STRANDED Novel – An IPPY Gold Medal Winner.
June 6, 2026. The War to End All Wars. As the bombs rain down, the starship PROMETHEUS, with its crew of six brave astronauts, escapes an Earth destined to become a lifeless, black rock.
The passengers: A database of ‘stranded’, or digitized, human beings. The mission: To find a habitable planet, bring the strands back to life, and ensure the continuation of the human race.
But the crew soon discovers that strands are being deleted, and they realize that someone among them is a traitor, a follower of The Chrysander, a rebel on Earth who had preached that humans had ruined one planet, so therefore had no right to inhabit and ruin another. And as the crewmembers are murdered, one by one, the human race teeters on the brink of extinction.
Chief Scientific Officer Sandra Hapgood, the developer of the stranding process, vows to defend humankind at any cost, and she races against time to save herself, the remaining strands, and the future of humanity…
“Douglas Wentworth instantly lures you into his web of murder, mystery, and suspense. Wentworth not only makes you wonder whether his chillingly human characters will save the human race, but if our own human race is even worth saving!”
—C.P. Leacock, Author, ‘Roswell: Have You Wondered’
Q & A
NOTE: this section does NOT contain any spoilers.
Q) Where did the idea for STRANDED originate?
A) A good friend of mine, Andrew Bell, must be credited with crafting the basic premise of the book. Andrew and I both loved movies and would constantly discuss screenplay ideas. He had been reminiscing about the Bruce Dern film, SILENT RUNNING, one day and had a thought: What if Earth was doomed and the remaining inhabitants created a database of humans, hoping to bring it to another planet to ensure the continuation of the human race. But what if someone corrupted the database and killed the humans? How would the protagonist of such a story save the human race?
I was intrigued by the idea and asked if he had thought of a title. He stated he was thinking of STRANDS as that is what the database would contain. I like the elegance and simplicity of one word titles, and I thought that was very good. I suggested we call it STRANDED so the title would have a double meaning; the method of digitizing the humans, and the predicament the astronauts would find themselves in once leaving Earth.
We started writing STRANDED on September 27, 2000 and we developed the story with another good friend of mine, David Hogan. David is an extraordinary writer. His script, THE TRACTOR KING, was a Finalist in the Nantucket Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. David has also authored two, award-winning stageplays. The three of us collaborated by running ideas by each other, which would then lead to us saying, “…and then imagine if this happened…” And we kept at it until we were all pleased with the end result. We registered the completed screenplay on February 13, 2001.
Since our original goal was a screenplay for a feature film, and since a screenplay and a novel are two totally different animals, the book I’ve written deviates from our original story in many ways. Scenes have been added, removed, rearranged, and reimagined but the book sticks very, very closely to our original story.
Q) How long did it take to write the book?
A) The very first page, which is also the first chapter, was written on August 13, 2010 and remained virtually unchanged throughout the entire writing process. I would write a couple of days per week, usually from 6:00am to 8:00am and then again from 8:00pm until 11:00pm. I finished the first draft on February 10, 2011. I then sent copies to friends and family members for feedback and proofreading. Meanwhile, I designed about six different covers, which I then loaded onto my iPad and AppleTV. I then asked people to vote for their favorite. Incorporating the feedback from the proofreaders took another month, and the process of having my text document converted into a real, bound book, and two different ebook formats, along with the web site and Facebook page design, took a few more.
Q) Are the characters based on people you know?
A) No. I used first and last names of friends and family members, of course, but I do not personally know anyone that matches any of the characters. But that makes sense, as the characters represent the extreme of various types of people; the sociopath, the humorist, the brooder, etc.
Q) Will STRANDED be made into a movie?
A) In May of 2013, both the STRANDED novel and screenplay were optioned by a trio of producers.
Q) Will there be a sequel?
A) STRANDED is a stand-alone story, and once I wrote the last word, I was happy with it and contented that I had told the story I set out to tell. That being said, one day while walking by Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, the idea for a sequel popped into my head. I turned to my wife and said, “What do you think of this? What if…” She liked the idea and thought it would make a good story. So if STRANDED finds an audience, and a sequel is warranted, I’d be honored to write it.