Monday, November 20, 2023

The Silver Screen and Sheila Claydon


For a variety of reasons I haven't been able to concentrate on writing recently, which means I've lost the habit of putting words on a page every day. So in an attempt to reactivate the creative juices I have been looking at my backlist and, because I frequently use places I've visited as the setting for a story, remembering what prompted me to write each particular book. It's been an enjoyable journey. So has the game I started playing, which was trying to decide which one could best be adapted into a film for the silver screen!

Pie in the sky I know, but fun nevertheless.

Out of all my books Miss Locatelli won. It has all the ingredients. A family business and a family mystery. A burglary. A far too sexy 'bad boy turned good' Italian hero. A quirky heroine with a prodigious talent and a temper to match. Some fabulous and some less than fabulous clothes! Jewellery. A large Italian family. Mouth-watering Italian food. Settings in London, England and Florence, Italy. And, of course, the ubiquitous misunderstandings that keep the reader turning the pages of a romantic fiction novel until the very end.

Then there is the intoxicating thought of all those long distance drone shots of the wonderful Italian countryside as well as the close ups of life in Florence with my characters walking across the The Ponte Vecchio or staring up at the iconic Duomo.  Equally intoxicating is the imagined bird's eye view of the River Thames in London, the Houses of Parliament, the parks, the interior of one of the city's famous hotels. If only!

I'm quite sure actually having my book turned into a film would be far less exciting than imagining it. For a start I would lose control and have to watch as producers and directors decided to alter parts of my story. None of the actors would look the same as my imagined characters either. The settings would be different from the ones I had imagined, probably the clothes too. They might even leave out my favourite scene or, horror of horrors, change the ending! It happens.

While J K Rowling, whose Harry Potter books were such best sellers long before they were filmed, was able to influence filming, most writers cannot. One writer, when interviewed, said that when she sold her book to a production company she had to accept that the story was no longer hers and just enjoy spending the money instead. And that is another problem. Mostly writers make very little money despite their book being the heart of the film. And then there are all those other books, the ones that despite being sold  never actually make it to the silver screen.

Still, imaging how my book might be adapted has been good fun, and trying to decide which particular scene I would most like to see filmed was too, although in the case of Miss Locatelli  I'm still working on it. It's been a good mental exercise and who knows, it might just prompt me to start putting words on paper again.

Try it with one of your own books if you are a writer. And if you're not, then try imagining filming your favourite novel or, better still, your favourite book from Books We Love. 


  1. Interesting exercise. I might do this when I stop having ideas for new books. I've really enjoyed your stories. Hope this exercise brings new stories for me to read

  2. I always see my stories in moving images in my head as I write. I'm a movie fan, and I like to think my novels would make great movies. Thanks for sharing.


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