Taking a chance

Battle Circle Cover

Last night I took a chance. I sent an email to one of my favourite authors, Piers Anthony, via his website. Mr Anthony knows a thing or two about shipping. He has published 166 books to date and has 5 more written but not yet published. What a work ethic!

As a teenager, I thoroughly enjoyed his Xanth series. The characters and settings are enthralling and the puns are hilarious. Highly recommended. Also, one of the very first science fiction books I read was a collection of three short stories called Battle Circle (first published in 1968). These stories are set in a dystopian post-nuclear future. There are vast tracts of land uninhabitable due to lingering radiation. ‘Crazies’ operate behind the scenes supplying the nomads with resources. The world of the nomads operates by a strict code of honour and matters are settled in the battle circle. This book is one of the reasons I came to love the science fiction genre.

I emailed Mr Anthony about Battle Circle. I believe that it will make a fantastic movie. Especially book one, Sos the Rope. When I read it, I can see the scenes play out in my imagination as the descriptions take on a life of their own. I have aspirations of writing a screenplay and I would relish the opportunity to adapt the story into a movie. So I took the chance and sent off the email to ask for permission and find out what the copyright restrictions are.

I took a chance in the spirit of making a ruckus. In the spirit of ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ If he said ‘no’ I’d be in the same place as before I asked. But what if he said ‘yes’ and I ended up with the opportunity of a lifetime? Definitely worth putting myself out there. This morning I received a response:

I’d love to have a movie made from Sos the Rope, and there has been occasional interest. But my agent is cautious about free-lance screenplays. If a studio got interested, they would hire their own script writer. So I doubt there is a prospect here for you.
Piers Anthony
Not what I was hoping for. But I was still chuffed to have received a response from the great man himself. It is a credit to him that he took the time to send me a polite response as I’m sure he must receive many similar requests.
So it’s back to the drawing board for me. I’ll have to make up my own story (I have one in the works). It was tough to send the email as I didn’t want to risk rejection or lose face and seem like a stereotypical fanboy to one of my favourite authors. As I typed out the request, the resistance tried to stop with all sorts of reasons why it was a bad idea. Some may say that because he said ‘no’ I should’ve listened. I say I did the right thing. I fought the resistance. I took a chance. Now I know and can move on to the next project. I’ll still dream about writing the screenplay. Maybe I’ll make a name for myself in the screenwriting business and that studio he mentions will hire me to write Sos the Rope.
And I have an email from Piers Anthony!!!! How cool is that???

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