Tragedy in his Torbay home inspired author’s screenplay

Rolf Solderlind

Rolf Solderlind - Credit: Archant

An author is hoping a story based on a Torquay tragedy which took place in his own home will make it to the big screen.

Rolf Solderlind's novel An Unsound Mind

Rolf Solderlind's novel An Unsound Mind - Credit: Archant

Writer Rolf Soderlind has written screenplay of his novel An Unsound Mind, based on a 1933 case involving a parlour maid.

The novella was released on Amazon three years ago and has a five-star rating.

Mr Soderlind, a Swedish national, has now turned it into a screenplay that is available for producers to assess on TaleFlick, a database in Los Angeles.

He said: 'I don't suppose a lot of films are being made during Covid-19.

'It must be hard to produce a film at a time of social distancing, but I guess this dreadful pandemic will go away at some point.'

Mr Soderlind, a retired foreign correspondent for Reuters, moved to Torquay seven years ago with his wife, Heather, and soon stumbled on the tragedy while researching the history of the house.

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'Newspaper headlines in 1933 had reported on a tragedy involving Mary Wride, a 20-year-old house parlour maid who worked in the very house in the Warberries where we now live.

'Mary was bullied by the mistress of the house who eventually accused her of stealing a pound note, with fateful consequences.'

Mr Soderlind used news reports from the time as the basis of a psychological upstairs-downstairs drama.

He found his material in the archives of the British Library in London but above all in the Torquay Library.

He explained: 'I turned the facts into fiction and changed the identities of the people involved.

'The rest was easy because I have the settings in my own home.

'I eat in the dining room where Mary served the owners of the house.'

An Unsound Mind is his third book.

His memoirs were released in Sweden in 2015 and he has had another novel published in English as well as a novel in Swedish.

The novel is available on Amazon.