1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of Relative Happiness, from concept to financing.
Alan Collins called me out of the blue and asked if I owned the movie rights to my first novel, Relative Happiness, which I did, but I was sure it was our neighbour down the road playing a practical joke. No joke. So started over six years of learning how to write a screenplay, going through endless drafts, and working with Alan, Deanne Foley, Jill Knox-Gosse and Lynne Wilson. I have to admit there were times I never thought it would happen, but these movie people never wavered. They are all incredibly patient!
2Q: Relative Happiness has done quite well at other film festivals. Will you be less nervous now at Cinequest? Does this process ever get any easier?
I’ve been nervous all the way along. I made up these characters in my head, and never imagined the story would be a book, let alone a movie. But to see the great reaction of all these movie festival audiences, it reassures me we’ve done something right.
3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making Relative Happiness?
The entire process was a fantastic learning curve for me, an opportunity that many novelists never get to experience. My best memories were meeting the characters come to life, and having my husband and daughter in the film with me, all of us pretending we were at an engagement party….mouthing words for a couple of hours was fairly daunting!
4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?
It’s funny and loveable and a feel good film. The characters are people you will care about. The Maritime look and feel is authentic, the music enchanting. You’ll be smiling coming out of the theatre. What can be better than that?
5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for Relative Happiness. Give us your acceptance speech.
This is insane! Thank you to the producers, cast and crew for pouring their hearts into this film. Thank you to Lesley’s Crewe…..family and friends who always believed in my writing and surround me with love every day. This one is for John, Paul, Sarah and Joshua.