Tag Archives: movies

Authors Answer 148 – Selling Your Book’s Film Rights

Popular books are most likely to be filmed. Lord of the Rings became arguably some of the best film adaptations. The Hobbit is another matter. Jurassic Park became a fun action and special effects movie, but lost the intelligence of the book. When authors sell the film rights to their books, they have to consider who’s going to make the movie and how closely they’ll adhere to the original story of the book. Do it for money, or do it for the integrity of the story? This week’s question was asked by C E Aylett.

Question 148 – Given the opportunity, would you sell film rights to your book without question or risk waiting for the right production team to come along later down the line, even if there were no other offers on the table?

H. Anthe Davis

I would certainly want to wait for the right production team. A big part of my series, its themes and its world is the multi-racial and especially the mixed-racial aspect, to the point that I’d want most of the cast to be of mixed heritage. Considering Hollywood’s long-standing whitewashing issues, I would need to trust the casting department of whatever production team I sold it to, or else the whole point of the story would be adulterated.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

It’s entirely possible that my answer would change down the road, based on my present situation, but right now, at this exact moment in time, if someone wanted to buy the film rights to one of my books I’d probably have the contract signed before they could finish forming the sentence. For one thing, I assume the money for selling film rights would be a fairly nice little paycheck, which I could definitely use at this junction in my life. For another thing, I jut think it would be amazing to have someone make a movie of one of my stories. Perhaps they’d butcher it beyond belief, but I guess just the idea that someone would even consider one of my stories worth adapting to film sounds incredible to me.

Jean Davis

That would be like accepting a publisher’s offer without question just so you can be published. No thanks. As awesome as an offer on film rights would be, I have questions and I need answers before signing anything.

Eric Wood

If it were my first book turned movie I would probably sell the rights to the first comer. I would just be so excited to see my work on the big screen that I wouldn’t want to wait for another team to come along. If later books were to become movies I would hold out for the right production team. After the novelty of the silver screen wore off after the first movie, I would want to see my next one done bigger and better and as professionally as possible with an A list cast.

Gregory S. Close

I’m not sure that I’d sell the film rights “without question” but I would probably make some sacrifice in creative control/oversight if the payout meant that I could choose to write full-time. I would rather wait for the right team/studio to make the most faithful adaptation possible for the chosen medium, but I’m too old and have too many bills and obligations to be too picky. I’m in more of a Han Solo frame of mind than Luke Skywalker on this point, I guess!

Cyrus Keith

I have a huge personal stake on my reputation as a person as well as a writer. Opening Hollywood to do the same to my work as what they did to Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and so many other novels makes my skin crawl. I couldn’t bring myself to sign off carte-blanche creative control to someone who would make my work mean something totally different from what I wrote.

Paul B. Spence

Hmm. Tough question. I might sell an option without question, but not the rights altogether. I suppose the answer is no, unless they offered me some ridiculous sum of money, in which case they are probably right for the production anyway.

D. T. Nova

I’d definitely have some standards.

I particularly don’t like the thought of having to turn down a later offer because the rights are tied up with something that might not even be made and won’t be good even if it is.

C E Aylett

Ha-ha! My own question and I have no idea. I think maybe it would depend on which book. Some would probably have a higher emotion investment than others (on my part). Also, it might depend on how popular the book was. I mean, let’s say it turned into a cult classic or huge like 50 Shades, then maybe you could afford to wait it out. George R.R Martin says that by the time film options came to him he’d made so much money from the book series he could afford to say no to Hollywood, and did. And aren’t we all grateful for that!

Jay Dee Archer

Without question? No. I don’t think authors are likely to do that. There will be questions. Who wouldn’t ask questions? I’d want to make sure that they aren’t going to completely change the story. If it turns out totally different than the book, I probably wouldn’t want it connected to my book, especially if it flops. Ideally, I’d like to have some creative control with the script of the movie. I’d want to work with the scriptwriters. No, I’d probably want to wait, unless that first offer is actually pretty good.

How about you?

If you’re an author, would you sell the movie rights to your books to the first studio that gives you an offer without question, or would you wait for the right offer? Let us know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 127 – Writing Novels for TV Series and Movies

Many popular TV series and movie series have side stories written by independent authors. Some are official, some aren’t. But would any of us want to write one of these novels?

Question 127 – If you were asked to write a novel for a popular movie or TV series, which would it be and why?

