ENCINITAS — Dave Temple sits in a cafe overlooking Coast Highway 101, seeking inspiration for his next work — a crime novel.
Temple, a former radio host, has published six books and written several screenplays.
But he took 20 minutes away from his current work to talk about a project that is dear to him — his first feature length film, “Chasing Grace.”
Completed in late 2015, Temple, who lives on the border of South Carlsbad and Encinitas, is submitting his faith-based drama to the San Diego International Film Festival, which takes place in October.
The film can currently be viewed on Netflix, Pureflix — a faith-based version Netflix — Amazon Prime and Hallmark.
“I hope it does well at the festival,” Temple said. “It’s a good story, it’s a solid story and it has high production value.”
The film stars Michael Joiner (“The Grace Card”) and Temple as brothers who become engrossed in a complex betrayal following a family tragedy that exposes a secret that no one in the family wants to face.
Temple, a former radio personality who transitioned into film making and screenwriting 10 years ago, said one of the challenges of marketing the film has been that while it is faith based, it is also somewhat dark in nature.
But to his surprise, he said, it has found a sizable audience because of its edge.
“I was raised a PK, a preacher’s kid, and I always thought it (writing a story) would be cool, as sort of a legacy to him, and part of the message would be what would it be like if you took a man of the cloth and put him in a world that was not black or white,” Temple said. “And that is what this pastor struggles with.
“Some are turned off by the church, but I think others are drawn to the fact that this guy is fighting a demon,” Temple said. “I think that is why it works.”
“Chasing Grace” was adapted from Temple’s first two novels, “Discovering Grace” and “Stealing Hope,” which he wrote in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
Temple said after a 25-year career in the radio industry and a brief turn in TV — he was a host on QVC — he got the desire to write. He entered a writing contest associated with National Novel Writing Month in which he had to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, which he accomplished.
“I have always been a closet writer, it was a hobby of mine, and I got some encouragement from my sisters and friends,” Temple said. “And it got to where I really, really enjoyed it and it became very easy for me.”
Temple’s other four works include a trilogy based on his character in the “Grace” novels and a paperback he adapted from a screenplay he wrote called “Trailer Trash Vampires.”
It’s exactly what it sounds like, Temple said with a laugh.
“It’s a silly idea I had in 2005, what if you had a small Southern town full of rednecks in a mobile home park inhabited by vampires, and the sheriff is the head vampire,” he said. “It’s kind of ‘The Lost Boys’ on acid.”
Temple said that he’s drawn on inspiration from his childhood and life experiences for his works, and ideas that he keeps in a journal. The inspiration for his latest crime novel, “Seduction at Daybreak,” came from an idea he wrote down in 1998.
“And 20 years later, here I am doing it,” he said. “My encouragement to people is don’t ever throw away an idea and always keep a journal.”
As for “Chasing Grace,” Temple said he expects to hear from the film festival in the coming weeks. He is also hoping to line up screenings, including one at his alma mater, Liberty University.
“That would be really remarkable,” Temple said. “A small town guy finds success and comes back to his school to share it.”
Temple said his other advice to aspiring filmmakers is to never let anyone stop them from pursuing those dreams.
“You talk to anyone in Hollywood and they will tell you that you can’t get a movie done unless you have 15 or 20 years in the industry writing screenplays, and I was like, B.S.,” he said. “That was sort of the impetus to raise the money and to make this thing.”
For more information about Temple’s projects, visit his website www.davetemple.com.