Good news for Carley Fortune, who put just the right mix of trauma (a parent lost in a deadly car crash, postpartum depression) and love (love) in her bestselling 2023 romantic novel Meet Me At The Lake, and has reportedly sold film rights to the production company Archewell Foundation $3.8 million, per Deadline, eyeing a release of the movie on streaming platform Netflix. The book has already sold thousands of copies and has been recommended by HerCampus and Zibby Books.
The Sun has the scoop, reporting that the project is being developed as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first “off-camera” production, following the documentary Journey Into The Rhino War, which was not about warring rhinoceroses but rather man’s folly. Archewell Foundation has also created narrative projects like picture book The Bench, about a bench.
Carley Fortune was a journalist before turning her hand to romance novels. Meet Me At the Lake contains drug use and “steamy” sex scenes, per The Sun, and for once I would like to see a cold or slowly condensing sex scene. Here’s a bit of the blurb:
At thirty-two, Fern’s life doesn’t look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern’s back home, running her mother’s lakeside resort–something she vowed never to do. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend’s the manager, and Fern doesn’t know where to begin.
She needs a plan–a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips. Will may be the only person who understands what Fern’s going through. But how could she possibly trust this expensive-suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago. Will is hiding something, and Fern’s not sure she wants to know what it is.
But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?
The novel is set in Toronto, a place I understand to be the Manhattan of Canada, only with lakes. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, lived there while filming the TV show Suits, but I’m not sure how meaningful that detail is despite all the tabloids pointing out similarities between the book and the lives of the Archewell founders. Maybe it’s useful to have a book set in Canada while the U.S. film industry is on strike??
Just while we’re here, I am currently writing a novel about a philanthropic couple who by day make tabloid look books for their SoCal brunch outings but by night have a secret double-life as good-hearted folk in touch with the common man who drive the early morning groomer machines over the beach to make it all nice, and do it for free. Film rights are up for grabs!