Friday, 10 July 2009

Based on a Novel by. . .

Firstly, may I offer my apologies for my absence for the past week or so. It’s been one of those “real life” things again. Just too damn busy to blog. anybody who followers me on twitter and has heard me moaning all day will tell you what it’s been like.

Anyways.

Did you read the interview I did with Nick Gilmartin? If not you can catch it here. The main focus of the interview was on my writing romance (albeit erotic romance) but being a man. Men writing romance is still very unusual. Men reading romance is unusual too for that matter.

But one question I was asked was…

Would you be happy to see your work turned into films, in the genre of Tinto Brass or Jess Franco? (Google them)?

And I answered.…

You know, I’ve even ‘cast’ a couple of my stories. Of course, I can’t really see Kiera Knightly wanting to take on these roles unless some of the scenes were toned down a bit. Rachel Stevens might go for it though since her singing career isn’t going too well right now. I live in hope. (funnily enough, I cast myself opposite both of them. lol)

But, actually, it’s even worse than that. I haven’t just cast film versions of my novels and some my short stories – I’ve directed the whole goddamn movie in my head. Everything, from the opening credits (featuring my own movie production company’s logo – a company that only exists in my head), through the tense expressions of love and steamy sex scenes to the power ballad playing as the end credits roll.

I guess I’m a frustrated movie maker as much as I am a writer.

And I’m wondering, do other authors do this? Or is it just me? Do I do this because I’m a child of the 80s/90s where visual media – film, TV and music videos – has been such a huge part of the culture?

Hell, I remember getting up at 6am to queue up to see the first Tim Burton Batman movie on the first Saturday of its release even though the first showing wasn’t until after midday. My friends and I were first in the queue.

I’ve been told many times that I’m a very ‘visual’ writer – that reading my books is almost like watching a movie. And I can see it myself in much of what I’ve written over the past few years. I also see it in the ‘process’ of my writing. I often say when asked that when I write it’s as if I’m observing the characters play out a scene in my head and I just write down what they say and do.

Some books feel as if they’d make good movies because of the way they are written. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter is a case in point. It’s obvious from reading them that they’d make good movies. They are still better as books than the movies that have been made – but the movies are pretty good too.

Other books don’t translate as well – either because the film makers didn’t do a good job or because the books just weren’t written to be filmed.

And still other books/stories actually benefit from being made into films. Anyone who’s ever seen The Shawshank Redemption and read Stephen King’s short story on which it’s based can attest to that. Controversially, I also that that The Lord of the Rings benefitted from being films. It was lucky that the film makers were all die-hard died-in-the-wool LOTR fans, but the films are just so much more accessible than Tolkien’s tome to a great many people. Don’t get me wrong – I love the book, I just can see how some people would struggle to read it. And while the films are very long, they are very, very watchable.

So, which of my books do I think would make the best movie? Hard to say. I can see how they could all be filmed. But I suppose given it’s length and the greater freedom that length would afford the screenwriter who is tasked with translating the book to screen, I’d have to say that Kissed by a Rose would make the best movie.

At least, it will until Eternally & Evermore is finished and gets a release.

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