Monday, December 15, 2008

Ripples on the Lake Revisted

I received such a lovely email this morning about Ripples on the Lake.

"I read your book over a year ago now and I am still finding the story-line and characters slipping into my thoughts quite a bit! I think it would make a really powerful film. Is a movie on the cards at all?

I have never written fan-mail before, this book has just hit a nerve I think, it is not just a fictional story, there seem to be parts of all of us as New Zealanders in it and I feel it should be shown to the world."

Sometimes - because life flows on - I forget what a powerful things this story was in my life. I lived and breathed with those characters for several years as the story came into being.

And it strangely moves me when I hear from someone who feels the same way.

Whilst the reviews were mostly positive there was the odd one who just didn't "get" the story at all. (Remember the one who said it suffered from "excessive schmaltziness"!) So it is both humbling and moving to hear from people who do "get it".

There was a brief moment of excitement when a movie director made contact about possibly filming Ripples but it all faded away to nothing in the end. My HarperCollins editors assure me that is almost always what happens. But I live in hope that one day it might make the screen - as I'm sure do most writers.

I don't think about Ripples on the Lake so much now. It is as if the act of writing the story and it being published brought closure to it for me.

Ah - but that crappy first draft of the next story -the one I gave up on and moved on to do other things like build websites - ah, THAT story lives with me constantly. Have absolutely no idea how to turn it from a series of wonderfully visual "made for the movies" scenes into a logical story - but I do know that one day I must return to it and try.

So thank you to the lovely lady who sent me the email today. It meant more to me that you could have imagined.


Leah J. Utas said...

I really do wish it would be a movie.
I never did understand Mr. Excessive Schmaltziness. It's been a while since I read it (though I still think of Big Wal from time to time) and I honestly don't recall there being any schmaltz anywhere.

Crabby McSlacker said...

I think it would have made a great movie, and who knows... someday maybe it will.

And I hope that the draft of the next one makes it's way into a finished novel one of these days--I'd love to read it.

Dawn said...

Thanks Leah, I suspect you're a lady that recognize schmaltz at 100 paces!

Crabby - I do think more and more about returning to that first draft.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Dawn,

What a grand email!! And well deserved.

I'm with Crabby--I believe that if a story stays around in your head, it's really demanding to be written a second, third or fourth draft--written until it's done.


Thomma Lyn said...

What a wonderful email -- though I'm not published yet, I love it when people read my stuff and "get" it. What a great feeling -- congratulations! :)

Perhaps your next story has been quietly baking in your subconscious -- it's almost like some stories have to knit themselves together deep inside your mind before you can start writing them. I have a feeling that when you get back to it, it will feel like coming home. :)

the Bag Lady said...

Okay - truth be told - I had a hard time, in the first chapter or so, getting into your story; mostly because I thought it was too different from what I usually read. But it hooked me, held me and wouldn't let me go.

To my way of thinking, THAT is the sign of an excellent story-teller. Which I think you are. So screw the "excessive smaltziness" guy - he obviously doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground! (because I do - there is no mistaking my ass for a hole in the ground, honest!.... well, unless it's some big honkin' thing left by a meteor.... but I digress!)

I am totally looking forward to reading the next book you write, regardless of what it's about! But if Saffron and her sisters are in it, I will devour it.

Dawn said...

Terrie - I do agree that when a story stays with you it is demanding to be told.

Would I sound like a wimp if I say "but writing is such hard work!"

Thomma Lyn - I remember that Ripples took a long time to come to fruition so perhaps that is just my style. I have pulled out my box of notes and dug out the disk it is on.

Promising signs!

Baggie - I'm afraid Saffron and her sisters are not in this next one - but it is set in Taupo again and is, I think, similar in style. Some critics don't like that but hey, you can only write what is in your head. Right?

the Bag Lady said...

Dawn - I'll read it even if Saffron and her sisters aren't in it! I know it'll be good!

Travis Erwin said...

What a great email. Hope you find your writing groove again.