(I'm currently on the road back to New Jersey from Charlottesville, VA. This was written before I left.)
I always get just a little bit amused when--and this happens much less frequently than it used to--a novelist (or playwright) complains publicly about the adaptation of his/her work for film or television. I live in the hope that some day I get to be as badly abused as some of these writers, because at some point we're going to need a new car.
In truth, it's the fans who tend to be more appalled at the "Hollywood treatment" (usually Vancouver) given their beloved books. We might recall the brouhaha that exploded when Lee Child's beloved Jack Reacher was played on film (and will be again) by a man who had the temerity not to be very tall.
When I daydream about my works making it to a screen of any size--and I do--I never cast the movie in my head. I swear to you I have never given a moment's thought to who would play Alison Kerby or Samuel Hoenig or Duffy Madison (of the very-soon-upcoming WRITTEN OFF). The brains in the office buildings can cast anybody they like. I'd prefer it be someone who can act, but the writer has no control over this sort of thing and my hair is gray enough already.
No, I consider much more deeply who would write the screenplay for said venture. In a perfect world (my version), naturally that would be me. But the fact is, I've already written the story in another medium and there was a reason it was a book and not a screenplay. I've written screenplays. A LOT of screenplays, in fact. (Don't bother looking up my IMDb page because I don't have one--nothing's ever been produced.) If I wrote a novel it was because that story felt like a novel to me. I'd love to take a crack at an adaptation sometime, but I'm a realist and I know that even if I am hired for that job, there will be rewrites and there will be other writers. Aaron Sorkin gets his screenplays made verbatim. That's the whole list of writers who have that kind of respect.
So who would I want to write the screenplay (assuming I'm not the first choice and Sorkin is busy)? Well, I'm not going to name names, mostly because that's limiting oneself and besides, I still want to harbor the fantasy. It's the writer I care about, then maybe the director--especially if it's a theatrical film we're talking about--perhaps the producer (particularly in television) and then if one has time, the cast.
Personally, as long as nobody's wearing a Spandex costume and taking down CGI buildings, I'm okay with it.
I am not worried about people stomping on my books. Even if a miracle of luck were to happen and some producer wanted to adapt them, and even if that producer turned the novels into something I myself wouldn't recognize as my story, the books would still exist. I have tons of them and I'm about to get more. After WRITTEN OFF will come the Samuel Hoenig novel THE QUESTION OF THE FELONIOUS FRIEND in September (hi, Terri!) and then the Haunted Guesthouse book SPOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL in December. Shelf space in my office is somewhat limited already.
So the books will be there, and readers can open them up and immerse themselves whenever they like. If you think the movie is going to desecrate your memory of a beloved story, here's what you do: Don't go. Don't watch it on TV. Re-read one of the books.
I am a dedicated fan of the STAR TREK TV series from my childhood. The real one, with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. When it was announced there would be new movies "reimagining" the franchise, I was intrigued. Then I saw the first movie.
Fool that I was, I saw the second one, too. There will be a third this July. I'm not going. I can watch the episodes and theatrical films I grew up on whenever I want. That can be the reality for me. And JJ Abrams and whoever Paramount has decided is next can make their movies and shovel in the money. Good for them. I'm not interested.
It's an honor and a compliment to a writer that someone wants to take the work s/he has done and create a new version of it for a wider audience. That's wonderful and any author should be pleased to see it happen. But just because something's on film or TV doesn't mean it's the "official" version of that story. You, the audience/reader, get to decide what is your version. Stick to it. Cherish it; it's yours. We write it for you.
If someone else has another version that works for them, that's great. You don't have to subscribe. This is a free country for at least the next six months.