Former Dundas filmmaker Stephen Hayes debuts gritty first novel

Community May 10, 2021 by Cara Nickerson Dundas Star News

Author Stephen Hayes’ debut novel, 'When the Luck Runs Dry', begins with a literal bang. A mobster has been shot dead on one of the piers near Hamilton’s Stelco plant, and the main character has been framed for his murder.

The gritty, self-published neo-noir novel is an adaption of Hayes’ 2012 film 'Lucky 7'. The film, like the novel, is set entirely in Hamilton, which the former Dundas resident said was the perfect place to tell his tale.

“I thought Hamilton made a great setting, and had a great background visually,” he said. “The crime setting is also quite rich; maybe not in a good way, but there’s a lot of material there.”

In 2012, Hayes took 'Lucky 7' to several international festivals and was working on a sequel script, 'Fallen Angels', when he was in a severe accident and lost his left leg.

“It knocked me out of doing much for over a year or two,” Hayes said. “After my accident, I didn’t go back to work in film. I retired from being a technician, when I had those life-altering injuries.”

Hayes turned his focus to writing. He began working on several different scripts before he decided to adapt 'Lucky 7' into a novel. Hayes found that moving the story from a film to a novel gave him more creative freedom.

“We did a two-hour crime movie, but there was actually only one gunshot on screen,” Hayes said. “It costs money to do even one gunshot, with insurance and police you have to have on duty and special effects …”

Those barriers don’t exist when you tell a story through a novel, he said. However, Hayes discovered that getting his book into print has its own challenges when he submitted his manuscript to publishing houses.

“Some will never get back to you,” Hayes said. “Some might take two years get back to you.”

Hayes didn’t wait to hear back from any of the publishing houses and pushed forward on his own.

“Overall, it was a pretty good experience, but it was a total learning curve from doing a movie,” Hayes said.

Other than commissioning an artist from Hamilton’s Dundurn Press to design the cover, Hayes has done all the work for his first book himself, taking it to the presses and has been doing all the promotional and distribution work.

With his first novel on the shelf, Hayes is looking toward his next project: converting three of his scripts into novels, including 'Fallen Angels', the sequel to 'When the Luck Runs Dry'.

“I want to move on,” Hayes said. “I got all the work done. Now it’s time to get it out there, work on promoting it and then move on to the next one.”

Hayes’ first novel is currently available in Hamilton at Paisley Café and James Street Bookseller.

Former Dundas filmmaker Stephen Hayes debuts gritty first novel

Author Stephen Hayes’ book, 'When the Luck Runs Dry', begins with a literal bang.

Community May 10, 2021 by Cara Nickerson Dundas Star News

Author Stephen Hayes’ debut novel, 'When the Luck Runs Dry', begins with a literal bang. A mobster has been shot dead on one of the piers near Hamilton’s Stelco plant, and the main character has been framed for his murder.

The gritty, self-published neo-noir novel is an adaption of Hayes’ 2012 film 'Lucky 7'. The film, like the novel, is set entirely in Hamilton, which the former Dundas resident said was the perfect place to tell his tale.

“I thought Hamilton made a great setting, and had a great background visually,” he said. “The crime setting is also quite rich; maybe not in a good way, but there’s a lot of material there.”

In 2012, Hayes took 'Lucky 7' to several international festivals and was working on a sequel script, 'Fallen Angels', when he was in a severe accident and lost his left leg.

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“It knocked me out of doing much for over a year or two,” Hayes said. “After my accident, I didn’t go back to work in film. I retired from being a technician, when I had those life-altering injuries.”

Hayes turned his focus to writing. He began working on several different scripts before he decided to adapt 'Lucky 7' into a novel. Hayes found that moving the story from a film to a novel gave him more creative freedom.

“We did a two-hour crime movie, but there was actually only one gunshot on screen,” Hayes said. “It costs money to do even one gunshot, with insurance and police you have to have on duty and special effects …”

Those barriers don’t exist when you tell a story through a novel, he said. However, Hayes discovered that getting his book into print has its own challenges when he submitted his manuscript to publishing houses.

“Some will never get back to you,” Hayes said. “Some might take two years get back to you.”

Hayes didn’t wait to hear back from any of the publishing houses and pushed forward on his own.

“Overall, it was a pretty good experience, but it was a total learning curve from doing a movie,” Hayes said.

Other than commissioning an artist from Hamilton’s Dundurn Press to design the cover, Hayes has done all the work for his first book himself, taking it to the presses and has been doing all the promotional and distribution work.

With his first novel on the shelf, Hayes is looking toward his next project: converting three of his scripts into novels, including 'Fallen Angels', the sequel to 'When the Luck Runs Dry'.

“I want to move on,” Hayes said. “I got all the work done. Now it’s time to get it out there, work on promoting it and then move on to the next one.”

Hayes’ first novel is currently available in Hamilton at Paisley Café and James Street Bookseller.

Former Dundas filmmaker Stephen Hayes debuts gritty first novel

Author Stephen Hayes’ book, 'When the Luck Runs Dry', begins with a literal bang.

Community May 10, 2021 by Cara Nickerson Dundas Star News

Author Stephen Hayes’ debut novel, 'When the Luck Runs Dry', begins with a literal bang. A mobster has been shot dead on one of the piers near Hamilton’s Stelco plant, and the main character has been framed for his murder.

The gritty, self-published neo-noir novel is an adaption of Hayes’ 2012 film 'Lucky 7'. The film, like the novel, is set entirely in Hamilton, which the former Dundas resident said was the perfect place to tell his tale.

“I thought Hamilton made a great setting, and had a great background visually,” he said. “The crime setting is also quite rich; maybe not in a good way, but there’s a lot of material there.”

In 2012, Hayes took 'Lucky 7' to several international festivals and was working on a sequel script, 'Fallen Angels', when he was in a severe accident and lost his left leg.

Related Content

“It knocked me out of doing much for over a year or two,” Hayes said. “After my accident, I didn’t go back to work in film. I retired from being a technician, when I had those life-altering injuries.”

Hayes turned his focus to writing. He began working on several different scripts before he decided to adapt 'Lucky 7' into a novel. Hayes found that moving the story from a film to a novel gave him more creative freedom.

“We did a two-hour crime movie, but there was actually only one gunshot on screen,” Hayes said. “It costs money to do even one gunshot, with insurance and police you have to have on duty and special effects …”

Those barriers don’t exist when you tell a story through a novel, he said. However, Hayes discovered that getting his book into print has its own challenges when he submitted his manuscript to publishing houses.

“Some will never get back to you,” Hayes said. “Some might take two years get back to you.”

Hayes didn’t wait to hear back from any of the publishing houses and pushed forward on his own.

“Overall, it was a pretty good experience, but it was a total learning curve from doing a movie,” Hayes said.

Other than commissioning an artist from Hamilton’s Dundurn Press to design the cover, Hayes has done all the work for his first book himself, taking it to the presses and has been doing all the promotional and distribution work.

With his first novel on the shelf, Hayes is looking toward his next project: converting three of his scripts into novels, including 'Fallen Angels', the sequel to 'When the Luck Runs Dry'.

“I want to move on,” Hayes said. “I got all the work done. Now it’s time to get it out there, work on promoting it and then move on to the next one.”

Hayes’ first novel is currently available in Hamilton at Paisley Café and James Street Bookseller.