Imagine opening up an email one Sunday afternoon and seeing this: “I’d like to talk to you about turning your delightful mysteries into TV movies. Here’s my cell phone number. Please call me ASAP.”
What would your first reaction be? Shock? Mine was skepticism. Was it a prank? A phishing scheme? A cruel joke?
My assistant, Jason, did some quick research and found out that the person was indeed a well known producer of movies and TV shows. Still a bit leery, I thought, “What the heck? It can’t hurt to talk to him.” So I called, right then on that sunny Sunday afternoon.
And talk we did, for forty-five minutes. What a pleasant man, too, and so enthusiastic. He was in the process of downloading some of my books to read. He had heard about them from his staff. When he’d asked them for a suggestion for a mystery TV movie, they had pointed him toward the Flower Shop Mysteries.
After we ended our conversation, I sat at my desk in a state of disbelief. Had that really happened? After all, I’d been dreaming about seeing my characters come to life since book #5. Had the Universe heard my wishes?
As I walked into the living room, a feeling of immense joy overcame me. I wanted so much for my husband and parents to be there to share in the wonderful news. And then my land line started to chirp, short little rings, for several seconds. No one was there, of course. I know it was my loved ones letting me know how happy they were, too.
But then the doubts started to flood in. Was the man really serious? Was it all talk? I decided to write to my agent and give her the info so she could contact the producer, as I’d promised him, and there in my inbox were two emails from him. Now I had solid evidence, as Abby Knight would say, that I hadn’t imagined the whole thing.
Since then, I I’ve signed a contract optioning the first book in the series, MUM’S THE WORD, seen a first draft of the script, and been invited to the set. Production is tentatively set to start in mid-October. And I’m still pinching myself every day.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to bring my words and characters to life. But as with any project made from a book, changes have to be made to fit the plot into the time they have. Not all of my secondary characters will be in the final version but the plot is exactly as I wrote it, with all the twists and turns.
I know how attached readers can be to their favorite characters, so you can imagine how the author feels to have some characters cut or their appearance/age altered. I’m sure Margaret Mitchell had some thoughts about some of the actors who ended up in the movie. To me, the actor who portrayed Ashley never seemed to match the character in the book. But I’ll bet Margaret was still beyond thrilled to see her book come to life on that big screen. Imagine her excitement when she learned that Clark Gable was starring! I can tell you that a well-known actress is attached to my project, but I’ll have to wait to find out who that is. And who, I wonder, will play Marco?
No matter what changes are made to MUM’S THE WORD, the plot is all mine, the characters and ideas are mine – and the thrill is all of ours. I hope you’ll share in the joy with me.
As the deal firms up, I will get more information and will post it on Facebook. So stay tuned!