Best advice from author Simon Wood at Saturday's meeting?
“You can’t set out to write a best seller. Readers will either resonate with it or not.”
Simon grew up around lots of females. He spent most of his time with aunts and females cousins all living near him. He absorbed their ways of thinking and speaking as he sat on the floor playing during their gab sessions. Then, as an author, he had women editors, proofreaders and publishers. So he gets the female mindset and manner of gossip; how women would act in a situation—the tiny details that bring authenticity to his female protagonists.
But he is not content to write a simple mystery. As he says, “I thrive on dilemma.” So his novel, The One That Got Away, is not a simple survivor guilt story. It will take you on a wild ride from the female point of view. It wasn’t an agent or a query that got Simon an offer from Hollywood on that novel. Someone had read it on a plane and went to his website to find him. (Note to authors—have a good website) As a result, it ended up being optioned for a movie or series--not yet sure.
But least you think that it's time for celebration, think again. There are many people involved in creating a movie or series. So, many things can stop that train or veer it off the tracks from ever happening. Or you could end up with a product nothing like your novel. Something you have to be prepared to accept or reject up front.
Simon gave the example of popular author Robert Crais, who received a $1 million option to have his novel Demolition Angel made into a movie. Then he received $1 million to write the screen play—but he was a screen writer before he was an author so he understood all the compromises that would be necessary, all the false starts, rewrites and various changes that happen—and knowing that in the end the movie might never be made. But then, even he was surprised when they wanted to rewrite his work, telling him, “You don’t understand the material.”
So we will keep our fingers crossed for Simon and hope he can jump through all the hoops and get his novel to the big screen.
Now I'm off to read his newest novel, Deceptive Practices.