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Longboat Key Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 9 months ago

Author Fernandez speaks about her Max Ford spy trilogy

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The subject of Sarasota-based Sally Fernandez most recent political thrillers could be hitting the big screen soon
by: Brendan Lavell Staff Writer

Jack Bauer. Jason Bourne. Jack Ryan. Max Ford.

Those first three names might sound familiar, maybe not so much the fourth. Author Sally Fernandez thinks you will soon.

Fernandez appeared at the Longboat Library on Sunday to discuss topics such as her path to becoming an author and her writing process, but most of all, to talk about the Max Ford trilogy, the inspiration behind it and the film adaptation to come. She also signed books on the library’s lawn.

Attendees listen to Sally Fernandez as she speaks at a book signing Sunday on the lawn of Longboat Library.

The Max Ford trilogy includes two books thus far, “Climatized” and “The Beekeeper’s Secret.” A third is on the way, and a movie based on “Climatized” is in the works. Fernandez hopes Ford will become a female counterpart to the aforementioned Jason Bournes and Jack Bauers of the entertainment world.

“Max is intelligent, imperfect, vulnerable and lethal,” Fernandez said. “She's a lot like Carrie Mathison from the 'Homeland' (TV) series.”

Fernandez said she is largely inspired by the Francis Bacon quote, “Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.” She uses that concept to tackle modern debates like climate change and Big Pharma vs. alternative medicine.

“What I always try to do with my books is point out both sides and let the characters debate and let the reader decide,” Fernandez said.

In the Max Ford trilogy, Fernandez paired up her fictional scientists with real-life counterparts and organizations. She also asserts that anything factual in her books is triple- and quadruple-checked.

The jump from literature to cinema was a fortuitous one. Fernandez’s publisher, the late David Dunham of Dunham Books, gave a copy of “Climatized” to a friend, Noam Dromi. Dromi co-wrote the movie “Dolphin Tale” and has worked as a producer on the show “The Walking Dead: Red Machete” and the video game “Sleepy Hollow Virtual Reality Experience,” for which he received an Emmy. Dromi loved the book, and has since been working with Fernandez, her husband end editor, Joe Fernandez, and Evan Greene, who has worked as chief marketing officer of the Grammy Awards, to write a screenplay.

Fernandez said all of the development money and production money for a film version of “Climatized” has been accounted for, and her team is working to refine the script as a director is sought.

Fernandez hopes filming will start in the fall. If the first movie is successful, a film adaptation of “The Beekeeper’s Secret,” which is dedicated to Dunham, would be next.

“These guys in Hollywood are going to take Max and make her bigger than life,” Fernandez said.

Brendan Lavell is a general assignment reporter for the Observer. He earned degrees in journalism and history at the University of Missouri. He has visited 48 of the 50 United States, has a black cat named Arya and roots for the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, 76ers and Chelsea FC.

See All Articles by Brendan

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