Now it can be told! NBC has put a television adaptation based on my novelette "Six Months, Three Days" into development, with Krysten Ritter, Eric Garcia and David Janollari producing. I didn't really think this was actually going to happen, and I am kind of gobsmacked.
In case you missed it, "Six Months" is a story about the relationship between two clairvoyants, whose powers work in different ways. Doug sees the future as set in stone, with no free will. Judy sees the future as a series of branching possibilities. They both "remember" the future, rather than seeing it on a TV screen or whatever — so both of their powers are subject to all the failings of memory.
I was really blown away by how many people connected with this story, both with the characters and with the ideas. After a decade and a half of toiling in obscurity as a fiction writer, it's beyond intense when something you wrote takes on a life of its own like that. Knowing that something that came out of your head is living in other people's heads, is enough to make your head explode. I felt way beyond lucky.
So then hearing from other creative people that they want to turn my story into something brand new and different is kind of that same feeling of astonishment and luck — only maybe even more so, because of the realization that smart people are putting time and energy into the idea of adapting your story. Whatever happens with this deal, I will never stop being thrilled about that.
So here is the actual scoop about what's going on, via Deadline:
[David Janollari's] Universal TV-based David Janollari Entertainment has partnered with Krysten Ritter’s also Uni TV-based Silent Machine Entertainment for Six Months, Three Days, an hourlong project, which has been sold to NBC. Based on the 2012 Hugo Award winning novelette of the same name by Charlie Jane Anders, Six Months, Three Days is a light procedural about a mismatched pair of San Francisco private investigators — an upbeat, free-spirited idealist and a swoon-worthy, brooding fatalist –- both of whom can see the future. Forced to team up, the pair knows their relationship is destined to grow from antagonistic rivalry into fairy-tale true love… but only if they can stop him from being killed in six months and three days. The adaptation will being written by film and TV writer Eric Garcia, author of the novel Matchstick Men, on which the feature film was based. Ritter, Garcia, Janollari and Silent Machine’s Lindsey Liberatore are executive producing.
Eric Garcia, of course, is the writer of Matchstick Men, and the novel The Repossession Mambo (which I reviewed here.) When Eric got in touch, I was pretty stoked that he was even interested in my story — but then it became clear that Eric was really serious about this and had tons of ideas for how to build out a 10,000 word story into an ongoing TV show.
Krysten Ritter, meanwhile, starred in the sitcom Don't Trust The B—- in Apt. 23, and had a pivotal role in Breaking Bad. She's in several upcoming feature films, including the new Veronica Mars movie and Tim Burton's Big Eyes. When Eric mentioned that Krysten might want to produce the show, I was pretty amazed — and then I heard from Krysten directly, and she seemed incredibly fired up about the story, the characters, and the potential for them to have a new life in another medium.
I was also stoked when Eric and Krysten got David Janollari involved — he was instrumental in getting shows like Six Feet Under, Supernatural and Teen Wolf on the air. David had previously worked on a project with Krysten and Eric at MTV.
Later, when I heard that Eric and Krysten were basically doing improv as my characters Doug and Judy in pitch meetings with the studio and the network, my head kind of started to spin. Not just from the idea of people acting out my characters, but also the sense I was getting that this show could actually be funny and strange and kind of out there. They were focusing on the characters and the love story, but they were also bringing out the humor, which seemed like a really good sign.
Eric and Krysten weren't the first people to approach me about doing something with "Six Months" — in fact, the best advice I got about this situation came from Patrick Nielsen Hayden, my editor at Tor.com, who told me "Don't take the first offer you get." When Patrick told me that, I sort of assumed the first offer would be the only offer, but that turned out not to be the case. It's also definitely worth repeating that none of the attention this story has gotten would have happened without Patrick taking a chance on it and publishing it at Tor.com.
When I started getting approached by movie and TV people about this story, I wasn't even sure how to field the emails — and luckily, a friend introduced me to Nate Miller at Manage-ment, who agreed to take me on and start talking to people on my behalf.
So at this point, you know about as much as I do. I'm not planning on being super proprietorial about this show — and I can't imagine anything more stressful than trying to have creative input into a TV show being made hundreds of miles away. So I'm basically in the same boat as you guys — I can't wait to see what happens next.