The Imagineum

The Mindscapes of


Christopher Sirmons Haviland, also published as C.S. Haviland and produced as Christopher S. Haviland, has a BA in Radio/Television/Film from UNT.

He studied writing under the personal tutelage of Terry Brooks, Ben Bova, John Saul, Dorothy Allison and Lawrence Montaigne. This site explores his work.


IMDB * ISFDB * Amazon.com * ISA * WordFire Press

The Tree

Can you imagine? Can you believe?

The Tree is a series of 4 stories (a Tetralogy), each taking place in a different season of a single year. The first story, Faith & Fairies, takes place in the Summer. The second story, Maps & Mermaids, takes place in the Fall. The third story, Rats & Riddles, takes place in the Winter. and the fourth story, Dryads & Dinosaurs, takes place in the Spring.

The Tree is also a screenplay (equates to the Faith & Fairies storyline), and actually predates the novel. It was written while I was working at SHO Entertainment at Universal Studios Florida around 1991-1992. It fared very well at many major writing contests over the years. I adapted it into a novel in 2003, self-published as Faith & Fairies in 2004 by my company LegendMaker Scriptoria, and my initial run ran out too fast. So I fixed a few issues and published a better version in 2005. Its sequels, however, still only exist in outline form, and I will not send them in for publication until I revisit my publishing strategy with these books. See FaithAndFairies.com.


The Tree


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Spec Screenplay
Fantasy
Christopher Sirmons Haviland (based on the novel Faith & Fairies)
AVAILABLE FOR OPTION
Three orphan boys, lost in the woods, enter a hidden world that runs on faith, where a race of tree-fairies will die unless the boys rescue their empress from a satyr king.

Nominated:

Best Feature Screenplay, Round 4 - 2019 Genre Celebration Festival (Tokyo, Japan)

Quarter-Finalist:

2002 Screenwriting Expo (sponsored by Creative Screenwriting Magazine)

Quarter-Finalist:

2002 New Century Writer Awards

Finalist:

2001 People's Picture Show contest

Honorable Mention:

2001 The Writers Network competition

2-time Semi-Finalist:

1998 and 2001 Chesterfield Writer's Film Project (sponsored by Amblin' Entertainment and Universal Pictures)

Semi-Finalist:

1999 Maui Writers Conference National Screenwriting Competition

Quarter-Finalist:

1993 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting (sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)


Faith & Fairies


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Novel
Fantasy
Christopher Sirmons Haviland
Published by LegendMaker Scriptoria (2004, 2005)
Three orphan boys, lost in the woods, enter a hidden world that runs on faith, where a race of tree-fairies will die unless the boys rescue their empress from a satyr king.

Lost in the woods, three orphan boys with troubled pasts come upon an incredible secret: A giant tree guarded by five beautiful winged girls who call themselves Woodkeepers. They are dryads...tree fairies, and their kind is dying.

They are all linked to the health of their mother empress, who has been taken captive by King Stag, leader of a race of satyrs in a parallel world. She has been drugged, and will die if they do not rescue her in time.

The kiss of a human boy will heal a dryad, and so they propose an idea to the boys: Join them on a perilous mission to infiltrate Ram Towers, and sneak under the nose of a great black dragon and past an army of satyrs and minotaurs, to find and heal the empress mother before it's too late!

DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that I cannot tell you which part of this novel is based on family legend. I am a Haviland, I am therefore not allowed. There are consequences, you see...

I cannot stop you from looking up Haviland Hollow on a map of New York. If you find it (and you may not), I can't stop you from going there.


And if you see something strange there, something you didn't think could possibly exist, don't say I invited you--because I didn't.

But if I don't invite you, you shouldn't see anything there anyway.

At least...you're not supposed to.

"Our mundane world seems to have a number of gates to strange places and adventures to suit every occasion and purpose. FAITH & FAIRIES, with exciting encounters between young humans strong in disbelief, and magic as old as the first tree, has opened another such to entice the explorer. As one can truly say--a good read!" —Andre Norton, The late Grand Master author of Witch World, The Beast Master, Catfantastic, The Solar Queen, and more than 200 other science fiction and fantasy novels since 1938.

"An enchanting tale full of humor and whimsy, reminiscent of such young adult classics as THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA...full of wonder and imagination, yet feels familiar and real. There is much to like..." —Eldon Thompson, Author of The Legend of Asahiel series.

