Friday, June 11, 2010

ABC Family options SHADE!

I was planning to launch my new Fact Check Friday blog feature today, in which I discuss random tidbits of information I've discovered while researching my books. Things like the (super sweet) interior of a Mini Cooper, and how big an envelope one would need to hold $12,000 in small bills (it's for a character, not me--jeez, I wish!).

But this came up in this morning's Publisher's Marketplace:

TV: Jeri Smith-Ready's SHADE, to ABC Family with Andrew Gunn Films producing, by Holly Frederick at Curtis Brown, on behalf of Ginger Clark at Curtis Brown.

So what does this mean? It means that film producer Andrew Gunn (who according to his IMDB profile has almost the same birthday as me, so how perfect is that?) read Shade last year and got ABC Family to "option" the book for a television series.

So what's an option? In practical terms, it means a stated time period (usually a year) during which the studio (in the case of films) or network (with TV) can explore the possibility of turning the material into a movie or TV show. During that period, no other studio or network can do the same.

That's all it means, practically speaking. It doesn't mean that a TV show will ever get made. It just means that as long as that option is in effect, no one but ABC Family can develop Shade. The vast majority (and when I say "vast" I don't mean 51%--I mean much higher) of books optioned for film/TV never get made.

So the chances of Shade become a TV show are pretty small. I want to be clear about that.

I also don't really know much about the progress of Shade through the development process. I have absolutely no input into who would be cast, if a cast ever even exists (which it probably won't). Most authors don't.

THAT BEING doesn't mean we can't have fun. It's not every day this happens, right?

If you've read Shade, hop on over to and tell me who you think should play the main characters. I'm setting up an author account, which has to be verified by a retinal scan or something, so I'll put up my own ideas soon. But I want to see your thoughts first! If you don't feel like setting up a user account on, just tell me in the comments.

(NOTE: seems to be having a little trouble keeping their site up today, so if you have no luck, try again later.)

Have a question about the TV deal or film/TV options in general? Ask me in the comments and I'll do my best to answer if I can. If I don't know the answer, I'll ask my lovely agent and get back to you.

Everyone who comments will be entered to win a signed copy of the UK version of Shade, something you cannot buy in US bookstores and won't even be able to buy in the UK until September 2. You can see a comparison of the two covers at this fun Wondrous Reads blog post.

Deadline: Thursday, June 17, 11:59pm eastern.
International entries: Yes!

Happy Friday!

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Congrats! Thats awesome! Do you have any ideas who you'd like to see cast?

Posted by: Blogger WickedLilPixie at 6/11/2010 12:09 PM

what is the next step in the process?

Posted by: Blogger Shelli (srjohannes) at 6/11/2010 12:10 PM

That's so exciting, Jeri! Even if that show never happens, it still means that someone knew a good thing when they read it. It's true that weird things can happen without author input when books are adapted to film or TV. If and when Shade makes it to the screen, I'll rooting for them to make some good decisions. :)

Posted by: Blogger Ken at 6/11/2010 12:12 PM

That's great news, and there's still a chance it could happen!! :)

I don't know that anyone could live up to the Logan and Zach I have in my head, but I'll think on it.

By the way, that UK cover is gorgeous! I don't know which I like more.

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 6/11/2010 12:15 PM

Oh wow, this is huge. I'd love to see this happen. Then I'd have to get the dvds and well, heck there'll probably be only Blu-Ray by then as much as I hate those things...wait I'm rambling. Jeri, you deserve this. Your characters are so well drawn, and the thought of Shade continuing as a series (up there with Joss Whedon even!) makes my heart happy. Now we need WVMP optioned, yes? Yes? ZOMG. That means a cute boy will need to play Zach. 0.0

Posted by: Blogger Carrie Clevenger at 6/11/2010 12:17 PM

Congrats, Jeri! That's fabulous nes!!

Posted by: Blogger Wendy at 6/11/2010 12:17 PM

Er, or rather NEWS, lol. My w key is shot!

Posted by: Blogger Wendy at 6/11/2010 12:17 PM

Wonderful news. CONGRATULATIONS!

Posted by: Blogger Victoria at 6/11/2010 12:18 PM

Crongrats! Im crossing fingers wishing we can see it *definitely* turned into a TV series!

Posted by: Blogger Beleth at 6/11/2010 12:21 PM

Congratulations! I really loved Shade, and it's nice to know that I could possibly see it on TV!

