Monday, December 20, 2010
A Romantic Take on a Memorable Book
Q: What is your personal take on the book?
A: GREEN DARKNESS is one of my favorite novels and Anya Seton one of my fave authors. I first read the book a lifetime ago. Several months ago I was in the mood for a good historical movie. I suddenly wondered whether GREEN DARKNESS had ever been filmed and found that it had not. Spurred by nostalgic recollection, I contacted the publisher and our saga began. Remind me not to do that again! LOL
Re-reading a favorite book is like visiting the house you lived in as a small child! Memory can play funny tricks. The story has flaws. I remembered the climax as profoundly powerful. As I read it recently, savoring the delicious anticipation of the outcome, I was once again enthralled, and pulled into the Tudor era. But the climax—this time—was a real letdown.
In the novel, the outcome is stated in the introduction. As you read, the dread and curiosity increases. I describe it not as a mystery, but more of a “how-done-it”-- more Columbo than Sherlock.
In hindsight, I believe that in the intervening years we have seen numerous stories that use this plot twist, so we’ve become inured to the shock. Marla, on first reading, felt the same. By this time, we had already committed ourselves to the option and loved the book enough to keep going. We contented ourselves with the fact that the book had been a bestseller –for 6 months and recently re-released. One does not find bestsellers available for option every day, so we determined to forge ahead and “improve” the climax!
This is the best part of being a writer. We get to play with and hopefully improve a story!
Personally, I still love this book, climax notwithstanding. I think it’s special. We don’t have the ability to travel in time, but this book takes us right into the Tudor era. You can hear the cadence of the voices and almost smell the air. The characters truly live in the book and in the hearts and souls of its readers. Our goal is to extend that feeling to a movie audience.
Can you tell yet that this is a passionate journey for me? I hope that for every fan of the book it will be a reincarnation in a new media.
Have you ever thought about how you'd adapt a favorite novel?