Entertainment fansites Fangirlish, Page to Premiere and Hypable visited the Vampire Academy movie set earlier this year, and while there sat down to chat with the cast and crew. They also chatted with Richelle, who was visiting the set that same weekend. Here’s a little of their chat.
Richelle talked about the process of having her book made into a movie and the optioning process:
Q: What was the journey like to get here?
Richelle: We optioned the film a couple of years ago, but it took a long time for anything to happen. That’s just Hollywood. Every book I know from my friends that has been optioned, the same thing often happens. And I think we also suffered because we were optioned right near the end of the twilight franchise and its hard for people to jump on, oh another Vampire story. It doesn’t matter if they are radically different. They are just worried, oh that won’t read well. It took time for people to warm up to it and also to get the right team. Daniel Waters and Mark Waters on board, who are both so insanely talented.
Q: That’s when it got serious.
Q: How hands on have you been? Can they ask you any questions they want? Have they been asking you lots of questions?
Richelle: Mark has asked me some questions. Ultimately, the movie making process, when I sign the paper, it’s all up to them. They could cast it with werewolves if they wanted. It’s out of my control.
Q: Is that a spoiler?
Richelle: Yeah…surprise! No, they don’t ever have to talk to me again, but Mark’s been really great. There has been things he has wondered about, some of the costume choices and things, or he would ask oh if we do x will this effect y, and that’s been really great. I have just been there as consulting when they need it. I don’t make any ultimate decisions, but it’s a real privilege as an author for them to check with me. I think that there are a lot of authors that walk into a theater and are very surprised with what is there.
Q: Were you worried about that? When the film was optioned and you suddenly lost control over it. Were you worried that would go in a way that you didn’t like?
Richelle: I always knew it was a possibility. It’s a risk that any author takes. You have people much, much bigger than me. You sign away that control. It was a risk I was willing to take. I think it’s less scary to me, because I ultimately write the books. If they did something, and it ultimately wasn’t what I thought, I still make my own world. I think it’s scarier for the fans, because they aren’t writing the books or making the movies, so I think that there is a loss of control and they are worried about the movie coming out. They don’t need to worry. Its been great so far. I just take it as it comes and I think we have been lucky so far. Everything has been spot on.
Richelle also spoke a little about her fans on twitter and also those whose lives have been changed by VA:
Q: You are pretty active on twitter. The fan base is quite big on twitter. What do you think of the support that they give? They are really excited for any sort of news. Sarah said she tweeted a picture of cabbage and they went crazy.
Richelle: They are great. I have the best fans and readers in the world. I mean they are just so passionate and so supportive. And they are what makes this possible. It is what inspires me and I hope it inspires the actors too. Its grueling work anything, books or movies. There are days where I am like I can’t write another word and then you see the enthusiasm out there and I get emails from people who are like this character changed my life. And that’s what gives me motivation. The tangible things are important of course, paycheck and sales, you think about those, but it’s that reader reaction that gets to your heart and makes you want to do a good job.
Q: Obviously you have talked to fans who have read the book and it’s changed their lives, can you give us examples of it changing someones life?
Richelle: This is a common one, just teenagers who have been going through so much, divorce especially with their parents, who need that escape. It’s not like my books are fixing that by any means, but when you are going through a lot of hurt, they have said this book got me through a time I didn’t know if I would have been able to. I have had more than one soldier write to me. People stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan who have said you know what long time from home its hard, I have read your books, and those stories are inspiring to me. They just gut you. It’s easy to just be focusing on your one page and then to realize that it has such a global spread and such an emotional spread. Its daunting.