Amazon best-selling author, George Van Mellaert, whose novel “Corruption of Justice”, an espionage thriller, is being adapted into a television series and will start filming in Spain and Paris, France at the beginning of July. This exciting new show will air in the last week of September. We caught up with George at a post Covid 19 quarantine press conference to find out a little more about the man upon whose life the book is based.
You published a fascinating book about your version of events in a high-profile case you were involved in. The book “Corruption of Justice” was published in 2010, and then 10 years later, the book is optioned to be developed into a television show, what advice can you give other authors who dream of following the same path?
You can never give up on your dreams, no matter how unattainable they might seem at the time. My personal story is a little unique; As a lawyer I experienced some very special events and I wanted to record them on paper because they seemed so extraordinary. Some events were so unbelievable that I could not believe they were true myself. People who read my books were in disbelief. They thought the story was fiction, but they kept on telling me it should be made into a film, as it made them think of other great espionage thrillers they had seen, except this one was the real thing. And indeed 4 books later and some 10 years down the line, fiction is becoming reality, or is it the other way around?
We understand that the television show will be an espionage thriller in fiction format. As a writer, are you okay with that?
Actually, I think fiction is the right format to bring truth to this story. The things I experienced are so amazing that they leave most people incredulous. They just don’t believe this is possible in normal life. There was a lot of espionage, deep state and dark forces operating behind the scenes in my case. If I say to people this is what really happened, they don’t believe me and think I made it up. If I tell them it’s fiction they believe it because they say, you cannot have invented these things. The human mind cannot invent fiction, for reality is stranger than fiction.
We understand from Wanda-Halcyon television that the production is going to commission you to write some music for the espionage thriller. What is your background in music? We also understand, from the streaming service, that you will be cast in a small but pivotal part as a harpsichord player in an elegant bar. Sounds very mysterious, can you tell us anything about the role?
It’s funny you ask this question. In retrospect, it seems I was always destined to work in cinema because the first instrument I played on was a cinema organ which had been used in theaters before there was sound in the movies. This instrument had a range of special effects to imitate the storm and thunder and different moods. In music you are always telling a story. So, music is a natural medium to bring a story to life, like in a movie. In preparation for the show, I have been very busy during the Covid 19 quarantine as I have been working on some programmatic music (music telling stories) and have made two CD recordings which will come in handy.
The harpsichord is one of the most beautiful instruments in existence and it also has a very modern and edgy sound which will be showcased in this production.
Renowned Producer and former Aaron Spelling protege, Pat Andrew, has compared you to his friend and famed Hollywood writer, Elmore Leonard, who was also a professional executive who got into television later in life. What are your views on that and which writers do you admire?
I am very flattered that my friend Pat Andrew compares me to such a great author and screenwriter. Pat Andrew really has a flair for discovering authors like myself and immediately sees the cinematographic potential of a story. He has worked tirelessly during Covid 19 quarantine to get stories to screen. Actually, I had experience with television when I was 12 years old and starred in a series about children and opera. It was always a mix of music and cinema, and now I am coming back to movies again. I read the works of Montesquieu when I was relatively young, and I was struck by the beauty of his style.
We hear that you live in a chalet in the mountains of Switzerland. Can you tell us something about your background, where you are from etc. as your fans are curious?
Yes, I work in my studio in the mountains where I write and record music. It is very quiet and can get lonely at times because writing is a solitary process, just like recording, but the views of the mountains are spectacular and are an inspiration every day. This is the mystery of the creative process where something which has been created in a remote environment can reach a worldwide audience through digital media.
If you were on a desert island and could have one music record, one book and one film, what would you choose?
That is a really difficult question because there are so many beautiful pieces of music, books and films but I would definitely take the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach, the Partitas & French Overture on the harpsichord, of course. You never get tired of these pieces and they trump any book or movie. I really liked the movie Enemy of the State especially the last scene where the two heroes - one a lawyer and the other an outcast former spy – make a lucky escape after an epic battle against the odds, which reminds me a little of my own story. Never give in or give up, no matter how mighty your adversary is.
We hear you are a very eligible bachelor, who would be your preferred date for the Oscars and why?
Well, I see that news travels fast. I imagine a girl who could turn all heads yet her inner beauty shines through and when all the cameras and spotlights go out, and I look in her eyes in private I seem them shine with love and joy, just content being on my arm. I have a name and face in my head, but I would like to know if she feels the same about me before telling you.
Is there a current television show that you watch?
I have been really busy the last weeks and months creating both musical and lyrical content for our upcoming shows. I hope people will love the show, as much as they liked the books. The whole team has been working hard to deliver this great story to the public and we hope it will be a great success.