Thursday, January 03, 2008

Meet me in L.A.! (Lower Alabama)

I’ve received a surge of e-mail from readers in the past few days. I suspect a lot of you got bookstore gift cards in your stockings. Listen, I really appreciate that out of all the bazillions of books in the store, you picked mine. And thank you so much for writing to tell me you enjoyed them! There is no better start to my day than to turn on my computer and find e-mail from you, especially after I have hit my head on the kitchen cabinet door while trying to find the coffee.

One of the questions I get most often is whether I will make a movie out of Major Crush and/or The Boys Next Door. I think this is a great idea. Ashley Tisdale should play Lori. She makes a terrific diva in High School Musical, but she’s also got that dork act down to a science on Zack & Cody, and that’s what we want. For Adam let’s cast Lucas Black from Friday Night Lights--the movie, not the TV show. He’s handsome, he’s a terrific actor, AND he’s really from Alabama.

Okay, let’s get real. I can’t make movies. Most authors, even the ones whose books do get filmed, have very little to do with the process. Here’s what I know about it--which is probably a lot less than Micol knows, or Aimee, or...just about anyone on this blog.

Step 1. When you first sell your novel to a publisher, it’s announced with a short description on a publishing web site. Filmmakers haunt this site, and when they read a description of a novel that sounds interesting, they may ask to read it. This happened two or three times that I know of for Major Crush and six times for Going Too Far, my novel coming out with MTV Books in 2009. No takers yet, but I love hearing that someone even asked to see my work. That means I wrote a novel that SOUNDS good to someone, regardless of its actual quality, and that is no small feat in itself.

Step 2. A filmmaker purchases the TV/film rights to your book. This has happened for several of the Simon Pulse Ro-Coms!

Step 3. A filmmaker actually makes the TV/film. They buy a lot more stories than they can ever film. Only a small percentage of these ever become TV shows or movies.

Step 4. The filmmaker throws herself at your feet, pleading with you to write the screenplay from your novel so as to glean all possible benefit from your creative awesomeness. As far as I can tell, this only happens for huge best-selling authors who have a lot of editorial or film experience, and sometimes not even then. Currently I’m (finally!) reading Bridget Jones’s Diary, which so far is almost exactly like the film, in part because Helen Fielding both wrote the book and co-wrote the screenplay. But most authors are never given this choice. It’s give up control over what happens to your story in its film version, or no deal. I have heard of authors who refuse to sell TV/film rights for their books because they are afraid of what the filmmakers will do to their precious babies. Rest assured THIS will never happen at Chez Echols.

That’s the long answer. The short answer is, no, I will not personally be making films of my books, much as I would like to invite Ashley and Lucas and their stunt doubles to my parents’ place on Lake Martin for wakeboarding and pyrotechnics.

Jennifer Echols


Anonymous said...

Who would you like to see play Virginia, Drew, or Mr. Rush?

Anonymous said...

I think Major Crush would be an awesome movie. Drew's a total hottie and the story is so cute.
I love your style Mrs. Echols. Your girls are sarcastic and sassy. They have attitude problems and swear a lot. I love it. I'm like that.
Not that the other Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies aren't great either, but it's nice to have a character I feel I can relate to every once in a while.
And I think you might be right about the trombone players. I go to a really small school and we have all of one trombonist. He's an ass. ;)

Jennifer Echols said...

Virginia--That's tough. Most teen actresses aren't that short.

Drew--The curly-haired one from the Jonas Brothers.

Can he act?

Do we care?

Mr. Rush--Did you once suggest Danny Bonaduce? Still choking on that one. He's PERFECT, only 25 years too old.

Jennifer Echols said...

He's an ass. ;)

HAHAHAHAHAHA ouch, my side *cough*

Vrepeat, I'm so glad you liked the book! And that you find it true-to-life (or at least true-to-band).

Anonymous said...

