Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The film deal

So, on Friday we finalised the film deal. Negotiations have been going on for a while (and have been tremendously exciting, though of course I haven't been able to speak, let alone blog, about them, and I'm very VERY happy that Rowan Joffe will be writing and directing, with Liza Marshall producing), but we finally agreed everything in time for it to be announced at the film festival in Toronto. That must have happened over the weekend, because by Monday Variety were reporting the story, and shortly afterwards it had been picked up by lots of others (including Coming Soon, Collider, the Hollywood News and Ain't it Cool.

It feels weird. Suddenly my book is being talked about, and described by other people. 'Freaky Ageing Tale' is my favourite so far (and is not wholly inaccurate, I suppose). People are commenting. 'Isn't this just a Dana Carvey rom com/Memento retread/50 First Dates rehash?' And of course it's very tempting to answer back. To defend myself. To register on the board and point out that that is like saying Star Wars is a retread of 2001 because they both feature spaceships. 'No. No it isn't,' I might say. 'Actually it's....'

But of course that would be wrong. That would stifle discussion (at best, more likely drag me into a flame war). It would be reductive. Yes, it's weird that people are discussing my book, and it's tremendously exciting, but it's also a reminder that people are going to have opinions about it and some of them won't be ones I'm happy about. But hey, that's the way the world works. Some people, even when they've read Before I Go to Sleep, will still think it's a reworking of Memento. There isn't a lot I can do about that, and it shouldn't bother me, as long as there are also people who love the book.

The truth is, now I've finished the book (Claire W signed it off on Monday so now I just have to finalise the manuscripts ready for copy editing), Before I Go to Sleep has a life of its own. I have to cut the cord...

10 comments:

pam (The Reader) said...

I just found your blog. I've just been accepted into the first Canadian Faber Academy course and found you while I was doing some research about the course.

I think the idea of writing a blog about your journey is wonderful!

Wow things seem to have happened quickly for you (after what I am sure was a long journey actually writing the book). I've heard tales of it taking years after the novel is completed, just to find an agent. It sounds like you had an agent before your novel was finish...is that correct?

S J Watson said...

Hi there - glad you found the blog - and congratulations on getting on the Canadian course! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time - I (almost) envy you!

I met my agent on the course, so the novel wasn't finished, yes. But Clare didn't actually become my agent until she'd read the final manuscript.

Good luck!

Pam (The Reader) said...

That makes sense. Thanks! I've added you to my list of blogs I read and will keep checking back for updates.

Congratulations on the film deal!!!

Jayne said...

Congratulations! This is so exciting. It must be a kaleidoscope of emotions! And oh the temptation to join in with the chatting, but as the publicity hots up then people will begin to interview you anyway, and then you can address anything you wish. Flame wars sound only fit for Luke Skywalker!

Oh and have updated my links. :)

S J Watson said...

All too true, I think. I'm just going to keep my head down...

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi S.J Watson...read about you on Jayne's blog.
Wow! You have signed a film deal, thats wonderful news. Congratulations!

Rachna

S J Watson said...

Thank you Rachna - it's all been a huge surprise, and very exciting!

SJW

Alexandra Crocodile said...

Hi:) I found you via Jayne's blog - and I'm glad I did! You must be the luckiest writer in the world! How did you manage 20 languages and a film deal before even being published? That's crazy!

a cat of impossible colour said...

Congratulations! And it must be weird to see your work being discussed Out There in the world. I'm sure the film will be amazing.

S J Watson said...

Thank you so much!

Alexandra - I think I've been lucky, yes, and I've had a good team on my side. It really has made me realise just how important getting a good agent is. Mine is brilliant. They must be the right agent for you, and someone who loves your book almost as much, if not more, than you do.

That can be tricky, because in the early stages of course all we're focussed on is getting an agent, any agent, to take us seriously. Trying to find the 'right' one seems way down the line...

SJW