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Roberts gets four-film deal

February 17, 2006|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

KEEDYSVILLE

tiffanya@herald-mail.com

Washington County author Nora Roberts has struck a deal to turn four of her novels into Lifetime Television movies.

The movies will air early next year, said Tracy Speed, Lifetime's director of publicity.

Roberts, who writes from her Keedysville home, has published more than 100 books since 1981. Her novel "Memory in Death," written under the name J.D. Robb, is No. 3 on The New York Times Best-Seller list for hardcover fiction.

Mandalay Television, a Los Angeles-based production company, will write movie scripts for Roberts' "Blue Smoke," "Carolina Moon," "The Villa," "Montana Sky," "Brazen Virtue" and "River's End."

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Only four of the six scripts will be chosen to air on Lifetime, Speed said.

Officials from Mandalay Television were unavailable for comment Thursday.

Mandalay Television and Mandalay Sports Entertainment, which owns the Hagerstown Suns baseball team, are part of Mandalay Entertainment Group, which produced the movies "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Donnie Brasco."

In a statement, Peter Gruber, president of Mandalay Entertainment Group, described Roberts' talent as "stratospheric."

It is not the first time one of her novels has been adapted for television.

Showtime adapted "Magic Moment" from her novel "This Magic Moment" in 1989. CBS aired a TV movie based on her book "Sanctuary" in 2001.

"It's a big kick," Roberts said, describing what it was like seeing her books portrayed on TV. "It's not necessarily my direct vision, because it's not being acted, produced and costumed by me, but it's fun."

Laura Reeth, Roberts' publicist, said producers approached the author about adapting several of her novels a little over a year ago.

Roberts has since been corresponding with script writers and producers in Los Angeles, but she said she was leaving much of the work in their hands.

"I'm not going to put my hands all over something that's not my craft," Roberts said.

When asked if she planned to dabble in screenwriting, she said, "Absolutely not."

"It's not my field, it's not my interest," she said. "I don't play well with others, and when you make a movie, it's like a committee. There are many fingers in the pot."

She added, jokingly, that she would be on hand to assist if they hired a cute actor who needed help reading lines.

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