3rd December 2012: Francesca and Stuff

I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but I sold the film rights to Saving Francesca after all these years.  Joanna Werner of Werner Productions who produces Dance Academy will be in charge.  We’re both pretty excited about the project and I’ve just finished a thirty page treatment which is a summary of the film, but not necessarily the novel.  Strangely, Saving Francesca is difficult because of its simplicity, but writing the treatment surprised me and reminded me just how much I loved those kids and Mia and Bobby Spinelli.  They’ve also come back into my life at an important time for writing because 24 year old Jimmy Hailler is camping out in my head.  It’s not just his story, but a bit of a four hander and it will definitely be an adult one rather than YA.  It’s interesting that I didn’t know where Jimmy and his life was until I played with circumstances in Froi and Quintana’s life.


Above is an old German cover of Francesca that I loved, although the image reminds me more of what I imagine Taylor Markham to look like. Taylor Markham has German grandparents and her look was inspired by a German actress Julie Brendler when she was a young girl.

Julia Brendler

Just a few other things.  Here is a Q and A I did recently.


Here’s a fun one I read. It’s about a road trip to Sydney checking out mostly Alibrandi locations.


Just a quick response to any comment or email I’ve received about Jellicoe casting.  If there are to ever be auditions open to the public, then I would definitely write about it here on the blog.  I can’t respond individually to emails about auditions, but just keep an eye out on the website after March next year.  Maybe something will take place after that.

22 thoughts on “3rd December 2012: Francesca and Stuff

  1. lauraarts2090

    Francesca was always my favourite, I read it in 2007 when I was 12 and I’ve just reread it. It feels like I’m visiting a past experience of my own life instead of novel, it’s a story that has meant so much to me!

  2. Rebecca

    I am so excited to hear about a Francesca film! I have absolutely loved that book since it was first published – I think that every teenage girl should read it, even more so than Alibrandi which I also love.

    I have recently graduated from uni, and just started a job working in a boys school and I can completely see the book playing out in the school grounds, it’s so exciting that it will be coming to life. You have always inspired me and I hope to one day be able to write YA fiction too.

  3. emmenovequattro

    I was quite younger the first time I read “Saving Francesca”. Actually, I read it in italian, I live in Rome. Must say, I loved that book. I mean, I generally love reading but that book… I’ve read it for uncountable times. Francesca became immediatly my hero: she was incredibly brave, even though the first appearence.
    Thank you for this amazing story, Melina.

  4. clairebear

    Every so often my mind wanders into thinking what happened to Jimmy and the others after The Piper’s Son and I am so so SO happy that a Jimmy book is on the way! And a Francesca film! I love Dance Academy so I am confident that it will be splendid!

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  7. Monica Sweeney (@Monica_Sweeney)

    How exciting! Firstly about Jimmy, because mum and I have wanted to know about Jimmy and what he’s up to since forever. Secondly, a Francesca movie will be amazing. I’ve always thought that Tara will make the funniest character.

  8. Thea

    I literally screamed aloud when I saw that there’s going to be a Jimmy book . I’ve been waiting for this news ever since reading “The Piper’s Son” (actually, in the process of rereading it for the umpteenth time right now… finals week escapism). I don’t know if you meant to, but I feel like “The Piper’s Son” really sets up for Jimmy’s story really well. Also hoping that the “Jellicoe Road” movie (and the “Saving Francesca” one, if it gets made) will be somehow available in the U.S.

  9. Brigitte

    ahhhhhhh a jimmy book, i may actually die. also, as a contemporary to francesca and the gang, i love love love that we’re following them along through all the different stages of their lives.

  10. thesideofwonder

    Words cannot describe the amount of screaming that occurred when we read about Jimmy and the Francesca screenplay. We have been waiting for this moment, much like many other fans, ever since we finished The Piper’s Son. We could go on, but we would just end up repeating how over the moon we are. We eagerly await each and every update and thank you so much taking the time to check our blog! Annette and Rachel 🙂

  11. Tania M

    Melina, I always visualise that moment (spoiler alert!) when Francesca sees her mum across the playground and starts crying. Please please please keep it in the screenplay exactly as per the book!! xx

  12. Belle

    I am REALLY excited about the film. Saving Francesca is such a fantastic novel and I’m sure the film will do it justice.

  13. Zainpire

    I’ve been waiting for a Jimmy story. Especially after reading The Piper’s son. And congratulations on selling the movie rights to Saving Francesca.

  14. Audrey

    A Jimmy book! He’s 24! EEEEP excited does not even begin to describe how i feel right now 🙂 🙂

  15. danielle

    BEST news I’ve heard in a while! Beyond excited for Jimmy’s story, especially a 24 year-old Jimmy. I need his HEA in my life. 🙂 I hope we get to see how Will/Francesca and Tom/Tara are doing as well! I’ve missed them.

  16. Jenn

    Both the film and the new book are fantastic news! I had a suspicion/hope that Jimmy’s story would be told next, as I adored him in Saving Francesca. Is there any chance a few old friends from SF and The Piper’s Son will make an appearance?

  17. Debra Nelson

    I am so relieved to know a story about Jimmy is in the works! I can’t wait. He is so a great character, the kind you wish happiness for.

  18. Chachic

    I am so excited for Jimmy’s book! 😀 Also, that’s excellent news about the Saving Francesca movie rights.

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