When you meet Rebecca Serle, a few things pop into your mind. How can I get hair like hers? Where did she buy those adorable shoes? How does someone radiate that much light and love? She is truly special.
You may know her as an author, as she’s written some really great books – When You Were Mine, The Edge of Falling, Truly Madly Famously, and Famous in Love.
I first fell for Rebecca’s writing when I picked up When You Were Mine. The writing captivated me, but also the fact that I could relate to her writing. Her writing spoke to the reader. She never talked down to the reader, but did something else – she made sure that her readers knew that they came first to her.
The day I received an ARC of Famous of Love, I remember sitting down to read it. I grabbed a bag of Doritos and a can of coke. Three hours later, I had forgotten to open my soda or my chips. Instead I was captivated.
Rebecca had once again understood the world that I lived a side of. A world on the other side of. There were two many stories that I knew, to many things that had happened since the time of Twilight. Too many stories that we had made the decision to never report on, too many things we knew about celebrities. Rebecca seemed to capture that everything is not glorious in Hollywood.
We got a chance to talk to her about the upcoming adaptation, where she is not only a Co-Executive Producer, she is also a Co-Creator. She’s doing it all and is the definition of a true #BossBabe.
Let’s start with the easiest—I think writing the pilot was, if not easy, at least very joyful. I loved getting to explore these characters in a parallel setting, and find ways to expand them for our show.
I always say the hardest part for me was casting. It was extremely difficult for me to see these characters as real people at first and not the ones in my head I’d lived with for so long. Luckily, we ended up with pretty close replicas—our cast is absolutely amazing.
The cast of Famous in Love is so fantastic. What was your favorite part of being on set and being able to see these actors bring your characters to life?
I’m so glad you think so—I love them. Not only because they’re tremendous actors but because they are truly good people. I really loved watching them interact and develop relationships with each other. They know I’m a total sap but when I see a photo of them at dinner together it literally makes my heart expand. I send them texts with a million heart emojis.
As with any book to TV adaptation, there are changes that are made. Was there any change that you were dead set on not making? Was it hard making the changes?
Making changes wasn’t difficult because I think the things that were important to me stayed intact. I was really adamant that the characters and the relationships between the characters be consistent—and I think we did a good job with that. For instance the relationship between Rainer and Jordan is one of my favorites in the books— it’s very complicated, and yet full of love. I think we’ve done a good job expanding on that, and delving into it on the show. You get to see more of why they are the way they are with each other, what brought them together, etc. I was excited about that. Obviously a show grows far beyond a book and thing diverge—but all of it felt very organic from the place we began.
Let’s talk coming up with this story… I know it’s a story that sat with you for quite some time. Why do you think it was an important story to write?
I was actually over at a friend’s house and I was reading some magazine and they were talking about Katie Holmes—it was awhile ago, she may have even still been married. But I was remembering her and Josh (Joshua Jackson) on Dawson’s Creek, and how obsessed I was with the fact that they were dating in real life as Joey and Pacey were falling in love on the show and I just thought—that’s a book. I don’t think I’ve ever said this before but originally Paige was starring in a television show in Massachusetts! Once I started writing and meditating on it I realized a film was the bigger, more realized version—and Locked was born. There’s also no way to deny the Robsten of it all. I started writing when Twilight was at its absolute peak.
I am, as a writer (and human!), primarily interested in the relationship between fate and free-will. All of my work explores this relationship to a certain degree. I think for Paige the question is less will I get the part? And more: what will my life become when I do, and will I have any control over how that unfolds? Season one is definitely a roller coaster ride.
So, we leave off book 2 on something that could be a final moment, but definitely something that made fans want more. Can we expect more in the Famous in Love saga?
There was actually an epilogue that was supposed to go at the end of Book 2 and right before we were ready to print I called my editor, Farrin Jacobs, and told her we had to take it out. The show was in its infancy but I just knew there was more story here. I’d love to do more books—we’ll see what happens.
What do you hope fans take away from the TV series?
Famous in Love was always meant to be fun—and I hope fans of the books will have the same experience with the show. It’s meant to be delightful and sexy. Who doesn’t dream of what it would be like to be famous? I hope we give you a Tuesday evening thrill—and I hope you’ll make some friends along the way.
What was it like working with Marlene King?
Marlene has obviously had tremendous success with Pretty Little Liars and has done wonderful things with that show. I can’t believe it’s ending!!! It was a very educational experience from the moment we met, and I think we made something fun and special together.
Famous in Love definitely has a lot to do with fandom, being as the movie they are making, Locked, is that “phenomenon.” What are your fandoms (besides TVD) that we don’t know about?
I don’t watch Shadowhunters (I need to!) but I LOVED The Mortal Instruments. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, too. Who isn’t? I have learned a lot from the TVD fandom, though. How a show can bring people together to create a family—I hope we can do that, too.
Can you give our readers any hints about the adaptation?
Just to say it’s coming April 18th and you should watch! Hah. Sorry. But we’re at the very beginning— if you want to see what it’s like to get plucked from obscurity and placed on an elevator ride to the top of Hollywood, tune in. Shirtless boys included.
Famous in Love premiere on Freeform April 18th. The tie in edition of Famous in Love is available now.