A mum-of-four from Chalfont St Peter who recently published her debut novel has had her work optioned for a film by Universal Studios.
After writing You’d Look Better as a Ghost, a novel about a female serial killer, former lawyer Joanna Wallace submitted the first draft to publishing houses, but received hundreds of rejections.
After her friends praised her short stories, Joanna revised her draft, which had lain dormant for two years, and submitted it to publishers.
Two weeks later, she signed a two-book deal with Viper Books, and You’d Look Better as a Ghost was published on September 21.
Now, Penguin New York have acquired the rights to publish the book in the USA and Canada and the book has been optioned by Universal Studios.
Joanna said: “It still doesn’t feel real. I can’t believe that something I wrote snuggled up with my dog in my home in Chalfont St Peter is being published worldwide and has been optioned for a film.”
Joanna began writing the novel when her father was sectioned after being diagnosed with early onset dementia.
She said: “I didn’t intend to write a book about a serial killer but Claire, the book’s narrator, just emerged from all this rage I was feeling. Strangely, I found comfort in her deeply dark sense of humour. The book covers lots of quite serious and emotive issues, but with a lightness and a humour.”
You’d Look Better as a Ghost is available online and in store now.