On April 9, author and former Moorestown resident Camille DeAngelis posted some exciting news she had been sitting on for some time to her social media pages.
News had broken on websites like Deadline and Moviefone that her 2015 novel “Bones & All” had caught the attention of “Suspiria” screenwriter Dave Kajganich, who is currently in the process of penning a movie adaptation of her book.
Director Antonio Campos, known for his films “The Sinner” and “Christine,” is also attached to the project.
Currently residing in Providence, Rhode Island, DeAngelis often finds herself back in her hometown to visit her parents.
DeAngelis graduated from Moorestown High School in 1999 and has fond memories of growing up in the area.
“I love to talk about my teachers in the Moorestown public school system,” said DeAngelis.
She remembers her third-grade teacher, Ms. Applebury, in particular, who would encourage her students to pick from a pile of writing prompts that she kept in a basket whenever they had free time.
“I was probably the only kid who did every writing prompt in the basket,” recalled DeAngelis. “In elementary school, she was the teacher who most encouraged my writing.”
DeAngelis can recall the moment she decided to become a writer. She remembers being 9 years old and looking at her bookshelf, stocked mostly with “Nancy Drew” and “Sweet Valley Twins” books, and realizing at some point a person sat down and wrote each of those books.
“I have this really clear memory of looking at that bookshelf and being like, ‘oh, I could do this when I grow up,’” said DeAngelis.
Nine-year-old DeAngelis was right, and she did grow up to be an author. Today she writes mostly fiction, often involving magic of some kind, but not the high fantasy of books like the Harry Potter series.
She describes the book “Bones & All” as her “teen cannibal road-trip novel.” It follows teenager Maren Yearly, who lives with an unfortunate predilection for human flesh. When she is abandoned by her mother the day after her 16th birthday, Yearly sets out to find the father she never knew.
“Everyone is very taken aback when they find out that I’m vegan. They’re like, how does this make any sense? But it’s a book about flesh eating, which I find very disturbing, so it actually makes a lot of sense the longer you think about it,” said DeAngelis.
Although she is excited by the prospect of her work making it to the big screen, DeAngelis is aware of the uncertainty inherent in major film productions and began managing her expectations early in the process.
When her work was initially bought as an option, an agreement that gives someone (often a producer or studio) exclusive rights to buy something (in this case movie rights for “Bones & All”) for a set amount of time and a predetermined price, DeAngelis was glad for the extra money, but didn’t expect much to come of it.
“The chances of a movie being made are actually pretty slim,” said DeAngelis.
However with Kajganich and Campos now fully on board, those chances are well on their way to becoming a reality.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said DeAngelis.
Looking ahead, DeAngelis says she would like to write more books for children, like her recent novel “The Boy from Tomorrow.” She hopes to write books that challenge young people.
“I think that so many middle-grade novels I read, I feel like (authors) are sort of writing down to their readers, and a big part of my goal for younger readers is to expand the child’s emotional intelligence, to give them the space to cultivate that in themselves,” said DeAngelis.
For more information on DeAngelis and her work, check out her website, cometparty.com.