My friend David had an old suit to give me, but it needed to be taken in to fit me. We made an appointment with his tailor, who he insisted is the best in San Francisco. She works out of a garage behind her apartment building, a comfortable square room with a few chairs, floor-length mirrors, her workspace, and a large bookshelf full of hardcover novels. A sign on the outside wall reads: Glenda the Good Stitch.
After a few minutes of looking at the suit and listing the adjustments that would need to be made to the jacket and pants, Glenda made the executive decision that she would not be able to make the suit fit me without ruining it. I changed back into my own clothes and waited while David had some things fitted. I was immediately drawn to her bookshelves, especially her surprisingly complete collection of hardcover Stephen King novels. I’ve been a “Constant Reader” since I was eight-years-old, and hadn’t read anything of his in a few years.
I pulled down the lone paperback in the collection, Full Dark No Stars, a volume of four novellas published in 2007. I started reading the third story, ‘Fair Extension,’ and before I knew it, David was ready to leave.
“You can borrow that if you want,” Glenda said. “I already have the hardcover and someone gave me that as a present.”
I happily accepted and took the book home. I read the entire thing in a week. For two nights, I stayed up way past my bedtime to get through one of the most suspenseful pieces of fiction I have ever read: the second story in the book, ‘Big Driver.’
I knew about this Dollar Baby thing Stephen King does, after reading about it in one of his many forewords or introductions. As I finished ‘Big Driver,’ I remembered this and thought, ‘Yes, that’s what I want. I want to make a movie of this.’
The next morning I started doing some research, found a way to send him my information, and waited. Four days later, I received an email from his assistant with a contract attached. The contract is very simple: I have the non-exclusive right to adapt a non-commercial film of the story (meaning I can only screen it at festivals and use it for my reel, never sell it), and I have to get it done by September 2013. Despite these limitations, it’s an opportunity I couldn’t be more excited about. The privilege to adapt this surreal, violent, funny and suspenseful story is one I intend to make the most out of and do as best as I am able.