Ghost Face® lives!
In an announcement first made by Twitter’s @Busted815 yesterday, it was revealed that R.J. Torbert will resurrect the infamous mask known best for its haunting presence in Wes Craven’s Scream films in a new book, The Face of Fear: A Powers and Johnson Novel. To be published by Two Harbors Press on May 7th, The Face of Fear will reintroduce Ghost Face® along with an entirely new setting and cast of characters. Those who pre-order the book are expected to receive their copies by March 28th.
R.J. Torbert has been a key figure in the behind the scenes history of the mask since 1996 and is responsible for the legal “baptism” of the name Ghost Face and The Icon of Halloween trademark. He serves as the Director of Licensing for Fun World, where he continues to protect the copyrights and trademarks for the mask. In addition to being a veteran of the Armed Forces, Torbert is the co-executive producer of the photo-sharing app Sightings: Ghost Face. He lives in New York with his family.
From the publisher:
“Who you love?” Arguably the most recognizable face in the history of horror movies comes back as a novel; Ghost Face, the mysterious antagonist with an ever-changing identity and constantly shifting motives, is back. This time, the setting is Long Island and the enigma is more intense than ever. The Face of Fear tells the story of an inexplicable kidnapping that sets off a horrible series of events that shakes not only the village of Port Jefferson but the entire nation—and the reader.
A mysterious kidnapping leads to a series of murders in The Face of Fear. Pressure mounts and complications arise as the local police force rushes to solve the case before it is too late, causing the characters to question both themselves and their ultimate purpose. With unforgettable characters and a tense, gritty plot, The Face of Fear is a haunting mix of horror and emotion that provides mind-bending insight into the nature of fear and truth.
Torbert offered HBE this statement regarding his new project:
I decided mid-2009 that I wanted to bring Ghost Face® back. At the time, I had no idea that Scream 4 was a thought in anyone’s mind. I had discussions with Stanley Geller and Alan Geller that I had a storyline in place. Why not? I thought. I didn’t think it should have been the end for Ghost Face® but it was approaching ten years since Scream 3 was released and I felt I would give it a try.
When I was notified from Wes Craven in 2010 that Scream 4 would happen, I was 100% behind that and I put the book on hold even though I was halfway through it. Besides, I didn’t want any other distractions going on during the filming or during its release. When the movie ran its course, I still wasn’t sure about finishing the book but the support of my friends and family encouraged me to finish my dream which was to write a novel. The Twitter followers have been terrific so I wanted them to be the first to know. As they are aware, my cryptic messages have a double meaning. First, it was done to keep interest in Ghost Face® and second, the novel involves cryptic messages on Twitter. They will have more of a connection to the book than the average reader because of the things I have written over the past year. It’s important to note that this is a police murder mystery that involves the Ghost Face® mask and has no connection to the Scream franchise. Remember, Ghost Face® is licensed to Dimension and others should FunWorld decide to license it. I believe this is a good story and I hope the Scream fans read it with an open mind that Ghost Face® can show up anytime and any place. Many hours of research regarding police protocol was done. I believe now that Scream 4 was released almost two years ago, that now is a good time for this story to come out.
And here’s a revealing Q&A with the man behind the mask…
Question: Did Wes Craven know you were working on a story?
Answer: Yes, he did, in fact, when Scream 4 was announced he said to let him know if I had any thoughts about it. Since I didn’t think I would continue my dream of finishing the book, I sent him the summary of the book I was working on.
Question: What was his reaction?
Answer: Part of his answer is in the acknowledgements. However, the book has not come up for quite a while in the communication we have had over the last couple of years. I’m not the type to keep bringing up something unless it’s a 100% certainty, we are there now and I hope he enjoys it as well as others.
Question: Where did you possibly find the time to do this with the demanding job you have which includes world travel?
Answer: I spent ten months of Saturdays and Sundays writing at the library with a few nights here and there during the week. Then almost two years of working with the editor and publisher. My wife was extremely patient with me during this period. It was important to me to have a story that would attract people not familiar with the Scream franchise but to put in “little things” in the story that Ghost Face® followers would recognize and appreciate.
Question: So there is no connection to Scream or it’s characters?
Answer: Scream is Scream. That’s their story and no one has more respect and appreciation to Wes Craven and his people more than I do. This is A Powers and Johnson Novel: The Face of Fear.
Question: Can you give us a little idea of what this is about?
Answer: This is the story of a kidnapping that occurs on the Ferry in the Village of Port Jefferson. The two lead characters, Powers and Johnson, are detectives who soon find out, it is not so cut and dry. Their job becomes complicated when Ghost Face® becomes involved and how these two detectives, who are very different want to handle the case. It becomes even more complicated when the case involves their personal lives. Twitter has a role in the story which is why I continued to send out messages. There is a meaning to them.
Question: You let Billy @Busted815 make the first public announcement on the book. How did you come up with that?
Answer: Well, first, I do appreciate the support from Twitter followers and felt someone should have a “connection” to the book. His mother contacted me and asked me if I had any thoughts for his 21st birthday in December. After thinking about it, I thought it would give him a nice memory to make the announcement. I also appreciated the way his mother wanted to do something for her son. In the story, there is something written from one of the detectives to his mother who had passed away. Part of it is used on the back of the greeting card, some including you, have received as well as the publicity posters at ZPita Restaurant.
Question: Is there a meaning to the blood splatter on the Ghost Face® mask on the cover and that creepy looking mask on the back?
Answer: Yes, but you will have to read the book to understand it. The front and back cover was designed by Jason Lash who worked closely with me on the jacket design. The Zombie Cryptic mask on the back was designed by a talented designer named Frank McGovern while of course most know Alan Geller is responsible for the creation of the mask now known as Ghost Face®.
Question: Good Luck and as usual any last message to us?
Answer: Who do you love?
HBE was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the book. Here’s what we had to say:
“The Face of Fear reintroduces Ghost Face to the world, and you'll never think of him (or her---or them) in the same way again. The mystery isn't just in who's behind the mask but why. Torbert gives readers all the pieces to the puzzle, though putting them together is another story. Equal parts horror and heart, The Face of Fear draws readers in with its complex characters and chilling plot only to prove that nobody is safe--or beyond suspicion. With The Face of Fear Ghost Face makes the transition from screen to page, proving that true terror is found between the lines."
As Ghost Face prepares to make the transition from screen to page, you can stay a cut above the rest by checking out The Face of Fear’s official Facebook page for the latest news and updates.
With thanks to R.J. Torbert for his generous support.