"...a finely crafted, haunting tale of adventure, sacrifice and love that fondly recalls the young adult fantasy novels of C.S. Lewis, Andre Norton and Madeleine L'Engle." —The St. Augustine Record, St. Augustine, Florida

"Author C.S. Haviland has composed a mythical and magical turn of events in FAITH & FAIRIES. Some compare the story to C.S. Lewis' THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE." —The Ames Tribune, Ames, Iowa

"Rarely do I read, nor enjoy fantasy novels but I am very happy to say this is one I like very much. I think its because I can relate to the characters, unlike other fantasy novels that are about long ago societies, or worlds very different from our own. It's the story of several teenage boys who enter a magical world that becomes more interesting page after page. Haviland is in the class of L. Frank Baum, Terry Brooks, or Stephen Donaldson who are some of the authors I have enjoyed." —MidWest Book Review

"FAITH & FAIRIES is a sweet fantasy story filled with wonder, magic, and fairies. There is also a good deal of action and adventure. Kissing as a healing method for fairies, quite an interesting concept." —TCM Reviews

"All I can say is, when is the next one coming out? Very enjoyable and original. ... There was nothing in this book that set off echoes of anything else I ever read, and that is a very hard thing to accomplish." —Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Author of Yesterday's Dreams

The First of May

Some families are chosen

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Feature Film
Drama
Christopher Sirmons Haviland
Distributed to Foreign Theatrical, HBO, TBN
An unwanted boy and a forgotten old lady find running away to join the circus is really coming home.

Buy it on Amazon.com

The First of May is a G-rated family film I co-produced in 1997 (released in 1999 in limited foreign theatrical, and later on HBO and TBN, and several variations on DVD). Based on the novel The Golden Days by Gail Radley, it starred Julie Harris, Charles Nelson Reilly, Robin O'Dell, Tom Nowicky, Dan Byrd, Mickey Rooney, Gerard Christopher, Mikki Scanlon, and Joe DiMaggio (yes, THAT Joe DiMaggio, of Yankees fame). It was directed by my first cousin once removed, Paul Sirmons, with whom I co-founded SHO Entertainment (which produced the movie). It was financed by John B. Goodman (not to be confused with the actor John Goodman who had nothing to do with this), with a screenplay by Gary Rogers who had discovered the book in a book fair in the same town where we would later film the movie (Lake Helen, Florida). It was also executive produced by Reza Badiyi, one of the most accomplished producers and directors in television.

As a co-producer my only real role was secondary financing in the area of goods and services. For that effort I earned a "front porch" credit (at the start of the movie). However my active role was as a Location Manager, the first and last time I ever filled that position on any movie. For that, I also got a "back porch" credit (in the rolling credits at the end of the movie). The actual production of this movie was almost entirely the effort of Paul Sirmons, Gary Rogers and Reza Badiyi.

The late Julie Harris (The Haunting, East of Eden) plays Carlotta, a former circus fortune teller who doesn't fit in to the nursing home where she's been confined. Dan Byrd (Cougar Town, Any Day Now) in his debut feature film role plays Cory, a foster kid who doesn't fit in with any family who tries to adopt him. Fate brings the two together as they share a vision: to escape the establishment that confines them. So they run away together and attempt to make a living on the streets. Their adventures lead them to the very circus where Carlotta used to perform.

The term "First of May" is a reference to someone who is new to the circus, as they are typically cast at the start of May to begin rehearsing for the summer exhibitions. Dan is their First of May, and tries to make a go at this unusual life.

Famed actor Mickey Rooney (A Family Affair, Breakfast at Tiffany's) plays Boss Ed, the owner of the circus. Character actor Charles Nelson Reilly (The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Lidsville) plays Dinghy, an aging clown. Gerard Christopher (Superboy, Sunset Beach) plays Zack, a motorcycle stunt rider. And baseball Hall-of-Famer Joe DiMaggio has a cameo appearance playing himself.

Embracing the Sunrise

How many coincidences make a miracle?

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Spec Screenplay
Drama
Christopher Sirmons Haviland
UNDER OPTION (see IMDB.com)
In 1969, an 8-year old little girl was abducted, raped, beaten, struck over the head with a pipe, stabbed repeatedly with a knife, disemboweled with a razor, and buried in the woods. Estranged from his own little girl, Detective Redman must choose between solving this murder and keeping his family.

(Former title: HARMLESS)

Inspired by the True Crime book Murder of a Little Girl by Samuel Roen

2-time Quarter-Finalist:

2003 and 2013 Zoetrope Screenwriting Contest (judged by Francis Ford Coppola) [under former title HARMLESS]

Code & Creation

Who are you?

