Don’t get me wrong; I knew it was a stunning cover, the right cover, a cover that would have fans telling me for years to come that it was the reason they first picked up my books. I *knew* that, but what I *felt* was different. I felt like shouting: “You think that’s what Luce’s arm looks like?! That’s not what her arm looks like!!” I worried that having an image embody the character would pin down who she was and reduce her complexities. Imagine what a basketcase I would have been if the Fallen cover showed Lucinda’s face!
I’ve relaxed greatly since that moment, but I use this as an example to convey the sense of terror I (and many authors I know) feel about the book-to-film adaptation process. For so long, Lucinda lived in my mind, an amorphous creation. When the book was published, and readers appropriated her into their lives, I heard from so many people that they WERE Lucinda. They related to her character so much that they became her. And with every reader who assumed Luce’s identity, she changed. She became whoever they needed her to be. And I loved how many different very Lucindas there suddenly were around the world.
The movie changes that. One actor plays Lucinda and her face will become synonymous with the name. Similarly, one setting becomes Sword and Cross; one way of reading Lucinda’s first fight with Daniel gets recorded and seen on theater screens worldwide. One bad boy becomes Cam, the devil character (though in my mind Cam will always be my husband). This is a strange turn of events!
So it takes some really sensitive and creative decisions made at the front end of a movie to convince a writer that his or her book is not being reduced–but enhanced. I’m happy to say that so far I’m very pleased with where the Fallen movie stands. The script is strong. I adore the director, Scott Hicks, who has been generous with me and incorporated tons of my feedback from script to music to setting to costumes. The principal actors (Addison Timlin as Luce, Jeremy Irvine as Daniel, Harrison Gilbertson as Cam) knocked me out with their audition tapes. Shooting begins at the end of this year, and I’m very very optimistic about the final product.
And, in case you’re wondering, I’m finally cool with Addison Timlin’s arm becoming Luce’s arm.
I cannot sign off without adding the fabulous news that the first book in my new series, Teardrop, releases this week. I hope you love it as much as I loved writing it. And you know I’m already thinking about Teardrop’s adaptation….