But before I share it, let me say that I had the chance this week to listen to a prominent author speak about his best-selling novel. In the course of his presentation, the author revealed that the book was being made into a film starring a reasonably prominent actor. (For those too weary to pursue links, that's Garth Stein talking about Racing in the Rain, soon-to-be-starring Patrick Dempsey.)
I have some good news of my own, but I’m not sure how to approach it. You see, broaching this sort of thing is fraught with peril. Everyone shares personal triumphs with family and friends. But how does one do so with strangers without coming off like a self-aggrandizing twit?
Marc Acito is a talented writer who found a nifty end-around to this conundrum. A few years ago at a literary festival, Acito let drop that a novel of his had been optioned for a film. (I know, it’s confusing. Isn’t there an option to make ANY book into a film?)
Anyway, Acito quickly added, “And if I was able to do it, then you can too!”
Did you see that? Self-puffery averted in lieu of inspirational cheerleading! (The last thing I remember was blindly high-fiving nearby spectators.)
So, here’s a hierarchy of good news that authors can share with others vis-à-vis movies. See if you can guess which one is mine!
1.) “My book will be turned into a movie starring Sean Penn. I will make a large heap of money and have full creative control.”
2.) “My book will be turned into a movie starring Vin Diesel. My artistic vision will be altered unrecognizably, but I will make a smallish heap of money. And my name will be in the credits!”
3.) “My book is being made into a made-for-TV movie. It will star Mark Harmon. And I will receive free basic-cable forever.”
4.) “A movie starring Bruce Campbell is in production. It will use a book that I wrote as a pivotal plot device. In fact, my book will be the murder weapon!”
5.) “A movie will probably get made. A character from this movie will have a copy of one of my books. The book will be visible on-screen from anywhere from a nano-second to an oh-no-second.”
6.) “Someone went to a bookstore, bought one of my books, and then went to see a movie with the book still in his or her possession.”
Correct choice: 5.