Maybe youve seen the promo for ABCs Resurrection, the new drama series starting March 9. Maybe youve heard the haunting background lyrics: Im coming home. Im coming home. Tell the world Im coming home.
The shows intriguing premise: Dead people all over the world are returning to their loved ones not as zombies, but as exactly the people they were when they died.
Heres the story behind that premise: In 2010, Jason Mott, who lives in Bolton, a town near Wilmington, had a vivid dream about his mom. Shed been dead for nine years, but he discovered her waiting for him at his kitchen table, wanting to hear about his life since shed passed. The dream gave him an idea for a novel, about dead people returning to live among their loved ones.
Mott, 35, landed a book deal in 2012. The Returned (Harlequin MIRA; $24.95) was published in September 2013 to great reviews. USA Today, for instance, called it a tense and touching treatise on life, death and life again. It hit the New York Times best-seller list. By then, it had already been adapted for television as Resurrection.
Sounds like an overnight success. But Motts instant success came only after years of hard work.
He earned a BFA in fiction and an MFA in poetry, both from UNC Wilmington. He published two poetry collections, We Call This Thing Between Us Love and hide behind me , both with Charlottes Main Street Rag.
He also worked at a Verizon call center, fielding complaints about malfunctioning cellphones. Whenever your cellphone breaks and you want to yell at someone, he explains, you call me.
In his free time, however, he wrote. He finished several novels. The first five or so, he says, werent good enough to publish. But he never stopped writing.
Mott left his Verizon job in 2012, soon after he landed the book deal. He got a two-book contract, so hes now at work on his second, to be published late this year. Like The Returned, it has elements of magical realism and its set in a small town. Mott says his publisher doesnt want him to reveal much more.
Motts life, in some ways, has changed drastically. He went from being, as he says, a guy who answers phones, to a guy with a best-selling book and TV series. On the other hand, it has not changed much.
He wont be flying to Hollywood for the series release party. Instead, he plans to watch the premiere at a friends house, sitting on the couch. I like to be behind the scenes. I dont like the attention.
Besides, he says, Ive got deadlines I need to be working on.
Pam Kelley: 704-358-5271; firstname.lastname@example.org