We were thrilled to learn last week that one of the most highly praised young adult novels of the year so far, Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, had been picked up by DreamWorks and David Heyman (the man who optioned a little book series called Harry Potter). This is another fantastical tale about young folks (in particular a young girl named Alina) with gifts (like the ability to harness wind, fire, water or light) that can save their world (Ravka) from some very dark forces (flesh-eating beasts from a place called the Shadow Fold). We were equally thrilled when Bardugo asked if she could write a little blog entry for VH1 Celebrity about what it feels like to have her book optioned. She’s also got a favor to ask of you guys…
When people ask about the journey to publication, I’ve gotten used to telling my story. I talk about being a copywriter, my dad dying, the epic freakout that led me to change careers and become a makeup artist, and how that freed me up to finish the book I’d always wanted to write.
But here’s the truth of it: I wrote a book and then magic happened. And it kept happening. And I have no idea how I got so lucky.
I hoped I’d land an agent. I prayed we’d sell the book. And yes, I daydreamed about the possibility of Shadow and Bone being made into a movie. But to have DreamWorks and David Heyman come knocking? That’s not the kind of thing you let yourself hope for unless you want to wake up in an alley with “hubris” tattooed across your buttocks in Comic Sans.
Yet here we are in this insane, lovely, unbelievable place and my Tumblr is alight with people asking about my dreamcast. So, readers, I’m begging for some help.
Who can play the decidedly less than average Alina, a girl who has spent her life sickly, scrawny, overlooked — and hiding a power not even she can control?
How about Mal, the tracker and soldier who charms his way through life until things get very ugly, very fast? Then there’s stunning but troubled Genya, spiteful Zoya, David the nerdy Fabrikator, Baghra (whom I’ve always imagined as a a particularly vicious ballet teacher), and of course … the Darkling. He’s the biggest challenge of all — gorgeous, charming, dangerous, but with enough gravitas to make you believe he could lead an army.
Comment below to let me know who you’d like to see in these roles— you never know who might be listening. Meanwhile, I’m going to go see about getting this tattoo removed.