H. Anthe Davis

As I am averse to handling other people’s characters (to the point that I would never write fanfiction, though I certainly read it), I don’t know that I would be comfortable with novelizing anyone else’s material at all.  I’m sure I can do it, but having heard some anecdotes about the process (authors ordered to kill off certain fan-favorite characters in tie-in novels, thus taking a lot of heat from fans), I don’t think I’d be well-suited to it.  I’m also no longer enough of a fan of anything beside books to really feel excited about the prospect.  I’d really just rather do my own thing.

C E Aylett

I’d never think to do that — it’s usually the other way around, isn’t it? Um… dunno, matey! Coo, you’ve stumped me on that one. Maybe Taboo? That’s nice and dark/gritty with lots of criminal behaviour in it — just my style. Or Peeky Blinders. History is often so much about the aristocracy and propriety and I always wonder what went on in the the nooks and crannies in the lower echelons of past society — the whore houses and opium dens, and the bootlegging. Historical fiction is starting to explore those areas more now on TV, which is appealing to me, just wish I’d taken that avenue before it became popular! Ah well, probably missed that boat. Bummer.

Paul B. Spence

I assume you’re asking what I would like to write one for. TV: Stargate, Star Trek TOS, Babylon 5, Doctor Who, any other sci-fi really. Movies: Arrival, Star Trek. Who knows? I’d be willing if I had a certain amount of creative control. I like most sci-fi and fantasy. Does that answer anything?

Eric Wood

I interpret this question to mean that I would write a novel based on the characters of that show or movie using the same theme or setting. With that in mind, after some careful thought I think I would a novel based on a new show called “This Is Us“. It’s based around three siblings and bounces from the present day as adults and the past as they were kids. It’s both funny and touching and it’s what I would want to write.

Jean Davis

Having just made it through the Iron Fist, I’m going to just come out and say the writing was not great on many fronts, action and dialogue being top of my list. If a writer had to step forward to help get that show up to par with the rest of the Marvel shows, I’d raise my hand (along with a lot of other people, I’m sure).

Gregory S. Close

I’m going to go slightly off the reservation and apply this question to a video game, instead of TV or movie.  I would love to write a novelization of Half-Life.  I spent a few years working at the real-life inspiration for Black Mesa (the Los Alamos National Lab) so there’s something personal in there for me along with the great story of inter-dimensional intrusion and government conspiracy mixed in with the mundanity of government contractor work.  I’ve always been surprised that this one never leapt to the big screen – this is a great horror/sci-fi story waiting for a broader audience.

D. T. Nova

Transformers. Sure it’s mostly for kids, but it’s still one of those that is very high in both the amount of existing lore to draw on and the potential for adding new concepts.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are a lot of TV shows that I’d love to write a novel of, but the first one that came to my mind was Doctor Who. The main reason is just that I love the series so much, I think it would be a blast to write my own story toward it. In addition to that, though, it just seems like an excellent series for a writer to delve into. It encapsulates such an enormous universe of worlds, creatures, and stories, that there is basically no limit to where you can go and what you can do.

Jay Dee Archer

Without a doubt, I would write novels for Star Trek, especially the original series and The Next Generation. But the more I think about it, Enterprise needs a continuation that takes it to the Romulan Wars. Of course, that’s probably been written. But anyway, Star Trek has been one of my biggest loves in science fiction, and I would love to write for it. I’d like to say it’s been a bit of an inspiration for my writing, too.

How about you?

If you’re an author, what would you like to write novels for? If you’re a reader, do you enjoy reading novels based on TV and movie series? Let us know in the comments section below.

A Busy Day

It’s been quite the day. Busiest Saturday in a while. I spent a lot of time in the basement, and not so much time on my computer. Here’s what we achieved.

This morning, I recorded two videos, including one with a couple big announcements. I’m reaching another milestone and I’m starting a new video series. That video should be up tomorrow.

Later on, we took all of the bottles and cans to the bottle depot. It was my wife’s first time to visit one. What’s nice about doing that is that you get some money back.

And then, after dinner, my sister and I put together some furniture from IKEA in the basement. I spent most of the evening down there, and we haven’t completely finished. You see, my daughter wanted to help so much, but because of her age and lack of skills with tools, she couldn’t. She was upset about it. So, we’re going to let her push the drawers into the dresser tomorrow. At the same time, we watched several movies, including Big Hero 6, the Steve Jobs movie, and the old Peter Sellers Casino Royale, which was a James Bond movie, though not part of the regular series. Research shows that it was a comedy satire.

So, that was my busy Saturday. How was yours?

Galactic Density of Alien Life in Science Fiction

In science fiction, especially involving interstellar space travel, we often see aliens. Often, but not always. And this is something we wonder today. How many civilisations are there in space? How far are they from us? Will we ever encounter any alien civilisations on other planets?

