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The Creators' blog

Read every post. In each one, we write about something that appeals to us. We hope it will appeal to you too.

The Pretender Creator's Blog
Friday the 13th Series

Friday the 13th Series

When people hear Friday The 13 they immediately think 80’s slasher exploitation movies; a madman with a machete chasing girls in crop tops. And that’s what we thought when we were approached about reimagining the series of movies into a televisions show.   And yes, –...

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Just as I was leaving to Trick or Treat on Halloween when I was 3 years old, we got the call.  I had a baby brother and his name would be Steven. My grandmother, whom we called 'Mom' (which would prove to be confusing to say the least to have both a mother and a...

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Where Did You Go, Little One?

Where Did You Go, Little One?

Where Did You Go, Little One? Like many dads and moms, when my children, Aridae and Wills, were each wee tots, I’d tuck them into bed. Just before I’d sing or hum The Beatles’ lullaby to end all lullabies, Good Night, I would playfully throw the sheet over their heads...

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People often ask how it is that we can come up with some many twist and turns, ups and downs, ins and outs when writing the Pretender.  Well, this is a subject that we have been reluctant to discuss for fear of our methods would be copied and duplicated by others. ...

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The Votes Are In!

The Votes Are In!

The auditing team in SL-1 has analyzed, categorized, and scrutinized the votes for the Saving Luke cover… and the results are in!

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  I’m not sure what it was, but something really weird happened to me last summer. It started like this: I’m taking a sip of coffee when the woman smiles at me, slightly tilts her head and answers my question by saying, “When I tell people what I do for a living...

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Centre Employees Newsletter

Craig W Van Sickle

Don’t tell anyone, but I figured it out.

Don’t tell anyone, but I figured it out.

I’m standing on the edge of the world,

toes creeping forward for a better view,

cool breeze tickling past my thighs,

me and the night – taking flight.

From above, a glimmer washes over me,

might be the moon or the glow from a TV screen

watching me grow up in the dark.

Grey matter swirling.

Fiction kicking.

Stories teetering.

Tottering together.

A kid living a cartoon,

The twist ending,

A funny infomercial.

Snacking on rollercoasters.

Looping, soaring, plunging, roaring.

Jimmy Crack Corn but I do care.

Free to imagine, death in my sleep.

Up to stars, into shadows,

through time.

Back in the nest when commercials are over.

You know that feeling of being alive?

Figuring it out?

I do.

I’m wed to my head.

Born with a pen in my mouth.

Happy it’s not my size eleven.

I get to pretend.

Get to write the world.

And right the kid within.

Craig W Van Sickle




Craig W. Van Sickle

Author, producer and writer. Craig has become a trailblazer in Trans-media.




Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV Series) (written by – 3 episodes)
– Nomad Droids
-Hunt for Ziro
– Evil Plans


Tin Man (TV Mini-Series) (story – 3 episodes, 2007) (teleplay – 3 episodes, 2007)
– Tin Man
– Search for the Emerald
– Into the Storm


24 (TV Series) (written by – 1 episode)
– Day 5: 1:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m.


Medical Investigation (TV Series) (written by – 3 episodes, 2004 – 2005) (story – 1 episode, 2005)
– Mission La Roca: Part 2
– Mission La Roca: Part 1
– Mousetrap – Little Girl


NCIS (TV Series) (story – 1 episode, 2004) (teleplay – 1 episode, 2004)
– Lt. Jane Doe


She Spies (TV Series) (39 episodes, 2002 – 2004) (written by – 1 episode, 2002)
– Remember When
– Wedding of the Century
– Witness Protection
– Stranded
– London Calling
– The Gift
– Family Reunion
– Leotards and Lies
– White Chollima
– Spies Gone Wild
– Message from Kassar
– Off with Her Head
– Love Kills
– Cover Me
– Crossed Out
– Date to Mate
– Gone Bad
– Manhunt
– Last Man Standing
– Rane of Terror
– We’ll Be Right Back
– Learning to Fly
– Damsels in De-Stress
– The Replacement
– Daze of Future Past
– While You Were Out
– First Date
– You Don’t Know Jack
– The Girl with the Broken Heart
– Betrayal
– Perilyzed
– Spies vs. Spy
– Trap
– Three Women and a Baby
– Ice Man
– Fondles
– Daddy’s Girl
– Poster Girl
– The Martini Shot
– First Episode


The Pretender: Island of the Haunted (TV Movie)

The Pretender 2001 (TV Movie)


The Pretender (TV Series) (37 episodes, 1996 – 1999) (writer – 17 episodes, 1996 – 2000) (written by – 4 episodes, 1996 – 2000) (created by – 1 episode, 1997)


