Secret Project Finally Revealed: Morning Glory

The news is out, and apparently my agent already has her hands on a hot copy, so I suppose I can finally, finally share the news I’ve been keeping to myself for nine months:

My SECOND full-length book this year……. ::Drumroll, please::

Yes, that’s Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, and Diane Keaton on there. MORNING GLORY is a new movie coming out this November from Paramount Pictures. It’s produced by JJ Abrams (Lost, Alias, Fringe, Star Trek) and written by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada screenplay, 27 Dresses). I adapted the novel from the screenplay. The book will hit stores on October 19th.

Here’s the trailer for the film:

Now, to answer a few of the questions I know are coming…

Is this a work for hire?

Yes. I do not own the copyright to this book. It is Aline Brosh McKenna’s original idea and work. I merely adapted it for the page.

Have you met anyone involved in the film?

Nope. I was given a copy of one of the shooting scripts (watermarked with my name) to use as reference when writing the novel. When there were discrepancies between that script and the final cut of the film, I was asked to make edits. I’d love to meet people.

Have you seen the film?

No, but I’ve seen the trailer, a bunch of still shots, and one tiny scene some dude illegally recorded with his cell phone at an early screening and uploaded to You Tube. I can’t wait to go see it, though! It looks great.

How did you get this job?

My editor for the Secret Society Girl books thought I’d be a good fit for the project because of the tone and character of Becky (Rachel McAdams’s scrappy and capable up-and-coming television news producer). The script has the same irreverent yet poignant tone and larger-than-life hijinks I targeted in the Secret Society Girl books. She pitched it to me and me to Paramount. Fortunately, we all agreed.

You have always done original work before this. Why work for hire?

Why not? The truth is that there are lots of kinds of writing that I’ve “never done before” but would leap at the chance to do if anyone was interested in letting me. This year, I’ve also published my first short stories, which was something else I’ve never done before, but I had a total blast. I’ve also sold my first science fiction book and my first retelling. As for the novelization, I loved the chance to be able to adapt someone else’s characters and words, to try to do justice to the story they told and the way they wanted things presented. I probably would never have written a character like Becky all by myself, but to write her through the eyes of the screenwriter who did allowed me to stretch my own wings in terms of character creation. I learned a lot by forcing myself into those constraints, and I also learned a lot by deconstructing such a fine screenplay. To write such an adaptation was on my writer’s goal list. Check.

There are three additional reasons I took this job. 1) Yay! A job! Freelancers like me like that. 2) It was a REALLY good screenplay. Of course I loved Aline Brosh McKenna’s other films, so I had a hunch this one would be great too, but this screenplay made me laugh out loud several times. I wanted to be able to translate some of that wit to novel form. 3) I love working with my brilliant Random House editor, and this was a great opportunity to do another project with her.

I don’t live in America. Where can I get this book?

Currently, Czech, Polish, Korean, Hungarian, Portuguese, and Spanish rights have sold for this book. Everyone in the US and Canada, though, can buy it on October 19th.

And they definitely should.

Posted in morning glory, movies

23 Responses to Secret Project Finally Revealed: Morning Glory

  1. Jo Treggiari says:

    Wowza and congrats, Diana! It looks great and very funny. I so admire you for being able to execute different kinds of writing. You are such a professional!
    May it bring many other fun and challenging jobs your way.

  2. Wow, congrats! I thought MG over there in the works-in-progress ticker would stand for “middle grades” but I guess not! I’m already interested in the movie, so I’ll definitely read the book!

  3. Julie Leto says:

    I can’t wait to read this. I haven’t read a movie adaptation in years! I’m sure this one will be fabulous and I can’t wait to see the movie. I love Harrison Ford (who doesn’t?) and Diane Keaton…and did I spy Jeff Goldblum? LOVE him. But I think the McAdams character really has be intrigued and I can’t wait to see what you did with her on the page.


  4. Diana–

    Can’t wait to read the book! And congratulations–both on managing to keep your secret and on the project itself.

  5. Vicki says:

    Diana – major congrats! I can’t wait to read the book and see the movie.

  6. That is amazing – congratulations!!!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Yay for you! And for the work-for-hire tap dance. I’m finishing my own secret WFH YA right now. Today, in fact! So fun. Looking forward to reading your novelization.

  8. Alexa says:

    I saw the trailer for this and thought it looked great. I don’t normally read movie adaptations but I’ll definitely get this one, especially as it’s simialr to SSG πŸ™‚


  9. MaryK says:

    Very cool! Did knowing who the actors were affect how you wrote it or did you not know who they were?

    You know, Amazon has been recommending this book to me for a couple of weeks but I thought it was a glitchy listing until the cover showed up! I’ll definitely check it out.

  10. Lell says:

    Okay, that’s just fantastic. Congrats!! The fact that it’s a movie I’ve been intrigued about is just icing on an already wonderful cake!

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  12. PurpleRanger says:

    Is this written in first or third person?

    And it’s entirely possible that you could gain new readers who pick up this novelization. It happened with me. My all-time favorite movie is FANTASTIC VOYAGE, and Isaac Asimov’s novelization was the first thing I ever read of his. You could say that Raquel Welch turned me on to Isaac Asimov.

  13. Abby Gaines says:

    very exciting, Diana!! congratulations!

  14. alaska. says:

    eeeee!! congrats!! that is super exciting, and not just because of the money. πŸ˜‰

    i always thought that writing a novel from a screenplay would be an interesting writing exercise – even more so than writing “missing scenes” or different character POVs from movies/tv shows.

    now i’m going to be torn on whether to see the movie or read the book first though!

    i’ll let fate choose . . . but definitely do both.

  15. Diana says:

    MaryK, I did know who all the actors are. My editor saying “Hey, you want to novelize a movie starring Harrison Ford?” was definitely a big incentive. LOVE him.

    The other thing I really liked, casting-wise, is that Patrick Wilson has a big role. I love Patrick Wilson and he’s kind of a hometown hero in Tampa, where I’m from. So it was great to write him (though funny because I kept describing him as “blond” because that’s how I remember him growing up and apparently his hair is more sandy brown now and in the film — had to fix that).

  16. Diana says:

    PR, it’s actually in first person. I was thinking about writing it in third because I wanted the opportunity to write from other character’s perspectives, but my editor was really excited about me doing it in first because she loved the way I did Amy’s voice, so I did first.

  17. phyllis towzey says:

    Wow, Diana, that’s so fabulous! I can’t wait to read the book and see the movie. πŸ™‚

  18. Tiff says:

    Yay, congrats! Glad you’re finally allowed to talk about it. As I said before, this sounds like a great and different project for you, and I am really excited to read/see the results.

    Only question is…should I read the book right away, or watch the movie before reading the book? Since you wrote it from the screenplay, I’m inclined to think I should watch first, then read, but then again, maybe I should have my own idea of the characters before Rachel McAdams, etc own them?

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  20. Clare says:

    I just finished translating your book Morning Glory into Korean, now waiting for the book to be printed. The book will be printed and released in Korea next January. I personally really enjoyed reading your book, as a translator and as a reader. Hope many Korean readers read this wonderful story πŸ™‚

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