The Power author told book was absurd as ‘schools wouldn’t close’

The Power: Roxy Uses Her Powers To Defend Her Mum

Naomi Alderman, 49, is living many writer’s dreams as she welcomes her 2016 novel to the screen on Amazon Prime, but revealed that she was often questioned over some key moments in her plot. 

The novelist spoke exclusively to at the premiere of The Power, the series based on her award-winning novel which sees women gain the power of electricity. 

While talking about the journey from pen to screen, Naomi revealed that how she had described the public’s reaction to such a development was often called into question, with many believing it was simply unrealistic. 

She shared: “At the end of 2019 people were still saying: ‘Do you think if women developed the power to electrocute people at will they would really close the schools? How would that work? Where would the children go? They can’t just close the schools’.

“And here we are now going: ‘Yep, that is what would happen!’.” She adds with a chuckle. 

Despite having her book published at the end of 2016, the series is thoroughly rooted in the post-pandemic world, with Naomi paying tribute to the lockdowns for that. 

Filming on the series started in February 2020 and almost immediately had to shut down for 18 months due to the pandemic, but this gave the writer time to add current affairs into a seven-year-old tale. 

She shared: “One of the great joys of working on the book and working on the show is whatever has gripped you, taken your attention on the news, you can just put it straight in.”

Dressed in gold and black for the lavish London affair, Naomi is tangibly excited as she prepares to see her novel on the big screen, revealing to that she had been somewhat planning this for almost a decade. 

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She said: “The truth is I had terrible trouble with the first draft of the novel. I just couldn’t get it to work. 

“In the end, I went: ‘Oh! It’s supposed to be telly!’.”

Naomi was inspired by series like The Sopranos and The West Wing, and realised that it wasn’t a novel she was supposed to be writing, it was the start of a television series. 

She started the second draft “as if I was writing selected scenes from a TV show” and quickly found herself with a best-selling novel on bookshelves across the world. 

As a result, the novelist wasn’t all that surprised when it began to take shape as an actual TV show, but was slightly worried about how much involvement she could have.

She shared: You cross your fingers and hope for the best but Amazon Studios have been so supportive. 

“I thought about whether I wanted to work on it but I thought: ‘If this show is happening and there’s a room where people are talking about it, that’s the room I ought to be in’.”

The Power is available to stream on Amazon Prime. 

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