Well, I’m off to LA again soon. Not just for a vacation this time, I’m setting up some meetings. I’ve had this idea rolling around my head for a little while now, and I’ve decided it’s finally time to go do the thing and make it happen.

Here’s the submission letter I sent out…


Dear XXXXXX
[... I’m not revealing my great contacts, obviously]
Hollywood
Los Angeles CA

You may remember me as the guy who sent a long letter analysing your current hit series and explaining how it would be even cooler if you let me be showrunner on it. But hopefully that’s all behind us now – because I’ve got an even better idea.

It’s time for a new kind of superhero: a boy who looks like everyone else, but actually has a secret life where he fights, you know, aliens and monsters and shit. Of course the basic concept’s been done before – what hasn’t, right? — but not like this. Our kid is different. Our kid is called… NORMAL BOY.

Couple of teasers just to whet your appetite:

1. Normal Boy dresses not in a costume, but in regular clothes – the kind of garments a parent might actually wish to see their child wearing (and which are, coincidentally, easily and cheaply available from Gap or Target and so on, rather than at considerable expense and only on the internet).

2. He changes these clothes on a daily basis, seldom looking the same, rather than slavishly insisting on wearing exactly the same outfit for months and months at a time, even in bed, until it looks totally rank and starts to fell apart and his parents can barely remember what he looked like without it, or what it was like to go out in public with their child without other adults looking disapprovingly at them.

3. Normal Boy defeats aliens and monsters and the tide of ancient darkness via politeness, going to bed without a fuss, and by practicing his reading and writing – rather than through aggressively jumping on furniture, shouting, or striking odd poses and then haring off into the distance like a lunatic.

4. While he’s all about defending the universe and maintaining the age-old balance between good and evil, Normal Boy’s also aware of the timeless relevance of eating properly at the table and not dropping things down the stairs when he’s been told not to a million times, for the love of Christ.

5. He does not refer to anyone – much less parents, teachers or policemen – as ‘doofus’ or ‘butthead’. At no point does he (or anyone else in the show) drawl “Oh, man…” or “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…” Instead, once in a while he breaks off into brief inspirational monologues about the importance of a balanced diet, or simply falls silent in order to listen to the pronouncements of his elders and betters.

Cool, huh? Kinda out there – but in a good way. I haven’t actually got any of the plot worked out – I assume we’ll just hire a bunch of by-the-yard scriptmonkeys and plunder the usual sf classics – but I’ve got the ancillary stuff nailed, and let’s face it, that’s what’s going to rake in the moolah.

I’ve tried to make an appointment with one of your assistants, but they keep claiming you’re (a) in a meeting, (b) out or (c) dead. But I get it — you’re a busy guy, and you have to weed out the losers and wannabes. This is going to be so worth your time, as I’m sure you can see.

So let’s meet: let’s get NORMAL :-)

Sincerely,
Michael Marshall Smith


I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be huge.

Wish me luck!