True Romance: Guest Columnist Nora Roberts Loves Her Movies
Nora Roberts' Angels Falls comes to life.
As a writer, I work alone. And I like it. When creating my books, I'm not only the writer, I'm the director, the costume and set designer, I'm hair and makeup. And I'm the entire cast. The wrap parties are pretty quiet, but I get all the champagne and pizza. It's a great job, and not nearly as schizophrenic as it sounds. Really.
When a book's being adapted into a movie, the writer turns all those other fun jobs over to the movie experts. If the writer's lucky, those experts may want her input.
I'm really lucky.
My first stroke of luck was in having producers like Mandalay and Stephanie Germain Productions interested in adapting four of my romantic-suspense novels for TV [airing Mondays beginning Jan. 29; see complete schedule below]. The second, having Lifetime showcase those films, slammed it out of the park.
It was fascinating for me to read each draft of the scripts. The translations keyed into the heart of the stories. As casting progressed, my delight became absolute glee: Heather Locklear, John Corbett, Claire Forlani, Alicia Witt, Scott Bakula, Talia Shire. My reactions on hearing who would be playing my characters generally babbled out as "Holy bleep!" I'd seen these actors on screen, admired their work, and now they'd be playing my Reece and Willa, my Bo and Cade. Could it get any better?
Apparently, it could. I was invited to the set of Montana Sky to meet the cast and crew, and shoot cameos for each film: I wasn't director, costume designer, etc., this time: I had a director, costume designer, etc. The icing layered on when I met the legendary Diane Ladd, hung out with the delicious John Corbett and watched Charlotte Ross break into a wicked tap dance during a break. Girl's got stems.
The cameo for Angels Fall, airing this week, is clever. It's a big moment. Acting is involved. I appear in a scene with Heather Locklear, and I tried not to steal the scene from her, but being so into my character, so deeply entrenched in my motivation, I may have — inadvertently — overshadowed her.
OK, no. I'm on for a couple seconds — don't blink — but it's still a scene with the fabulous Heather Locklear. I hope she had as much fun shooting it as I did. And I hope when you watch Angels Fall, Montana Sky, Blue Smoke and Carolina Moon, you'll enjoy the results as much as I enjoyed the process.
Lifetime's Nora Roberts series unspools over the next four Mondays at 9 pm/ET, starting with Angels Falls and followed by Montana Sky (Feb. 5), Blue Smoke (Feb. 12) and Carolina Moon (Feb. 19).
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