What if? Some of the best stories have been built from this simple question. What if a twelve-year-old girl became possessed by an evil entity? What if a killer shark terroroized a resort town? What if an alien got stuck on our planet and was taken in as a pet by a suburban family? My first real what if came to me one morning while driving to the Montgomery Mall where I worked as a sales associate at Hush Puppies Shoes. There were bike route signs along the road and I thought, what if some pyscho ripped up the bike route signs and used them to make a trail back to his house where he would keep and torture unsuspecting cyclists? I thought maybe it would make a good script. I envisioned Tom Hanks playing an estranged father who takes his daughter for a weekend getaway to the Poconos to get reaquainted only to have her fall vicitm to this terrible scenario. I jotted down a few notes when I got to work, then pretty much forgot about it.
Several weeks later, now at the Hush Puppies in Granite Run and bored out of my mind after having not seen a customer hobble over the lease line in hours (our customers were mainly over sixty with bunyon-riddled toes and heel spurs), I thought of a new what if: what if some drugged out girl was going from store to store offering sexual favors to raise money to fund her next fix? Over my dinner break I wrote a five-page scene, what I saw was so vivid. I went home and watched the MTV Fuel concert from the Rock Hall and all the pieces fell into place. The script was out, Tom Hanks was out and my suspense novel Bike Route was born, with a male lead character who looked a lot like Brett Scallions.