Category: AuthorDream

Screen Rights to ‘The Chain’ Give Uber Driver 7 Figure Deal

The buzzworthy novel hasn’t even hit shelves yet, but Adrian McKinty’s The Chain already has an adaptation in the works: the screen rights have officially been acquired by Paramount Pictures.


The Chain

Image Via Amazon


Although the novel’s release is still a few weeks out (July 9, 2019), The Chain has already received considerable praise with Kirkus Reviews calling it “[a]n unmissable thriller” and Publishers Weekly declaring that “[r]eaders won’t be able to put this thriller down.” Given how rarely books receive this kind of attention pre-publication, this would be a massive feat even if it weren’t for the massive amount of cash involved.


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Image Via Allen & Unwin


Given the acclaim, it’s clear that the book is worthy of the hype, and it should be no surprise that McKinty’s novel joins the list of books that had their screen rights (film and/or TV rights) snatched up even before they hit shelves.



Do you find yourself asking “why this novel?” Well, just read this bloody awesome blurb and see for yourself:









It’s a story of a victim, a survivor, an abductor, a criminal, and odds are all those words could describe the same person. Who are the masterminds behind The Chain? Why are they playing this sick game?

The author is a master storyteller, evident in that the Irish writer has had 19 novels published. His debut novel Dead I Well May Be was short-listed for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 2004 and, two years ago in 2017, his novel Rain Dogs won both the Edgar Award and the Barry Award.

Despite this success, McKinty wasn’t making money as a novelist. Deadline reports how despite the many accolades, McKinty, “[t]o pay his bills… did odd jobs from construction to picking up fares as an Uber driver. It wasn’t enough: He was evicted from his home because the book writing didn’t pay him a living wage.”


Don Winslow

Image Via Arizona Republic


During his time as an Uber driver, McKinty made contact with Don Winslow, internationally bestselling author of The Cartel and The Force, who put him in contact with Shane Salerno, infamous for writing the James Cameron Avatar sequels. Salerno told the struggling novelist to give it one last try.


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IMAGE Via Irish TImes


Now The Chain, which Winslaw calls “Jaws for parents,” is taking its place at the forefront of the literary community: “it belongs in the elite company of world-class thrillers like Gone Girl and The Silence of the Lambs.” The author’s struggles have made it all the more satisfying that this master work has been bought by Paramount executive Alex Jackson.

Surprisingly, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “[w]hen his agent told him he was pitching The Chain to film studios, McKinty said he didn’t want to know about any potential deal until it was 99 per cent stitched up.”



Sadly, they also note that the seven-figure sum would only materialize if Paramount actually made the film. McKinty commented, “if nothing happens, so be it. But it’s really cool and I’m very excited.”

On a happier note, McKinty also said, “It’s Paramount. It’s The Godfather, it’s The Conversation, it’s Chinatown – all my favourite films,” so here’s hoping he will be adding to their filmography.



Featured Image Via Mulholland Books.

Get Ready for ‘The Hunger Games’ Prequel Novel!

Yes, it’s true! Suzanne Collins is giving the world a prequel to her multimillion-selling trilogy The Hunger Games.



Katniss-shocked face

Image Via IMDB


Collins’ trilogy started in 2008, only a year after she finished her 5 book series The Underland Chronicles, with The Hunger Games – where in the nation of Panem, established in the remains of North America after an unknown apocalyptic event, the wealthy Capitol exploits the twelve surrounding districts by forcing representatives from each district, one boy and one girl between the ages 12 to 18, to fight each other to the death in a televised event.

The novel follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers for the 74th Hunger Games in place of her 12-year-old sister.


The Hunger Games Trilogy

Image Via Barnes and Noble


The novel received critical acclaim with Time calling the novel “a chilling, bloody and thoroughly horrifying book” and The New York Times noting “the considerable strength of the novel comes in Collins’ convincingly detailed world-building and her memorably complex and fascinating heroine” before going to sell millions of copies.

During this heyday, Collins signed a six-figure deal for three books with Scholastic. She did, and Catching Fire came out the following year and Mockingjay came out the next year in 2010. Catching Fire received praise for improving upon the first book and, like The Hunger Games, became a New York Times bestseller.

