The contracts are signed and in the mail, so it’s finally safe to announce: I have sold the movie rights for “I Am Not a Serial Killer.” Hooray! At this stage it is what we call an option, which works like this: a producer pays me X dollars to “reserve” the rights for a certain period of time. During that period I can’t sell the rights to anyone else, and at any point before that period expires they can pay me Y dollars (already defined in the option contract) to purchase the full rights and begin production. Typically, this will happen after the producer has found a director and a screenwriter, and they’ve worked out a screenplay and a shooting schedule and a workable budget; in other words, they don’t buy the full rights until they have a very clear plan of how to make the movie, and they’re confident they can do it right.
In my case the producer already has a director lined up, and I’ve talked with him, and I’m incredibly confident that he can do a great job with the book. Everyone involved thus far is European, for what it’s worth: the director is Irish, and production company is French, and that turns out to be a very good thing because the European movie industry is not nearly as strapped for cash as Hollywood is right now. What this means overall is that the movie stands a better than average chance of actually being made, which is great news. Keep in mind, though, that it could just as easily crash and burn and never happen at all. We’ll cross our fingers and hope for the best.
So what are they going to do with the book, specifically? I have no idea. I know they intend to shoot in the US, but that’s about where it ends–it’s too early to talk about casting (though you are free to speculate), and it’s even too early to say conclusively what they plan to do with the structure of the story. So much of the book depends on John’s voice–will they use narration? Will they find some wacky gimmick to turn inner monologue into outer dialogue? Will your favorite minor character appear or be written out for the sake of time? At this point, we literally have no idea.
But I’m very excited to find out.