A meeting at the Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF) and a year of sneaky day trips between Sydney and Brisbane will soon see author, journalist, commentator and all-round talent Maria Lewis become a house-hold name.
The former Marymount student admits she has trouble sitting still and has never stopped pursuing her dreams.
Those dreams have seen Lewis, 28, become a published author, with her debut novel Who’s Afraid? flying off shelves in 2016, only to be followed up a year later by its best selling sequal Who’s Afraid Too? and getting the attention of Screen Queensland.
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“I was at the GCFF last April and was on a panel with Tracey Vieira, the CEO of Screen Queensland… and she came up to me after the panel and said: “We’ve got a bunch of copies of the book for the office and we’re really interested in having a chat”,” Lewis explains.
“I was like, ‘Why?’,” she chuckles.
“Screen Queensland is very well known for doing big blockbuster movies, so I was very curious as to what they wanted to chat about.”
It turns out, the SQ crew saw plenty of promise in the werewolf franchise that’s been described as ‘urban fantasy’ and wants to create a TV series based on the books, which easily lend themselves to the screen.
“It’s a fun, pop culture book,” she says. “If you like monster movies or things like True Blood and Buffy, then you’re likely going to love Who’s Afraid?.”
Lewis says she found it hard not to spill the beans on what was a dream come true for a young woman who had just set out to “write a book that I wanted to enjoy”.
“It was a year of meetings. I was flying up to Brisbane for all these sneaky day trips and I flew to LA for two to three days at a time.”
She finally signed a deal with Emmy-award winning Hoodlum Entertainment after months of negotiations.
“It’s really exciting now I can talk about it, because it’s really hard to keep a secret that big for so long.”
But, there are still a few things that she needs to keep under wraps, including where the series may be filmed, who will star in it and what role she will play.
The Who’s Afraid? series, which Lewis admits “is very unashamably main stream” begins in New Zealand and Scotland, before moving to Berlin.
Lewis has marked Kiwi actress Keisha Castle-Hughes for the role of her kick-arse protagonist werewolf Tommi Grayson.
How will Lewis be involved in the making of the series? If her CV is anything to go by, it’s likely she’ll have plenty of input.