Fans of the GIANT shark books MEG are no stranger to author STEVE ALTEN. Steve recently dropped by the site to talk about his next MEG novel HELL'S AQUARIUM, which will be released on (get it here), the MEG movie getting new producers and moving forward (get it done already - am dying t see this chomp the big screen), the status of the movie version of his novel THE LOCH, his future projects and more! Kick it with Alten below!
I’m curious as to your writing process. Do you black-out the windows with a bottle of JD in tow? Lock yourself into a dirty Motel room? How do you go about it to get in the zone?
I try to get as much writing as I can during the day, but there are too many disruptions (e-mails, interviews, phone calls, etc) so my zone time is midnight to 3-4 AM.
The final novel in the MEG saga HELL’S AQUARIUM will be released in May of this year. Being that you are at tome Number 4 of this story; did you find it challenging to bring fresh and unique elements to it?
You might think that, but MEG 4 is by far the best in the series. Having spent nearly three years researching and working on The SHELL GAME, I really needed to escape into a great MEG book and writing MEG 4 was not only therapeutic but a lot of fun. And the plot was so intriguing that I decided I’ll write at least one more book, God-willing.
What can people expect from this new MEG novel in terms of story and new twists?
Action, thrills, twists involving cutting edge science, and some serious monster violence.
It seems like MEG has been trying to chomp onto the big screens for ages now. Where is the film adaptation at now?
New Line Cinema had optioned MEG, and it looked like things were on track, but the two CEOs never wanted to commit anything over $75 million to the movie, preferring to gamble on Rush Hour 3 and the Golden Compass. Shane Salerno’s scripts drifted far from the book’s plot. Once we had the rights back, one of the producers (Belle Avery) and I wrote a new script that gave the book’s original story a sharp edge. Some top notch directors are reading it, and we hope to attach one soon and get the package to a studio.
How involved are you or/and will you be in the production of the picture?
If they use my script, I will be more involved. And Belle Avery’s involvement this time around, along with Lloyd Levin, will safeguard the storyline.
Do you have a “dream director” that you’d like to see helm the project?
First, for the record, I think Jan De Bont would have been terrific. Having said that, there are a handful of amazing directors out there that would be perfect for MEG. Ask me again after we attach one. J
Your novel THE LOCH has an interesting premise; a legal drama set around the Loch Ness monster. Where is the project at?
Belle Avery is tasked with bringing the story to the big screen. She is finalizing the financing of the movie as we speak.
Would you ever consider writing a sequel to The Loch or is that story over and done with?
A sequel would involve the characters, not necessarily Nessie. Then again, if the movie is a huge hit and they backed up the brinks truck, I’d want to write it…if nothing else, to insure it was as good if not better than the original.
Is there any other of your books that you’d like to see translated to the screen? I personally think Goliath would make a good film!
At the risk of sounding pompous, every novel I write is intended to be a movie. GOLIATH would make a great movie or TV series, DOMAIN could be the most stunning movie of them all. And the current book I am writing – GRIM REAPER – geez…
Word has it that you’ve recently ventured into genre screenwriting with your script "Stranglehold." What is the script about? Has anybody optioned it yet?
STRANGLEHOLD is a very special story, very Sixth Sense-like. I had optioned it to a close friend years ago, but her producer had a bad vision of the film, and when the renewal came up I snatched it back. The story involves a Philly detective, prone to violence, who enters a murder scene and essentially loses it, his mind slowly unraveling hidden memories from his childhood – essential for resolving the murder and saving his life.
Will we ever see a film directed by Steve Alten?
I don’t have that fire in me, I’d rather create on paper, but if the movies were to happen and I caught the fever…
What other projects do you have lined up for the near future?
Besides STRANGLEHOLD, I have some really great and diverse projects awaiting the fall of the first domino, including two original comedy scripts, a TV drama series based on the life of Hall of Fame Basketball coaching legend John Chaney (who I worked with informally for 4 years), and a reality series that would be a GUARANTEED world-wide hit.
JAWS or MEG; who would win a fight!
Please… MEG would eat jaws in one bite. BURP!
Thanks for dropping by the site Steve!
My pleasure. For any readers who wish to contact me, receive free monthly updates, enter character contests, or read free excerpts of my work, go to www.SteveAlten.com