Andy Mingo—who's currently co-writing and producing the film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel Lullaby, has optioned Oregon Book Award-winner Lidia Yuknavitch's memoir The Chronology of Water.
The book has won a slew of awards and amassed a cult following for Yuknavitch's intensity, rawness and depth of life, which includes early sexual abuse, addiction, swims with Ken Kesey and an exploration of bisexuality and S&M.
Yuknavitch is one of the few authors to receive the Oregon Book Awards People's Choice Award for two books—Chronology of Water and The Small Backs of Children. The latter also won the Ken Kesey Award for best work of fiction published by an Oregon author. Local authors Cheryl Strayed, Chuck Palahniuk and Chelsea Cain—who all wrote blurbs for Chronology—are also big fans.
Yuknavitch and Mingo, who are married, are planning to write the screenplay together.
"If the memoir didn't affect our marriage, I don't think the film would. It's totally fine," Mingo says. "Lidia and I have written things together before, so this will be a really fun experience to collaborate. She doesn't write screenplays, so it'll be me bringing the structure and her brining the raw emotion."
The film is in very early stages, especially because Mingo is currently in the middle of casting Lullaby, with production slated for 2017.
Yuknavitch's book Dora: A Headcase was optioned by filmmaker/reality TV director Katherine Brooks in 2014, but appears to have been abandoned.
"The Chronology of Water has gotten some nibbles from agencies from L.A. for a while and nobody's picked it up outright—and it seemed like perfect time to pick up the option, secure the rights and make this happen, especially since we're having such a lot of momentum right now with Lullaby," Mingo tells WW. "The Chronology of Water made so much sense because it's a cult icon and people really love the story."
As for who will play Yuknavitch, Mingo can't yet say. He also hints that the film might have a female director.
"We do have a couple people in mind who are wildly popular and are also fans of the memoir," he says. "I'm not exactly sure, but this is the type of story that may need a female director to bring in that perspective the story needs."
Aesthetically, Mingo says he's imagining a lot of art direction and 1980s and '90s clothes.
"It's a little bit of a period piece so there's going to be that element to it and it's going to have to be a little bit dated," he says. "Oregon has some pretty great film incentives, so we would love to partake in that and look for every opportunity to film as much as possible."