Reading the books or watching the movies, can you handle the possible, sometimes inevitable disappointments?
FRIENDLY WARNING: This post does not include Jane Austen’s novels and movie adaptations. It deserves its own post; Miss Austen would have been as big, if not bigger, than J.K. Rowling if she were here today. People who read some of my previous guest posts know my feeling about “borrowing” Austen’s plots for your own novel. That being said, Bridget Jones's Diary is one of my favourite movies (not the novel!) And Clueless is every 90’s teenager’s guilty pleasure. Ha ha! Maybe I’ll drop a few lines then…
Who has never been excited about his/her favourite books coming alive in a big or small screen? I know I always am. Your beloved characters will finally have a face, a voice and will forever be immortalized as… whatever actor/actress has agreed to take on that challenge. However, who has never dreaded that they butcher the story? I always do. I can talk about it as a writer, but my angst is more for the reader, fan and TV/movie addict that I am.
Famous quote: “The movie is great, but it has nothing to do with the book!” --Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba. A lot of movies and TV series are from adapted screenplays. Sometimes you’re lucky enough and you haven’t heard about the book so you get to fully enjoy the movie and the series. My example, Practical Magic (novel by Alice Hoffman), I didn’t know it was a book until recently and the book and the movie have very little in common. Did it change my opinion? No, but only because I saw the movie first and I loved it. When the opposite happens, well, I try to avoid it. If the movie is great, I would not read the book. I am not a glutton for punishment, because I’ve been burned before.
Famous quote: “Oh my God! This book was amazing! But the director was a hater!” --Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba. Right… maybe, just maybe, not all books are supposed to become movies or TV series. Getting inside a writer’s head is not something I would advise. You end up cutting corners, changing plots, the casting is dodgy, the location is foreign to the story, you even end up in the wrong decade so viewers could relate. The writer that I am has a stomach ache just thinking about it.
I have a few examples, but the one that made me cry in front of the TV screen recently was my all-time favourite book series, Cedar Cove series by Debbie Macomber. I discovered this book at Washington Dulles International Airport in January 2002 on my way back to Toronto. I bought the first of the series 16 Lighthouse Road, released in September 2001, and fell in love with all the small town characters. A new book was released each September for the next seven years and I was buying them right away. I needed to know what happened to Grace or Olivia, my favourite couples Maryellen and Jon and Seth and Justine... the rest of the town. Seriously, you need to read these books. There are a lot of characters, at least twenty, but you get to know them and their stories. What do you know, Hallmark made a TV series from the books and it wasn’t my beloved series anymore. For the people who do not know the books, it’s a nice series, for me, ‘The dove cried’. I should have stayed away from it, but as I said, I always get excited about an adaptation.
Famous quote: “I’ll just wait for the movie.” --Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba. We’re all guilty of that one. I haven’t read the Harry Potter books, The Twilight Saga books, The Lord of The Rings books, The Hunger Games books, any big series made to movies in the last decade. I just watched the movies. Why? Because it was made as a movie so quickly that I didn’t bother to do both and get disappointed. Note: Lord of The Rings books are older than my parents, but were not popular in Central Africa otherwise I would have read them. Really!
Famous quote: “A book, a movie, a mini-series or/and TV series, a cartoon can it be?” --Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba. I have two words for you, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and all the books of with the same characters. But I’m Canadian so I have to mention Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery and all the books after that. Anne of Green Gables is my favourite TV series, yesterday, today and tomorrow since I was twelve years old. This, for me, is what an adaptation should strive for. It should inspire you to read the books, be faithful to the story, and make the author proud.
So, what is it going to be? The book or the movie?
Genre: Family saga/ chick lit/ interracial romance/ romantic comedy
First Publication: January 2013
Number of books: 3, possible spinoffs later
Length: 93000 words/ 400 pages
Release date: January 18 2013
Love can be such a “coulda, woulda, shoulda” song sometimes…
Lucia Mpobo-Riddell could have been a dancer like the rest of women of her family but instead she chose music. Marcus Grant could have been a doctor like the rest of his family but instead he chose music. She also could have not fallen for Marcus on her birthday but she did. And Marcus, he could have told Lucia the truth about his real reason for being in Toronto that night, but he didn’t. Now they have to deal with big reveals and consequences: Marcus almost stealing her job and being forced to work on an album together. Marcus, because he couldn’t swallow his pride, leaves Toronto and goes home to London. Lucia, because she just couldn’t give up on her first amazing opportunity to produce a whole album. And to complicate the situation further, the band they’re working for is not the easiest one. Mary Gillis, Marcus’ on and off flame, still has a hold on him. Greg McMullen, Lucia’s close friend and former dance partner is back in town and has been in love with her for years. Then there’s Marcus and Lucia, in the middle of their own professional and personal tug-of- war with each other and the rest of the world. But maybe things could still work out… All things considered, this could have been one heck of a love song!
Length: 90000 words/ 350 pages
Release date: January 18 2014
Marcus, Greg and Lucia are back in the second part of their journey to their perfect love song... will they finally find it?
Book Two: This would have been their perfect love song…
It has been two years since Lucia Mpobo-Riddell has made her choice between the two men in her life. She and her beloved would have been perfectly happy if it wasn’t for… the constant distractions from her past, her sister Noor’s complicated life, her own doubts and fears. Maybe there wasn’t such a thing as perfection and this was a lesson that Lucia was going to learn the hard way. Greg McMullen and Marcus Grant’s lives had been affected by Lucia’s choice that day in Glasgow two years ago. Since then one had been fighting to keep her when the other had been relentlessly trying to get her back. It soon became apparent to them that she wasn’t the Lucia they met and fell in love with anymore. Her life and priorities had completely shifted. To even consider keeping her or just getting her back, they would have to accept it or they would have to let her go. But would they ever be able to do either?
“My life journey is like my playlist, amazingly unique but full of contradictions with surprising joys with every song...”