Cobra (TV Series) (11 episodes, 1993 – 1994) (created by – 7 episodes, 1993) (written by – 4 episodes, 1993) (writer – 3 episodes, 1993 – 1994)
– Aces and Eights
– Precious
– Lorinda
– Haunted Lives
– A Few Dead Men
– Caged Fury
– Death Dive
– Blast from the Past
– Lost in Cyberspace
– Diamond in the Rough
– Death on the Line
– Playing with Fire
– Something in the Air
– I’d Die for You
– Hostage Hearts
– Mr. Chapman, I Presume
– The Gnome
– Nowhere to Run
– Honeymoon Hideaway
– Push It
– Pilot: Part 2
– Pilot: Part 1


Street Justice (TV Series)


Alien Nation (TV Series) (writer – 5 episodes)
– The Touch
– Crossing the Line
– The Red Room
– The Game
– Fifteen with Wanda


Ski Patrol (screenplay) / (story)


Class Cruise (TV Movie) (written by)


Disneyland (TV Series) (1 episode)

– Double Agent


Murder, She Wrote (TV Series) (written by – 2 episodes)
– The Bottom Line Is Murder
– Crossed Up


Love Boat (TV Series) (writer – 1 episode)
– Aerobic April/The Wager/Story of the Century



Tin Man  (TV Mini-Series) (executive producer – 3 episodes)
– Tin Man
– Search for the Emerald
– Into the Storm


A.M.P.E.D. (TV Movie) (executive producer)


Medical Investigation (TV Series) (executive producer – 13 episodes)
– Mission La Roca: Part 2
– Mission La Roca: Part 1
– Black Book
– Half Life
– Survivor
– Mousetrap
– Ice Station
– Tribe
– Spiked
– The Unclean
– Price of Pleasure
– Little Girl
– Mutation


The Pretender: Island of the Haunted (TV Movie) (executive producer)

The Pretender 2001 (TV Movie) (executive producer)


The Pretender (TV Series) (executive producer – 58 episodes)


Cobra (TV Series) (executive producer – 22 episodes)


Street Justice (TV Series) (supervising producer)


The Flash (TV Series) (producer – 4 episodes)
– Honor Among Thieves
– Watching the Detectives
– Out of Control
– Pilot

Miscellaneous Crew


 The Inner Sense: Part 2 (2000)
– The Inner Sense: Part 1 (2000)
– Corn Man (2000)


Alien Nation (TV Series) (executive story editor – 21 episodes)
– Green Eyes
– The Touch
– Gimme, Gimme
– Rebirth
– Crossing the Line
– Real Men
– Partners
– Eyewitness News
– Generation to Generation
– Spirit of ’95
– The Red Room
– Chains of Love
– The Game
– Three to Tango
– Contact
– The Night of the Screams
– The First Cigar
– The Takeover
– Fifteen with Wanda
– Little Lost Lamb
– Fountain of Youth


The Law and Harry McGraw (TV Series) (story editor)



The Pretender (TV Series) (1 episode)
– ‘Til Death Do Us Part



Filmnut (TV Series)



Twin Falls Idaho (special thanks – as Craig Van Sickle)


me on the edge of the world

Email Craig Van Sickle

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Friday the 13th Series

Friday the 13th Series

When people hear Friday The 13 they immediately think 80’s slasher exploitation movies; a madman with a machete chasing girls in crop tops. And that’s what we thought when we were approached about reimagining the series of movies into a televisions show.   And yes, –...

read more
Meet Steve and our other guest authors!
Steven Long Mitchell
Steven Long Mitchell
Katie Mitchell
Katie Mitchell
Mark Dodson
Mark Dodson

About the Creators

The Authors

Meet the Pretender Creators and the guest authors too.


For us, many of these bio things come off as self-serving smoke blown up the skirts of the artists whose names are atop the page. They usually entail the what we have done – the accomplishments, awards, blah, blah, blah (and yes, we’ve put that in here too, ‘cause we are proud of it and a little smoke up the skirt always feels good), but more importantly for us is the why we do it.

We love to entertain – been doing it our whole lives – and for the past 30 years have made it our passion, our career path.

Nothing we have done has reflected that passion more than The Pretender.

Some people say, we do weird. Which is true – but the weird we do is from our hearts to yours and we have so much fun doing it. We write for thinkers, creators, innovators and the curious who love to unravel a tale and enjoy the odd and unexpected, people who, like Jarod, know that ‘life is a gift’ and we are lucky to share it with one another – the Miss Parkers of the world be damned.

