What does it take to get your idea from a book to a script, to the big screen in Hollywood?
Alex Bracken is a Valley author whose life has been a whirlwind leading up to the release of her first film which could be the next big series in young adult entertainment.
Post-apocalyptic teenage-driven drama is a plot you think you've seen play out before but never quite like in The Darkest Minds.
"An emotional, character-driven story that just happens to feature superpowers," Bracken told me.
She was born and raised right here in the Valley where she attended Chaparral High School.
Alex is the mind behind what she calls a mix of X-Men and Stand By Me. This late-summer flick is based on her best-selling series that's not exactly late to the game. You've already read and seen The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Divergent and the like, but The Darkest Minds has been in various stages of development as a film since before the first book was published six years ago.
"It startles me every time I see the poster out in the world, I'm like, there it is again."
Her road to success hasn't been an easy one. Alex graduated from the College of William and Mary and worked for a publisher in New York for years, working toward that big break. She wrote on nights and weekends to put together a story worth pitching and rejection was just part of the experience.
"The wonderful thing about publishing is it only takes one agent and one editor to really love your work and want to publish it. I had a lot of confidence in the story going in and was really happy that it seemed to click with readers really well."
Now her book series is charting again among best-sellers like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Not too shabby to be in their company.
"I think it's going to be a crowd-pleaser. I think even kids as young as 10 and 12 years old will really love this movie."
The Darkest Minds hits theaters everywhere Friday, August 3rd.
Alex has a new book just released in the series that continues the journey of these gifted, dangerous youngsters called The Darkest Legacy.