Pulse: Player: Marisa de los Santos

When talking about the things that can change a writer’s life, Marisa de los Santos cites the New Yorker and Oprah. Add Sex and the City to the list. Paramount Pictures optioned de los Santos’s first novel, Love Walked In, in February — nearly a year before the book comes out — because Sarah Jessica Parker “loved, loved, loved” it. SJP plans to co-produce the movie and play the lead, Cornelia, a Center City coffee bar manager whose life intersects that of Clare, an 11-year-old who’s losing her mother to mental illness. These days, de los Santos lives with her husband and two children in Wilmington, but the Virginia native, 38, set her book in Philly because her old Washington Square neighborhood was the first place she “really lived” after being a grad-school squatter in other cities. “I wanted to capture the feel of Philadelphia, that energy,” she says. Also a poet and a prof at the University of Delaware, de los Santos is amused at the injection of
Hollywood into her life. “My friends want to know when I’m going to meet her, but I don’t think I can. I wouldn’t recognize my life if I had lunch with Sarah Jessica Parker!”