About Todd and Tim
Todd and Tim Wynn released their first novel “Trespassers,” in 2014, and their screenplay “Cupid Kills” has just been announced as one of the top-twelve semifinalists in the upcoming 2015 Vail Film Festival. The Academy Awards’ Nicholl Fellowship has called the screenplay “full of humor . . . delivering a genuine heartfelt message by the end."
Growing up, Todd and Tim Wynn had always been writing. Their travels through the 48 contiguous states, first with their family’s zoo, then with their own transportation company, had always seemed like a barrier to their goals of being professional writers. But in 2014, when they finally decided to put writing in the forefront, these experiences helped to fuel their imaginations.
“Trespassers” tells the story of a government agency tasked with regulating alien visitation to Earth. The story follows Stewart Faulkner and his team as they investigate the mysterious arrival and sudden disappearance of four aliens. As Stewart uncovers new pieces of this puzzle, he discovers that these aliens are connected to his own past in ways he never would have guessed.
How do brothers write together without killing each other?
Todd: It never really occurred to us to fight but with every single person asking us that question we may have to take it up.
But what happens when you disagree on some element of the story?
Todd: We explain the problem we’re having with that element.
Tim: If there’s anything that one of us doesn’t like, it’s not going to go in the book.
Do you have separate strengths and weaknesses when it comes to writing?
Tim: (laughs) Todd’s weakness is spelling.
Todd: I always spell everything right. I just have to research it first.
Tim: I’ll get questions like, “How do you spell was? W-A-S? Okay, that’s what I thought."
Todd: I’m not that bad. He exaggerates.
Tim: (to Todd) Spell exaggerate.
Todd: Not now, I’m doing an interview.
So, what are Tim’s weaknesses?
Todd: He uses too many words
Tim: There’s a crime for you.
Where did the idea for Trespassers come from?
Tim: We’ve had a lot of people ask us whether it’s a true story, as if we’re chronicling something that happened to us.
Todd: People also want to tell you about friends they know who were abducted or how they saw strange things in the sky.
Okay, it’s not inspired by true events, but what did inspire it?
Tim: We started with the opening line, “Earth hovered a hundred feet below,” which is still the first line of the book. And we thought, “What’s the most interesting thing this ship could do?"
Todd: Abduct somebody.
Tim: And who would be the most interesting person to abduct?
Todd: Somebody who confiscates alien spaceships for a living. Then from there we let the story unfold naturally. How did these people get this job? Why was this ship so desperate to abduct an Earthling?
You introduce a lot of new concepts in this book, including the purpose of abduction. Was that an important element for you or just a byproduct?
Tim: I think that’s one of the job’s of fiction, to introduce new concepts and to show things from new perspectives.
Todd: Yes, we like doing that. We’re not inclined to follow the common path.
How do you know when the story is complete?
Tim: Todd tells me.
Todd: (laughs) If I didn’t stop him, we’d have a 900-page first chapter.
What is the biggest difference between writing a screenplay and writing a novel?
Todd: The novel is all about the words. The screenplay is all about arranging the elements of the movie.
Tim: The novel is a finished work, ready for the reader. The screenplay is a blueprint. No matter how good it is, it’s never finished. It’s waiting to be filmed.