Even if you don't have input, is your agent or publishing house involved, or are all rights relinquished?

Posted by: Blogger Lillie (AliseOnLife) at 6/11/2010 12:22 PM

That's so great!!! I so hope it happens I would definitely watch!

Posted by: Blogger Josie Baker at 6/11/2010 12:22 PM

congrats! I think with shows like pretty little liars getting great buzz you have a shot! are there sequels planned for shade ?

Posted by: Blogger FICTION STATE OF MIND at 6/11/2010 12:23 PM

JERI! that's AMAZING! you know how much i loved Shade and everything else you write, i can't wait to see how it translates to screen! you definitely deserve this and im so so so so proud of you! :)

Posted by: Blogger Jennzah at 6/11/2010 12:25 PM

That's exciting! *crosses fingers & hopes it goes somewhere*

Posted by: Blogger Catie S (Book Bound) at 6/11/2010 12:27 PM

This comment has been removed by the author.

Posted by: Blogger Courtney Rae at 6/11/2010 12:27 PM

Woo hoo! I am excited for you!!!

Posted by: Blogger Marnie at 6/11/2010 12:28 PM

Awesome news! I just read Shade last week and I LOVED it! One of the best parts of a t.v. series would be getting to hear Zachary's Scottish accent each week. *sigh* :)

Posted by: Blogger Bookworm Jen at 6/11/2010 12:30 PM

Wow! That's awesome! I haven't read Shade - YET - but I can't wait to!

I always get excited when books get optioned! But you always have that doubt that the actors will portray the characters right. Or rather they will look close enough to the part.
I'm very anxious to hear who people pick for the parts!

--Courtney Rae--

Posted by: Blogger Courtney Rae at 6/11/2010 12:31 PM

That's wonderful news! Congratulations!! Just having the book optioned for a show is a huge deal and we are all so proud of you!

Posted by: Blogger Cindy at 6/11/2010 12:44 PM

Wow congrats! Who do you want to see play in the adaptation? I'm always fascinated by who the author wants to replace their internal actor/vision.

Posted by: Blogger Mike of Many at 6/11/2010 12:48 PM

I'm your book would mae a great TV show ^^
And thanks for sharing the love with a giveaway <3


Posted by: Blogger Tynga at 6/11/2010 12:50 PM

Couldn't happen to a nicer person! Congrats, Jeri - I have my fingers crossed that it WILL go forward!

Posted by: Blogger Denise Jaden at 6/11/2010 12:56 PM

OMG! I can't wait to read it.

Posted by: Blogger sarah at 6/11/2010 1:09 PM

Congrats! Let's hope something comes from the option.

Posted by: Blogger Katie at 6/11/2010 1:09 PM

That is so awesome! I love Shade and I know it would make a great series, there is so much they could do with it!

I will be looking out for more info on it and hopefully be watching it someday on tv!

Posted by: Anonymous Meaghan at 6/11/2010 1:35 PM

I honestly thought of this book as a movie while I was reading it so this is fantastic! A TV series would be the next best many ways to go with it!!
On another note but still related - Wicked Game would make an incredible TV series. With all the vamps/music from different era's it could go on & on.
Congratulations Jeri! Couldn;t happen to a nicer author/person!!

Posted by: Blogger Karen at 6/11/2010 1:38 PM

That is so exciting! Congrats! I really hope it makes it! :)

Posted by: Blogger Erica at 6/11/2010 1:47 PM

OMG that is totally awesome!!!

Posted by: Blogger Stacy at The Novel Life at 6/11/2010 3:01 PM

Congrats Jeri! I'm reading SHADE right now and loving it. I can really "see it" being on the screen.

Posted by: Blogger Jame at 6/11/2010 3:03 PM

WickedLilPixie: I have a few ideas, which of course are totally moot, because by the time the show would be made, they'd probably be too old to play 16/17-year-olds. ;-)

Shelli: The next step, I believe, is that the producer hires a writer to write the pilot script, which then goes to the studio executive (aka, the decider). Then the exec decides whether to move forward and develop it with the current script, ask for revisions, or chuck the whole project.

If they decide to move forward into actual development, THAT's when the rights are considered "sold." Until then, the book is merely "optioned." The sale price is determined in the original contract, but I don't get that amount unless they decide to develop the show. When I sign the contract, I get the option payment, which is a percentage of that sale price.

