Authors Who Loved The TV Adaptations Of Their Books

It's not strange for a television show to be based on a book. However, it may be strange for an author to enjoy the adaptation of their work, especially when they don't have anything to do with what makes it to the screen. Authors who loved TV adaptations of their work are few and far between, but the authors who liked the show based on their work love to talk about how much they love the show.

The following authors who are in awe of the onscreen adaptations of their work come from every section of the library: Mystery, romance, true crime, and even fantasy authors have come out of the woodwork to praise the shows that took their original stories and made something new.

You're not going to see Stephen King or George R.R. Martin on this list. They're far too involved with the adaptations of their works to give an honest answer. These authors are genuinely in love with the things that television has done with their stories.


  • Writing for The Guardian, author Luke Jennings explained that writing the first part of his novel Codename Villanelle was a labor of love. He spent part of his week working as a dance critic and the rest of his week plotting "mayhem." His original stories are sexy and stylish, but it's still a miracle that his work was noticed.

    So many books come out a year that most of them just fall by the wayside. Luckily, his work was passed along to a production company who took interest and set him up with Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge. His story of a post-Cold War spy trained from childhood who falls in love with the woman trying to catch her could have gone sideways in the wrong hands. Jennings says that instead his work was elevated - that Bridge and the production crew took his characters, especially Villanelle, and gave them life:

    [The fans] all said the same thing: Villanelle, fighting her savage and solitary battle against the world, was their "soft assassin," and their "precious bean." She is ours, the fans said, and she is us. My creation had taken on a life of her own, and I couldn't have been happier.

    • Actors: Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw, Kim Bodnia, Sean Delaney
    • Premiered: April 8, 2018

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  • Julia Quinn, 'Bridgerton'
    Photo: Netflix

    In the first of many shows that she's shepherding to Netflix, Shonda Rhimes introduced the world at large to the Bridgerton saga. Based on Julia Quinn's book series that begins with The Duke and I, Bridgerton brings this romance novel to life with unique and sexy flourishes that make this a must-watch series.

    Rhimes took considerable artistic merits with the program that takes place in the 19th century. There are people of color throughout the cast, pop music is all over the series, and there are many intimate encounters. The series deviates so much from the original text that it's easy to see why Julia Quinn would be disappointed - except she's not. Quinn has been vocal about her love for Bridgerton, as well as being a part of the Shondaland universe. While speaking with People, she said:

    So, it really was like this incredible fairytale for me. It's just like a Cinderella story. My one option didn't just get made, it got made by Shondaland.

    In a conversation with Oprah, she noted that the series is incredibly different while being the same as her series:

    They just made something absolutely incredible that's both the original and isn't the original - it's more.

    • Actors: Jonathan Bailey, Ruby Barker, Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, Nicola Coughlan
    • Premiered: December 25, 2020

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  • Piper Kerman, 'Orange Is the New Black'
    Photo: Netflix

    When Piper Kerman wrote Orange Is the New Black, she was telling a very specific story about her time in a women's prison. When her memoir was adapted by Netflix, the series initially focused on Piper's story before spreading out to tell the stories of the rest of the women in the facility. Rather than bristling at the changes in her story, Kerman celebrated them. While speaking with The New York Times in 2019, she said:

    The book is really about a community of women. I feel like the show is an absolute reflection of that. Almost any viewer could come to that show and find somebody that they care passionately about.

    • Actors: Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Jackie Cruz
    • Premiered: July 11, 2013

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  • When Caroline Kepnes wrote You, she had a very specific story in mind. She wanted to bring the reader into the mind of a psychopath and make the audience feel empathy for him. When the series was adapted, the story didn't focus on one character. Instead, the audience saw a broader picture.

    In some cases, a story that leaves its main character to focus on new characters can stray too far away from what people love about the original. Kepnes thinks that while the adaptation of her work strays from the original book, it also brings the story into a sharper focus. She explained:

    I thought of the primary setting as Joe's head. You read, you live in there, you hear the songs in his head, the rationalizations, the way things and people look to him. Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble magically brought that virtual reality experience onto the screen as they widened the world.

    • Actors: Penn Badgley, Tati Gabrielle, Charlotte Ritchie, Lukas Gage, Tilly Keeper
    • Premiered: September 9, 2018

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  • Charlaine Harris, 'True Blood'
    Photo: HBO

    There are a lot of books in the series of Southern Vampire Mysteries. On the plus side, there are so many books that a production team should be able to make a long-running television series out of the books, but on the other hand, there's so much material that it's easier to mess with it.

    The books that serve as the basis for True Blood have a lot of different tones that are all mixing with one another. They're funny, they're sexy, and they have a good amount of horror. Making that all work in a TV show must be a daunting task. Author Charlaine Harris has spoken about HBO's adaptation of her book series, and rather than give the whole thing a thumbs down for being different from her original work, she applauds the series for matching her tone. She explained to Vanity Fair:

    I knew that [showrunner Alan Ball] got the mixture of humor and horror that the books are. I knew he would do them justice.

    • Actors: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley
    • Premiered: September 7, 2008

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  • Comic book adaptations are easier said than done. Even if fans are happy to see their favorite characters on the big and small screens, the creators behind the characters can be disappointed in what's made of their work. The Boys has its own thing going on. It's definitely not the family-friendly kind of show that would fit into the MCU, and it's more interested in examining superheroes than reveling in them.

    It's easy to see how - in the wrong hands - the comic would be adapted into something that's only similar to the comic in name. The Boys co-creator Darick Robertson spoke to Comics Beat about the joy of being on set and just how pumped he was for his work to be adapted to the small screen:

    It feels amazing. I stood on set surrounded by real-life versions of these characters I'd only imagined and felt a deep sense of accomplishment... [S]eeing the love, care, and respect that has gone into this show, with an eye towards honoring the source material it came from, is humbling and validating.

    • Actors: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott
    • Premiered: July 26, 2019

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