Submitted by Karna Small Bodman
The industry magazine, Publishers Weekly, just announced that Netflix is on a book acquisition spree — developing dozens of screen adaptations of novels, short story collections and graphic novels, thus offering a greatly expanded opportunity for authors who aspire to see their creations on TV as well as in bookstores. And with 139 million subscribers watching and streaming for hours on end, many talented authors are truly becoming household names. One example is fellow member of International Thriller Writers, Harlan Coben — who will be the recipient of the organization‘s “Silver Bullet” award at our annual conference, ThrillerFest, at the Grand Hyatt in New York July 9-13.
|Author Harlan Coben|
It turns out that Netflix has inked an exclusive multiyear deal with Coben, developing FOURTEEN of his stories into series and features. Right now, his novel The Stranger is being filmed for a series about Adam Price, played by Richard Armitage, who appears to be living the perfect life with a great wife and two sons. All seems on track until one night in a bar, a stranger comes over to reveal a
shocking secret about his wife. Harlan is such a prolific writer, with some 70 million books in print, I’m sure you’ll also want to check out his new book, Run Away.
Other brand new Netflix features include Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani, The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry, and Frank Miller and TomWheeler’s illustrated novel, Cursed.” Netflix’ VP of Original Series, Matt Thunell says, “There’s just no other substitute for the amount of work and creativity that goes into a book.” How true. Another Netflix VP, Kelly Luegebiehl, says, “We have development teams who are reading all night and every weekend.”
We know that Netflix has been adapting books to films for many years, turning out popular programs such as Lemony Snickets’ A Series of Unfortunate Events, often described as a “Feel good movie,” — this one starring Jim Carrey, Liam Aikon, and Emily Browning. Then, in
|Sandra Bullock in BIRD BOX|
complete contrast we have what has been described as a “terrifying masterpiece of suspense” — the adaptation of Josh Malerman’s Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, Sara Paulson, Rosa Salazar and John Malkovish. This offering was viewed in over 80 million households during its first four weeks on the service.
Proving that the chiefs at Netflix have an appetite for a wide variety of stories, they acquired the literary phenomenon, The Guernsey Literary and potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer — which was a bestselling book on every continent! This one, starring Lily James is about a London writer who creates a bond with the colorful residents of Guernsey and the book club they formed during WWII occupation of their town.
Even popular children’s books are getting the Netflix treatment with word that the company has announced plans for a “slate of premium animated event series and specials” based on a long list of books by Raold Dahl, the multi-talented, multi-faceted man who has served as a spy, an ace fighter, a a medical inventor, even a chocolate historian — as we all saw when he wrote the famous story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (We Rogues especially favor the spy connection though).
The whole point is that there are ever expanding opportunities for authors of all genres to snag a contract now — with the growing appetite for stories that can be adapted for that big screen in your living room. As for what you as a writer can do to enhance the chances that you will be offered a deal by one of the acquisition editors, you might check out these tips offered recently on our Rogue site — read it here
I’m sure we all have read books we wish would be turned into a feature film. One that comes to mind is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles — a book that has appeared on bestseller lists now for over two years…an amazing feat!
What books would YOU like to see adapted to a movie or series? Do leave a comment below or on our Facebook page (click the icon at the top left). Now thanks for visiting us here on Rogue Women Writers.
…Karna Small Bodman