In Star Trek, the population density of the galaxy is very high. Pretty much any star system with a planet in the Goldilocks zone has life and possibly a civilisation. Alpha Centauri has life, but not a native civilisation. Vulcan, Andor, and Tellar are all fairly close to Earth. Life is everywhere.

In the book that I’m reading now, Redemption Ark (Revelation Space), the galaxy is fairly empty. There have been civilisations, but they’re few and far between and happen at different times. But there’s a reason for it, and that’s explained in the book.

In my own Ariadne universe, I hint at other civilisations, but I don’t go into it so much, because all the action takes place on one planet. At least for now.

In these three, the mode of transportation is also different. In Star Trek, they have warp engines that take their ships out of normal space in a warp bubble, and propel that bubble through space many times the speed of light. No relativistic effects are experienced. In Revelation Space, the spacecraft are able to travel at nearly the speed of light, and there are major relativistic effects. But in Ariadne, I use a modified warp system that is unable to pass the speed of light. However, they use sleeper ships, so the effects of relativity are not felt, but the people also don’t age. In Star Trek, thanks to the form of propulsion, they are able to meet many different civilisations and visit many planets without any difficulties. In Revelation Space and Ariadne, the speeds are not enough to make regular interstellar travel practical.

I find that both kinds have their place in science fiction. I enjoy reading and watching science fiction that use either one. Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below.

The Best Novel to Movie Adaptations

Are you the kind of person who gets excited when one of your favourite books is being made into a movie? Or are you afraid that they’ll completely destroy your beloved story? Well, I say “yes” to both questions.

I compiled a short list of the novel to movie adaptations that I thought were well done. And they are:

  1. Lord of the Rings trilogy
  2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird
  4. Harry Potter series

I explained my choices in a video, which you can watch below.

What do you think are the best novel to movie adaptations? Let me know in the comments below.

Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Star Trek Discovery

San Diego Comic-Con has been giving some very interesting information in video form. I mean the DC Comics movies coming up.

First is the Wonder Woman movie, which has a very interesting looking trailer. Watch it below.

I’m really looking forward to this. Looks great! The other one is the Justice League movie. What they had available isn’t a trailer, but a collection of footage that they have available. And this is it:

But no Superman! (Please, no spoilers in the comments). However, it seems to be a bit more lighthearted than many of the more recent DC movies. I’m looking forward to see it, but I still need to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

And finally, some Star Trek news! The new TV series will be called Star Trek Discovery, and they have some test footage of the new starship. You can see it here. It looks like it’s post Star Trek VI, but before Star Trek: The Next Generation. The U.S.S. Discovery features an older style saucer section with a Klingon-inspired stardrive section. Looks interesting. I’m intrigued. It sounds like it takes place during the time of peace between the Federation and the Klingons, and there’s some exchange in technology. I’ve heard some people speculating that it may have a cloaking device, so it takes place before the banning of cloaking technology by the Federation.

Let me know what looks interesting to you in the comments below!

Do You Read the Book First?

In this video, I talk about five book and movie pairings and how I experienced them. Which did I do first, read the book or watch the movie? I’ve done both. But which do I prefer? Find out!

I’m curious about your answer. I ask a question in this video near the end. Please leave a comment with your answer. Also, there’s a blooper!

Authors Answer 80 – Inspiration From the Screen

Happy Friday the 13th! Unfortunately, our topic isn’t related to that, but there is a movie called Friday the 13th. We’re talking about movies and TV shows this week. Sometimes, we get our inspiration from reading, sometimes from life, but sometimes from movies and TV.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 80 – Are there any TV shows or movies that have influenced your writing?

Gregory S. Close

Basically anything I consume from any media has some sort of influence, positive or negative.  There are lessons to be learned about good and bad storytelling, characters, plot points etc. in anything from My Little Pony to Jessica Jones.  If I had to say what was the biggest single influence, I’d say that Star Wars fits that bill.  I saw it in the theaters when still pretty young, so it had a huge impact on me.

Elizabeth Rhodes

Funny this question comes up, because The Book of Eli was one of my favorite movies and was s big influence on my novel Jasper. It mostly contributed s certain setting and aesthetic. One of the stories I’m working on now might bear some resemblance to a fantasy series with its own highly rated TV show, but it’s actually more inspired by a video game (Dark Souls.)

Eric Wood

I don’t think so. Or at least not consciously. I just write whatever comes to mind. I typically don’t watch movies and TV that are in the same genre as my writing. Sons of Anarchy, Grey’s Anatomy, Blindspot, Game of Thrones and The Voice.

