The paperback of my latest novel, “Something To Hide,” is in the shops now – do buy it! – and I’m adapting it for BBC Films. It’s complicated, as it takes place in Beijing, Texas, a fictitious African country and Pimlico. Juggling the story-lines is a bit of a challenge but then I think of some of my favourite films – “Short Cuts,” “Babel” and “Syriana” – which weave in multiple plots and realize that when it’s done well it’s thrilling. I’m constantly astonished by the way our lives are linked, how coincidences pop up in the most unlikely places and how globalization has shrunk the world, and I love stories that reflect this.
I’m also adapting “In The Dark,” my novel set in the First World War, for the BBC, and “Heartbreak Hotel” for ITV. Because I’m doing this, I now have a faintly seasick feeling about the original novels. The plots have shifted around and the characters have morphed into different people during the sea-change that takes place when one turns a novel into a screenplay. As draft follows draft, this intensifies – and then, with any luck, actors will arrive to bring their own transformations.
Hopefully, one or more of these projects might actually get filmed. I’m so longing to step onto a set again, as I did with “Tulip Fever,” where I was an extra, playing a 17th century Amsterdam matron, complete with ruff and clay pipe. The sets were truly magical, it was like walking into a Vermeer painting. It’s been quite a rollercoaster, the whole process, as the book was written eighteen years ago and it’s taken this long to get it to the screen – I’ve written about this drama in earlier blogs. Hopefully the film will be released early next year – at last! It’s very beautiful and really worth the wait.
Meanwhile I’m appearing at various literary festivals this autumn – Budleigh Salterton on 15 September, Wigtown on 1 October, Cheltenham on 8 October, Wells on 16 October and Cardiff on 30 October. Do come along to one of them if you can – Google them for details.
I hope you’ve had a great summer. Do email me if you fancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.