Mockingjay received praise for its portrayal of violence and romantic intrigue while it sky-rocketed to the top of all US bestseller lists upon its release.



Each of the novels were developed into films starring Jennifer Lawrence with Mockingjay being split into two parts. The films are largely responsible for setting off a trend of teenage dystopian films, but after Mockingjay Part 2 released, it seemed like the end of the series.


Suzanne Collins

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But come May 19 2020, Suzanne Collins will bring readers back to Panem in a prequel set 64 years before the beginning of her multimillion-selling trilogy, is coming next year. She said in a statement:

With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival…The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days — as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet — provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.

Scholastic Trade Publishing President Ellie Berger didn’t give us any new information, but he did tell fans that:

We are absolutely thrilled — as both readers and publishers — to introduce the devoted fans of the series and a new audience to an entirely new perspective on this modern classic.

Obviously, Lionsgate – who released the four Hunger Games movies – are already gearing up to adapt the prequel for a movie. quotes studio’s chairman Joe Drake as saying, “We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”


Featured Image Via Explore Georgia

Debut Author Emily Ruskovich Wins €100,000 With First Novel

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to tell stories of great depth and complex characters, the literate. No, that’s not from the sonnet on the Statue of Liberty, nor is it the slogan for the International Dublin Literary Award—but perhaps it should be. The referenced lines are a quasi-quote from “The New Colossus” which I altered to reflect not only my envy but admiration for one Emily Ruskovich.


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Idaho native and creative writing teacher,  Emily Ruskovich just won the world’s richest prize for a single novel—€100,000 ($113,000) to be exact. Her novel, Idaho, was one of ten shortlisted entries (out of 141) from all across the globe which were up for the award. Ruskovich’s book was initially nominated by only a single source: the public library in Brugge, Belgium. The thirty-three-year-old mother found herself shell-shocked upon receiving the news as she questioned the reality of her situation. In an interview with The Guardian she said:

“I didn’t speak at first, then I reacted with great joy, but then I also felt really uncertain,” she says. “I couldn’t really believe it had happened. It was just a quiet little moment in the grass with my baby and my life was completely changed.”

In a more formal press release she said:

“I cannot express how grateful I am to be the recipient of this astonishingly generous award,” Ruskovich wrote in a press release. “It is difficult to know how to respond to the magnitude of this kindness that has been so suddenly bestowed upon me.”


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Idaho is set in the mountains Ruskovich is all too familiar with; having been raised in the Idaho Panhandle, her novel tells the story of a mother who kills her daughter while the pair are chopping wood in a clearing. The judges of the Dublin contest refused to refer to the story as a thriller, but instead described it as an exploration of mental uncertainty:

“[The novel] gradually uncovers the psychological abysses that would explain the inexplicable. The deed remains the deed, and the murderous evil of it stays ambivalent and mysterious to the end.”


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Like all great writers, Ruskovich accredits her relationship with the world around her and her subsequent experiences (sensory) as inspiration for the novel. Describing her upbringing as “very rural,” Ruskovich recounts a time when she arrived at a clearing similar to the one in her story.

“Everything was beautiful, and there was the sound of grasshoppers and crows sunning themselves on the logs”, she immediately had “this intense feeling of grief as if the place itself had a memory and I had just stepped into the memory.”

“I just knew something terrible happened there. I’ve never had an experience like that in my life. I’ve received feelings from different places but this was different. My parents said it was like I was in a mild trance that whole day, they could tell something was wrong with me. I couldn’t get it out of my system so writing the novel was the process of figuring out what I imagined had happened in that place,” said Ruskovich .

Now living the dream that manifests itself on the other side of the struggle—Ruskovich (no longer tired…well she’s a mom so she’s probably perpetually tired…but no longer poor) plans on using her newfound financial freedom to properly embrace wordsmithing.

“It’s such a shocking amount of money to have won! I can’t believe there is a prize like this for a single novel. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do with it but I feel I can now make choices that will ultimately really benefit my writing,” she says. “It’s been the biggest honour of my life having a book out in the world and having readers.”


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In its twenty-four years, Ruskovich is only the fourth American to win the International Dublin Literary Award.

*Queue frustrated Irish writers*—next year guys.



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