The Rittenhouse Saga’s publishing contract with Random House Publishing Group included a film option clause, and Columbia Pictures has announced plans to produce the motion picture adaptation of Mutt.
The film will be directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth). I will be actively involved in adapting the screenplay, which is being written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The Newsroom). Hugh Laurie, playing the role of the gateman Green, will anchor a cast of lesser-known talent (casting information will be forthcoming over the next several months).
The Rittenhouse Saga: Mutt will be filmed in Philadelphia’s Kensington and University City neighborhoods, which inspired the environments of the series. Columbia’s contract includes an option to adapt Stray and the series’ future books, pending box office performance of the first film.
In negotiations, Sorkin emphasized his enthusiasm for the project, which will cast the political themes of his other works in a radical new setting. “This book is just phenomenal,” he said of Mutt. “I’d like to think I know a thing or two about writing, but reading [Mutt] has shown me there’s always something new to learn.”
“Hell,” he added, “I wish I’d written it.”
The ebook version of Mutt is still free on Amazon pending its November re-release with Random House. Columbia Pictures’ The Rittenhouse Saga: Mutt is slated for a tentative Summer 2015 release.
“If a trivial mistake messes up my Cure for Warts one more time, I’m going to throw down my laptop, find the nearest pharmacy, and just buy some of that acid stuff my parents used to use when we were kids and got them on our feet. Where am I supposed to find my wand, anyway… Oh, there it is. Who the hell buried behind all this other stuff on the counter? Alright… Wait, what the hell do you mean, I got it wrong? That was perfect, Snape. You’re just envious because I’m the Chosen One and you never got with my mom…”
-Me, during the Potions tutorial
It’s been a while since my last update about Pottermore, mostly because it’s been a while since I last got to spend time with Pottermore. I’ve completed the Philosopher’s Stone sequence, and since doing so, I haven’t felt any great draw to continue.
Admittedly, I’ve had some fun with the site. After being assigned to Ravenclaw, I became acquainted with its potion-making and spell-casting minigames. They provided some passing entertainment, as did searching for collectible items in the story moments. But overall, after exploring a full novel’s worth of content, I’ve come away with the impression that Pottermore isn’t entirely sure what it wants to do, and as a result, it spends most of its (and its users’) time half-doing things.
I’m sure the site is set up this way to avoid impeding progress for people who just want to explore the story, the Pottermore’s various game elements never gel successfully with the story or each other. Gameplay features are generally introduced once before being relegated to their own corners of the site; after the tutorials the Spells and Potions mechanics were not used in the Philosopher’s Stone again. Even the exploration can barely be referred to as such. The setup of the Moments suggests the possibility of a point-and-click adventure game a la Myst, complete with puzzles to solve and environments that can be seamlessly explored. But Pottermore is not the kind of game, if it can be called a game at all.
And to be honest, after all the time of spent on the site, I don’t know what it’s trying to be. All the behind-the-scenes description and other exclusive pieces of writing are interesting in themselves, but if I really just wanted to read them, I’d prefer a more to-the-point interface than this. And if it was supposed to be an actual game, it needs to decide what kind of game. I’d be cool with a Myst-type adventure game like the kind the Moments are suggesting, and equally cool with the kind of MMORPG that seems to inspire Diagon Alley and the Potions mechanic.
I’ll probably keep up with Pottermore for a bit longer to see if there’s something I’m missing, and I do like reading the bonus content. But for a really immersive experience of the series’ world, returning to the novels and films is probably a better bet. And for those really stuck on finding a good interactive version of Hogwarts, this game might be the closest you’re going to get.
I can’t write copy. Or more specifically, I can’t write copy for my own book.
This was obviously a major problem when I was shopping agents for a traditional publishing route, and it’s an even bigger one now that I’ve decided to go indie. I’m trying to land bookblog reviews for Mutt, which is apparently pretty hard. Books take a while to read, and with so many people self-publishing these days, even lower-traffic blogs get loads of review requests. And I’m finding that if your description isn’t gripping, you’re immediately at the bottom of the pile.
I’ve only recovered about a fourth of Mutt’s publication costs so far–a slower start than I’d anticipated–and I don’t have cash to hire a professional copy writer. But of course, improved copy would help get me more expose and hopefully more sales. So we’re going to do this the fun way.
Below is the text from my book description pages on Smashwords, Goodreads, etc. Any suggestions for improving it are very welcome. But if you’d like to rewrite it from scratch, I’ll give you a download code for a free copy of Mutt if I end up using some or all of your version. Happy revising!
Centuries after most of humanity is wiped out, a new civilization is slowly constructed upon the remnants of the old.
Emery, a young man living in the walled city of Rittenhouse, has taken it upon himself to rescue “mutts,” as the citizens of Rittenhouse call the impoverished masses outside. When Timothy, a boy afflicted with a fatal illness, seeks Emery’s help, the two embark on a deadly errand to secure the medicine Timothy needs. This mission takes them from the safety of Rittenhouse into the wasteland outside it, where ancient superstitions are reborn and humanity struggles to survive amidst the ruins of a fallen American metropolis.