Iris Before the Storm

Book Cover


19th Century

S.L. Vaden

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Iris is a bounty hunter who becomes hunted while trying to protect the ones she loves.


Romance,Suspense/Thriller,Drama,Adventure,Action,Historical Fiction

Short Summary

It begins with Iris coming to a small town to find a bounty. She stands out among the town-folk. Which brings trouble to her. This is where she meets her love interest, the town doctor.

Iris comes to a small town to find her bounty. She stands out, which makes people think she's a witch. This brings her trouble and brings her love interest, the town doctor. Finding her bounty, she gets hurt, and the doctor helps her. During that time, their dreams start to connect.


Old west 1800's

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Tragedy

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Nudity,Substance Abuse,Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity,Incest

Main Character Details

Name: Iris

Age: 28

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Complex,Blunt,Outspoken,Skillful,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Lone Wolf,Strong Moral Code,Faithful,Decisive,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Garrett

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Aggressive,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Selfless,Romantic,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Strong Moral Code,Masculine

Additional Character Details

Name: Cole

Age: 20

Gender: Male

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Underdog,Charming,Selfless,Funny,Skillful,Honorable,Romantic,Faithful,Empathetic,Aspiring,Obedient

Additional Character Details

Name: Rune

Age: 40

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Crazy,Narcisstic,Villainous,Masculine,Criminal,Power Hungry,Greedy,Unapologetic,Leader

Development Pitch

This book would be a good fit because it shows a side to a story that not too many people see: the dark side, the emotional side of what happens when people isolate themselves. Also, dream connecting, action, romance, action, and high pace make it attention-grabbing. It shows different sides to men and women, which needs to be seen more in media - strong women, and men being okay showing emotions. It also highlights depression and how it feels going through it. This is taken from the back of the book. Thank you for reading. For those who suffer from depression, it can feel like a shadow, never leaving your side. A torturer that lives within your own body that you can’t escape from. Know that you are not alone, that you are strong and there is help out there. Keep fighting towards the light, no matter how dark it may get. Because, one day, the storm clouds will clear, and a new day will dawn. To those who may know someone that suffers from the pain of depression. Know that it’s not something easily dealt with. It takes time, days, even years, for some, like Iris a life time. Many suffer in silence. Be there for that person. Be the light in their darkness, help them see the sun, the moon and stars. Because they are worth the fight. Let us all speak and hear, to heal.

About The Author

BIOGRAPHYS.L. Vaden started writing short stories when she learned how to write and read. Taking inspiration from nature, and the world around her. Growing up on a small farm she learned how to take care of the land she lived on and to not take this world for granted. In the back of her mind S.L. Vaden had always hoped to become an author, never really telling her dream of becoming one to those around her, in fear the dream would be shattered. When S.L. Vaden moved from a rural town in NC to a larger city in San Diego, her imagination took flight. As she started a new job in a new city she started writing. S.L. Vaden writes in two genres. First is high fantasy. Her first series: The Legend of Zelkova: Elementum and Umbras that will expand into its own literary universe. The first and second installments are now available. The third installment is in the works. She also writes dark romance. These use strong language and intimate scenes that cannot be found in her fantasy novels. These books tend to be an outlet for pain she feels and to shine a light on depression and other invisible illness in an adventurous way. S.L. Vaden invites you to come and take a look within the worlds that she has created. You might be surprised at what you find there

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Female Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Amazon/my-self

Year Published: 2019

Hard Copy Available







Iris arrives in a small town in the Old West for a secret task but is mistaken for a witch by the citizens. She meets the town's doctor, and they feel an unusual and immediate connection. Iris works for an organization to stop criminals and ends up having to deal with her own past when an old torturer comes back to stalk her.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: FAIR

Premise: GOOD

Structure: FAIR

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

It is accurate.

Draw of Story

The western tone and environment draw attention immediately. The plot begins with the arrival of a foreigner in the small town, showing the reaction of the citizens with that woman ahead of her time. It's a start that draws attention because of the female protagonism and the chosen genre.

Possible Drawbacks

There is a gradual delivery of information, which is attractive to keep us interested in the story, but at the same time, it leaves the reader a little confused. She's in town for a task that involves catching criminals, but we don't know exactly why these people are being captured (besides them being criminals) and why she's the chosen one to do the task. The town's sheriff helps her, but it also takes a while for us to understand why. To increase the complicity with the protagonist, we could receive more information than other characters in the story.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The female protagonist in a western environment is the hook. Her tasks and antagonists end up being less important than seeing her shake the city's structures with feminism ahead of its time.

Fanbase Potential

I believe it can attract fans of westerns, action, and especially an audience looking for strong and different female protagonists.

Awards Potential

It all depends on the dramatic weight of the adaptation. Suppose the story follows a more original path, presenting the oneiric part, from the connection through dreams, that represents internal conflicts and personal barriers, and focusing on Iris's personal drama. In that case, I believe the story would gain more potential for awards. Exploring the conventions of the western genre is also a plus for the film as a model. However, if the focus is on the action and capturing enemies, the potential will likely tend to drop.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

It's not so common to see western stories these days, and this one brings a somewhat mystical, oneiric side linked to dreams and connections that makes the story more original.

Lead Characters

Iris is an interesting character. She is fearless, strong, confident of her own potential. For a western set in the 19th century, Iris stands out precisely for its feminist traits. She still keeps secrets and has internal conflicts that are revealed little by little. Garrett is a good romantic match for the story, as he doesn't deprive Iris of getting on with her risky task. He is also the reason for connected dreams to happen, opening up a new, more playful narrative layer. Rune is a good villain in a story full of villains. Despite being the direct antagonist of Iris, he is fascinated by her and hunts her everywhere. He is responsible for killing people who try to harm her. While he "protects" her, he is the person who causes her the most damage. It's an excellent contradiction for an antagonist.

Uniqueness of Story

Not a rare gem, but it has interesting elements that can draw attention.

Possible Formats

Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



The western environment is intriguing, able to catch the attention of lovers of the genre and nostalgic fans. The female protagonist is a differential here. Female vigilante films such as "Ava" and "Peppermint" are not so successful with the public and critics and have become an unpopular subgenre. However, "Iris Before the Storm" has other elements that end up leaving the "justice" side in the background, thankfully. Iris presents herself as a different woman, at a time when the eccentric feminine was confused with witchcraft. Certainly, the author makes use of a poetic license since hardly a woman would actually be sent for such a task in the 1800s, let alone receive support from the men of a small town in the old West. But this lack of realism here is valid and gives a more modern tone to the story. The fantastic realism bases also bring a fresher air to the old western stories. The extraphysical contact through dreams makes the author achieve communication between characters who are not in the same place, at a time when there were no means of communication from a distance. It is accepted and effective "cheating" because of its creativity and the new fantasy layer added to the narrative. The villain is compelling because he has the controversy over himself. While he protects Iris from other antagonists, he is the source of the young woman's most significant conflicts and fears. He is fascinated by her and does sick things passionately. It's a good way to leave conflicts more internal, with deeper reasons and risks. Obviously, a refinement in character development, dialogue, structure, pacing, and plot would be needed. However, the book has good elements capable of making it stand out somehow.