I got the go-ahead from my absolutely awesome film agent at Curtis Brown, the wonderful Holly Frederick, praised be her name, so the [redacted] deal can at last be revealed:
Phoenix Pictures has optioned film and TV rights to the Marla Mason series.
There you go. That's it. Hardly seems worth all that build-up, huh? (I didn't think it would take this long to go from "Let's do a deal!" to actual contract-signing, but wheels grind slowly, etc.) It's still pretty cool, though! It's just an option, not an outright sale -- they get 18 months to decide if they want to actually buy the rights, and if that happens, yeah, I get a pile of money, but the option money is a decent chunk of change, too, by my admittedly meager standards. Enough to pay more than half a year's rent, with enough left over to buy a Wii and a couple of nice dinners out... (In actuality, though, the cash will be used to obliterate my remaining credit card debt.)
It's been a long road... I met with producer Anne Rodman (who is very cool, and a big fan of literary SF/fantasy/horror) way back at the Worldcon in Anaheim in 2006. We had a drink, we had a long talk, we hit it off famously... and then months passed. I assumed I'd never hear anything else about it, but should have had more faith in Anne -- she was working on making a deal happen all that time, and a few months back, we started negotiations, which took a while. (It's a complicated deal. They're not just optioning a single specific book, after all, but a series, and the world the series takes place in, and the characters who dwell therein, and etc.)
Anne and I had a nice talk on the phone yesterday, about possibilities -- Blood Engines as a feature film, a TV series about Marla and Rondeau, etc. Of course, all such possibilities are mere airy vapor at this point (and with the writer's strike going on, it's even more vapor than usual!), but it's nice to think about, and Anne is very enthusiastic, so I'm optimistic.
Having something optioned means you get to justify playing a fun game: who should be cast as the characters for the movie? I'm thinking Katee Sackhoff as Marla, and maybe John Leguizamo as Rondeau (the latter was Greg van Eekhout's inspiration, if I recall). What do y'all think?