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Science Fiction
Christopher Sirmons Haviland
AVAILABLE FOR OPTION (see InkTip.com)
In a computerized underground reality, where there is no such thing as "male," women are created in retro-tech habitats and spend their lives in isolation, using machines to create other women in other habitats. But the society is turned upsidedown when a man is created by accident.

(Former title: CODE & CHEMISTRY)

Quarter-Finalist:

WINNER:

Best Feature Screenplay, Round 4 - 2019 Genre Celebration Festival (Tokyo, Japan)

Finalist:

Semi-Finalist:

2019 Other Worlds Austin SciFi Screenwriting Contest

Semi-Finalist:

2012 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting (sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences). It was one of 129 best out of 7,197 entries. It was listed at Oscars.org as CODE & CHEMISTRY.

According to judges representing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (of Oscar / Emmy fame), this was among the 1% best unproduced scripts in the world in the biggest screenwriting competition in history.

Quarter-Finalist:

2002 New Century Writer Awards

Semi-Finalist:

2001 Chesterfield Writer's Film Project screenplay contest managed by Universal Pictures and Steven Spielberg's Amblin' Entertainment.

Code & Creation (formerly entitled Code & Chemistry) is a witty allegorical low-budget science fiction movie that takes place mostly on a single set with a single actor who interacts with other characters on "cam-screens."

The story is chocked full of hidden meanings, suggesting the emergence of self-awareness while exploring social and psychological issues such as the erosion of freedoms by technological isolationism (in contrast with claustrophobia), cultural dysfunctions and crowd mentality resulting from a lack of individual conscientiousness such as the power of groupthink, the intuition and perils of true AI clashing with gender awareness and reproductive curiosity, sexual stigma, capital punishment, civil disobedience, the morality of social experiments, shame, and self delusion. It even suggests parallel reality theories of quantum physics (particularly "Schrödinger's Cat" and Quantum Superposition).

It's not a heavy-handed story. It doesn't draw conclusions or preach paradigms. It's fun, but gives the audience a lot to think about. You will find its motifs and intentions in science fiction movies like THX-1138, Moon, Cube, Brazil and Ex Machina.

The Synopsis Treasury

Read what worked

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Book (Non-Fiction)
Writing Reference
Christopher Sirmons Haviland
Published by WordFire Press (2015)
A collection of actual synopses and story proposals written by established authors and submitted to market for publication.

Order it on Amazon.com

Featuring never-before-seen work by: H.G. Wells, Jack Williamson, Andre Norton, Robert A. Heinlein, James Gunn, Frank Herbert, Ben Bova, Piers Anthony, Michael Bishop, Joe Haldeman, Terry Brooks, Robert E. Vardeman, Orson Scott Card, David Brin, Connie Willis, Janny Wurts, James P. Blaylock, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Bruce Coville, Margaret Weis, Judith Tarr, Nancy Varian Berberick, Robert J. Sawyer, Irene Radford, Sara Douglass, Louise Marley, Roberta Gellis, Ian R. MacLeod, Julie E. Czerneda, Jacqueline Carey, Chris Roberson, and Eldon Thompson, with an original introduction by former Del Rey Vice President and Senior Editor, Betsy Mitchell, and publisher feedback from Damon Knight and Frederik Pohl.

"...groundbreaking..." — MidWest Book Review

Phantasmagorium

There's no place like home.

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Spec Screenplay
Horror
Christopher Sirmons Haviland
UNDER OPTION
Jim Westfall must free his family from a mansion that is actually an inter-dimensional predator that disguises itself as human dwellings to lure in victims.

I always wanted to write my own haunted house tale, and for years had this idea I called Mansion. But it just felt like all the other haunted house stories. I wanted something that had a familiar theme but felt less cliché. So I came up with the idea that perhaps the house is not haunted by ghosts. Instead, the house is a ghost.

What if there is a transdimensional apex predator that can trick your mind and lure you in with letters of inheritance -- something that attracts humans, in the same way that an Angler fish lures food into its mouth with a dangling light at the end of an antenna? What if it can taste fear, and if you die in the house it feeds on your soul? And what if, when you get into the house, once you are separated from the rest of your party, it can create copies of them and use the copies to confuse you? It can even trick you into thinking you have escaped, but you are still inside. How could you ever escape a nightmare scenario in which you can no longer trust your sensess? And thus emerged Phantasmagorium.

Fang Hunters

The secret ingredient is not what you think...

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Spec Screenplay
Horror / Comedy
Christopher Sirmons Haviland
UNDER OPTION (see IMDB.com)
Answering an ad in Monster.com, a young man lands a night job for the manufacturer of an anti-wrinkle skin cream. Turns out their secret ingredient is vampire venom. His job is to help hunt down the vampires and rip out their fangs, until they organize and take revenge.

