The House on Black Lake Filmed Book Trailer – Ruth Welcomes Sammy and Alexandra into the Sandeley’s summer home

Photograph by David Wilson
House on Black Lake - ActorsAnastasia Blackwell (Alexandra), Morla Gorrandonia(Ruth), Benny Duskin (Sammy) - filmed at Chateau Tivoli B&B in San Francisco - Photograph by David Wilson


The M/S for HOBL is now in the hands of proof editor Martha Holmes and should be in print within the next few weeks. Once the book is available for sale the trailer will be aired.  Keep checking daily as I will be cataloguing shots from the trailer. Please note that all photographs were shot by David Wilson, a brilliant San Francisco based photographer.

The House on Black Lake Filmed Book Trailer – Sammy and Alexandra arrive at Black Lake

Photograph by David Wilson
House on Black Lake - filmed at Chateau Tivoli B&B in San Francisco - Actors Morla Gorrondona, Anastasia Blackwell and Benny Duskin -Photograph by David Wilson

Greeting Friends:

Sorry for being  off site  for the last week. I spent the time networking in Los Angeles with my sister, Kathleen, and working with her in sifting through photographs to use in the book’s interior. Also, I have been commiserating with Robert Aulicino on the interior design of book and incorporation of visuals. David Wilson shot photographs during filming and I will be sharing these images with you on a daily basis.

The trailer is now complete and ready to be aired once the book is published, which should be very soon. Peter Busboom did an amazing job of creating an evocative film score that creates an emotional journey that is both intriguing and truly frightening in the best sense of the word.

So now we begin the visual journey, and a taste of what is to come. 

We find Alexandra and Sammy welcomed into the Sandeley’s home.

Benny Duskin protrays Samuel and Morla Gorrondona the unstable, but alluring Ruth Sandeley. I protray the role of the fragile /nearly broken, Alexandra Brighton, who is about to take the journey of a lifetime.

Frazer Bradshaw – Cinematographer for House on Black Lake Trailer

Frazer Bradshaw, cinematographer for House on Black Lake trailer, recently produced a film that’s winning indie awards worldwide.  Following is info regarding upcoming film festivals:

Everything Strange and New is screening at BAM in Brooklyn on Sunday the 21st at 3:30 and Tuesday the 23rd at 9:30. BAMcinemafest is in it’s first year, but we’re playing with just 13 other features, some of which are pretty high profile; the fest is by invitation only.

Next stop is Munich on June 30 and July 2. Then on to Karlovy Vary, an A-list EU festival in the Czech Republic (supposed to be a particularly fun festival, or so says programmers). Playing in Karlovy Vary on July 7 and 8.



The presence of psychic phenomenon resonates throughout my book.  Alexandra has powerful dreams she does not understand and a dream of a diseased woman handing her a trio of spheres, with Ramey Sandeley’s eyes blazing through her sunken orbs, is the catilyst for her to make the journey to Black Lake. 

Later,  when Ruth takes Alexandra into the underground, she is told some very frightening pieces of information from  Kevin, a clairavoyant from an ancient Scottish clan who have carried on “the gift” for centuries.  In fact, it is Alexandra’s denial of her own gift that has led her to her despair and near self destruction.  It is not until she sees the trio of spheres in the glen that she realizes that her destiny is actually a path that has been laid out, and the road is in fact her own personal truth.

As I finished writing  the book, I realized that although I was very aware of  my own psychic abilities and sought to understand dreams and honor synchronicity and premonition, it was very difficult for me to let go and trust that these indicators were realistic.  However, every step in the writing of the book, photography and filming of the trailer have been steeped in messages and helping hands, none of which would have occurred had I not listened to the messages of dreams, intuition and the blessed souls who met me with perfect timing in my journey and offered their personal gifts.



The genesis of House on Black Lake Lake did not come in a dream, as did Stephanie Mayers, Twilight, although many dreams conbributed to its execution. The beginning of my story began with an actual experience not unlike that of Alexandra’s.  I was a newly separated mother invited to holiday at the summer home of friends.  On the night of our arrival, my son and I were rowed out to stay in a decaying house on an island in the middle of the lake.  The remainder of my stay was steeped in drama and mystery, and when I returned I told the story again and again, until one night years later I told the story to a man who would encourage me to set the story to paper.

In a seaside bar in Venice Beach, California the elderly poet, who was a muse to younger writers, told me to go home and describe how it felt to be rowed across the lake to the house on the island.  The story would  take its own shape once I started, he told me.  When I returned to my home in the San Francisco Bay Area, I fell while watering a plant and landed in bed or on crutches for over a month.  I felt terribly sorry for myself, and began to write The House on Black Lake.  As the old man advised, the story did take on its own life, in a way I could not have possibly imagined.  None of the scenes were designed by me – they all came unbidden.  As example, I dreamt that a handsome French looking man approached me in an antique store, and as I admired a French armoire he said,” just because it says its French it doesn’t mean it actually is” – then he said the name Labat’s.  There are endless stories and anecdotes for nearly all of the scenes in the book.  They are all interwoven with experiences, and yet separate, with a life of their own. 

