It’s well over a year since Barry Cunningham at Chicken House sent me the screenplay for Big Game and asked how I’d feel about turning it into a novel. At first I was a bit dubious, wondering if I’d be able to work with someone else’s story, but once I’d read the screenplay, it was a no-brainer. It read like Die Hard for a younger audience, jam-packed with action, adventure, danger, and a few laughs. I had been offered an incredible opportunity, and I immediately began to visualise how it could work in print rather than on film. I knew how I wanted to tell the story. I didn’t want to write a straightforward novelisation – and that’s not what my publisher wanted, either – I wanted to adapt the story, make it a little different from the film.
Oh, and it didn’t hurt to know that Samuel L Jackson was going to be in a starring role in the film . . .
Anyway, once I’d expressed my interest in writing the book (trying not to sound too worried that the opportunity might then slip through my fingers!) the wait for the go-ahead seemed to drag forever. As it turns out, the publishing world and the film world work in very different ways, so there were a lot of important discussions to be had and agreements to be made. And through it all, I had to remain silent. I couldn’t speak a word of it until Jan 2014 when Chicken House finally announced that I would be writing the book. And even then, nothing was certain – there were a few moments when it looked as if I might not be able to change the story as much as I wanted to.
But here we are. Jan 2015. And BIG GAME is finally published. It has sold to 24 countries so far, being translated into Portuguese, Danish, French, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Catalan, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, and hopefully a few more to come.
Am I excited?
You bet I am.