“5 Questions With…” is a new series that shines a spotlight on talented authors and what motivates them to create. The series will highlight authors who are inspired by the film industry and focusing on adapting their work for the silver screen. To be featured on “5 Questions With…” please contact theapology@haggman.com.

5 Questions With… Eric Haggman

What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

Without a doubt The Godfather or Goodfellas. Both films are iconic and they treat their source material with respect. The films really elevate the story to something that you can watch a dozen times over and still get a thrill.

Which actor(s) would you choose to play the lead character(s) in your book?

I’ve always had a vision for Christian Lindstrom in my mind. In a perfect world, I would cast Liam Neeson in the role immediately. I also see parts of Christian in actors like Daniel Craig, Kevin Costner, Brad Pitt and Tom Hanks. All great actors, they can embody the rugged seriousness of Christian, while showing the softer, empathetic qualities that come out throughout the story.

What film, novel or other creative work most inspires you as an author?

Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of the best book trilogies out there. I admire his writing, character development and the story arc of his characters. I also love a good crime thriller movie such as Layer Cake or the new Occupied series from Netflix. I am constantly looking for new books, movies, and TV shows to inspire my work and the adventures of my characters.

What tips do you think authors could learn from Hollywood (e.g. location scouting, casting, marketing)?

I think there are two tips from Hollywood that all authors should keep in mind when writing. First, have a visual image in your mind before you begin writing a scene or character. I can vividly picture my characters in my mind, as if they’re standing next to me, and this has helped me craft an authentic story. My travels also helped me “location scout” my book’s settings, making them come alive on the page. Second, I think it is important to read all dialogue out loud. I always do this when I am writing a script for a radio or TV spot. This helps you clearly layout the scene and make sure that the conversation flows.

What is the best writing tip you’ve ever received?

One of the best tips I’ve received was from James Patterson’s MasterClass. In it he explained that if you’re experiencing writer’s block then you’re not doing enough research. For example, I researched the Vietnam War extensively when writing The Apology. It’s a key aspect of the book and in Christian Lindstrom’s life. In order to authentically portray Christian’s experience, I knew I’d have to do my homework. I cannot recommend James Patterson’s Masterclass enough. It’s great for writers who are just starting out, like myself, or seasoned authors who are stuck in an inspirational rut.