LIVING THE DREAM
Two years ago, I was approached by a small independent film company about adapting my Civil War novel, This Time Forever, into a short film. I was familiar with the company's work on a documentary about the life and career of a late songwriter/singer who was a country music legend so I had no reservations about working with them. Now, two years into the project, with a tentative summer release date, it has expanded into a feature film.
I've been asked how one goes about the process of book to film so I want to share a few things I've learned through experience. The film companies I contacted would not accept a book submission, only a screenplay. Many cities have groups of screenwriters with members willing to adapt a book for fees from "free for the experience" to 10K for members who had done work in Hollywood. Once you have a screenplay, it would become your responsibility to select target companies and submit it. I decided I didn't have the knowledge, experience, or connections for that.
Another option is attending film festivals, viewing the films presented, then meeting the production people to pitch your book. If accepted for production, there are no boiler plate contracts. Independent film companies are usually on a small budget and production costs may be met by either party or jointly shared.
If your book is given to a screenwriter for adaptation, be aware that it is no longer your baby. Changes in the book are a given. If you have strong feelings about retaining anything, you need to have that written into the contract at the beginning. Many things are going on at the same time: scriptwriting, choosing a location, arranging for costumes, actor selection to name a few. Shooting dates are set and must work with precision to avoid overrun costs. Your amount of involvement will depend on the production company. I was invited to actively participate which I have recorded on my FB page.
Once filming ends, there is still a long process of putting it all together, promoting it, submitting it to selected film festivals, and in my case, making it available on VIMEO. Again, the contract will specify the percentage or amount you may be able to earn from its release. In most cases, the author shares responsibility for promotion. A last word of caution. Be sure you are dealing with a reputable screenwriters' group or film company or you may lose your work or your money or both. And may your dream come true.
THIS TIME FOREVER
The Wakefield's antebellum mansion becomes a Confederate hospital when the Union Army invades Tennessee. Philip Burke, a prisoner of war who has bartered his medical skill to remain out of prison, is placed in charge. Against propriety, Clarissa stays on to help nurse the wounded. As opposing armies fight for possession of Chattanooga, Philip and Clarissa face their own battle. She is married to a Confederate soldier and he has a fiancée who waits for him in Oswego. Caught in the passions of love and war, will they be faithful to their vows or listen to their hearts?
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery
Heat rating: 2 flames
Clarissa looked into deep blue eyes, so close she was almost touching the thick black lashes that framed them, and the room started to spin. She parted her lips to say it was her fault, but he was lowering his mouth to hers. The words got lost in the vortex of sensations which swirled around them.
She averted her face and his warm lips touched her jaw line, then moved to her throat, as his hand lifted her chin and held her face captive, allowing him to complete what he had intended to do. The kiss was long and deep, and when he withdrew his mouth from hers he cupped her head and guided it against his shoulder. Pressed against him, she felt the pounding of his heart which matched her own. Without even knowing she had been a homeless wanderer, Clarissa suddenly knew she had come home.
"Clarissa," he whispered her name in the awed silence, "I've wanted to do that since the first time I saw you."
Feeling a sense of joy at his confession, she lifted her face to him again.
"Are you angry with me, Clarissa?" he asked softly.
"No, Captain Burke," she whispered.
"My name is Philip," he said. "Say my name."
She hesitated then said the given name she had never spoken aloud until this moment, caressing the syllables on her tongue.
He crushed her closer and took her lips again, kissing her until they were both breathless. His hands stroked her body, boldly brushing the sides of her breasts, making her taut nipples ache for his touch. A slow warmth began deep inside her and spread until it became a trembling desire at the juncture of her thighs, and her body moved of its own volition to press against his arousal.
Philip appeased his thirst for her with long deep kisses, drinking his fill from her soft moist lips. Then sated, he gently pushed her from him and gave his attention to unfastening the tiny buttons of her bodice while she stood trembling, weak with desire. At last, he completed the task and bent his head to kiss the enticing valley visible between the thrusting peaks hidden by her lace-trimmed chemise and she moaned softly. Emboldened, he untied the bow that held it together, pushed the material aside, and took one taut nipple in his mouth. She called out his name and grasped his head head with her hand, forcing herself deeper into his mouth. Laving one breast and then the other with his flicking tongue, he cupped her buttocks with his hands and pulled her against his pulsing desire and she gasped his name again and again.
He guided her onto the settee and mindless with passion, bent to lift her skirt. He guided her onto the settee and mindless with passion, bent to lift her skirt.
"Burke, are you up there?" the guard called from the bottom of the stairs.
Philip jerked into an upright position. "Yes, Private. I'm giving Mrs. Wakefield a sedative. I'll be down shortly."
Linda Swift divides her time between Florida and her native state of Kentucky. In her other life she was a teacher, counselor, and psychometrist in public schools in three states. She is an award winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. Her first books were published by Kensington. She currently has twelve ebooks (also in print) and nine novellas with three publishers available from Amazon and other distributors. Her Civil War saga, This Time Forever, has been compared to Gone With The Wind and the TV mini-series North and South. The novel has twenty 5-star reviews and was awarded Top Pick status by Night Owl Reviews. Linda considers the adaptation of this book into the film, Clarissa's War, the highlight of her writing career.
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