I entered this competition with very low hopes as my manuscript required screen adaptation, Yet the jury was stellar, comprising Hollywood stars such as Paul Michael Glaser (a childhood hero), literary and film agents, actors, producers, and directors from both sides of the Atlantic. So I decided to take the plunge.
I was delighted to make it to the finals, and pleasantly surprised when I received an email telling me I was on the longlist. I even asked the organisers to double-check as I thought it may be a mistake! And now The Road to Canossa is on the shortlist! There are twelve of us left for the final prize, and the winner will be announced in a star-studded virtual Oscar-like ceremony at the end of October! Even Mr Glaser will be there!
I am realistic about my chances, there is so much talent on that shortlist. The nomination is already a wonderful achievement, well beyond my hopes. What I take away from this incredible experience is that the story of The Road to Canossa is strong enough to attract TV/cinema interest. For a new author like me, this is the validation I need!
The Road to Canossa begins where Lotharingia left off, with Countess Matilde trying to secure a divorce from a new Pope, and King Heinrich fighting rebellions within and without his kingdom. Expect a lot of twists and turns. Matilde will be offered to lead an army to Jerusalem - 30 years before the first Crusade - and Heinrich will be excommunicated and risk losing his throne. This and a lot more will happen before their paths meet again, on a cold January day, in the snow outside the castle of Canossa.