If you are reading this you are one of them – you are one of us – and we are truly thankful to be a part of this club with you.

Okay, enough of the why – now for the what.

Steve Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle have written, produced and/or directed over 200 hours of prime network programming. From situation comedy to drama, from comic books to mystery, sci-fi to action-adventure, their career has covered a broad imaginative spectrum. Together they have created numerous television series, most notably, NBC’s The Pretender, on which they served as Executive Producers for its entire four-year run of episodes, as well as a series of two-hour movies.

In addition to series television, Mitchell and Van Sickle have also written and produced numerous long-form productions – both mini series and MOWs, as well as feature films.

In 2008 they were nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Mini-Series as the Writers/Executive Producers on the SyFy Channel’s, Tin Man, an updated reimagining of The Wizard of Oz that, in addition to its critical acclaim, broke SyFy’s ratings records both domestically and internationally and as of this date, remains its highest rated program ever.

Most recently the team has completed work on a one-hour primetime pilot script for A&E and are currently developing Stephen King’s Insomnia for television.

read the creators’ biographies! click the pic to read them.

Podcast interview: Cyrus Webb Presents

Listen to our interview to Cyrus, which has been featured on Today’s Best Podcasts on Blog Talk Radio.This was a great interview, where we chat about our passion, our journey and, of course, the Pretender.

Thanks for having us Cyrus!