Studios/networks option lots of material, because that's a relatively cheap investment. But actually developing a film or show is a big investment because you have to hire writers, cast, and crew. And of course in TV, they could produce the pilot, and it never gets picked up for a whole season.

Does that make sense? If not, let me know and I'll elaborate.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/11/2010 3:05 PM

Ken: Thank you! That's absolutely true--it's nice to know that someone, somewhere in Hollywood thinks that SHADE is cool enough to take a long look at. :-)

I honestly think that authors are perhaps not the best judges of what should go into a movie or TV show. We are novelists, not screenwriters. If they decide to change some things to make it work better for a visual medium, I'm in total support.

Amanda: Thanks! Yeah, I almost hesitate to throw out actors' names, because none of them really fit what I have in my head, and I don't want to sway readers' images, either.

Carrie: Yes, we need WVMP optioned! I doubt that'll happen, though--I think there are enough vampires on TV right now. (And I've discovered I hate BluRay, too.)

Wendy: Thanks! Sorry to hear about your w key--I imagine that's a pretty important one to you. ;)

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/11/2010 3:12 PM

Whoo-hoo! Congrats, Jeri! That's fantastic news! *does Snoopy dance of joy*

Posted by: Blogger Sarah Beth Durst at 6/11/2010 3:17 PM

Victoria: Thank you!

Beleth: Yeah, it would be great, wouldn't it? We can dream. :)

Lillie: Thanks--I'm so glad you liked SHADE! No, my agent and publisher aren't involved creatively at all--the agency just makes sure the contract is adhered to. It's totally in ABC Family's/Andrew Gunn's hands.

josiebakerbooks: Thanks! ABC Family has some great shows, so I think if it happens, it'll be good.

Fiction State of Mind: Yeah, PLL has done really well! SHADE does have a sequel, SHIFT, which comes out next May.

Jennzah: Aww, thanks! Of course there are no guarantees, and the odds are against it becoming a reality, but it's nice to dream...

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/11/2010 3:17 PM

Catie S: Thanks for the finger-crossing! :)

Marnie: Thank you! I'm excited, too.

Bookworm Jen: Yay, I'm so thrilled you enjoyed SHADE! Heh, I hope they would keep Zachary Scottish, but that probably depends on who they can find to play him.

courtneyreads: Right, it's always a little odd, because the books are usually reimagined for the screen, so the characters change a bit. So the actors have to be true to the script as opposed to the book.

Cindy: Aww, thank you!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/11/2010 3:26 PM

Mike of Many: I honestly don't have actors in mind for the main characters. They're just themselves, you know? But I *definitely* envision Craig Ferguson as Zachary's dad Ian. That was clear from the beginning. But he's a little busy these days. ;-)

Tynga: Thank you! I think it would be fun to see as a series, too.

Denise: You are too sweet! <3

Sarah: Thanks--I hope you like it!

Katie: Yep, fingers crossed!

Meaghan: Thanks--I'm so glad you liked it! I will be sure to update the website when I find out more news. Probably not until the fall at the soonest.

Karen: Thanks! These days, honestly, it seems like a lot of TV is better quality than movies, so I'm really thrilled. And yes, WVMP *needs* to be a TV show! ;-P

Erica: Thank you so much!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/11/2010 3:32 PM

Stacy: Thanks for the congrats!

Jame: Thank you so much! I hope that comes true literally one day, lol--and that we see a THREE RIVERS RISING movie, too. :)

Sarah: Aww, thanks for the Snoopy dance!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/11/2010 3:36 PM

Congratulations! Such exciting news :)


Posted by: Blogger Van Pham at 6/11/2010 3:50 PM

No questions, just uber-excited for you! :)

lchardesty at yahoo dot com

Posted by: Blogger Larissa at 6/11/2010 4:07 PM

Congratulations! Such awesome news. Have a fantastic weekend.

Posted by: Blogger Lisa_Gibson at 6/11/2010 4:08 PM

Congratulations, Jeri! I'm SOOO excited for you! You've captured their attention and that ROCKS, just like you!

Posted by: Anonymous Amygdalia at 6/11/2010 4:10 PM

Great news and congrats!


Posted by: Blogger Jenny N. at 6/11/2010 5:23 PM

Great news. That is soo cool. I've only read the brief excerpt you had on your site. Have the book in the stack :-)

Just to be optioned is big. Out of the many many many books written they chose yours! So cool! Best of luck!

