Writing a Vook --- Jude Deveraux
By Jude Deveraux - September 30, 2009
More Posts by Jude Deveraux
Creating Promises for the Vook was one of the most exciting experiences of my career. When my publisher, Judith Curr, asked if I’d do it, I jumped at the chance. It’s always great to try new things. I was asked to write an exciting, filmable story. Since I grew up in front of a TV set, I knew that meant drama that would lend itself to a camera. No characters sitting around and contemplating; they wanted action.
Since I’d just finished working on a novel, The Scent of Jasmine, in which one of my characters had been unable to win my heroine, I wanted to give him a story — and a love — of his own. Writing the story was made easier because I already knew my hero and the parents of my heroine. It was like writing about family members. I did have some problems with the research, however, because as we all know plantation life was not idyllic.
Once the story was finished, the real fun began. Robert Sobul, the producer-director, flew from LA to visit me and we went over all of his video ideas and mine. We were completely in tune with each other and had a terrific time shooting possibilities back and forth. Originally I balked at reading parts of the story aloud, but he talked me into it, and it ended up being enjoyable.
The day when I was sent the videos was wonderful! It was fascinating seeing my story come to life. Robert had enlisted the aid of the very knowledgeable Charleston Historical Society and I was thrilled to see that the clothes, shoes, and all the props were exactly right for 1800.
A big surprise for me was how much everyone liked the secondary stories about Stephen Ptolemy. He was the protagonist in newspaper articles told in the voice of an older man but written anonymously by my young heroine. I had a lot of fun coming up with the adventures of "poor Stephen." Robert and everyone else involved wanted to add them to the videos, and he asked me what I would like to do. I came up with some long scenes worthy of a major motion picture and Robert creatively translated them into some hilarious little clips.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I learned a great deal. Working with NY and LA at the same time gave me some insights that I’ll probably incorporate in a book someday. NY was very laid back, always grateful if they received something within three weeks of asking for it. LA was truly puzzled when whatever they wanted didn’t arrive within three hours. I was certainly kept on my toes!
I hope all of you enjoy Promises – both the story and the videos. I think having them together is a truly great idea. Books of the future! Next I want to incorporate music, then smells. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to smell what you’re reading about?
Oh, well, that’s for next time.