From a total writing novice just seven short years ago to having his sixth novel published this summer; Steve Alten could easily be held up as the perfect example of how hard work breed's success. In that time he has made the New York Times Best Sellers list as well as other best sellers lists all around the world. Not bad for a man who had never written any fiction before he attempted to write his first novel! Now Steve is in the throws of courting Hollywood, in the long and hard process of trying to get his first novel, Meg, turned into a movie! Here he tells us a little about how he is progressing. If you want to have regular updates on every aspect of Steve's work his web site address is www.stevealten.com.
At the moment you are working hard on getting your novel
Meg turned into a movie, how have you found
dealing with Hollywood studios and executives? Was it a
case of they welcomed you with open arms or have you
had to knock loudly on a lot of doors?
Nothing had happened in regards to the Meg movie
since Hollywood Pictures failed to renew the rights back in
1998. Since then, we had interest, but nothing with names
that carried real weight; until Nick Nunziata, a friend,
supporter, and the creator behind
took interest in bringing the movie to his friend, Guillermo
Del Toro, director of Hell Boy. Guillermo loved
Meg, and told his directors, Larry Gordon and
Lloyd Levin about it. They read my screenplay, and flew
me to L.A. for a creative meeting, along with my manager,
Ken Atchity. Their input was tremendous, and I made
some changes for the better. The script lured a major
director. I am now completing some tweaks based on his
notes. Hopefully we'll use the finalized script to grab a
studio deal. But I love the new script.
You have been trying to get Meg turned into a film
for quite a while now. In all the time, did you ever lose faith
in the work, did you at any time maybe begin to doubt the
novels suitability for the big screen?
I have always believed the novels are perfect for the big
screen. But my novels are big, tent pole productions, and
require major talent. Fortunately, I am meeting the talent in
Hollywood now, including producer David Foster and
screenwriter Nick Myer, who are attached to novel number
seven, The Loch.
You have written the screenplay for Meg yourself;
did you find it difficult adapting your own work?
It is a challenge. I need fresh eyes to help me unshackle
myself from the book. But once I sense the new direction,
it's fun. I am working on adapting Domain now -- a
book I never would have attempted years ago. The story
and research wore me out -- three years. But writing the
sequel, Resurrection, seemed to reinvigorate me to
the story. The screenplay reads like Independence
Day meets Matrix-&-Indiana
You have had six novels published now, would you like to
see them all turned into movies?
Absolutely. My seventh novel, The Loch, will be
out Spring 2005. My sixth novel, Meg: Primal
Waters, was just released July 1. Fans won't be
As I stated before you wrote the screenplay for
Meg, yourself, and you have also written other
original screenplays. First, do you enjoy writing
screenplays? And secondly, how, for you, does the whole
process of writing a screenplay differ from say, writing a
Screenplays allow me to take a break from writing novels,
which require far more research and time. So yes, I enjoy
the break. Of course, with an original screenplay, it is hard
writing on spec, while my novels always have a good
chance of bringing in a paycheck. The two skills are polar
opposites, and it took many years to learn how to write a
screenplay. I am always learning.
At what time during your writing career did you start to
believe that a film of your work was a possibility? Was it
as soon as your first published novel or did it take you a
few published novels before you even dreamt of seeing
your work up there on the silver screen?
Well, with Meg, we sold the dramatic rights before
the book was done. Still, I believed my novels would be
adapted when I first started writing. You have to believe it
first, in order to do the work.
Having interviewed you before, I know that you are a very
ambitious person. So, if your novel Meg is turned
into a film what are your hopes for it? Would you be
happy to enjoy the experience of seeing your work turned
into a film or would anything other than a summer
blockbuster be a disappointment?
Hell, no. I expect the movie to be one of the top five
grossing movies of all time. Meg has that kind of
Finally, you have had success in novel writing and now it
looks as if you will also have great success in writing
screenplays, do you have any other writing
ambitions left? A move into poetry perhaps?
|Steve:||Poetry? Smack me if I start writing poetry! But I have written a comedy that I love, called Mintz Meats. We'll be taking it out soon.|