As part of his blog tour I have been very lucky to have the opportunity to ask Ned Vizzini some questions about his new book ‘House of Secrets’. A fast moving fantastical story about three children taken on an adventure involving a book with dark power, warriors, a giant, pirates and witches. I’d highly recommend the book.
• Did you write the story with a film in mind?
I know that since House of Secrets came from an idea Chris Columbus had, everyone thinks we wrote the book to be a movie. But that’s not the case!
If anything, it’s the opposite. House of Secrets is an opportunity for Chris and myself to do things in a book that are too expensive for film—so we let our imaginations run wild to come up with the pirates, giants, and warriors of the story.
• Would you like to see the book turned into a film? There is so much in the book that is visually appealing, I could picture it all so clearly, lots of colours too with the forest, the sea, dragonflies, lightening, ice…
Thank you, that is very poetic of you! “The forest, the sea, dragonflies…” You make the book sound beautiful!
It would be great for House of Secrets to become a film but I don’t want to push it. Right now it’s a book and I have to be thinking about books two and three.
• What age is the book aimed at and if turned into a film what age would you like to see it made for? The book is quite creepy and gruesome in places.
The book is for 7- to 12-year-olds. I think the film could target the same audience. I know that the book has some violent and creepy things in it but all the books I loved when I was a kid had that stuff. The movies did too!
• There are strong characters in the book with quite specific skills and weaknesses. If you were casting for a film who would you like to see playing;
Chloë Grace Moretz
Dana DeVestern from It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Lin Shaye from Insidious
− Will Draper
− Penelope Hope
Morgan Smith Goodwin from the American Wendy’s Ads
− Captain Sangray
The Undertaker from all the best wrestling matches of all time
• I particularly liked the chapters when the house was floating, and then when it was being pulled by the Moray. I could really imagine it and think it would make great scenes in a film. Would this be filmed in the sea or computer generated?
I suspect that given the amount of action that takes place on the Moray (the pirate ship) in the book, you would need to have an actual pirate ship in the film. Luckily right now there’s one available in the United States for £51,000!
It’d be great if there was one scene where the Walkers were sneaking up on an enemy, and the guitar lick from “Barnburner” by Mongrel was playing. You can’t beat that one.
• Did you or Chris Columbus base any of the characters on yourselves and if so would you like to play that character if the book was made into a film?
Some of the personality traits of characters in House of Secrets—for example, Cordelia Walker’s love of reading, and Brendan Walker’s love of old-school video games—were based on my personality traits. And Brendan and Eleanor are names of Chris’ actual kids!
But no, I wouldn’t want a cameo in the film. I don’t do great on camera. I have a crooked mouth. Actually my whole face is kind of crooked.
I’d be interested in writing the movie and getting production experience, not in actually manning a camera.
• Are there any characters that you feel couldn’t possibly be played by actors because you have such a strong picture of them in your mind?
Well, it would be hard for anyone but Mick Jagger to play Fat Jagger the colossus!
Ned Vizzini is the bestselling author of the acclaimed young-adult books The Other Normals, It’s Kind of a Funny Story (also a major motion picture), Be More Chill, and Teen Angst? Naaah…. In television, he has written for ABC’s Last Resort and MTV’s Teen Wolf. His essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, the Daily Beast,and Salon. He is the co-author, with Chris Columbus, of the fantasy-adventure series House of Secrets. His work has been translated into ten languages. He lives in Los Angeles.