Albuquerque native Alisa Valdes became a best-selling author with her debut novel “The Dirty Girls Social Club” in 2003.
Today, Starz announced it is developing the novel into a series.
“This is actually happening,” Valdes said. “Starz sees potential in the series and it’s looking very promising.”
“The Dirty Girls Social Club” follows six friends — Lauren, Usnavys, Rebecca, Sara, Elisabeth and Amber — who all met in college.
The friends have different racial and ethnic backgrounds, but find common ground due to their mutual Latina heritage and have nicknamed themselves the sucias as a joke.
Ten years later, and through professional and personal successes, failures and heartaches, the one thing they can always count on is each other.
According to Starz, it will be a half hour series.
Ligiah Villalobos is serving as showrunner and executive producer with Anne Thomopoulos and veteran network executive Lucia Cottone.
“‘The Dirty Girls Social Club’ is a wonderful story about friendship with complex, nuanced characters,” said Carmi Zlotnik, managing director of Starz. “We are proud to develop a series that celebrates cultural diversity, produced by a diverse group of women.”
Over the years, Valdes has seen numerous projects begin to take place and then fizzle out.
With the Starz deal, she is confident because they aren’t changing too much.
“The book was set in Boston and they are doing New York,” she said. “Starz was also the first network to want to keep all six characters and keep them Latina. They wanted to keep the authenticity of diversity underneath the Latina umbrella.”
For years, Valdes has been casting a TV series or film in her mind.
While she doesn’t quite know how involved in casting she will be, she’s looking forward to see what happens.
“I’ve been looking at a whole new crop of actors,” she said. “The characters are all in their late 20s to early 30s. This is a great opportunity.”
The move to take a novel to a series isn’t new for Starz.
The cable network has found major success with Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series and is currently filming the series “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman.
“Starz is upfront about having us in the room and they’ve allowed me to be an executive producer and paid consultant on every episode,” Valdes said. “I’m not an accomplished screenwriter and Starz put together the best team. It’s a dream come true and I’ve been pushing 12 years to have this happen.”