Romance author Hope Tarr dishes on selling her Cinderella-themed romance, "Operation Cinderella," to Twentieth Century Fox for major motion picture.
My story starts, as most Happily Ever After stories do, with a tried-and-true opener.
Once Upon a Time…
There was an aspiring writer girl named Hope who was in love with love. Growing up, she ate, slept, and breathed fairytales. Cinderella and Prince Charming, Snow White and Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty and Pr—
You get the picture.
In high school, Hope graduated from romance a la Walt Disney to romantic novels by the likes of Kathleen Woodiwiss, Victoria Holt, and Daphne Du Maurier. Someday, she swore, I’ll write a romance of my own.
Thirteen years and twenty-five romance novels later, I am thrilled and honored to be living my personal fairytale, sharing my Happily Ever After stories with readers as print books, ebooks, audiobooks and, before long, as a Fox feature film.
In true Cinderella fashion, I received The Call when I was least expecting it. It was a weeknight in April 2013. I was, as always, on deadline. In a burst of work ethic aka fear of not meeting said deadline, I had not only turned off my cell phone. I had placed it in an entirely other room. My stoicism bore fruit. The story, which would become The Cinderella Seduction, the finale to my Suddenly Cinderella series was cooking—really cooking—and not only because the Greek-American heroine is a personal chef. When I finally pulled my head from the pink clouds and back to earth, I saw that it was a few minutes shy of midnight. Surely such an onslaught of industry merited a reward? A peek at Twitter? A few minutes’ foray into Facebook? A goodnight signoff to my significant other?
Retrieving my cell, I saw that not one, not two, but nearly twenty voice mails, text messages, and Tweets awaited me. From my agent—I don’t care what time it is, call me! From my publisher—Hope, I have something really, really important to tell you. From my editor—Hope, OMG, this is so a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Again from my agent—If you don’t call me ASAP, I’m getting in a cab and coming over there. Now.
A stroke of midnight phone conference between my publisher in Colorado and my agent and I in New York revealed the news. My series romance, Operation Cinderella, was being optioned by Twentieth Century Fox. As a major motion picture. Assuming that was all right with me.
All right? All right!
If there was ever a time to wake up and smell the popcorn drenched in hydrogenated oil that time was now. “Yes, yes, yes!” I blurted out between breaths panted into a paper bag. “It’s not only all right. It’s…fabulous!”
Ever since, I’ve been busy mentally casting my protagonists: Macie, my fearless Goth features editor heroine turned undercover muckraker and Ross, my stubborn, salt-of-the-earth Texas transplant to Washington, DC. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, if you’re not too busy, maybe you could have a look-see at the script? And Jennifer Aniston, might you consider taking on the role of Starr, Macie’s curmudgeon managing editor with a heart of gold?
Fast forward to Oscar night…Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture! My Marchesa evening gown clinging in all the right places while hiding a decade of sins, my Manolo Blahnik “Cinderella” heels skimming the red carpet, and my real-life Prince Charming not only tuxedo-clad but wearing actual black socks to match his dress shoes…It may be in the future as yet, but I know it’s going to be amazing, magical—fairytale.
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