Thank you for that indulgence..
This idea for this post came to me last night when HBO was being annoying and not letting me finish watching Game of Thrones online. That part of the idea was actually an old idea I had when I encountered the same problem with True Blood.
I’ve got to stop watching TV.
Anyway, the ideas morphed into one and are presented to you as such:
How do authors feel about relinquishing their characters to TV and screenwriters?
For any of you who follow True Blood or Game of Thrones you will know that both series are based off Books (I respect Books so much that the word now warrants a capital letter), ie the Sookie Stackhouse novels and A Song of Ice and Fire. I had never heard of the Books before I watched either of the shows, and now I own both (I’m half way through the first Sookie and have just purchased Ice and Fire the other day). What I realized is that, though the central plot contains the same skeleton factors, there is so much that is completely off track. Since I’m not finished with the book I have not seen Tara (Sookie’s best friend) and at this point having her show up would be stupid. No one give me any spoilers but I’m wondering if Tara even deserves to make an appearance. Did HBO invent her? Did Harris want her? I’m confused.
And it made me wonder, what does Charlaine Harris think about all this? She is an author just like you and I. She poured over her characters for hours. She loves them. She planned out the plot and researched Southern life to make her story and setting leap off the page. How does she feel when producers take her babies and run in directions she did not want to go? HBO owns all the development rights for anything related to Sookie. Um… WHAT? How does she stand it?
I’m sure she loves the publicity and the royalties she’s cashing in from the books and the show, but what does she really feel inside? What does she think that she can’t tell the presses? I don’t know about you, but if and when I ever get published and if my book is considered for TV/the movies, you can bet your ass I’m enlisting every lawyer I know to help me draw up a contract that won’t let the producers and writers kill the Laura and Thomas I know and love, altering them into people I won’t even recognize anymore. I think I would rather retain the rights and forgo the movie than have them change too much. The point of writing them is to tell their story, my story. If my story won’t be told, then what’s the point?