What has surprised me most about setting out to write this book, is that it has rewritten the script of my own life.  The journeys I have taken to bring truth to the book have enriched my life with incredible experiences, and many new friends who are still in my life.   Goethe’s quote about boldness having power and magic is true – if you have something inside that aches to be brought to life – begin it now!


House on Black Lake Trailer and Manuscript Development

Jesse Spencer, Frazer Bradshaw and I have been working together to tighen the lastest draft of the trailer.  We’ve added more voice -over and are reworking the music.  It’s really tightening up and I think I’m close to achieving what I set out to accomplish.  Overall, I would say it lends itself to becoming a film, but first things first!

I’ve recently found a great book designer, Robert Aulicino of Aulicino Design, a former designer with Random House for over twenty years.  He plans to use the original artwork created by myself and David Wilson for the cover, while adding intriguing titles and completing the layout for the interior of the book.  The manuscript is in the hands of Maggie Schuhy, who’s giving it a final copy editing in preparation for print. 

 Every aspect of the process is a form of art, and I’ve been fortunate to have collaborated with great artists throughout my journey on this project.  Every individual has helped illuminate the world of Black Lake.


The House on Black Lake Trailer

I’ve recently seen the first cut of the trailer, edited by Jesse Spencer, and it’s stunning.  Frazer Bradshaw has shot visuals that are of major motion picture calabre.  It is now our goal to cut and edit the piece into an alluring alter universe, filled with drama, danger and erotic tension.  I’m searching for French Canadian singers that can bring passion and soul to the piece, drawing out what can only be found in that part of the universe.  I’m also looking for background music to resonate with the intense internal conflict of all characters, and in particular, of Alexandra and Ramey.

At this moment in my journey, I’m filled with awe and appreciate every person who brought their talents to the table to make this trailer a unique work of art.  To visually experience what I imaged in my mind on film and to see the characters come to life is an experience I really can’t explain.  I can only intensify the ride and draw in the the best sound effects to create an experience that will move  the audience and drive them deeper into the world of Black Lake.


Historic Chateau Tivoli Chosen As Site For Book Trailer

The first day of our shoot was staged at Chateau Tivoli in San Francisco’s Alamo Square area.  Built in 1892 it is one of the most charming of the “painted ladies” of the historic district.  Many famous artists of the past have stayed in the nine bedroom mansion including, Mark Twain, Isadora Duncan and Luiza Tetrazinni – who have rooms named after them.

The house is stunning in its accumulation of artifacts both delicate and fierce.  I was delighted when scouting for appropriate locations to find that the house held the stuff and mounted animal heads, heavy chandeliers, dark hardwood floors, and many other of the elements I described in the book.  The house provided all that was needed to convey the mysterious, lush, and claustrophobic elements of the Sandeley’s mansion and the house on the lake.  Thanks to house manager Nico, for allowing us to use much of the establishment to help us achieve the monumental task of over 20 scene changes in one day.

I stayed in the Luiza Tetrazinni suite, used for the trailer’s introduction and brash bedroom controntation between Alexandra and Ramey and actors Tosh Yanez stayed in the Mark Twain (used for the very lush and sensual scene with Andre and Alexandra) and Wade Gotwals in the Isadora Duncan.  If there are spirits residing in this old dwelling they are very loving and supportive, as our shoot went smoothly and we accomplished all we set out to do.

The Chateau is a bed and breadfast that can be rented out for special  occasions.  I’d love to go back and spend a week-end of relaxation.


New Trailer for The House on Black Lake

The last few weeks has been intense as I scrambled to bring together all necessary elements to produce a great film trailer for the House on Black Lake.  Collaborating with brilliant cinematographer Frazer Bradshaw and his incredible producer/director Isaac Ebersole, I created a film script and chose the Chateau Tivoli mansion, Golden Gate Park and Sloat park to recreate the look of the French Canadian contemporary gothic feel of the book.

I was fortunate to bring together an incredible cast to play the characters from the novel.  Wade Gotwals, plays to perfection the rogueish Ramey Sandeley, Morla G. brings to life the broken beauty of Ruth Sandeley, Tosh Yanez sensually captivates as Andre Labat, and little Benny Duskin is a most adorable Sammy.  I play the part of Alexandra Brighten, the world weary woman who must reclaim her power if she is to survive.

The film is now in the hands of editor, Jesse Spencer.  The book trailer promises to be a glorious achievement, due to the efforts of these talents and many more kind and helpful individuals who participated to bring this story to life.  I will be blogging daily to give more details of the production and the individuals involved.

Thanks to each and every one of you who were involved in this project – I love you all!!!






When Alexandra and Sammy arrive at the Sandeley’s house on Black lake, they are bombarded my moths from the carriage lights straddling the front doors to the luxurious mansion.  At the end of their journey, when they  escape from the house at daybreak, the carriage lights are switched off and the bodies of the moths who beat themselves to death seeking light, lie dead, in heaps on the floor. 



The metamorphosis has begun.