Allen Tiffany

Certainly “Star Trek” and Captain Kirk. Very powerful influences on me not only as a writer but also as an infantry officer in the Army. As to pure storytelling and character development, “Inception” and “Apocalypse Now” are both brilliant. “Inception” is a damn clever story that leaves you both intrigued and curious throughout. “Apocalypse Now” is stunning in every dimension. It is a tightly woven tale thick with symbolism, foreshadowing and complex themes, and it is a case study in presenting a “passive” character.  If you want to see an amazing review of the movie check out this strangely insightful video:

D. T. Nova

Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, despite the fact that I haven’t written much involving space travel, since they were my introduction to some science fiction concepts and the first shows to make me think about a variety of other concepts (science fiction and otherwise).

I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s dialogue too much to think it hasn’t influenced the way I write dialogue to some degree.

The anime Full Metal Panic had a larger influence on my in-progress novel than I consciously realized while writing the first draft. (I haven’t actually read the novels it was based on due to the English translations being incredibly hard to find.)

As far as movies go, Star Wars’s influence is widespread and I’m no exception.

Paul B. Spence

Not that I can think of off-hand. I grew up with classic Star Trek, Space 1999, and Battlestar Galactica, as well as The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. I’m sure those had some effect.

S. R. Carrillo

Not TV shows, but movies, definitely. I’ve always been drawn to darker movies like Donnie Darko and just about any Quentin Tarantino movie ever made haha. Quiet mirth. Caustic smirks. Lots of blood and sexual and murderous tension.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Um…are there any TV shows or movies that haven’t influenced my writing? Haha… Seriously though, I’m the kind of person who comes away from every new show or film (that I enjoyed, of course) with a hundred new ideas. I’ve been influenced by everything from Star Wars, to Buffy, to Doctor Who, to the Avengers, and everything in between. Watching something I love makes me want to write something similar. For instance, around the time that I decided to write Nowhere to Hide I’d been watching a lot of zombie movies with my husband (and subsequently reading several zombie books) and it made me think, “I could totally do this,” so I did!

H. Anthe Davis

I’ve written a few posts on my media influences, but some of my major ones have been Japanese manga and anime — particularly Berserk and Revolutionary Girl Utena.  I’ve always been impressed by how some of those creators can wrap psychological/horror themes in bright candy shells, which slowly dissolve as the story goes on until we’re right in the middle of all the madness.  Also, I started watching this stuff when I was a teen in the 90s, well before CGI could make really good fantastical landscapes/creatures; animation had no such restrictions, so I think I’ve absorbed a lot of the dramatic visuals from anime more than from any Western media.

Jean Davis

The one that comes to mind most is Farscape. I loved the character interactions and the way the different races were handled.

Jay Dee Archer

A lot of space-based science fiction has influenced me. The biggest is Star Trek and all its sequels. I’ve been a fan since the 80s, and I’ve always wanted to develop a universe with many planets. Of course, Ariadne is only on one planet, and little space travel happens, but it’s given me some ideas. For realism, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a big influence. I love realistic science fiction, and it’s what I want to write. Although it’s been years since I watched much anime, I would say that Macross is one show that influenced me, especially the Macross Plus series. But most recently, I watched Walking With Monsters, which is more of a documentary. That’s given me ideas related to worldbuilding, as has the short series Alien Planet.

How about you?

What TV series or movies have influenced you, whether it’s writing or the kind of fiction you like to read? Let us know in the comments below.

Game of Thrones and Others, Why I Won’t Watch Them… Yet

I heard Game of Thrones is back on TV with new episodes now. I won’t watch it. My mom told me The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was on TV last night. I said I didn’t want to watch it.

Why would I refuse to watch these? I’ll watch The Shannara Chronicles. I’ll watch the Ender’s Game movie. Why will I watch these, but not the others?

The answer is simple: If I’ve read the book, I’ll watch it. If I haven’t read the book, I won’t watch it.

I’ve read up to the third book for A Storm of Ice and Fire, but I don’t really want to watch the TV series until I’ve read more of the books. I’ve only read the first Narnia book, but the Dawn Treader is the third book. I have read Elfstones of Shannara, which the TV series is based on. I have read Ender’s Game.

The reason why I won’t watch the movie or TV series until I’ve read the books is because I don’t want the actors to appear in my imagination. I don’t want the sets to appear in my imagination. I want my mind to create the appearance of the people and places. I don’t want that spoiled.

Do you feel the same? Let me know in the comments below.