The Secret Niche
By Chris Azzopardi
What unpublished piece of writing are you most proud of?
I guess, in a sense, the screenplay I just sold to Universal. That would be the thing that I�m most excited about, and the thing I�m really hoping gets made. I think it�s got a really good chance now, and it�s got a good home.
Were you writing prose before screenplays, or vice versa?
I mean, I was always writing prose, but I never made any money from it. I started making money from TV and that was professionally. That was the first thing that caught. Then after TV I managed to get some screenwriting work, and that sort of caught. And then I got Child 44, so I guess I was writing prose long before I was writing screenplays.
What are you currently reading?
I just read a book -- not a very good book if you�re a screenwriter -- but it�s called The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made. One of them, The Stars My Destination, which I hadn�t ever read or which wasn�t even on my radar but it�s by Alfred Bester, is meant to be one of the best science fiction books. I�m enjoying it. It�s like The Count of Monte Cristo, basically.
A change of pace from what you write, huh?
Well, no -- yeah, I guess. I�ve just been also hired by Warner to write Robotech, which is the Japanese anime series from the �80s that kind of involved these robots. Basically like Transformers, but with people inside them. It was a very popular Japanese show, and they�ve hired me to adapt it, which is obviously a piece of science fiction. The Robotech forums were all like, �Who is this British guy? He�s never written science fiction before,� but in fact I�ve loved science fiction since I was -- what, 6? I just don�t have any science fiction credits, that�s what they mean.
Well, now you will.
If they make it, yes. They�ve tried for quite a few writers, so it�s a bit of daunting. We�ll see how it goes.
So are you a Transformers fan? Have you seen the movies?
Yeah, I have seen the movies. I think they did a really good job at turning something that was kind of quite �80s and almost old fashioned, very particularly dated to that time, and making it new and fresh and popular.
We�re about the same age, so the action figures were big when we were kids. Were you a fan?
I think I quite liked them.
I was more into Barbie dolls. [Laughs.]
[Laughs.] They can transform, too.
Child 44 and The Secret Speech are available at your favorite book retailer.