On March 3rd, 2012 New York Times Bestselling author Kim Harrison held court with a signing at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, California. She was signing her book A Perfect Blood, which is book #10 in the Hollows series, along with a primer of everything Hollows in The Hollows Insider which comes complete with a glow-in-the-dark dust jacket cover. It was the perfect time for her and me to have an exclusive conversation for FEARnet.com about the future of the Hollows and what she is planning by way of other books down the road. As you can see by the interview that follows, she is an absolute delight.
Has the Hollows series been optioned?
Yes, actually it has. CW has recently picked up the rights for small screen – for television – and Jordan Hawley is actually writing the pilot. He is the guy who wrote many of the episodes of Smallville. I think they are actually going to stick with the name "Hollows" which would be very cool.
Are they trying to do, ala True Blood, where each season is approximately a book in the series?
No, I don't believe that is the way they are going and frankly I am really glad they are not because there is no way we could try to match the books and have the readers be happy in any way, shape or form. I understand that you can't translate a book to the small screen very easily it takes too...it's just really hard. It is two different techniques to tell a story. But the readers, they want the books and if they can't have them, they get upset. So I kind of feel like it is my job to find out what they are going to do the books.
Do you get any input on the script?
A little...not really. They are bringing me on as a consultant. But it is more for the mythology, more for the magic and the species and that kind of thing. They are going to try to keep that true to the book which I really appreciate because I put a lot of time and effort into developing the different species and the rules and they are very well balanced as far as power and strength. So they are bringing me on for that. But I think they are going to go a different way. They are aiming, I believe, for "this is what happens between the books." Which I think is very cool because then their writers can have fun with it.
It gives viewers reason to buy the books.
But you won't have to have read the books in order to understand what is going on?
No, not at all. I'm looking forward to seeing what they are going to come up with.
Was this the first thing you ever optioned?
Yes, it is.
How many of the books in the series were written when you did the option?
I think nine. I've known about it since last year about at this time.
So, do they get the rights to each book in the series as you write it?
They have optioned the series.
Which means that media-wise they own the characters and...
So they've done an outright buy on you. First they optioned it and now they have exercised that option and bought it?
They are developing it. It is sold. They are working very strongly. We are aiming for the 2012-2013 season. So I will know in June about characters and pilots and such.
Do you want to write one of the scripts?
You know what? I really don't because I know it is a completely different animal and I love what I am doing right now with the fiction and the science fiction I tried and the comic books. That was good but the dialogue, it has to be so sparse.
Writing a graphic novel is very similar to a script.
It is and I enjoyed it. I really did.
Which is why I am wondering if it gave you the bug?
No. I'm going to let them go do their thing and you know what? If I'm not happy, well, then things might change. But not with "The Hollows". They have "The Hollows" but I have so many ideas. Can I just say they are very cool ideas? I'm willing to let somebody else play with "The Hollows" because I've got this other stuff going on. I've got this really cool stuff I'm working on that is even easier to turn to film. It is fabulous and so I'm already over here.
When you first heard there was interest in "The Hollows" did you sort of ride that emotional roller coaster?
No. I had a talk with my agent a long time ago and said "I don't want to hear about anything until we are ready to sign papers" and he held to that. We have other things to do. I can't focus on the maybes. I can only focus on what is a possibility. So there were other offers and things going on in the background that he never told me about and I was fine with that. Because if it wasn't real and it wasn't going to happen, and I know it still could fall apart at any point...
But you are already signed.
Oh yeah, yes.
So when you knew you had this project optioned did that affect your writing style to be more cinematic?
It didn't really, not for "The Hollows". But I will be honest with you. When I started looking at the next series that comes after "The Hollows" I wanted it to be easier for Hollywood to play with. So I will be honest with you there. I don't have a problem with that because I'm still using my tools in my toolbox. I'm expanding it. If I can merge my old tools with my new tools and let somebody else, you know, make it easier for them and still feel satisfied as an artist, then there is nothing wrong with that.
So as I always do when I wrap up a conversation I ask if you have any tips for the struggling writer who may also be trying to get optioned?
I am a big believer in writing the story you have in you. But there is no shame or no problem with writing to the market, at all. If you can take what you have and tweak it to the market and stretch your writing skills at the same time – and that is important stretching your writing skills – you have not lost even if that book never gets published or never gets picked up or never gets optioned. Because you have expanded your skills.
You can catch up with Kim and her world of writing at http://www.kimharrison.net/
Del Howison is a journalist, writer and Bram Stoker Award-winning editor. He is also the co-founder and owner of Dark Delicacies "The Home of Horror" in Burbank, CA. He can be reached at Del@darkdel.com. If you have any information on the optioning of horror books he would love to hear from you.