Ferndale 'Bird Box' author talks about newfound fame after release of popular Netflix movie

Josh Malerman finished writing novel in 2006

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

FERNDALE, Mich. - Netflix is calling "Bird Box" its most successful movie ever, and everyone seems to be talking about it.

The movie is based on a book written by a Ferndale resident, and Local 4's Jason Colthorp caught up with the author.

"Sometimes it's hard to pick which part of this is the most surreal," author Josh Malerman said.

Malerman sold the movie rights to "Bird Box" in 2013, before it was even published. In the last two weeks, he's watched what was once a solid-selling novel become a movie phenomenon and a best-selling book.

He said he was nervous at the premiere, where he sat just two seats from Sandra Bullock.

"Ten minutes in, I was, like, 'This is good,'" Malerman said. "Thirty minutes in, I told my girlfriend, 'This is good,' and she was, like, 'Shhh.'"

Malerman finished "Bird Box" in 2006. It was his fourth novel, and he's been a writing machine ever since.

"Thank God what comes next was already done," Malerman said.

Being a horror writer, he said he loves listening to a good horror soundtrack while he works.

"Sometimes I worry, 'Is that the music or is that me?'" Malerman said.

He has rituals, too, such as what's going on in his coffin-shaped bookcase.

"This is one coming out touching Shirley Jackson," Malerman said. "Dracula touches 'Bird Box.' I hope some of that rubs off on mine."

Malerman said the fame and fortune doesn't make him want to leave Metro Detroit.

"No. 1, friends and family are here," Malerman said. "There's an element of, 'We're happy here, so why mess with that?'"

He's also staying because he's in a band called The High Strung, which is about to release a new album.

Malerman has written 21 novels that haven't been released yet, although two of them have already been optioned for movies.

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