I can still remember getting the news that the book had been optioned by Sony, and then the regular updates after that…the hiring of a screenwriter, the outline of the screenplay, the script, the casting, and finally, the project being greenlighted. It was a whirlwind of activity, with filming taking place in Calgary and Hawaii. The cast and crew worked twelve hours a day, six days a week, to make sure the film was made in the 30 days they’d been allocated for budgeting purposes.
I flew out to Hawaii for the last week of the April shoot, and was able to meet the cast and crew and be on set for four days. I was an extra two of those days, along with Ty and his surf instructors. It was such a fun time, and such a novelty. These things don’t happen in everyday life and I knew I was part of something special…something special that might not happen again.
I’ve been told by many of my readers, that Flirting with Forty is their favorite book I’ve written. I think a lot of people expect it to be my favorite, too. I’m not sure I have a favorite book, but I do know that Flirting with Forty changed my life—it brought Ty into my life, and the themes in the story resonated with hundreds of thousands of women around the world. I still get lots of reader mail from the book, and just received an amazing email this morning from a reader in Australia who discovered the book at a library in her hometown.
When promoting the movie, the Lifetime publicity machine asked me to do a radio tour Thanksgiving weekend in 2008. I did almost 60 radio call ins, spread out over 3 days, and every radio station had the same 5 questions, including, “What was it like having Heather Locklear play you in the movie?” And for the sake of good PR, I’d laugh and say it was pretty awesome, but Heather wasn’t me, as Jackie was never me. Yes, I was a single mom when I met Ty, and he and I did strike up a romance after I interviewed him for the book, but the book came first–with scenes and a plot and an ending–that had nothing to do with Ty and me in reality. The fact that Ty and I ended up together was a fluke…no, a miracle. But a wonderful miracle as we’ve cobbled together a very unique, and interesting life where we juggle his world of surfing and sea with my world of words and books, along with my boys, the dogs, and the son we had together. Have to admit, there is stress in doing the long distance thing, but there is also magic in our little Mac, and our complex and creative family.
To celebrate tomorrow’s ‘anniversary’ I’m giving away two wonderful Flirting prize boxes. Each box has a signed copy of the novel Flirting with Forty, a Flirting With Forty DVD, Hawaii coffee, a Hawaii Starbucks drink card, a Hawaii Christmas ornament and lots more fun goodie & JP treats. The contest will run through Saturday Dec 8th, and I’ll announce the winners Sunday morning with the goal to mail the prizes on Monday. How to enter? Just tell me in the comment section below, if you read the book and saw the movie, or have only read the book, or seen the movie, or neither… And, if you did see the movie, did you like the casting? Or was there someone else you would have cast for the roles of Jackie and Kai? Good luck and I think tomorrow night I’m going to make some popcorn and get cozy, and watch my Flirting DVD. I haven’t seen the movie in years and I think maybe it’s time for a trip down memory lane!