Pub Rants

When Hollywood Does Come A-Calling

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Think how cool it will be when you can say you knew about and bought this little gem long before the masses and especially before the movie.

STATUS: Happy Friday! I actually got through some of my partials inbox last night (response letters won’t go out until Monday when Sara is back in the office) and I plan to tackle requested full manuscripts this weekend. Today has been devoted to putting the finishing touches on a submission.

What song is playing on the iPod right now? PLENTY by Sarah McLachlan

I know I’ll probably regret this. Just my luck I’ll suddenly get a bunch of screenplay queries from those who don’t read carefully but I’m going to talk about Hollywood again.

As many of you know from my previous rant, optioning the film or TV rights to any project is always a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long shot.

And every writer thinks his or her manuscript would make a great movie.

That don’t [sic] impress me much. Hollywood wants to look at everything but rarely buys anything. Rarer still, is the project that goes into production (which means it’s actually being made into a movie).

But every once in a while, the miracle starts happening. And if this sort of thing interests you, then pop over to Ally Carter’s blog because she is actually posting as events unfold.

On her website, you can get the whole story on the inception of the book I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU and the selling of the film rights to Disney.

This week? Screenwriters were assigned—an essential step and a signal that the project is moving seriously toward production.

And, I happen to know that today Ally had a phone conference with her producer, Debra Martin Chase of the PRINCESS DIARIES and SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS fame. She hasn’t blogged it yet but my guess is that she will very shortly.

Next week, she’ll have another phone conference with Debra and the new screenwriters.

It’s rare to really hear about the process as it’s unfolding so here’s your opportunity. The inside scoop for those of you who have dreamed of this kind of scenario and Ally is truly a doll for sharing.

And to get back to beating that dead horse. Please, just don’t send me your screenplay. I only do book-to-film—which means I sell the print rights to a book before pursuing the film stuff. This means I only pursue film rights for my current clients for whom I’ve sold the print rights.

Don’t send me a query for an already published novel for which you only want me to shop the film rights. I don’t handle that (and mainly because there isn’t enough money in that to be worth the time).


(I know exactly zero Italian so I looked it up. I guess “capiche” is the English slang spelling and “capisce” is the more formal slang spelling–although neither is correct because the actual word in Italian is “capisci.”)

So, Capisci?

20 Responses

  1. Bella Stander said:

    You don’t send queries for film rights (see Miss Snark’s post “Be Miss Snark” and follow ups.) Your literary agent handles this, either alone or with a sub-agent.

  2. joanr16 said:

    Very exciting news for Ally and for the agency! Congratulations!

    I’m in need of a fun read on a rainy rainy weekend– I may need to go looking for Ally’s book in the morning!

  3. pennyoz and Avery said:

    I’ve been through a process from book to cartoon series with a fellow author. It’s all very scary.

    We were all excited about it at first until we saw where all the pitfalls and traps were. It’s Nightmare on Elm Street.

    I remember, too, hearing Colleen McCulloch talking about Thornbirds. She hated the film adaptation. When asked if she was regretting the sale. She said heck no. If you sell them you just have to cut and run. And she laughed. She has this wonderful infectious laugh.

    I wouldn’t be trying it on my own for sure!

    But still. It’s like chocolate cake. You know it’s fattening and it’ll go straight to your butt. BUT that doesn’t stop you from eating it if you get the chance.

    Congratulations to both.


  4. Jpatrick said:

    This is gonna be a good one. I know it is. Yeah, just you wait for all the derivative queries you get. I guess it’s the price of having something good.

  5. just Joan said:

    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing this inspiring news with us. It helps to know that fellow authors are succeeding. 🙂

    Best of luck with this project and again, congratulations!

  6. joanr16 said:

    As for capisci, I guess the question is, What Would Tony Soprano Do?

    Had to order some obscure reference books from Amazon today, so I added I’d Tell You I Love You… to my shopping cart. What a terrific, original premise! I wonder if it’d be suitable for my niece, who is 11 but fairly sophisticated. I can say, “This is another author that my agent represents!” Hee hee.

  7. Shelli Stevens said:

    I was wondering about that. How they’ll announce a book is getting made into a film, and then you never hear anything again…

    That must be super exciting for Ally though, I’ll have to drop by her blog.

  8. Termagant 2 said:

    I suppose this means yet another Lindsay Lohan flick…can I say on this blog that I’m tired of her already, and she hasn’t even been alive half as long as I have?

    (insert evil cackle here)