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Hollywood beckons for Stourbridge scientist turned writer
5:24pm Wednesday 13th October 2010 in News
A NOVEL penned by a Stourbridge born scientist between shifts at work looks set to be turned into a major Hollywood movie.
Steve Watson, an audiology specialist, wrote Before I Go To Sleep while working at London’s St Thomas’s Hospital.
And now just months after the book was snapped up by Transworld Publishers - movie moguls Sir Ridley Scott and Tony Scott are said to want to turn the thriller into a feature film.
Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett and Angelina Jolie are names being touted for the lead in the project, which is likely to be directed by Bafta winner Rowan Joffe - with the Scotts jumping onboard as executive producers.
Steve - who writes under the name SJ Watson - is still trying to come to terms with the idea that his dream of becoming a published author is about to come true.
He said: “It’s quite difficult for me to get my head round all this.”
Inspired by real cases of amnesia patients and by Watson’s own dealings with those suffering from memory loss - Before I Go To Sleep tells the story of a woman who wakes up to find she’s married to a stranger and her young body has aged beyond all recognition.
Steve, who became an audiology specialist after studying physics at Birmingham University, turned his attention to writing when his full-time senior NHS job started to leave him mentally exhausted.
He opted for a more junior post at work and enrolled on the Faber Academy creative writing course where he met top literary agent Clare Conville.
Inspired by her advice he sent out his manuscript in January this year and by June the gripping crime drama had been snapped up by Transworld, which publishes works by best-selling authors Dan Brown and Terry Pratchett.
The book now looks set to be published around the world.
In the meantime Watson is taking a break from medicine to write a second novel.