The Children’s Book Council of Australia, WA Branch, launched Children’s Book Week with a flourish this year. The annual dinner, at which this years prize winners are announced, was a glittering and glamorous affair with author, A.J. Betts, giving us a crash course in how to behave when you find yourself – as you inevitably will, she says – on the set of a TV show which is being adapted from one of your books. Her Red Carpet 101 was a hilarious romp through Hollywood LA, during which she pointed out many of the traps for first-time players in the heady game of book-to-film.
The closest I have come to this, so far, was the optioning of my Rose de Freycinet story, To See the World. I was very excited when Brian Beaton, from Artemis International, took out an option to make a feature film, using my historical novel, To See the world, as a base. He loved the story and could imagine it making a terrific costume drama. We had several meetings to discuss who he would ask to direct it, how the funding could be done and who should write the screen play. I felt I had no expertise or experience in film making, but was willing to advise on the script. Since Brian and his team were already producing the very successful TV series, Who Do You Think You Are?, he was perfectly comfortable with all of that. Tragically Brian died suddenly in 2016, aged 67, and the project was abandoned. Artemis International still functions, under different management, but they have no plans to diversify into feature films in the foreseeable future.
C’est la vie