Bartelloni Signs Contract with TV Producer
Jan 30, 2015 07:00AM ● Published by Marjorie Turner Hollman
What’s the secret to getting your name involved with a national television show? How about if you write a really cool book about four young people in mortal peril who travel throughout New England trying to find refuge from a virus (and people) intent on killing them. Get your book published, then get the second book in the series published, and have the third in the series ready for the publisher right now. Oh, yes, be sure to make your books compelling, develop characters who are flawed but sympathetic, and be sure there is a love interest (or two) as well.
What might be a dream for many of us is becoming reality for local author and Bellingham resident Amy Bartelloni (pictured above). Her Andromeda book series has not yet been picked up by a TV network, but she has signed a contract with a Hollywood producer. The contract Bartelloni recently signed is for the producer to create what is akin to a movie “trailer,” to present to decision makers in Hollywood who can give the green light to producers who have story ideas they think might be television hits. The producer, Jason Bowers of CIE Productions, signed a contract with Bartelloni to develop her book series into a TV show.
So what is Bartelloni doing while all this goes on? She’s writing, of course. “I’m thinking of writing a fantasy next,” she said, when we spoke to her at the home that she shares with her husband, Craig, and three school-age children. “If anything happens, you can always throw in a dragon.”
She continued, “I’ve been reading since I was my son Danny’s age (he’s five). My grandmother was always a big reader—we’re a family of readers. I’m told that I get a lot of traits from my grandmother, and stubbornness is one of them!”
Bartelloni also credits another local author for getting her started writing seriously. “Ten years ago I attended Jeff Belanger’s workshop at the Bellingham Library,” she said. “I’d written before, but part of the workshop was for us to read something we’d written, and it confirmed that I love writing, that it’s a part of who I am. And Jeff’s a great teacher.”
Bartelloni also stressed the importance of meeting regularly with fellow writers. “I belong to the Norfolk Writer’s Group, led by Margo Ball. We meet at the Norfolk Library every 2nd Tuesday evening during the school year. I read the first chapter of the Andromeda series to the members of this group; it was an idea that had been kicking around in my head. But this wasn’t the first book I wrote; there are three other unpublished books that I may go back to some day and edit.”
How does a mother of three young children make time to do all this writing? “People don’t understand that I did most of this writing when my son Danny was napping,” Bartelloni explained. “It takes a lot of discipline, which is not natural for me. I follow Steven King’s advice to write 1000 words a day. It’s what I’ve done for years. My family understands that this is my job.” (Note: Bartelloni is also a contributing writer to the Bellingham Bulletin.)
And how did a Hollywood producer notice Bartelloni’s book? She explained, “The girl who recorded the audiobook for Andromeda knows the TV producer I eventually signed on with, and she asked if she could pitch my books to him. He was interested, so I had to get an entertainment lawyer to handle negotiations. If the idea gets picked up, there will be additional contracts to sign—it’s a process, not a done deal.”
Bartelloni is pleased with this turn of events, but says, “I’d rather be a writer. I know the producers would make changes in my story. But that’s fine with me. It’s a little like the process we’ve gone through to create the covers for my books. I fill out a questionnaire about the book, and the design company comes up with the cover. But I like collaborating.”
And what keeps her most grounded? She laughs, “I’m not a big-shot in my own house. I’m just Mom.”
Bartelloni’s books, Andromeda and Orion’s Curse, are both available on Amazon Books.