Author Rowena Cory Daniells fantasises about what famous directors could do to bring her books to life
This is a guest blog by author Rowena Cory Daniells whose book King Breaker , fourth in the King Rolen's Kin series, is out now from Solaris:
I’ve been a fan of Giullermo del Toro’s work ever since seeing Pan’s Labyrinth . This movie is both haunting and visually rich, yet visceral because it is set against the grim real world of Francoist Spain 1944 and the beautiful but equally deadly world of pagan faery tale. I’m sure de Toro would bring a sense of lush other-worldliness to his interpretation of a fantasy book. On the surface, King Rolen’s Kin seems like a standard fantasy world, but there are places where raw power seeps out of the earth’s core, affecting animals and people. I’d love to see how del Toro interpreted this.
Another writer/director I deeply admire is Alan Ball creator of the series Six Feet Under a wonderful dark comedy about a family who run a funeral home. He was also the creative force behind the TV series, True Blood (based on Charlene Harris’ books). The satire of the first few series had me laughing aloud, yet the brilliant title sequence by Digital Kitchen makes me shudder each time I watch it. (It’s too real, Roy, too real. Anyone an IT Crowd fan?)
Another director I deeply admire is Peter Jackson. Years ago, long before he did the Lord of the Rings movies, I saw The Frighteners and found it riveting. It was a mix of slapstick and truly scary moments. Some people have an instinct for telling stories. When Peter Jackson filmed LOTR , he did exactly what I did when I read the book to my children. Imagine six children sprawled on a king size bed hearing LOTR for the first time. They were swept away by the grandeur and the wonder of the story. But I knew my audience so I edited out the travelogue descriptions and the backstory poetry and concentrated on the adventure.
Peter Jackson can combine moments of high drama with rollicking adventure, which I think pretty well sums up the King Rolen’s Kin books.
A writer/director is a bit like an author; they conceive of a story and people the world with characters, then they set the scene, building in sub text and resonance. But writers have to convey all of this with words alone. Not only do we have to create the imagery in the reader’s head, but we also take the reader into the internal mindscape of the characters, something that can only be hinted at in film.
So this is what writers are thinking about when they aren’t neck deep in rewrites and plotting. Not that I’ve had much time for daydreams with the writing and editing of King Breaker .
But now that the books out, I can let myself indulge in a little daydream. After all, daydreams is what I deal in, stories that sweep you away into a world of wonder and adventure. I hope readers find King Breaker a rollicking read.