I’d like to share a story with you that I have loved for many years. I wish I could share it as a film, but I can’t. It is a feature script that I wrote a long time ago, the first professionally written script of my career completed when I was a grad student in screenwriting at USC. When it was finished, my prof, Jim Boyle, said to me, “Coleman, do not sell this script for any less than $400,000.00.” And you know what? I never have.
Where did the story come from? When I was a child, my father read books to me. (Thank God we didn’t have a television in those ancient days.) He introduced me to the great fantasy and science fiction writers. One of them was George Macdonald. You may not have heard of him. He lived in the 19th century and his novels were an inspiration to both C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. One was entitled, At the Back of the North Wind. It’s set in Old England and is about a little boy named, Diamond, who meets the North Wind and she becomes his friend. North Wind can appear as a lovely young woman, a charming little girl or a towering creature of darkness and terror that can engulf an entire land.
Macdonald’s book, for all of its charm, is not written in a modern form. Adapting it was a challenge. I added some elements that are not found in the novel. For instance, appropriate for today, the Black Plague comes to London, but Diamond is protected. Why? You’ll have to read to find out.