‘Beasts Of Prey’ Author Ayana Gray Talks Movie And Second Netflix Book – Hollywood Life

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At 29, ayana gray He has already made a name for himself in the world of young adults. His first novel beasts of preyturned into a New York Times best seller and is currently being adapted by Netflix. Your long-awaited follow-up, Ruin Beastsis out now, and he’s already hard at work on a third book in the beast of prey Serie.

hollywoodlife spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Ayana and asked her if she had had her beasts of prey books traced from the beginning. “I knew quite a bit. I tend to plot my stories in a lot of detail, but I always leave a bit of mystery for myself,” she admitted. “Sometimes that changes the story a little bit, and sometimes it changes it a lot as I write. In this circumstance, once I started writing and found better approaches, I had to rewrite a lot. So I knew where I was going, but I surprised myself.”

ayana gray
Ayana Gray is the author of the ‘Beasts of Prey’ series. (ayan gray)

The author noted that a “series of things” inspired the beasts of prey history. “I took a course as a college student called political violence where we dealt a lot with ideas of right and wrong and that really impressed me,” Ayana said. “I studied abroad in Ghana and got a chance to really see Blackness in a new lens and that had a tremendous impact on me. There is a very famous story about two man-eating lions in East Africa called Tsavo Man-Eaters which I always thought was a really creepy but very interesting story. All of those things came together in a really unique way. I began to think about the world of beasts of prey. That’s always where I start, with the world. And then I think about what stories really couldn’t fit into that world. And then I think about what characters might fit into that story. So that’s all that came together in pieces.”

Ayana’s first novel, beasts of prey, is being developed as a feature film by Netflix. The 29-year-old was blown away by the response to the book from fans and the streaming service.

Ruin Beasts
‘Beasts of Ruin’ is Ayana Gray’s second novel in the ‘Beasts of Prey’ series. (Courtesy photo)

“It really is beyond my wildest dreams as an author,” Ayana said. hollywoodlife. “You only hope that one of your books makes it into the world, let alone three, and then a film deal is really unthinkable. And then that happens and it’s truly surreal. I had to look at the script beasts of prey, and it’s hard to find words to describe how it feels to see your words converted into a new format. It’s so cinematic and rich. It’s amazing.”

When it comes to how hands-on she’ll be with the film, Ayana said she’s “in the middle. I am an author first. Books are my first love, and that’s where I’ll always feel most comfortable. I have a lot of confidence in Clubhouse Pictures and melody cooper, who has written this beautiful script. I am often happy to give in to people when they are working in their area of ​​expertise. Of course, I want to play an active role, and they have been very kind in advising even in the early stages. So I’m kind of in the middle. I’m definitely not a control freak.”

Now that the movie is in the works, fans have started to mention actors they’d like to see in the roles of Koffi and Ekon. But what about Ayana?

Leticia Wright
Letitia Wright in 2022. (Andy Kropa/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

“I’m a big fan of Leticia Wright. I think she’s probably pretty busy right now,” Ayana revealed. “He’s not necessarily an actor that I know of, but when I first saw Hit, who is an R&B musician, I thought, ‘He looks so much like how I pictured Ekon in my head.’ It was really amazing. If he ever wanted to break into acting, we’d love to have him.”

However, Ayana noted that “a lot of people have given me a shot as a new name never seen before in publishing, and it would be really cool to be able to do the same thing on the acting side and bring in a new and unknown Black Black.” talent for beasts of prey. Because at one point, the two people I just named, Giveon and Letitia, were also promising new talents, and someone gave them a chance. I have images in my head that it would be cool to have this person in some way, but it’s also just as exciting to think that maybe the perfect Koffi and Ekon exist. I just haven’t found them.

Ayana also weighed in on the state of diverse storytelling in the publishing industry. While there has been progress, Ayana wants to continue moving forward with even more diverse authors and stories.

“I am very proud of the progress. I mean, even in my life, I’ll be 30 next year and I’m proud to have seen so much progress in such a short amount of time,” Ayana said. hollywoodlife. “But of course I want to see more. I want to make sure that diversity is not treated as a trend, as something to jump on and then do for a while, and then move on to the next exciting trend. I want it to hold. I want it to be inclusive. I want it to be constantly expanding. So I’m happy with what we have, but I want more.”

As for the third beasts of prey book, Ayana revealed that the novel will be published in late 2022 or early 2023. “I actually sent a summary to my publisher earlier this year before Ruin Beasts it was even published,” said Ayana. “I did work on it a bit, but what I keep learning about my creative process is that you have to let ideas breathe. Listen to your head and listen to your body, so I’m beasts of prey 3 but also taking the time and writing for fun, not only with the expectation of publishing, but also allowing myself to be creative”.

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