According to a recent article in The Boston Globe, fewer novels today are being adapted for film, making novelists who have found success in the Hollywood marketplace, such as faculty member Rebecca Godwin, increasingly rare.
"Literary writers sometimes can almost make a living on Hollywood, without disappointment, if they can keep the stars out of their eyes," The Globe article said. "One such case is South Carolina novelist Rebecca Godwin."
Godwin's 1994 book, Keeper of the House, about a brothel in a small Southern town, was optioned 10 years ago by Michael Lentine, president of Earth Artist Tradigital Studios. Though the production company has yet to make a film based on her novel, Lentine has continued to pay a generous annual option fee for the book.
"I'm looking for stories that have universal meaning, that transcend borders," Lentine told The Globe. "Rebecca's way of telling the story is unique. We're trying to change the paradigm to make it a story-driven industry."
Godwin says the ancillary income from the book option has enabled her to balance her passions for teaching and writing.
"It feels like this great blessing," she said. "I teach one term a year at Bennington, and this has allowed me to do that. I'm down here in South Carolina working on my next novel. Someone out there continues to believe in the book, which is amazing and lovely, and it also gives me the freedom and time that I wouldn't have otherwise."
Read more about Rebecca Godwin.