Thanks, everybody, for helping me celebrate the AMC/Sparrow option! In answer to FAQs:
I won’t be writing scripts. I won’t have input to scripts. I don’t expect to be consulted in any way on scripts, casting, or story arc.
When you sign an option, it’s like renting a house out. If you think that a potential tenant might trash the place, you can decide not to rent at all. But when you do agree to lease the property, you don’t get to tell the renters what color their bedspread should be or whom they should marry while living there.
As with the HBO/Doc option, this option gives AMC a certain amount of time to develop a pilot and to decide if they want to make a series out of it. If they decide not to make the series, the property vacated and returned to me.
If they do make the series, it won’t be life-changing money. After agents’ commissions and taxes are taken out, I’ll clear enough to add a perfectly nice but not lavish bathroom to the master bedroom upstairs.
However! If either HBO or AMC decide to produce their series, it could be hugely influential in bringing more readers to my own work. That’s the big pay-off for the writer: eyeballs on the prose. And more people to love my characters as much as I have.