Every loyal book fan wishes their favorite authors could get a movie deal like J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer's—almost complete control over how their novels are translated onto the big screen. But that's not the way things usually go, and "Vampire Academy" author Richelle Mead is completely aware of that fact. When we caught up with her on the eve of the release of "Last Sacrifice," the final chapter in her series about born vampires and their badass half-breed protectors, we pumped her for news on what's happening with the "Vampire Academy" movie, which was optioned by Preger Entertainment and producer Don Murphy ("Natural Born Killers," "Apt Pupil").
"It's such a funny thing, the movie business," Richelle said. "There's no action going on right now. There's no production, no casting, no scripting. There's nothing for me to be involved in at the moment. They're certainly in touch all the time. Right now, they're out soliciting studios and writers."
While she isn't yet sure how involved she'll be with the movie, she said she has no "delusions" about full control. "People write to me like, 'Richelle, make sure when you hold auditions...' I know my involvement won't be to that extent," she said, laughing. "But they're a wonderful company. They talk to me a lot. They talk to the fans a lot, which is amazing. They've got this huge Facebook page, where they're always asking, 'Who would you like to see? What's your favorite part in the book?'"
As she plays the waiting game, Richelle said she has talked to someone who has a bit of experience with the adaptation process, Charlaine Harris, whose Sookie Stackhouse novels are the basis of "True Blood."
"I actually talked to Charlaine Harris a number of times," Richelle said. "She's really sweet. She's so down to earth. It was interesting to hear her perspective on that. She's got a real open-minded view to the process of adaptation and how that worked out. It's nice to hear a good success story and to have that on the horizon."
So if and when Rose, Lissa and Dimitri finally make it to theaters, what scene is their creator most excited to see? "Even though it's far down the road, the ending of the third book ['Shadow Kiss']," she answered without hesitation. "The big battle and its aftermath—I would love to see. Mostly because when I wrote that, I envisioned it very cinematically in my head."
And is there anything she's worried might get lost in translation? "I'm sad at the fact that I know there are going to be fans who will never be happy with any adaptation; I feel bad for them," she said. "There are people all the time who are like, 'Don't ruin the books!' I've made my peace with the fact—I had to, otherwise I wouldn't have optioned it—that with a movie, it's not going to be the book verbatim.
"I'm not saying I want a bad adaptation, but I've prepared myself that some things may be different, and that's OK," she reasoned. "I'm kind of zen with it right now, but that's easy to do when nothing's in production."
What scene are you most excited to see in a "Vampire Academy" movie? Share it in the comments and on Twitter!