blog_talkLink: CyrusWebb Conversations LIVE

VBT Stop #7 Digital Book Today


Author Interview #274: The Pretender: Rebirth

April 23, 2014


dbt_rebirth Our interview today is with Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W Van SickleEmmy Nominated writers, producers and/or directors of over two hundred hours of TV programming, and authors of The Pretender: Rebirth (mystery thriller, 4.5 stars, 86 reviews) and the upcoming sequel The Pretender: Saving Luke  (to be released – available April 2014). Before we get to the interview, here is a brief description of the series. Written by the creators of the international, cult hit television showthe first two novels in The Pretenderbook series, Rebirth and Saving Luke, are edge-of-your-seat, mystery thrillers about Jarod, a child prodigy, stolen and raised by a Haliburton-like organization that exploited his gift for their disreputable activities. After his escape, this ‘ingenious Jason Bourne’ – a human chameleon who can literally become anyone he wants to be – rejoins the world that has been denied him for 30 years. While attempting to find his family, he uses his brilliance as an avenging angel for those being taken advantage of by the powerful among us. He does this while staying just one step ahead of his nemesis, Miss Parker, the sexiest woman on the planet who is hell bent on tracking him down and returning him to her masters.   Their multifaceted, love/hate relationship, driven by the emotional secrets at the core of who they are, fuels a cunning predator/brilliant prey, chase of epic proportions. Rebirth and Saving Luke are intricate, suspenseful and enthralling mysteries about one man’s exploration of life and love and the truth that captures and reignites the hit TV series for both loyal fans and new readers alike.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W Van Sickle
After having written for, and received accolades from personal heroes ranging from George Lucas to Larry Gelbart to Stan Lee, and privileged to collaborate with varied and amazing talents from Stephen King to Vince Gilligan, Mitchell and Van Sickle have now taken their creative talents to the world of novels.  Their first two Pretender books have received rave reviews for their originality, humor, humanity and intrigue.  SCI FI CHICK SAYS… I thoroughly enjoyed this first novel in the series. The mystery and suspense build to an exciting and dramatic cliffhanger ending that left me wanting more. Fans of the show will definitely want to check this one out. And I’ll certainly be following this fascinating series. Both novels are available in print and e-book through Amazon and other major retailers. From Mitchell and Van Sickle:  We write for thinkers, creators, innovators and the curious who love to unravel a tale and enjoy the odd and unexpected, those who know life is a gift and want to share that in community with one another.  If you are intrigued by this you are one of them, one of us, and we are excited to be part of this global experience with you.
1. When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so? We both grew up sharing a passion for books and movies and television – any venue in which we could find a great story we were there. After college we met up and something clicked in.  We found we had the ability to read each other’s mind when it came to telling stories and exploring great characters. We have spent years honing that craft and everyday learn new ways to do it that we never dreamed possible.
2. What inspired you to write the Pretender Series of Novels? The Pretender was and remains the most passionate expression of our life’s work. We hope our feelings have been reflected in the stories so far — and the ones yet to come. It was inspired by two different stories we heard growing up.  One was the life of Ferdinand Demara a real life human chameleon who slipped form one identity and occupation to another staying one step ahead of the authorities.  The other was a CIA progam in the 50s and 60’s called the Genius Projectwhere the agency ran a special school for exceptionally bright children who in the morning had regular classes and in the afternoon were given problems to solve regarding things like ‘Strategies of Thermo Nuclear War.’ We loved the concept of a child who was so brilliant that he could combine both of the above ‘gifts’ – a hero whose super power was his brain and his heart. We also felt at that time, and still do, that in society no one likes to go out on a limb to change wrongs that are done to people.  No one steps up to do something to right those wrongs.  We wanted to infuse a heroic character with that drive to ‘help the little guy done wrong’ and hence,  Jarod.
3. What’s The Pretender series about? They are thrillers about the search for identity.  About who we are and what ties us together as human beings and at the same time, in many ways, rips us apart. If you enjoy great adventures with engaging characters that will mean something to your heart we hope you will consider reading Rebirth Saving Luke and the many more sequels to come fromThe Pretender Universe.
4. Tell us a little about your main character. Jarod is a genius prodigy stolen from his parents as a 4 year old, isolated from the world and raised in a controlled environment to best harness his incredible talent as a Pretender.  A Pretender is a genius with the physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional ability to literally become anyone they want to be.  A Pretender can read a book on neurosurgical techniques one night and the morning day suit up in scrubs and walk into an operating room and perform the technique flawlessly, without guilt, fear or apprehension.  They can do the same with a fighter jet, a nuclear reactor and anything else you can dream of. As a virtual ‘living computer’ Jarod performed simulation scenarios for events as diverse of how to prevent an airborne terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, how to prevent an accident on a space shuttle, or a teenage shooting rampage in a Colorado high school. After 30 years of captivity by the Centre, the Haliburton-like corporation that held him, Jarod discovered some of his simulations were turned inside out and the exact scenarios he had designed as preventative measures, were sold to the highest bidder and used for harm in the real world. Fueled by this guilt and determined to right those wrongs, Jarod escaped and now the chase is on.
5. What do you enjoy the most about writing? We love the creative process.  We love to tell stories and then put them into words and see them spring to life.  What we especially find so rewarding about the novel process is how it allows you go so much deeper into the characters minds and motivations.  With a character as unique and intriguing as Jarod and Miss Parker, it is an incredibly liberating experience. They surprise us everyday and we think they will surprise the readers as well. Our readers have described our novels as action movies, thrill rides full of heart and humor and humanity – which is not only a huge acknowledgement but one we strive to build upon and be worthy of everyday.
6. What was the hardest part about writing your book? The international fan base has been fervent and excited and can’t seem to wait for the next novel and the next novel after that one to come out and continue the series.  So we’d say keeping up with the demand for the stories within the Pretender Universe.   That and trying to find all of our typos (LOL).
7. Where do you get the inspiration to write? When it comes to the Pretender our inspiration comes from the fans and the characters themselves.  Miss Parker and Jarod have been waking us up in the middle of the night for years, whispering in our minds what they are up to and the stories of their journeys yet to be told. We were also inspired at an early age by some very strong influences; The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock, Star Wars.  Genres and stories that turn real life on its ear have always appealed to us and with these influences and other, we liked that the quality bar was set so high.
8. Who are some of your favorite authors and why?  Robert Crais for his blend of humor, humanity, cleverness and style.   Stephen King, for being an inventive genius and his underuse of adverbs.  Dan Brown for his intelligent intrigue and puzzle-solving prowess.  Chuck Palahniuk for his bold creativity and great style.  John Locke for his prolificness and generosity with his knowledge regarding self-publishing.
9. What do you like to do when you are not writing? SLM – I love to cook and I also make wooden furniture. CVS – I love photography, to explore other writing forms, auto racing, and golf.
10. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? Yes.  We plan to change the world of entertainment especially when it comes to the realm of reading. You see, our goal isn’t just to write incredibly great novels, but also to bring the concept of fandom to a whole new level in a global way. We are building a Global Integrated Fandom where The Pretender entertainment experience doesn’t end when the books do but continues between novels on our website and through social media that connects readers and fans together in a larger community of like minded people. Our website is the hub that serves as a an ever growing global community of fans that have come together not only to share about the stories, but to get involved in them, and in ThePretenderUniverse. We love to hear from readers, so feel free to drop us a note via any of our social media links and be sure and come and see everything we are doing at Thank you, Anthony, for hosting our interview on Digital Book Today.  We really appreciate this opportunity to connect with your readers.
Social media and buy links:
Connect with Steven Long MitchellBlog / Facebook / Twitter
Connect with Craig W Van SickleBlog / Facebook / Twitter
Rebirth: Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Barnes &Noble
Original interview posted: 
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