Got an email from a guy in Saudi Arabia who has been reading my books on Kindle and wanted to know when the next one would be out. It was extremely gratifying because as I write (and re-write) about these characters, sometimes taking years to complete a book, they become very real to me. So having someone write and say they want to know more is kind of like having someone praise one of your children.
A while back, a friend of one of my nephews who would like to be a screenwriter tried his hand at adapting “First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch – Book 1″ into a screenplay. It was interesting reading, but also very weird (for me). The first third of the script followed the book pretty closely (though some things were altered–as they would have to be when you switch from a written vision to a visual vision). It was fascinating to see my own words being used in such a fashion.
In the second third of the script, he started veering away from my story on a few points. I didn’t say anything because I figured it was his project and I know that some things have to change for a screen play. Plot points are condensed–and sometimes dropped–and side characters in the book may get cut from the movie. That’s the way it goes–just for the simple fact that taking a three hundred page book and making it into a two hour movie requires some condensing.
But the third section of the script barely resembled my novel. It was an interesting story, but it wasn’t MY story. The guy who wrote it had never read the other two Garison Fitch books, so he didn’t know where they were going. His conclusion of the screenplay would have precluded the other two books entirely. We had been corresponding for a while but when I wrote these concerns to him I stopped hearing from him. Don’t know if he’s trying to rework his script to more closely follow my book or if he’s just given up and moved on to some other story.
Lastly, though, what bugged me the most is that I knew the characters he was working with and I knew they wouldn’t act like that. Not that he had them being immoral or anything like that, it was more like if you have a good friend from Oklahoma and someone quotes him as saying he hates OU. You know him well enough to know he’d never say that. After a while, I get to know the characters so well that someone could probably suggest a breakfast for them and I could tell you what they like to eat.
It’s kind of a sickness, huh?