Posted by: Blogger DavidH at 6/11/2010 6:45 PM

I wonder if your readers/fans could succeed in getting it produced by making a FB page just like Betty White's fans got her on SNL! One can dream, right?

Posted by: Anonymous Adrian at 6/11/2010 7:35 PM

Cheers on this good news. Keeping my fingers crossed that we'll see Shade on TV before long. He's probably too old now but I could see Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood from the Harry Potter movies) as Zach. He's Scots, so he'd have the accent & he's a good actor.

Posted by: Blogger Heather at 6/11/2010 7:40 PM

This comment has been removed by the author.

Posted by: Blogger Heather at 6/11/2010 7:41 PM


Posted by: Blogger Brent Taylor at 6/11/2010 7:53 PM

How exciting!

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 6/11/2010 7:57 PM

hope it works out, need more great shows on tv

Posted by: Blogger Roxanne Rhoads at 6/11/2010 7:57 PM

Holy freaking COW!!! If you not peed yourself in excitement I will do it for you! Of any of the authors that deserves it I can't think of a nicer one.

Posted by: Blogger Zoot at 6/11/2010 8:02 PM

Oh, I think Craig would do it :-)

I don't keep up with the younger actors much, but I could definitely see someone kind of like the girl who played Buffy's younger sister (she's probably a grandmother now...)

*doing the happy dance for you*

Posted by: Blogger Deborah Blake at 6/11/2010 9:35 PM

Very exciting, congrats!

I like unknown actors for new series. It's better not to have expectations for the character based on the actor's previous work. So I nominate Sarah Koelle-Pittel for Aura.

Posted by: Blogger Lynne at 6/11/2010 10:19 PM

Congratulations! ABC Family is one of my favorite channels. I'm sure it will do well! Are they going to let you be involved with the casting?

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 6/11/2010 11:36 PM

This is so exciting for you Jeri! Big congratulations! Who would you want as the cast?

Still waiting to read Shade *cries*


Posted by: Blogger Lynsey Newton at 6/12/2010 8:58 AM

Congatulations! It must be lovely to see your work appreciated so much Cannot wait to read this book!

Posted by: Blogger Pagecrawler at 6/12/2010 10:13 AM

Congrats! I hope they go through with it.

Posted by: Blogger Spav at 6/13/2010 9:09 PM

Holy freaking COW!!! If you not peed yourself in excitement I will do it for you! Of any of the authors that deserves it I can't think of a nicer one.

Posted by: Blogger Zoot at 6/14/2010 10:31 AM

That's totally awesome, I love ABC Family, I hope you manage to retain creative control :)
I'm making a storycasting account right now :)
I haven't even read SHADE and I'm excited for you, you're one of this generation's most talented and original writers. WVMP Radio is the most original twist in vampire lore I've read in decades (and I'm not that old) :)

Posted by: Blogger sscout at 6/14/2010 11:45 AM

im am so not good at that, but but CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!! im happy i started following you early in your carreer to see this

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 6/14/2010 1:05 PM

Thanks for all the weekend congrats!

Adrian: LOL! I think I'd probably have to discourage any Facebook Betty White campaign as long as there's a contract in place. :)

Heather: Ooh, yeah, good choice! I don't know if they'd have to use a Scottish actor--they could just use a dialogue coach with an American or English actor (probably American, since according to Craig Ferguson, English actors do terrible Scottish accents ;-).

Zoot: Awww, you are so sweet! The deal's been in the works for a while now, so I'm long past the peeing-myself phase. ;)

Deborah: You mean Michelle Trachtenberg? Yeah, I think she's a little old by now. That's the problem with casting teen shows. Anyone who's already famous will be too old by the time any show went into production.

Lynne: LOL! Does Sarah know she's been nominated?

ferretvamp: I agree--ABC Family has wonderful shows! Oh no, I won't have anything to do with the casting. One of my friends who had a book optioned was asked about casting ideas by the producer, but she said that was more because the producer wanted an idea of how she pictured the characters, not because they were going to act on her suggestions.

