Today my guest is horror/fantasy author Raven Bower. It’s a pleasure to host her today. We’re talking about Apparitions her newest release and the movie based on the novel which is currently under production with Dead Mouse Productions. Welcome to In Shadows, Raven.
Tell us about Apparitions.
Apparitions is all about the heroine – Bailey Khane – as she struggles with her gift of sight, the ability to see and communicate with spirits. She’s forced to face her fear of the scenes they show her, often brutal murder scenes, and accept both herself and the knowledge that she can be loved despite her oddity. She has to solve the mystery of their deaths before she too is among the dead.
Sounds like an great story! You wrote the screenplay yourself. How different is writing a screenplay from a novel?
I adore writing screenplays…and novels…okay I admit to loving them both. What enthralls me about a screenplay is going into it knowing it’s ultimately an intensive team effort. The thoughts of what the Director will do with certain elements, scenes and the feel of the movie really fires me up. I’m excited to see what Director Michael Bryant does to make this his own – stamp it with his creative mark. Imagining actors grabbing onto these characters fascinates me – I want to see what they do! So in those ways screenplays are so much fun for me as a writer. They’re also written visually and short so they’re different than novels in that way.
In novels I’m able to get deeper into the characters and expose the readers to their thoughts and their inner worlds. Having the privilege of immersing readers into a story, showing them the characters’ world is a joy. It does involve a lot more detail though than what’s necessary in a screenplay.
What is it like to work as an author team?
Lain and I are both passionate about writing and creating the best worlds, stories and characters possible. We push each other to go further, learn more, be more. The majority of the time we agree and both focus on our strong points while working on weak areas.
We’re still two different individuals though and communication glitches can happen, one of us might see a character or scene differently or want a different focus or mood. Stories are about the only thing Lain and I ever argue about – but that’s not bad, it all goes back to passion and we respect that in each other. We work through our differences with negotiation, keeping an open mind and trying to understand why the other wants things a certain way. Ultimately, the story and reader/audience are the end-all-be-all of the decision. What will create the best scene? What will be more engaging for the reader? What will draw them closer to the character? We both win, we both lose, but we try to make sure the reader/viewer always wins.
How did you choose which scenes to cut from the book?
The hardest to cut were the villain’s. His character is a study into the criminal mindset and how radically different criminals view the world vs. most other people. To me that was an important aspect of the story in book form. But when you’re transforming a 300+ page manuscript into a 113 page script some of it just had to go!
Bailey is the core of the story and that’s the spirit that’s kept in the script. Each scene was judged by whether or not transforming it into script would be of value to audience. Will it bring the audience deeper into Bailey’s world? Is it visually exciting? Honestly some exciting moments in books turn out rather dull on film because the audience isn’t privy to the character’s thoughts, so those were cut.
Scenes and new dialog also had to be added to avoid a disconnect in the story.
What are your plans for the sequels to Apparitions? Will there be more movies?
Book two of the Apparitions series, Wendigo, is out in ebook and will be available in print, Kindle and Nook in July/August. Rags Beneath is contracted and my editor, Terri Pray, and I have already gone through the editing process. That’s slated for release in early 2012.
As for the movies – yes! Michael Bryant has bought the film rights to all three books! So readers will be able to see them all come to life on the screen. We’re really honored to be working with Michael and Margee Nickola. They have the spirit, drive and talent to make these fantastic movies.
Where can we find out more about your books?
Director Michael D. Bryant was also kind enough to lend us his view on Apparitions…
Raven Bower! says Michael D. Bryant (Director), I met her a while back and read her previous work and knew instantly after I read the script that Apparitions was for me.
What makes a book special enough to invest your resources in turning a book into a movie? Story? Sales?
Not only does a book already having a fan base help the sales, but when you get into the story of Apparitions you realize that the book has all of the elements to make it into a movie that people will be able to relate to.
Anything you’d like to share about future projects in the works?
My partner, Margee Nickola and I are looking to finish making Raven’s book series into movies. Not only that, we have three TV series that are in current development DemoMan, Deadpan (SWE), and The Ram Lee Project; also we (Dead Mouse Productions) are on the forefront of producing a full feature comedy/horror film called Zomedy with Scallywag Entertainment.
And that leaves us with plenty to look forward to. Thanks so much to both of you for joining us today!