“If you’ve got the book, the film will follow.”
This was the expert advice given to Denise E. Jacobs that started her on the road to becoming an author.
The former Metfilm School screenwriting student is a woman on a mission, she has a story to tell and is determined not to take ‘no’ for an answer.
Red Amaryllis was published just last week, and Denise has secured both UK and British distributers… and her next task is to crack on with the screenplay.
By Jacobs’s own admission, her story is huge. She describes it as a ‘mega’ story, and it has been many years in the making. When she first started talking about her story and how others suggested that it should be a film, agencies came back with the same response – get it down on paper.
But she didn’t know how. She was a trained hairdresser with her own salon, without the foggiest notion on how to write a script.
“That’s really how I came to start a short screenwriting course at MetFilm School, I needed to be able to write a script. It was my story, and I knew that I was the one who needed to tell it.
“As a mature student, I was anxious – everyone, even the lecturer was younger than me. It was really scary, thinking that someone of my age was starting at film school. The older we get, the more invisible we become and I’m naturally a shy person. But I needn’t have worried it was a wonderful experience and there wasn’t one person who was unkind or unhelpful to me – I was just accepted.
“I couldn’t get over how much I learnt, and I can’t praise MetFilm School enough. I learnt the craft, you know… the importance of the protagonist and antagonist, how to structure a story and I learnt about dialogue, action and pace. I’ve used these skills writing my book, but MetFilm School gave me more than just the technical skills.
“Being in class with students who were much younger than me helped me to see things in a different way. I was able to see things from different viewpoints and consider different angles.
Jacobs’s story is remarkable. She discovered in her early twenties an ‘otherworldly’ gift whereby she was able to communicate with people who had passed away. And she started experiencing premonitions that have, she says, proven completely accurate.
Her gift has also helped her to achieve settlement on the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice after an eight-year court battle against one of the world’s largest financial institutions.
But Red Amaryllis is not just about Jacobs’s past and present – it’s about all of our futures.
Jacobs believes that the doomsday clock is ticking, and that if relations between the West and the Middle East do not improve quickly, then 2025 could be the beginning of a new world war – this premonition is what’s driving Former screenwriting student foretells beginning of WW3 in ‘explosive’ first book – Red Amaryllis compulsion to get her story heard.
She said: “There are so many fraudsters out there who give genuine psychics like me a terrible name. There’s just something in my brain that enables me to tune into a radio wave, or vibration. I’m able to receive messages and I pass them on.
“Obviously there are many cynics, and people who believe that I’m stark raving bonkers – there isn’t a happy compromise. But when someone takes the time to listen to what’s being relayed, they often just sit there in shock.
“I’ve learnt to cut off the cynics, what I have is such a precious gift and it’s not for sale – I have never charged anyone, ever, for sharing my gift – I’m just passing along the guidance.
“I could never have written the book without that screenwriting course. And I think what I learnt at MetFilm School makes Red Amaryllis unique. It’s a memoir, and it’s an extraordinary story so it had to be told carefully, and I think my ability to bring out the action is one of the reasons it’s so special.”
Jacobs took two full years to write her book, seven days a week – it’s been an all-consuming project.
She said: “It was originally 95,000 words, but the literary agent said that today’s readers want to read things ‘quick, quick, quick’, so the manuscript had a significant edit, with the help of professional editor Caro Handley, we got it down to a more manageable 50,000 words.”
“My advice to anyone who has a story to tell is to never give up. Listen and learn; MetFilm School gave me all the tools I needed, so follow your heart and instincts and never take no for an answer – if it’s meant to happen doors will be open.”
Red Amaryllis by Denise E. Jacobs is available now from WHSmith priced £14.99 in paperback. Visit www.redamaryllis.org for more information, the website includes a video by Dan Jacobs and narrated by actor, Jonathan Kydd.
To find out more about short courses at MetFilm School London visit: https://www.metfilmschool.ac.uk/find-a-course/