I think that would be awsome if somone got on there knees and begged for your movie! If you need an actress let me know *hint hint wink wink smile smile*just kidding :D. I would totaly go and watch it if i wasnt in it and somone was smart enough to make movies out of them :D I love your books though. The Boys Next door is my favorite book! Then So Inn Love, then Major Crush :D sorry your not number two :( but you are #1 and #3 and that is good considering i read ALOT. I have read 71 books scence Aug. :D Guess that is good for me lol and you proubly dont care!

Jennifer Echols said...

I think that would be awsome if somone got on there knees and begged for your movie!

That WOULD be awesome! Can you please become a filmmaker? The industry needs more brilliant people such as yourself.

sorry your not number two

That's okay--it's really good company! Those HarperTeen books are adorable. I will have to check this one out--I haven't read any of Catherine's stuff yet.

I have read 71 books scence Aug.

You go girl! I wish I'd read that many!

Anonymous said...

This is Caitlyn again. Filmaker would be fun but i think i want to own a bookstore when i get older. For now i can write for fun and read your books :D Are you in the process of writing any books right now? I will have to pre-order it :D
Your awsome reader

Jennifer Echols said...

i want to own a bookstore when i get older.

Oooh, good choice.

For now i can write for fun

What do you write?

Are you in the process of writing any books right now?

My next book is called Boy in Blue and MTV Books is publishing it in March 2009. I just started a new book today!

Anonymous said...

Yea i like writting alot. I write for my school paper, and i am trying to start a novel. Ive wrote many short stories but i always want to add more to the story, so i am going to try a romantic comedy. That is my favorite type of book so I think my first try will be for that.Even though i am a very bad speller, spell check is my hero :D Oh yea Boy In Blue i seen that on your website. Looks difforant from your other books but i will have to check it out. If you feel like spilling some beans, what is your book about that you started today? Is it for like MTV or is it another Simon Pulse?? Or is it neither...
Once again this is Caitlyn :D Bye

Jennifer Echols said...

That is my favorite type of book so I think my first try will be for that.

Exactly--write the book you want to read! It takes some people a long time to figure that out.

If you feel like spilling some beans, what is your book about that you started today?

I have a tendency to blather on about my works in progress so I think I'm actually going to keep quiet this time. But thanks for asking!

Happy writing to both of us!

Anonymous said...

ha ha. I would think it would be obvious to write about the books you love, but aparntly not! It's okay you dont have to tell, it was just somthing i had to ask :D Good luck on it though. Let me no if you need some idea's if you get writer's block :D
Happy Writing!

Anonymous said...

How hard was it to get your book published, after you wrote it?

Jennifer Echols said...

Let me put it this way. Major Crush was my 10th book, but the first one published.

But for most of the time I was trying to get published, there was no Internet to speak of. There's a lot more information available to writers today about how to make it through the maze of the publishing industry.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Your 10th book!! You Should try to get thoose published again! The ones you have out now are like me favorites so i could just picture reading the other great ones that wernt published!

kaitlyn m. said...

i just wanted to say that i LOOOOOVVVVEEEE your books Major Crush and The Boys Next Door. i just wish my life was like theirs!i think it would be soo amazing for your books to become movies. Filmakers shouldfnt be sdo stupid to ignore such cute,romatic and humoirous books. i personally would die to be in one of your movie . and i would for sure watch/buy your movies. Your books are awesome. and i hope you do a sequel to teh boys next door cuz that would be soo awesome.
-- looking forward to your future books---

Jennifer Echols said...

Kaitlyn, this is so sweet. Thank you for posting!

Michelle said...

For Virginia: Alexa Bega
For Drew: Jean Luc Bilodeau
For Mr. Rush: Ryan Reynolds (because Mr. Rush is hilarious)

Mrs. Echhols I love your books they are fantastic! I can't wait for Forget You and I am honestly counting down the minutes till Endless Summer. I can't wait to find out what happens between Lori and Adam. I would love for your books to become movies. I wish I was a great screen writer, I make some good money for using your books. I'd have to say though I don't like your choices for characters for Boys Next Door. Ashley and Lucas are to old. I've met Lucas and he is very manly lol.