EXCLUSIVE: In a very competitive situation, Patrick Moran’s recently launched PKM Productions has landed the rights to Grady Hendrix’s upcoming novel The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires. PKM also has acquired the rights to Robin Rinaldi’s 2014 memoir The Wild Oats Project as Moran is starting to build its development slate under the overall deal the former ABC Studios president signed with Amazon Studios in October.
PMK Prods. nabbed The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires after a ten-buyer bidding war in a massive sale ahead of the novel’s release this spring by Quirk Books. The character-driven, supernatural thriller is set in Charleston in the ‘90s and revolves around a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a real monster. (you can read a detailed description below the story.)
“Southern Book Club is a spiritual sequel to My Best Friend’s Exorcism, said Hendrix. “None of the same characters recur, but it takes place in the same neighborhood where I grew up, only a few years later and this time, instead of being about the kids, it’s about their parents,” Hendrix said. “It’s a power ballad ode to the moms I grew up around, who seemed like wine-drinking, book-reading powderpuffs but who dealt with the kind of darkness on a regular basis that would make Jack Reacher cry.”
Hendrix will be an executive producer on the adaptation along with Quirk’s Brett Cohen.
In her 2014 memoir, The Wild Oats Project, Rinaldi shares her provocative “quest for passion at any cost.” At forty-four, Rinaldi has a beautiful flat, a successful career as a magazine journalist, and a steady husband of eighteen years. Monogamous and sexually cautious her entire adult life, she never planned to open up her marriage. But now, in midlife, she realizes that in order to feel that she has lived fully, she needs the freedom to explore her desires. In the beginning, their plan was simple: during the week, Rinaldi would move into a San Francisco apartment and date other men; on weekends, she would return home to her marriage. What follows – a year of abandon, heartbreak, and unexpected revelation.
Rinaldi will serve as a consultant on the TV series adaptation.
“Amazon Studios is known for their exceptional taste and appetite for risk-taking, and that’s exactly what I love about these two book properties,” said Moran. “Southern Book Club and Wild Oats present stories that are both provocative and raw, entertaining but also cut through the noise.They feature characters I’m not seeing anywhere else on television, and it excites me to bring these bold projects to a streamer that can claim the most curated slate in the competitive landscape.”
Under his Amazon Studios deal, Moran serves as an executive producer on Citadel, the streamer’s upcoming global thriller multi-series starring Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra, from Joe and Anthony Russo and Midnight Radio.
Here is more about The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires:
Housewife Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime and paperback fiction. At these meetings, they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family murders as they are to discuss marriage, motherhood, and neighborhood gossip. This predictable pattern is upended when Patricia meets James Harris, a handsome stranger who moves into the neighborhood to take care of his elderly aunt and ends up joining the book club. James is sensitive and well-read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in twenty years. But there’s something off about him. When local children go missing, Patricia and the book club members start to suspect James is more of a Bundy than a Beatnik—but no one outside of the book club believes them. Have they read too many true crime books, or have they invited a monster into their homes?
“Quirk is proud to publish The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires as a fun and unique entry into the horror category. And, we’re excited to partner with Patrick and the Amazon team to interpret Grady’s vision for a streaming television audience,” says Cohen, President and Publisher of Quirk Books.
Bram Stoker Award winning writer Hendrix first came on the scene with Horrorstor, a best-Selling quirk horror comedy about a haunted ikea that was quickly optioned by Gail Berman and Charlie Kaufman and set up at Fox and subsequently AMC with Josh Schwartz.
His novel My Best Friend’s Exorcism is set up at Endeavor Content with The Gotham Group, Quirk and Chris Landon producing, Jenna Lamia adapting, and Killing Eve’s Damon Thomas set to direct. Hendrix also wrote the 2019 Fangoria horror comedy Satanic Panic starring Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell and is currently writing Black Room for Jon Shestack and Aperture. Grady, who co-wrote the 2019 Netflix documentary Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks. is repped by Adam Goldworm at Aperture, Joshua Bilmes at JABberwocky and attorneys Danny Passman and Harold A Brown. The deal for Southern Book Club was negotiated by Aperture and Gotham.
A journalist, essayist, and author, Rinaldi served as Travel Editor at Sunset magazine and Executive Editor of the San Francisco city magazine 7×7. She’s currently writing a memoir titled The Bookie. Rinaldi is repped by manager Judi Farkas, and agent Ethan Bassoff at Massie McQuilkin.