The Pretender phenomenon, fueled by strong interaction with a global fanbase, has gained new life in an online community attracted by the series’ universal themes, archetypal characters, and rich multilayered backstory. Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle, the creators of The Pretender TV series have sought to address the groundswell of interest by providing a new avenue for advancing the story through two new novels: last fall’s The Pretender: Rebirth and its upcoming sequel, The Pretender: Saving Luke. The books have allowed Mitchell and Van Sickle to not only dig deeply into the story’s beloved characters, but also focus on many elements of the saga’s history that were too complex to delve into on television. The result, as the show’s fans have attested, is not only satisfying, but creates a whole new level of mystery and suspense to be enjoyed for generations to come.
- Rebirth soared to #1 on the Amazon.fr and #65 on Amazon.it sales ranking.
- The novel has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 Stars on Amazon.com.
- The Pretender Creators interact with 7,000 fans each month via their official website and numerous social media networks.
- In addition to the official website, there are over 10 approved Annex fan sites in the Pretender network, spanning over seven countries and translated to four languages.
- In 2013, the sites in total received over 11 million hits.
- There are nearly 10,000 Pretender Facebook fans interacting over several communities and groups.
- The Pretender TV show Facebook page is liked by over 51,000 people.
STEVEN LONG MITCHELL AND CRAIG W. VAN SICKLE
CREATORS OF THE HIT TV SERIES THE PRETENDER,
RESPOND TO FANS’ DEMANDS FOR CONTINUATION OF THE STORY
The Pretender: Saving Luke, comes out this April, joining last fall’s The Pretender: Rebirth in expanding and enriching the original show’s narrative.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Fans of The Pretender TV series, which aired on NBC from 1996 through 2001, have long lamented the show’s untimely cancellation. A new generation of viewers, however, have taken to the internet in large numbers to interact around the archetypical characters and storyline of the series. They’ve created dozens of websites in many countries around the globe, to share their feelings and “peel back the onion” of the show’s multilayered story, the surface of which was only scratched in the weekly television series and movies.
The fans’ high level of online interest eventually reached the creators of The Pretender, who, intrigued by the idea of extending the story and getting into the heads of their well-drawn characters, reached out to the worldwide fan base to gauge interest. The response was an enormous virtual appeal for more story, more character, and more Pretender. With the release of Saving Luke this April, Mitchell and Van Sickle continue to build on the original series’ lore, as well as the new characters and storylines debuted in their initial novel, The Pretender: Rebirth, taking the story to new levels that will both excite and satisfy their legions of fans both old and new.
Mitchell and Van Sickle will be on a month-long virtual book tour in April, appearing daily on blogs podcasts, and web series to not only discuss The Pretender books, but their experiences creating and producing The Pretender television series, along with their other productions, such as the Syfy miniseries, Tin Man. They’ll also talk candidly about transitioning to authors and reconnecting with their global fan base. The book tour begins April 7 and runs through April 26, 2014.
There are Pretenders among us, geniuses with the ability to become anyone they want to be. In 1983 a corporation known as The Centre isolated a young Pretender named Jarod and exploited his genius for their ‘research. Then, one day, their Pretender ran away…
Written by the creators of the cult-hit TV show The Pretender – Rebirth is a slick mystery thriller about a brilliant human chameleon named Jarod who after escaping from the notorious Centre, plunges headlong into his newfound freedom. While also discovering the joys and intricacies of everyday life with the pure wonderment of the man/child he is, Jarod uses his unequaled abilities to literally become anyone he wants to be (a surgeon, a pilot, a physicist, etc.) as well as his dazzling mind over muscle vigilante-like skills to bring down the powerful and corrupt and protect those who can’t defend themselves.
All the while he must stay a step ahead of his relentless pursuers from The Centre. First and foremost is the sexiest woman on the planet, the complex, bitch-on-wheels, Miss Parker who wants him recaptured at any cost – alive – preferably. Parker is a deliciously cunning woman Jarod has known since childhood and theirs is a truly multifaceted cat and mouse relationship – one driven by Jarod who holds the key to the emotional secrets at her very core, secrets that fuel her relentless drive to recapture him.
Then there is Sydney, Jarod’s surrogate father figure and psychologist who raised and nurtured his genius for The Centre’s disreputable purposes. To Jarod, Syd is both friend and foe, confidante and captor, counselor and betrayer. But Syd’s calm paternal connection to Jarod remains strong, often in conflict with The Centre agenda. Jarod senses Sydney holds the emotional keys to his core – the truth about his past and the identity of the parents he was stolen from and whom he longs to reunite with.
