The way of the novel
Different worlds can be daunting for strong, independent women.
Worlds can offer epic challenges, as well as opportunities to overcome almost impossible odds.
In one such world, a half-human, half-elf is shunned by both races while she battles evil armies with her samurai sword.
In another world, a largely unknown author of independently published epic adult fantasy novels is approached by major movie producers to put one (incidentally, about a half-human, half-elf) on the big screen.
The latter is what happened to Surrey’s Lorna Suzuki, a martial artist and writer who penned Imago Chronicles, the stories of Nayla Treeborn’s epic journeys in action packed, character-driven fantasy world.
It was almost by accident that an independent filmmaker once watched a martial arts demonstration by Suzuki and her husband Scott White on MTV Canada, in which Suzuki used one of her own books as a weapon.
That filmmaker, Michy Gustavia, a fan of the author, brought the idea of a movie – and potentially a trilogy – to producer Don Carmody.
Carmody, though not a household name, has some serious Hollywood production credits, including Porky’s, The Whole Nine Yards, Good Will Hunting, Chicago, the ongoing Resident Evil series, and this year’s Pompeii.
His name is attributed to more than 90 films, many of them action-based.
Imago Chronicles: A Warrior’s Tale, now in pre-production, will be in the epic fantasy realm, a hybrid of Lord of the Rings, The Last Samurai and 300.
Casting and full production begins this fall in Toronto, with worldwide release in 2015.
Suzuki began writing Imago Chronicles: Tales From the West, her first novel – though it’s not chronologically the first in the plot of the series – on Feb. 7, 2002.
She remembers the date because the previous day, she had a job, which was terminated, along with the jobs of the rest of management, at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
She went from educator to author literally overnight.
She wrote the sequel, Tales From the East, the following year.
That might have been the end of it, explains Suzuki, but “people asked for a back-story.”
That in turn became A Warrior’s Tale, which, assuming a trilogy would be financially warranted, will be filmed first – to keep the stories chronological.
Suzuki says coming up with ideas for Nayla Treeborn wasn’t difficult.
“I don’t think about writing… I just write,” says Suzuki. “I scheme up what treacheries I’ll subject my characters to and then I can only equate it to watching as a movie unfolds in my mind. In many ways, I’m merely recording the events and dialogue, if that makes any sense.”
Those events and dialogue of the half-elf, half-human warrior continue in the another book series which Suzuki is co-writing with her 16-year-old daughter Nia.
That series, called the Dream Merchant Saga, is geared towards young adults.
In the meantime, Suzuki is an advisor to the screenwriters, and feels fairly confident about the process.
“Scary fun, if you like this sort of sensation,” she says. “But in many ways, I have complete and utter faith the film adaptation of my fantasy series is in good hands with this production team.”
“Gandalf said it best in the movie Lord of the Rings when anticipating the great battle to decide the fate of all: ‘It’s the deep breath before the plunge.’ “
Lorna Suzuki’s Imago Chronicles: A Warrior’s Tale, is available on Amazon.ca