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GeekNation — a digital destination launched in 2012 that serves as a hub for geeks and pop culture fanatics — is branching out into publishing by partnering with writer Lani Sarem to launch her debut novel Handbook for Mortals. It’s the first of a planned young adult series that the company plans to translate into a feature film franchise.
Sarem’s Handbook centers on a heroine with a gift for magic as she journeys “from small town Southern life to big-time Vegas show life,” according to a release announcing the news. GeekNation, founded by actress-turned-producer Clare Kramer and producer husband Brian Keathley, will deliver the tome in hardcover and e-book on Aug. 15. The series already has a website.
“This is something we’ve had our sights on for quite a while, looking for the perfect product to lead with,” Kramer says. “As a woman, I think it’s important to support female-based projects but also to open ourselves up to new stories we’ve yet to hear and to follow new interesting characters to fall in love with.”
As part of the franchise deal, actor Thomas Ian Nicholas — best known for his work in the American Pie franchise and Rookie of the Year — will produce and likely take a role. Also producing will be Sarem and Chris Kenner, who has served as a longtime executive producer to iconic magician David Copperfield.
Nicholas explains that he has a personal connection to the story. “This story is very important to me considering that my great uncle was the famous close-up magician John Scarne and I was born in Las Vegas,” says Nicholas. He has been busy producing and acting in such projects as Living Among Us, The Lost Tree and Strange Ones.
The book marks Sarem’s first published novel following work in multiple areas of the industry. She has previously worked as a music manager, repping such notable bands as Plain White T’s, 100 Monkeys and Blues Traveler. As an actress, Sarem has been seen in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, The Meddler and Jason Bourne.
Kramer and Keathley are also working on the retro talk show Then Again With Herbie J. Pilato. GeekNation also recently launched the event ticketing platform FanFix.
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