LOS ANGELES, June 8 One year ago, main line Philadelphia resident Christopher Finlan hadn't even started to write his debut novel, Not A Fire Exit. But now, this self-published author has an exercised film option.
"I've never considered myself a serious writer," said Finlan. "I have a great job and wrote the book in my spare time. A movie option was incredible enough, but to have the movie actually moving forward is just amazing."
Finlan was inspired to write the book as a way to raise awareness and funds for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic killer of children under age two. He was introduced to the disease in June of last year when he learned a classmate's baby daughter was dying from SMA. To date, between proceeds from the sale of the novel and direct donations, thousands of dollars have been raised for SMA charities, including Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy and The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation.
Completed in time for the 2009 holidays, Finlan published his novel as a paperback, an e-book and an AFTRA-contracted audiobook that was produced in Los Angeles. The trip to Los Angeles turned out to be key, thanks to a simple Facebook status saying he was in town that independent filmmaker Hyunjin Jo, another high school classmate, noticed. After exchanging a few emails, Jo was persuaded to read the book.
"Her response in late December was 'I'm not going to pursue it at this time, but let me think about it for awhile and I'll get back to you,'" Finlan recalls. "It sounded like she was giving me a polite brush off."
However, a few months later Jo contacted Finlan about buying the film rights to his novel. "What convinced me to sign with Hyunjin was the fact she wasn't going to let the option just sit. She had a detailed plan and was committed to see it through completion," Finlan explained.
Not A Fire Exit, a thriller mystery that asks the audience, "how far would you go to save your child's life?" is now being produced under Hyunjin Jo's Beverly Hills-based production banner Jojo Road Productions. First stage financing is well underway and is on track to be completed by the end of the month.
The paperback and e-book version of Not A Fire Exit are available at Amazon.com and other internet retailers and is available as an audiobook through iTunes. For additional information on Not A Fire Exit, please visit the novel's Facebook page and/or visit the website at www.notafireexit.com.
SOURCE Jojo Road Productions