In Rebirth, Jarod employs multiple sophisticated pretends in his quest to save one missing boy and hundreds of other innocent lives hanging in the balance at the hands of multi-national corporate terrorists and mercenaries. Rebirth is at once an enthralling tale of one man’s exploration of life around him, intricate suspenseful mystery and intense edge-of-your-seat thrill ride – that captures and reignites the cult hit TV series for both loyal fans of the show and new readers alike. There are Pretenders among us…
~Review by Angela~
I was approached by the authors & creators of The Pretender through my “Contact Me” form on my blog. I have no idea how such big time Hollywood types, who rub elbows with the likes of George Lucas and Michael T. Weiss, found little ol’ me, but I am glad that they did. While I had heard of The Pretender TV series, I have never watched it. When I read the synopsis of the book, I was very intrigued. This sounded like a great story, one that would hold my interest and keep me turning pages, well, swiping them on my Kindle as it were.
I was worried that since I had not watched the show that I would feel left out of what had transpired in Jarod’s life up until that book. However, that was most certainly not the case. I had zero problems following along and understanding what was happening and what had happened. When I got finished reading the book, I emailed Steven (who has been really nice and responded back to each of my emails!) and told him that I had found out what all of the fuss was about and asked him where oh where can I find episodes of the show? He filled me in on a little secret. He said “Wait until you have read Saving Luke – and then start watching.” AHA!! So, I have the insider scoop! If you have never watched the show, DON’T!! At least until you have read book 1 and book 2 that is. Oh, and by the way, the episodes are on Hulu for your viewing pleasure.
Remember before how I said that I was thinking that this story would hold my interest and keep me swiping pages? Well, I was absolutely 100% correct in that assumption. I usually am correct, but you know, there is that 0.5-0.6% chance that I could be wrong. Anyway, I was almost instantly hooked on this Jarod fellow! I really and truly did enjoy reading about what he was going through and I could not for the life of me second guess him or figure out what it was that he was doing before it was revealed. As you faithful readers know, I LOVE that in my mystery/suspense/thriller books! I was so engrossed in what he was doing and how he was able to become these people and personas that I would lose track of time and would find myself reading more of the book than I intended to at that given time. You know, like at 1 or 2am.
I think that besides the fact that I was surprised by what was happening, I liked this book because of the writing style. You can tell that these two have written screenplays before by the descriptions and visions that they paint for the reader. I always could see what they were talking about. I envisioned everything they described. I was not confused by anything that they wrote about and did not feel that any of the descriptions were over the top or too wordy or not necessary. They throw in bits of dry humor and there was a time or two where I was reading something and I said “Seriously? Again? You are going to write that exact thing again?” Then it would dawn on me that, har-de-har-har, I was reading a running gag. I immediately smiled to myself, muttered something to the effect of “you cheeky devils” and kept reading.
If the TV series is half as good as the books are, then I am hooked and sign me up. I will be reading book 2, Saving Luke and then watching the series on Hulu, most likely a marathon of many episodes in one sitting. If you are a fan of The Pretender series, then I don’t have to tell you to get this book because you already know what I am talking about. If you are a fan and did not know there was a book series, You Are Welcome!! Now go buy the books!! If you are not of a fan of the series and have no idea that such a thing existed, do yourself a favor: at least go buy book 1. It can’t hurt you. Wait, I take that back. It can hurt you. It will take away your “free” time and your ability to listen to anyone around you while you are reading. You will be entranced in the book so deeply that all else will cease to exist!! Just make sure you aren’t cooking anything or trying to bathe anything while reading! I am warning you now!! After having said all of that, I am rendering my verdict on this book. I shall give it 5 books and only because, alas, my scale does not go higher. Go buy the books!! [FYI – at the time of this writing, only book 1, Rebirth, is available. Book 2, Saving Luke, will be available soon.]
~About the Authors/Creators~
Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle have written, produced and/or directed over two hundred hours of prime network programming, including such series as NCIS, 24, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Murder She Wrote, Medical Investigation, and Alien Nation. From situation comedy to drama, comic books to mystery, science fiction to action-adventure, their career has covered a broad and imaginative spectrum.
Together they have also created numerous television series, most notably, NBC’s The Pretender, on which they served as Executive Producers for its entire five-year run of episodes, as well as several two hour movies. In addition to series television, Mitchell and Van Sickle have also written and produced numerous long form productions- both mini series and movies of the week, as well as feature films. In 2008 they were nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Mini-Series as the Writers/Executive Producers of Syfy Channel’s, Tin Man, an updated reimagining of The Wizard of Oz that, in addition to its critical acclaim, has broken ratings records both domestically and internationally. The team published their first novel, The Pretender: Rebirth in October 2013 and their second book in the series, The Pretender: Saving Luke, will be released in April 2014.
Both Mitchell and Van Sickle reside with their families in the Los Angeles area and can be contacted through their web site, http://www.ThePretenderLives.com.