Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Flames of Mourning

That's the Japanese title for Pyres, released in Japan last week. I don't have a copy of it yet, but I look forward to holding it and not being able to read a single solitary bit. The genre, according to the Japanese publisher, Hayakawa, is "state of mind," which I suppose is something like "noir."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pyres: The Movie?

Must admit I've been sitting on this news a while, processing whether or not it could be true, waiting for it to mature. But now that the first big step has been taken, hiring a brilliant screenwriter, I must spread the news. So here goes:

Producer Andrew Fierberg at Vox3 Films has optioned film rights to Derek Nikitas' Edgar Award nominated PYRES, the story of a rebellious teenage girl who is forced to come of age in the midst of the criminal conspiracies surrounding her father's murder and the dogged detective atoning for her own family's collapse while investigating the case.

Fierberg is 1/3 of Vox3, a highly successful NY-based independent production company known for actually making the movies for which they acquire the rights, so you can imagine my delight. What's more, their movies are quirky, honest, and alive in ways you don't normally see in movies from the big H (not that I have anything against the big H, mind you; there's a time to every purpose under heaven).

Their most recent release is Rage with Judi Dench, Jude Law (in drag), Eddie Izzard, and Steve Buscemi. They've also made Keane, a truly frightning and moving and intimate psychological character study; Secretary with Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader; Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus with Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr., among quite a few others. Secretary and Fur are of course Steven Shainberg's two stylish and creepy films, the former of which I've taught in a film class before.

Oh, and they made Broken English, directed by Zoe Casavettes, the daughter of one of my heroes, the late, great independet film giant, John Casavettes. I enjoyed Broken English in particular because it shows how much more Ms. Casavettes is following in her father's footsteps than her brother Nick, who made The Notebook.

But the biggest news yet about all this is that Vox3 has hired James Ponsoldt to write the adapted screenplay. Ponsoldt's first feature film, Off The Black (starring Nick Nolte), was a Sundance official entry. If you've not seen it, run out and rent it pronto. It's a moving, starkly beautiful character study full of authenticating detail both comic and tragic, and it has such a keen eye for the kind of life my characters lead. I'm thrilled to have James making my story his own, and can't wait to read the results.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Me, on Austrailian Radio

Well, sorta. About a year ago, when I was still at Georgia State University, a radio broadcaster named Nija Dalal interviewed me for the college radio station, just after I was nominated for the Edgar. The interview aired, but has never been available online...
until now! (follow the link, then press the green "play" button).
Nija moved to Austrailia after graduating, hooked up with Radio 2SER FM in Sydney, and recut our interview for part of a literature-oriented radio show called Final Draft. Since nobody in Austrailia would care in the least about my book (really, let's be honest), Nija rightly cut out all those parts and concentrated on what I said about the history of mystery, the thriller, and the spaces between. This is all off-the-cuff stuff, no notes or prep, so please excuse inaccuracies and oversimplifications.
And thank you, Nija!