Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Welcome author Linda Swift


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.  


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
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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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Linda Swift said...

Good morning all,

And a Happy St. Patrick's Day to ye. I'm starting out the day with a trip to the dentist but I hope to be with you later this morning to respond to all of your comments and questions. Thank you for having me today, Dawn.It's so nice to be your visitor Linda

Linda Swift said...

I have been asked privately why the anthology Fated To Be Yours is shown here. The reason is that my Civil War novella A Season For Love is in this book. It also takes place in Chattanooga just after the Civil War and mentions some of the characters in This Time Forever. It follows another novella in the 2014 Christmas Collection containing my novella A Season of Miracles with the same setting and some of the same characters. I hope you'll check them out.

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Linda,
Huge congrats on the success of "This Time Forever" and thanks for writing the supporting short story "A Season of Miracles" for the anthology. We really appreciate all your efforts to keep us informed on how the process works when making a feature film from a book. Hope the trip to the dentist went well.

JD McCall said...


Thanks for sharing your experience in how a books gets turned into films. I was unaware of some of the aspects of how the process works. Most of us who write would naturally love to see our work translated into film someday. I'm so glad you have had that opportunity and hope "Clarissa's War" does well!

Celia Yeary said...

Your Civil War Novel "This Time Forever" is a wonderful story, well-written and deserves the good reviews it has received. And then to have the privilege of your book made into a film is outstanding. I believe you are the only author I know in this category. Congratulations.
I enjoyed the short story in the anthology, too!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Linda, I can't tell you how happy I am for you. I loved This Time Forever and I am so glad you have had it made into a film. That is so wonderful. I wish you continued success with this wonderful new adventure.

Vicki Crum said...

So happy for you, Linda. I can't imagine anything more exciting than seeing your book made into a movie! Wishing you continued success with this project!

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Huge congrats to you! Can't wait to see the film. How very exciting for you!!

I truly loved your short story, too in Fated to be Yours!

Hope went well at the dentist office. :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Kaye said...

Really admire your talent as a gifted writer and so excited for the success you are enjoying with so many published works, plus the film adaptation!! Happiness all around!!!

Paula Martin said...

Huge congrats, Linda. It must have been so exciting to see your book 'come alive' with real actors in a wonderful setting. I think that is every writer's dream come true!
I was wondering how much the screenwriter or director changed, and if there was anything you didn't like about the way they filmed your story?

Linda Swift said...

Good morning to all. First, I want to apologize for not "tending the blog" yesterday. I had an early dental appointment which involved extraction of an infected molar, excessive bleeding, etc.The remainder of the day was spent on the sofa with ice packs, pain meds, etc. So now that I'm functioning again, I will answer each and every one 0f the comments that you so kindly left for me yesterday.

Linda Swift said...

Rebecca, thanks for being the "first responder" to my invitation to visit this blog. And thanks for your good wishes re the dental visit. It could have been worse (I think) I enjoyed writing for the last two VTP anthologies and I hope I can get another story ready for the next one. All three will be same setting, same time period (Civil War) and characters, (and some characters from This Time Forever are also in the stories).

Linda Swift said...

JD, I hope you will go to Clarissa's War FB page and check out the two new videos of the filming. Thank you for your loyal support of all my posts about the project. It has been and still is being a great experience for me. And I'm so happy to share it with the authors I know here online. I hope it inspires you to chase your own dreams.

Linda Swift said...

Hi, Celia. Thank you for your kind words about This Time Forever and also my story in the anthology. I smiled when you said I was the only author you know who has had a book adapted for a film. Well, you are the only author I know who is on all those besting lists and has actually got a ranking of first and second. And I'm sure Annalisa will be there soon.

Linda Swift said...

Sarah, thank you for your kind words and good wishes. Only another author can understand what it means to have this happen. And I wish it for all of you as well.

Linda Swift said...

Vickie, thank you for your comments. And yes, it is thrilling to see your characters come to life. And I was so grataified that the filmmakers chose actors who were perfect for the film. See what you have to look forward to with your books?

Linda Swift said...

Karen, thanks for stopping by. It seemed to time of actual filming flew by and now the completion is dragging. But summer is not far away and then everyone can see what I'm already seen snippets of. And I enjoyed working with you on the two VTP anthologies. I am becoming fond of these short stories/novella that don't take forever to write! And the cover of Fated To Be Yours is one of your best. I love it.

Linda Swift said...

Kaye, thanks for taking time to stop and leave your sweet comments. And thank you for all of your support and encouragement. It means a lot to me.

Linda Swift said...

Hi Paula,
Yes, it is thrilling to have This Time Forever adapted to a feature film. And my excitement grows as the time approaches for the completed film to be released. I have been promised that I will be one of the first to see it prior to release. I've seen bits and pieces in the videos already as you all have. And I was so happy with the way the screenwriter kept the film so true to the book. In fact, much of the dialogue was taken directly from the book. I can't think of anything that I've been displeased with about the film. We discussed a couple of small issues that I questioned and the filmmakers graciously agreed to my suggestions.I hope you will have the joy of seeing one of your books in film as well.

Cover Reveal and Giveaway~ The Guardian by Sarah Fine