Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Elizabeth Crook's "The Which Way Tree"

Elizabeth Crook novels include The Night Journal, which received the Spur Award from Western Writers of America, and Monday, Monday, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014 and winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters.

Here Crook shares some insights about the journey of her new novel, The Which Way Tree, to the big screen:
A very early draft of The Which Way Tree found its way to Robert Duvall and I was flabbergasted when he offered to buy the option. I was so nervous the first time I talked to him on the phone I had to take beta blockers to get through it. We conferred about who should write the script, and I suggested my good friend Stephen Harrigan, who already knew the story since he had previously helped me brainstorm through the plot. He’s an award-winning screenwriter as well as journalist and novelist, so I knew he’d be the best at this.

But as it turned out, Steve was busy and said he could only take part if I would co-write the script with him. I didn’t have any experience with scripts, having never written one, and in fact having never read one, so I had a steep learning curve in front of me. But it was fun. Bob Duvall is terrific. We finished each draft, sent it to him and his partners, and within two or three days they had read it and called us back on a conference call to go over their notes. Writing novels is a lonely process by comparison. It might be more gratifying in the long run because the finished book is your very own achievement. But the experience is less dynamic; there’s something innately energizing about collaboration.

At this point we have a draft we’re all happy with, and now we’ll see what happens from here. Movies are a far more complicated business than I understood. Bob Duvall will of course play a role when we get things up and running. Along with his co-producers and the director and casting director he’ll go about filling the other roles. They’ve kindly kept me in the loop as part of the team, but I know better than to think I would have any decent casting suggestions that they aren’t already considering.
Visit Elizabeth Crook's website.

The Page 69 Test: Monday, Monday.

The Page 69 Test: The Which Way Tree.

--Marshal Zeringue