A Borders author has signed a film deal set to see her debut novel hit the Chinese cinema screens.
Claire McFall has proven to be a bestseller with her novel Ferryman in China, and she has just returned from a visit to the Far East to sign over the rights for a film version to Beijing Side Film.
Claire, 33, of Clovenfords, wrote Ferryman in 2011. It was published in 2013 and became a massive bestseller in China in 2015, selling close to a million copies.
She said: “It’s a good place to be popular as there’s a lot of people in China.
“It doesn’t seem real that my little Scottish book could go top of their fiction chart. I couldn’t believe it, and now it’s going to be a film. It is pretty awesome.”
Claire splits her time between writing, working as a part-time English at Peebles High School and being a mum to her two-year-old son with husband Chris Bowles.
However, in China, where readers have taken Ferryman’s tale of a Glasgow teenager’s journey through the afterlife straight to their hearts, Claire is becoming something of a celebrity.
“People were recognising me in Beijing and asking for photos. It’s so weird,” she said. “I think there are aspects of philosophy and mythology which the Chinese quite like, and that’s why it’s so popular over there.”
And that popularity looks only set to increase once the story hits the big screen.
Claire added: “The book lends itself to an animation, but we’ll have to wait and see.
“I would like to be involved as a consultant on the script, which they seem quite keen for – it was the first book I ever wrote, and it’s still my baby – plus, I’ve never been involved in a film before.”
Claire is now working on a sequel to Ferryman, due to be released in both the UK and China this September.
She has also been commissioned by her UK publisher, Floris Books, for a third book and admits that she hopes Ferryman could become a trilogy.
Ferryman is currently sitting third and second in the Dangdang and Jingdong fictions charts respectively, China’s largest two online booksellers, and recently it topped the country’s Amazon Kindle chart.
It achieved 100,000 sales within its first four months of release there, and the book continues to claim a place in the country’s fiction top 10 list almost two years on.
It also won a Scottish Children’s Book Award and was short listed for the Grampian Children’s Book Awards in 2015.