Lynsey: Well, I hesitate to name actors, because I don't want to put images in people's heads. That said, when I'm asked the question in interviews, I usually say Zac Efron for Logan and Lea Michele (the girl from GLEE) for Aura. But they're both already too old for the parts. Hope you enjoy SHADE!

sscout: Wow, you are too kind! I'm so glad you're enjoying the vampire books, and yeah, for better or for worse, they are certainly original. ;0)

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/14/2010 6:46 PM

Awesome news!! Big congrats!! Hope it does get made, would be awesome to see!! So long as they keep Zach Scottish. lol

Posted by: Blogger Claire (Cem) at 6/15/2010 10:35 AM

That's so cool!!

treerose AT yahoo DOT com

Posted by: Anonymous Emily H. at 6/15/2010 10:54 AM

oh enter me! feeyonachan at gmail dot com

If they make Shade into a tv series, I hope they won't ruin anything, and you actually have a lot of control over the tv series' plot and castings. :D good luck anyway!

Posted by: Blogger Fi-chan at 6/15/2010 2:24 PM

Sweet. Its totally worthy.

Posted by: Blogger Dee at 6/15/2010 7:08 PM

Awesome news! Congrats :P! And I really like both covers...

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 6/16/2010 2:53 PM

Great news! Congrats! ahhh...the life of an author...

clderwee at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger Christinabean at 6/16/2010 4:53 PM

This comment has been removed by the author.

Posted by: Blogger Christinabean at 6/16/2010 4:53 PM

Cem: Yes, I hope they would keep him Scottish! :)

Emily and Dee: Thank you!

FionaChan: I won't have any control over the plot or characters. Zero. And I probably shouldn't, because I'm a novelist, not a TV writer.

Ultraviolet2610: I like both covers, too. I can't wait until the UK books arrive on my doorstep. Any day now...

Christinabean: Thanks! And yes, it's not glamorous, but I love it just the same. ;-)

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/17/2010 10:11 AM

Awesome news! Can't wait to read SHADE!


Posted by: Blogger Erin W. at 6/17/2010 10:18 AM

That's great news! Congrats.
If Shade becomes an actual tv show, how involved do you think you are going to be with everyone that works on it?

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 6/17/2010 10:22 AM

If Shade were to become a tv show, how involved with the show would be?

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 6/17/2010 10:24 AM

That is fantastic! This book would make a great translation to the small screen (or even big screen for that matter). So many opportunities for great visuals. Hope it all works out!

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 6/17/2010 5:29 PM

doh! I thought you meant in the comments over at storycasting. :) I wish I was familiar with more teen actors, but I did my best!

Posted by: Blogger alanajoli at 6/18/2010 4:37 AM

Little_Dhampir: Thank you!

Sandy: Thanks! If it ever got made, I probably wouldn't be involved with it at all. Or at least, I'm not counting on it. Most authors don't have any involvement other than maybe walking down the red carpet on premier night. ;-)

KAM0809: Thank you! Yeah, the visuals would be interesting. I'm curious to see if they decide to make the ghosts violet. Because while it sounds cool in a book, it might be hard to pull off onscreen without looking dorky.

alanajoli: Cool casting choices! Thank you so much for trying it out. :-)

OK, I have drawn a name to win a copy of the UK version of SHADE, and that winner is...MEAGHAN! Congrats!

I'll be running some UK-themed contests over the summer to give away a few more of these collectible books, so stay tuned. Thanks again to everyone!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/18/2010 11:06 PM

Aw, congrats. I hope it works out because that would be amazing. If not, this is still very fantastic news. :-)

Oooh the UK cover is sweeet.


Posted by: Blogger Shooting Stars Mag at 6/19/2010 4:05 PM

Wow, Jeri, that's great :)

But they sure make those notices a bit hard to understand, don't they? But I suppose those in the know ... erm, know.

Posted by: Blogger Alexandra at 7/10/2010 7:33 AM option is basically free money! Plus if they go forward with the project, you get more free money without doing a thing! I like that! ;-D

The UK cover is beautiful.

Posted by: Blogger Debi Murray at 7/27/2010 10:38 AM

Lauren: Thank you! I like the UK cover, too. The model they picked for Aura is perfect.

Alexandra: Yes, the PM notices are always a bit cryptic. Probably on purpose. ;-)

Debi: That's the way I look at it. I love Charlaine's attitude--the TV series is an entirely different creative entity. I don't want control or any say in how SHADE is portrayed (if it ever is), because that's not my area of entertainment expertise. (Though it would be awesome if I got to write an episode--but even then, only if I were chosen because of my ability to do it, not because I'm the source material author.)

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 7/27/2010 11:36 AM

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This Side of Salvation

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