Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Abigail Project Expands in Interesting Ways

The Abigail project team continues to work hard in preparation for the fall launch of Abigail Massey at McAdam Station, Volume 4, with six exciting new stories and six wonderful new illustrations.

"We're excited to report that Mary O'Keefe, a talented writer and McAdam native, has joined the team and contributed two really fantastic stories to this new collection," original Abigail author Mark Walma said recently.

"Mary brings a bright and upbeat tone to her stories and her indepth knowledge of the people and culture of the McAdam area really adds the ring of authenticity."

Walma said the fourth collection of historical stories for children set at the McAdam Station in the early 1940s involves the departure of one familiar character and the emergence of a new, potentially troubling character.

But the new Volume isn't the only project that is garnering the attention of the team: work is underway to convert the special Abigail novella, A McAdam Station Christmas, into a stage play and to adapt the short stories into scripts for a web series.

"We're looking to expand our Abigail's reach," author Mark Walma said recently, "to introduce her to new audiences both in live action and online formats."

Walma said that a draft play has already been created and he is working with established screen writer Nancy Lynch to shop the play to community theatres around New Brunswick. "Nancy is a very driven, talented person and we're lucky she's taken an interest in our project," Walma said.

Lynch is also the driving force behind the web-series idea, working with Walma to develop a "teaser trailer" for the proposed new online TV series that could be used to apply for grant funding from government arts institutions.

"I had never really heard of web series before Nancy brought it up," the author laughed, "but it sounds like a fun and exciting opportunity for us. Stated simply, a web series is like a mini television series that is made available to the public entirely online, through outlets like Youtube."

He pointed out that, with the publication of Volume 4, the project team will have a total of 18 Abigail stories that could be adapted into four-to-six minute web episodes.

"That's enough for a really strong start and, if the we get that far and attract an audience, we'll be able to seek out more funding, perhaps even sponsorships," Walma said.

"And, since the main goal of entire project is to support the restoration and preservation of the McAdam Railway Station and Hotel, anything we can do to increase the profile of the Station within New Brunswick and across the country will be well worth the effort!"

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