During Thing a Day month in February, we’ve been posting snippets from the screenplay of The 23rd Letter, to accompany artist Patrick McColley’s illustrations for the graphic novel we’re writing of the story. Without giving away the whole plot, so far we’ve revealed that a mysterious rabbi sends our hero Dexter Sinister on a mission to find the missing letter and sound. Dexter’s psychic daughter Rachel is on a trip to Israel when Japanese fanatic Shiyama’s Shidoists blow up the Dome of the Rock, precipitating a Middle East conflict that they hope will bring on the apocalypse. The whole Dexter Sinister family including Dex’s wife Lola Corolla will be involved in the events culminating in the midst of an Arab-Israeli war. There a few subplots we haven’t delved into yet, like the boyhood friendship between Israel Dan Epstein and Arab leader Ras Mohamed. Maybe we’ll get to those before the end of this year’s Thing a Day. But we’ll have to hold back on revealing the exciting resolution to the screenplay, when the whales arrive in the Mediterranean by parachute and…gotta save something for the movie!
Stephen Billias is the author of seven published science fiction/fantasy novels, including The American Book of the Dead and Quest for the Thirty-Six, both published by Warner Books. Mr. Billias has also written several screenplays. In 2005 he sold a film treatment with director/writer John Harrison to The Walt Disney Company for Disney's Animated Features Division. In 2009, Mr. Billias co-produced the documentary Seeking the 36 with director/writer Dennis Lanson Mr. Billias lives in Deerfield, Massachusetts. He is married and has a daughter who is currently attending University of Vermont. His hobbies include backpacking trips to the Grand Canyon and the Sierra Nevada range, and the practice of Shintaido, a Japanese body movement and martial art. In 2006, Mr. Billias and his wife Bela Breslau opened the Shintaido Farm, a center for the practice of Shintaido.