Hawthorne Books is excited to announce its partnership with ICM and Rocking Stone Media. I have before me the fabulous opportunity to work with agent Ron Bernstein and production designer turned producer, Mayne Berke, of Rocking Stone Media (also represented by ICM) to take our literature from books to film. The goal of this partnership is to extend our authors’ reach and visibility beyond the standard printed and digital platforms. In a time when the publishing industry is rapidly consolidating, Hawthorne remains a small independent voice, and in order to continue to grow, thrive, and compete with larger publishers who wield considerable increasing power and clout, Hawthorne now includes a focus on adapting content, stories, to film and television.
Over the past twelve years Hawthorne’s role with the entertainment industry has been passive, limited to answering rights checks and option offers. Don’t get me wrong, we were thrilled to sign options for a few books, but our participation ended with signing that contract. Over the contractual period of time, our role was limited to finger crossing, hoping and wishing. My background is in sales, and this was a frustrating position to find myself in. My current role as a creative producer allows Hawthorne to proactively search for the right dramatic partners for a particular author’s work and to stay involved through the facilitation to film or television.
Currently we are working on Poe Ballantine’s God Clobbers Us All; Monica Drake’s Clown Girl, James Bernard Frost’s A Very Minor Prophet; and Lidia Yuknavitch’s two books, The Chronology of Water and Dora: A Headcase. In addition, I am working as a creative producer on Mayne’s current film and as a result was introduced to the work of screenwriter and novelist Anthony McCarten who lives in London. I bought Anthony’s most recent book, Brilliance, from his UK publisher, Alma Books, and Hawthorne will publish the U.S. edition October 1, 2013. Brilliance is about Thomas Edison and J.P. Morgan working together to bring electric light to the world. Along the way they begin the current war with Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, electrocute animals, and invent the electric chair.
Most importantly, the partnership with ICM and Rocking Stone Media means Hawthorne writers have a shepherd working to increase their visibility, option odds, and a production voice in Hollywood.