In a profile of Reese Witherspoon in The Wall Street Journal today, she talks about how she spotted In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware and……decided to make the movie with her production company, Pacific Standard.
“The opportunity to option a book usually occurs before the book is published. Ms. Witherspoon and Ms. Papandrea receive dozens of unpublished manuscripts a month by email from agents. They aim to respond within 24 hours for projects submitted by a trusted agent or an author whose work they have been following. Michelle Weiner at Creative Artists Agency and Shari Smiley from the Gotham Group both have sold multiple books to Pacific Standard.
About once a week, Ms. Witherspoon stops into her favorite independent bookstore, Diesel, in Santa Monica. These aren’t scouting trips, as bookstore stock has likely been optioned already, but they help her stay up-to-date on books that may not have crossed her desk. She and her partner keep a list of authors and screenwriters with whom they’d like to collaborate in the future.
Ms. Witherspoon also values the recommendations of her high-school friends, whom she follows on Goodreads. She reads as much for fun as for work, averaging one to two books a week.
Occasionally, a book will come to their attention through an unusual route. Ms. Witherspoon ordered a copy of Ruth Ware’s bachelorette-party thriller, “In a Dark, Dark Wood,” when she read about it in O, the Oprah Magazine—and jumped on it when she heard it hadn’t yet been optioned.”
Read the full article here
Buy the novel here