Jan 302022

I haven’t said anything before, because I didn’t know where it was going, but I have spent the last two months talking to a production company about a television miniseries based on my Big Lake mystery series. And while that sounds exciting, and any author’s dream, the more I talked to them, the less inclined I was to go forward with it. Finally, a few days ago, I said no. Sometimes you have to look at where you are in your life and decide what is really important to you.

It didn’t help that the acquisitions guy I have been dealing with is an arrogant jerk, demanding this and demanding that. Several times he had set up a time to call me for something and never did, or called an hour or more late. He kept saying they wanted to do a Zoom-type meeting but wouldn’t give me a date. Then right after Christmas, he said it would be in early January. I told him my daughter and granddaughter would be here from the 12th to the 21st, so it couldn’t be then. On the 14th, as we were getting ready to go to Marineland for granddaughter Destiny to swim with the dolphins, he called and wanted to do it in an hour.

I told him no, I had a family commitment, and he let me know he didn’t give a damn about my commitments. He had pulled a lot of strings to make the meeting happen and it was important. He expected me to cancel the family thing for the meeting. Nope, not going to happen.

He kept telling me how lucky I was that they even contacted me in the first place and that they don’t usually talk to “nobodies,” but someone in their organization has read all of my books and was pushing for it. That alone was enough to make me tell him to go pound sand, and in subsequent conversations with them, I realized it was not a path I wanted to follow even though the money they were offering was impressive at first glance.

But it would have been at least a two-year project, and they needed a commitment from me to be involved for the duration. They also wanted the first right of refusal on any future books. The thing is, I am already making good money doing what I am doing and I am very content with my life, so why change anything? I have a beautiful, loving wife, a comfortable home, plenty of toys, and I set my own schedule and don’t have to answer to anyone.  I’m 69 and don’t have the time left to waste doing something I don’t want to and putting up with a lot of stress just for dollars.

Another author I know told me I was crazy to pass up an opportunity like this, and maybe I am. The representative from the production company was surprised when I said thanks but no thanks. He said there are a lot more authors wanting a deal than there are producers looking for authors. Well then, my friend, talk to one of them. I’m good.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say somebody did something really stupid.

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Watching Over Me: A Psychological Thriller, the first book in the heart-racing Crime After Crime series by M K Farrar and M.A. Comley. Trust me, this British crime writing duo know how to keep readers on the edge of their seats from the first page to the last! To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

Thought For The Day The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  29 Responses to “Sometimes You Have To Say No”

  1. Nick,
    What an honor to have been asked but it sounds like you would have sold your soul to the devil. Llife is too short!

  2. Right there with ya Nick. Concur totally with the “I’m content with my life, and don’t want to waste time doing something I don’t want to” . . .agree completely!

  3. That would have been a great opportunity but I agree it is not worth turning your life around for someone else’s greed.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  4. At our stage in life the wise among us have realized that putting friends and family on the back burner while we chase money we don’t need is a no win play.

  5. You were smart to say “No”. Jerks come in groups and you would have been dealing with lots of them if you signed on. Hollywood is known for treating writers badly.

  6. Good for you following your heart instead of the money. Life’s too short to be jerked around like you were going to be by that production company.

  7. I’m just curious…if the guy was nice and respectful of you would you have done it? That would be very tempting.

  8. When the right deal comes along you’ll know it. Just curious: a) Have any of your stories ever been optioned or adapted to film? b) What caveats have you learned from other authors who have signed film options/deals?

  9. p.s. My husband absolutely loves your stuff. He reads your books as fast as they come out. He would love to see the Big Lakes mysteries as a tv series, “but only if they were something he approved of,” he said just now. So there.

  10. Sally, no, I still wouldn’t have taken the deal. The time commitment they were demanding, and knowing other authors who have made deals and then seen the screen versions of their books changed so much were deal-breakers either way.

  11. Laurie, I have received feelers put out from producers a time or two before, but it never went this far. Other authors I know who have signed deals all say that you have to be willing to lose all control of the finished product and have a thick skin and be prepared for it to take a lot more of your time than you ever expected it to. That last one, the time thing, was something I am not willing to deal with. There is no question that it would have prevented me from turning out books on the schedule I do now and it would have had a negative impact on my life.

  12. I think you did the right thing buddy. Sounds like that is just one of several arrogant rear-ends that you would have had to work with.

  13. Good for you Nick! Glad you put your and Terry’s well being first…Life is too damned short for a lot of nonsense, especially when you’re content and happy!

  14. Don’t be a fool, take the money and run! You could be set for life.

  15. My father worked in the film industry and made a small fortune but was a miserable man who turned to alcohol, drugs and women who ruined his marriage and our family. When he was dying of cirrhosis of the liver at an early age (57) he told me if he had it to do all over again he would have never set foot in Hollywood.

  16. You are very wise. Money can’t buy happiness or health-proven over the last few years…and as for those who sold their soul to the devil, he will have the last tango. Kudos to you.

  17. Good on you Nick, I like your style in knowing what you want. Congrats!

  18. First, I am appalled at how the man was with you. Can you imagine how you would have been treated once you signed a contract and he felt like he owned you? Second, though I think Big Lake would make a great tv movie or miniseries, if it took away from us readers getting a happy Nick writing away (I love a good book more than a good tv show), I am glad you didn’t do it!

  19. Reading this I was reminded of the words of the old country-western song Satisfied Mind

    The wealthiest person
    Is a pauper at times
    Compared to the man
    With a satisfied mind

  20. Thank you for not letting them mess with a good thing.

  21. Reading your words mean so much to many of us. Letting someone else manipulate your work and imagination would ruin the “Big Lake” we have all created in our minds. We trust you will do what is right for your work.

  22. “The thing is, I am already making good money doing what I am doing and I am very content with my life, so why change anything?” Yes sir! I agree wholeheartedly!

  23. I love your work, and I admire you for not caving to their hype and pressure. Life isn’t all about money and is far too short to deal with arrogant jerks. I haven’t watched a movie in years mainly because the industry is so corrupt and self serving. Enjoy your life and your family, Mr. Russell. I wish you the very best.

  24. Money is nothing if you have no time for family at the end of the day.

  25. I’ve done some business with the film industry, and I always tell people that everything they’ve ever heard about Hollywood is true and worse. Good decision, Nick.

  26. Totally get your decision. I’m a smidgen younger than you, but certain events over the last years have given me a deep appreciation for how much a simpler life is worth. Money is important, but so is love and balance. If you can manage the first and already have the latter, then you are truly blessed.


  27. Great decision Nick, its not worth the bullshit.
    Tara Milliken

  28. I always thought I would love to see Big Lake series made into a TV series but after reading how they treated you, I absolutely agree with your decision to tell them “NO”. The nerve of them referring to you as a “nobody”. I hope you continue to write Big Lake books and I always look forward to the next one. My only problem is I can’t pace myself when reading them and I read it too fast. But I guess that’s a good thing. Enjoy your family while you can and I’m so proud that you put them first. Happy writing.

  29. When the front man trying to coax you in is that unprofessional – without bothering to pay attention to dates you gave him that were ‘out of contact’ periods – RUN AWAY.

    Sure, it could’ve been decent money – but it would’ve been the ONLY money if they wanted you at their beck and call for two years means you could not continue your already established income.
    And it’s something you actually enjoy doing, unlike most people in the world. So, tell the guy to Alt-F4, and walk away.

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