When my book, The Secret S*x Life of a Single Mom, was just a manuscript, a few people (including two literary agents) told me they thought it would make an awesome movie. I took it with a grain of salt, assuming every author thinks the same of his/her work. Nonetheless, when my publisher, Seal Press, bought it, I held onto 100% of the movie rights “just in case.” Seal said they don’t shop books in film anyway so they gladly consented.
Just as my book was being released in stores, I decided to talk to a girlfriend and my aunt, actor Cynthia Preston, who said they “knew people” in the movie industry. They passed on a copy of my book to their “people.” I knew the chances of it going anywhere were remote but it was exciting to know “Hollywood” was considering it.
A few months later, I received promising news: The producer my aunt had passed my book onto — Pierre David — said he wanted to sign an option. Cynthia then connected me with her talent manager in LA — Vicki McCarty of Covington International. Vicki took over from here, helping me find an entertainment lawyer, and advising me every step of the way (and thank goodness because this was a whole new world for me!).
I signed the one-year option. I was paid well for it, too. Producer Pierre David was EXTREMELY excited about the movie, and immediately got screenwriter Christine Conradt to adapt it. Over the next year, she had to modify three versions of the screenplay before Lifetime finally accepted it – Lifetime’s Standards and Practices thought the first two versions too risque and hot.
Strangely, during that one year option, I was also approached — out of the blue — by a rep at William Morris Endeavour Agency, asking about film rights. I didn’t even know who they were. They’d found out about my work through my website, IAmDivorcedNotDead.com; someone there had read my book. Of course, I couldn’t do anything with their agency at that point because I was already under option with Pierre.
A year later to the date the option was signed, Lifetime purchased it. Filming began in October, and ended in late November, 2013. Luckily, I was able to go on set for three days and meet the actors, crew and entire team; VERY exciting!
Airdates for The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom have not yet been confirmed, but they are looking at April/May of 2014 on Lifetime (maybe during Sweeps Week), and June 2014 in Canada (I am Canadian by the way!). Lifetime is very excited about this project because it pushes their envelope in terms of erotic feel and content. Also, totally by coincidence, there’s a Fifty Shades of Grey angle to my story. Moreover, because my story is true and I am just a regular, everyday woman/mom, they see it as being meaningful and relevant content to their primarily female demographic.
I’m not allowed to disclose how much I am earning off this movie. But, I will tell you it’s exponentially more than the advance I received on my book from Seal. My three children and I are sitting nicely for the next year or so. Talks are already in the works for a potential trilogy at Lifetime.
Truly, it blows my mind that I have somehow broken the odds, first in getting a traditional publisher with my first book, and now, a movie deal. Six years ago, when I was getting divorced, I never would have believed his kind of turnaround in my life was possible. So, to other writers hoping to see their work in film, I say utilize every single connection you have, big or small, and, if you don’t have connections, go hunting for them. I really do believe timing –and LUCK — have large roles to play in the choosing of which books are turned into movies. Who knows, the next one could be yours.
Delaine Moore is an author, journalist, speaker and Mars Venus Relationships Coach based in Calgary, Alberta. Having partnered with Dr. John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are Venus, Delaine coaches individuals and groups on how to successfully shed their married skin, date with confidence, and pursue passion and success in all areas of their lives.
Delaine’s memoir, The Secret S*x Life of a Single Mom (Seal Press, 2012), is soon to featured on TV as a Lifetime Movie (2014), starring Ashley Jones and Alex Carter.
The former COO and Executive Editor of Divorced Women Online, Delaine’s expert articles have appeared on Bell Media’s The Loop, The Huffington Post, Your Tango, BlogHer, MSN’s GLO, First Wives World and The New York Time’s About.com. Her essay, “Less Than a Bump and a Grind,” won the Readers’ Choice Award in Novelette.com’s essay competition on the topic of men, and she has appeared on radio and TV shows across North America.
Delaine blogs at IAmDivorcedNotDead.com and DelaineMoore.com.