Finalist:

2007 AAA Screenplay Contest (sponsored by Creative Screenwriting Magazine)

Fang Hunters approaches the genre in the way as An American Werewolf in London. The idea is to be scary and funny  at the same time without "going camp." Years ago I had the opportunity of working with director John Landis as his stand-in on Psycho 4 (a sequel directed by Mick Garris and the last Norman Bates movie starring Anthony Perkins, in which John Landis had a cameo as the manager of a radio station that Bates was calling into with his life story). I pitched to Landis a script I wrote called Lunatic (a story in the vein of Nightmare of Elm Street) which was my first attempt at this style of merging horror and comedy, written for SHO Entertainment which had I co-founded with Paul Sirmons at Universal Studios Florida in 1990. While that script was not picked up, I learned how to refine this style and in later years wrote Fang Hunters as a result of it. The result is familiar but original, both scary and witty, and I think will be very entertaining.

Parental Control

Changing your life is child's play.

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Spec Screenplay
Comedy (with elements of pseudo-SciFi)
Christopher Sirmons Haviland
AVAILABLE FOR OPTION (see InkTip.com)
A motherless boy finds an invention that can secretly remote-control his dad’s body from the neck down, and uses it to force his confused dad to sabotage a job relocation and court the babysitter.

I generally don't try writing straight-up comedies, but the idea for this script - while absurd - had too many opportunities for silly situations that I couldn't pass it up. Shep's poor dad has no idea why his body is doing all these strange things, and he desperately tries to explain himself to his colleagues and clients. I call it pseudo-scifi because of the machine that uses DNA from a hair sample to gain this control, but the whole idea is ridiculously impossible scientifically. It's just meant to be fun and silly, and I think I accomplished that.

Crytpic Harmony

The end is nigh.

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Novel
Science Fiction / Fantasy
Christopher Sirmons Haviland
WRITING IN PROGRESS
(a secret for now!)

Cryptic Harmony describes the universe of two series of novels: The Celestial Septology and The Symphonitron Septology. The Celestial Septology searches to uncover the dark mysteries of an ancient past, whereas The Symphonitron Septology looks for solutions to survive a catastrophic future.

It is an epic set of stories with numerous fully developed characters set against a rich worldbuild that blends classic fantasy with space opera, my two favorite genres.

Thematically you could imagine it as Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars, or Game of Thrones meets Battlestar Galactica

But my overall story arcs are vastly different, echoing religious, philosophical and social themes, such as the consequence of exponentially advanced technology.

I will post more about this work  in time. For now, the plotting must remain a secret.

• Andre Norton, Grand Master author of over 200 science fiction and fantasy novels since 1938, remarked that the character Stripe possessed abilities she had "never even seen before."

• iPublish (former arm of Time Warner Books) said that Mr. Haviland has "talent to burn" and the story "is space opera as it was meant to be."

• The editor of the online mentoring program Inside Sessions, which featured many authors including Tom Clancy, Robin Cook, Kurt Vonnegut, David McCullough, and Nora Roberts, said, "I very much enjoyed immersing myself into this world and I especially liked the characters you have created: Mayla, Stripe, Lord Adah, Drill and many more."

• Jennifer Repo, as senior editor of Penguin Putnam, wrote, "I enjoyed reading your work, particularly because the protagonist, Mayla, is such a wonderful character. ... It's obvious that you've spent a lot of time developing your plot and characters, and it's paid off well."

Canis dirus

Hate incarnated.

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Novel
Horror
Christopher Sirmons Haviland
WRITING IN PROGRESS
A monster wolf in Yellowstone National Park attacks visitors trapped by a heavy blizzard.

Canis Dirus is a major horror novel set in Yellowstone National Park's deep winter. A homicidal maniac, nicknamed the Seattle Snake Man, has entered the park's winderness with his latest captive, a girl he has kidnapped out of a laundromat in Salt Lake City. He is pursued by a detective with a background in CIA black ops, but he fails to catch up to her before she is rescued by a local Yellowstone legend: a huge wildman known simply as "Falcon," a native of Kodiak with a mysterious military past who has taken up residence in the wilderness of Yellowstone. The Seattle Snake Man has unwittingly crossed paths with Falcon and is no match for the powerful eskimo. But there is another threat in the woods, something unprecedented and much more sinister and impossible to defeat: a monster wolf that kills for the sake of killing, and when shot down will grow and come back to life.