TOP crime writer Sheila Quigley could see one of her books made into a TV drama.
Houghton actor Derek Lawson has adapted Quigley’s Run For Home into a screenplay and is waiting to find out if it will become either a film or a TV drama.
Sheila, also from Houghton, has published 11 books, all set in the North East.
Derek, 53, said: “I was reading one of Sheila’s books and I realised that she is a friend of my mother and I used to go to church with her nephews.
“I thought it was about time one of her books was on the screen.
“Through my mother I managed to contact Sheila and I asked if I could make one of her books into a screenplay.”
Derek, who has appeared in Emmerdale and Coronation Street, balances his acting job with work in a call centre.
He has devoted the last few months to writing the screenplay and through a lucky coincidence he managed to get the script into the hands of a BBC commissioner.
“I met the commissioner through another acting job and they are going to give me feedback at the end of the month.
“If they don’t think it’s right for TV, they might be able to point me in the right direction of film production agencies,” said Derek.
If the screenplay is picked up for TV or the big screen, Derek intends to turn more of Sheila’s books into screenplays.
He said: “The books tend to be rather colourful, in the language sense.
“I’ve toned it down and I’ve written it so that it could be set anywhere.
“But it would be great if it was filmed in the North East. I think it would really put the area on the map.”
The book is set on the fictional Seahills Estate in Houghton and follows 16-year-old Kerry Lumsdon as she helps Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt investigate the kidnapping of her sister.
Derek said that Sheila is as excited as he is at the prospect of the book making it to the big screen.
“I would be over the moon because it’s something that I believe in,” he said.
“Sheila read the screenplay and loved it.
“I think there’s a lot of excitement amongst fans and book sellers that this could really happen.”