Man Continues story of Oz
Wednesday, June 06, 2007 5:04:00 AM
by David Anthony
|Man continues Dorothy's adventure in Oz
By Charles Runnells
Originally posted on May 18, 2007
David Anthony doesn't click his heels together to get to Oz.
He just closes his eyes and dreams in Technicolor.
The Deerfield Beach man has been doing it since he was a kid growing up in Kansas — a place where "The Wizard of Oz" airs practically nonstop on local TV stations. It's not just a movie there; it's part of the culture.
Now Anthony has written a trilogy of books based on the beloved movie. And he's kicking off a book tour this Saturday in Naples.
All thanks to his dreams.
As a boy, Anthony would go to sleep at night and dream about the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West.
"They were so vivid," he says. "It was awesome.
"At night, I'd live in Oz. And in the daytime, I'd wake up in Kansas."
In his teens, Anthony decided to start writing down all those dreams. Eventually his notes packed several binders.
It was time to turn those notes into novels.
In 2004, Anthony self-published the first volume, "In Search of Dorothy." Two years later, Frederick Fell Publishers of Hollywood, Fla., picked up the series.
The first two books came out this year, and the third follows sometime next year.
In his first Oz book, the Scarecrow rides a tornado out of Oz to find Dorothy in the real world. Meanwhile, the Wicked Witch is back, and she's looking for her dead sister's magic shoes.
Whoever gets the powerful shoes first will control the fate of Oz.
"The whole idea was to continue the movie," Anthony says. "Dorothy clicks her heels together and — whoosh — it was all just a dream.
"But what if it wasn't? What would happen next?"
Publisher Don Lessne loved the concept. He doesn't have any sales figures yet, but he says he has high hopes for this one.
"It's a unique slant," he says.
Lessne's employees are even shopping the book around in Hollywood, Calif., in hopes of turning the action-packed books into a movie (or three). Anthony already wrote the screenplay.
Anthony says he's not worried about copyright issues. All of Frank L. Baum's novels are public domain now, and anyone can write whatever they want based on his Oz books.
The movie based on the books, however, is another story.
To appease the lawyers, Anthony had to change some key phrases that were in the movie and not in the book. For example, the movie features ruby-red shoes, while the book's shoes are silver. So Anthony's Dorothy has silver magic shoes.
Despite his lifelong love for "The Wizard of Oz," Anthony insists he's not an Oz nut. He doesn't dress up like Scarecrow or collect memorabilia.
Even so, he estimates he's seen the movie about 5,000 times.
And it never gets old.
Sure, it's a bit obsessive. But Anthony says there are lots of people out there just like him.
One year, he went to an Oz festival and he was amazed at all the fans.
They dreamed about Oz, too.
"I realized I wasn't alone," he says. "I thought I was the only one."