Thursday, August 30, 2007

Film rights optioned for The Penny Tree!

Right now, I wish blogger had a 'noise' feature that would let me add a long and enthusiastic WHOOP to this post (insert WHOOP here). I found out earlier today that film rights have been optioned for The Penny Tree and I've been asked to write the screenplay, both fantastic pieces of news I just had to share in a quick blog post.

P.S. I'm at the Maui Writers Retreat and
I don't have internet access in my hotel room, so posting is a big headache. In addition, I've been busy writing (Karen Joy Fowler is an incredible instructor, by the way). The conference starts Friday, so I'll try to post some snapshots in a few days.


ORION said...

Whoop whoop and double whoop!!!

L.C.McCabe said...

Congrats Holly!

That's wonderful news.

Now, I have to ask: do you have any knowledge about how screenplays are structured?

They are altogether different animals from novels.

Back in the 1980s I took two screenwriting classes and I read a bunch of How-to books on them.

It has helped to influence how I watch movies. Similar to how you mark up and dissect every novel, I see the backbone and structure in movies.

I also love reading a novel prior to seeing a movie and compare how it was translated to the screen.

Here are a few titles that I recommend for you to read to get you started:

Screenplay by Syd Field.

It is one of the best nuts and bolts books on formatting of screenplays and understanding its structure.

Adventures in the Screentrade by William Goldman.

Goldman is a multi-talented author who first came to fame with his Oscar winning screenplay for Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid. He's also written novels such as Marathon Man, Magic, and an adaptation of The Princess Bride that he then wrote the screenplays.

He knows the differences between the two mediums, and he also knows the foibles of Hollywood.

It is this book that has caused him to be venerated by screenwriters everywhere. His most famous quote from that book is in regards to what will be a success and what won't in Hollywood as "No one knows anything."

Then I'd suggest getting a copy of the script of your favorite movie(s) and then watching it with a DVD of the movie and making copious notes.

If you can find one that had been a novel, even better. Compare the novel to the script to the movie.

Congrats again!



(BTW, no I've never had a screenplay optioned, but I have since that time changed writing genres. However, I do not consider that knowledge wasted as it has helped me understand plot structure and characterizations, etc. It also helps me write fiction more "cinematically.") Good luck!

Anonymous said...


Holy freakin cow, man!

That so totally rocks!


Anonymous said...

um, yeah, rereading that comment....there's a reason my blog is title Delusions of Eloquence

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Holly!
Another piece of your dream coming true, we always knew it would.
Keep me in mind when you finally decide you require a personal assistant.


Janet said...


Heidi the Hick said...

That is SO AWESOME!!!!!!

I read that book and thought, this would be such a perfect movie!!! You write so visually. And of course there's A Twist, and everybody knows a movie needs A Twist!

I can't wait to hear more details.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Holly!! That's exciting news. Can't wait to see the movie. :)

The Anti-Wife said...

Congratulations, Holly. I loved The Penny Tree and agree it will make a wonderful movie.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Mazel Tov, Holly!!!

Melissa Marsh said...

AWESOME news, Holly! Congratulations!!!

Travis Erwin said...


This is huge news. What an accomplishment. Way to go.

Rhonda said...

Good for you, Hol. Can't wait for the big screen.

Patti said...

found you thru larramie...wonderful news...whoohoo!

The Writers' Group said...

Double brava, Holly! Not only is it optioned, but you maintain some modicum control over your baby. Wonderful!


Therese said...


Zany Mom said...


my stories come to me visually. maybe I should take a couple of how-to's for screenplays.

still have to read The Penny Tree...

Kim Stagliano said...

Holy cow!!! That's amazing! Congratulation, Holly.

Holly Kennedy said...

Thanks, Linda -- I've actually took a screenwriting class, have Syd's software, and have since written 3 scripts "to practice" the craft. I'm not so worried, more excited about getting to do a live one (especially because I think Penny Tree is so cinematic).

Seeley -- You're so cute! Love your comment. Always go with your gut instincts I say.

Donna -- You little lurker. It takes THIS to have you come out of the shadows?

Thanks, Janet, Heidi, Brenda, and Anti-Wife -- I feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity. One more new door opened, I like to say.

Same to you Travis, Melissa and Susan. I appreciate the supprort.

LadyBronco said...


Holly, the book was so good, but the movie is totally gonna kick butt!

(I told my mom - who loved the book BTW - and we will be going to see this one together!)

Larramie said...

WOW!!! You have no idea of the pride I feel for you, Holly!

Holly Kennedy said...

Rhonda -- YOU are going to be in the movie! You are, after all, in the book :)

Thank you for stopping by Patti. It's great to have you here.

Amy -- It's always a pleasure to have you girls drop by from the Writers' Group. Thanks for your kind wishes.

Therese --- !!!!!!!!!
Right back at yah. Each new door opened and all that great jazz...

Holly Kennedy said...

Lady Bronco -- I hope when it does become a movie, it kicks major butt and causes a lot of tears. I'd be happy with that!

Thanks, Daisy Girl.

Mia King said...

So very cool! Congrats, Holly, I'm sure it's very well deserved! I'm so sorry we didn't connect in Maui - I have too much going on and couldn't pull it together. But hopefully we'll meet up soon!

Bug said...

OMG!!! HOLLY!!!! Ricardo and I are so excited for you right now!!!! Congratulations...You so deserve it! You'll have to keep us all posted on the whole process...Congratulations again! Big hugs!

John Elder Robison said...

That is really good news. If you write the screenplay you'll have a lot more influence over how they eventually portray it.


Holly Kennedy said...

Mia -- Sorry we didn't get to connect. We'll have to make certain that we do next year, ok? I plan to attend the retreat's screenwriting tract next August and then attend the conference as well.

Bug -- And who was it that laughed all those years ago when I said I was retiring to write books?? Hmmm?! That'd be you, yah big cutie! Hope the kids are great. Say hello to Ricardo.

Holly Kennedy said...

John -- Woof, right back at you, buddy! I've thought of you a few times this week. Really wish you'd been able to attend, but you MUST come next year. You'd love all the energy and networking.

Mystery Robin said...

WOW!!! That's fantastic news!!! Good grief! WOW!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Holly, that great!

wordman17 said...

This is very sweet newz!!!
A movie? And you get to write the script? I'd be letting loose with a pretty big 'whoopty-doop' screech if I were you.

kyla-dale said...

I'm with Wordman17
I, too, would be spinning
in circles, babbling like
a goofball if this were
happening to me. How does
it FEEL? #$%!&!! A movie!
Wicked wicked good news.
Very happy for you.

Trish Ryan said...

Hip hip hooray!!!
Congrats, Holly...that is super-exciting :)

Kate S said...

Oh, wow, Holly - I just got chills for you. CONGRATULATIONS! :)

M. G. Tarquini said...

Oh wow. I totally missed the official announcement!


And hugs.

And congratulations.

Writer on Board said...

Congrats. Congrats. Congrats!

Lindsay Sasseville said...

That is so exciting!!!! Congrats!!!!

Adrienne said...

That is so cool!!!!! Awesome!!!

(and I wouldn't be an actor if I didn't ask if there was a part in there for me and if you accept bribes)

Seriously though, that is just amazing. Not only the option, but the fact that you will maintain some creative control and get to write the screenplay as well. Just wonderful!