromise her ability to have babies, Stephen was shaken, questioning his decision to marry someone who might not be able to give him children. Still, he and Mary Ann began a wonderful life together, and she becomes the loving mother of their four children.

    Very successful in his career, Stephen spent a lot of time traveling on business, while Mary Ann is a stay-at-home mom. He held high-flying jobs that required them to relocate from one country to another and from one company to another. Despite his senior positions, he always respected Mary Ann's decisions and never made any moves without consulting her. They also live a good life: sports enthusiasts, they go to the best hotels and restaurants across the world, including cruising trips.

    After establishing themselves in the Bay area to raise four children in the beautiful town of Pleasanton, CA, they face a tragedy in their family: the sudden death of their youngest son, Kyle, after taking medication for pain.

    After a while, Mary Ann is diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She fights the disease with strength and determination. Her goal is to make the last dance at her son Ryan's wedding. Her family ensured that all the necessary considerations were in place so she will be able to fulfill her dream, even being in limited condition. The family then prepared to say goodbye to Mary Ann. She passed 72 hours after the wedding.

    About The Author

    Stephen Manning lives and works with Information Technology and Services in the Silicon Valley of Northern Californian. After a few years of the morning his wife Mary Ann's passing from breast cancer, Stephen decided to write a book about Mary Ann's life, meeting, marriage, and how they grew a family together. Last Dance is Stephen's first book and took over 18 months to write, edit and publish.