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Friday, October 26, 2012


Today we welcome Alison Stone to Book Club Friday. After years of conferences, critique groups and writing, Alison achieved her dream of becoming a published author.  Random Acts and Too Close to Home are currently available with a third novel being released in June. Learn more about Alison at her website and blog.

Alison is offering a copy of Too Close to Home to one of our readers who posts a comment to the blog. -- AP

Books on the Big Screen
It seems that every time someone learns I’m a writer, they smile and make a comment about how cool it would be if they made one of my books into a movie. Yes, I agree, it would be cool. Very cool.  I’m not picky. It doesn’t have to be a major motion picture; I’d settle for a Lifetime Movie. Tell me, who hasn’t hunkered down on a chilly Sunday afternoon and gotten lost in some fantastic Lifetime Movie where the diabolical nanny methodically tries to drive the mother crazy so she can take her place? But then again, I write suspense, so this is right up my alley.

However, in my experience, I rarely enjoy watching a movie that has been adapted from a book I’ve read. The movie never compares. In a book, I’m able to get inside the head of the point-of view characters. This is lost to some degree in the movie because it’s a different medium. Another reason I don’t enjoy the movie as much as the book is because I already know what happens. Instead of getting lost in the story, I’m anticipating what happens next and comparing it to the book every step of the way. I turned off The Lovely Bones, adapted from Alice Sebold’s fantastic novel (I read it twice) because I was too familiar with the story. The movie bored me.

 And have you ever been annoyed when the movie changes the ending of your favorite book? I’m thinking of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper. However I think the real reason I didn’t like this movie is because I had a headache after it was over. It’s a real tear-jerker.

There are exceptions, however. Kathryn Stockett’s The Help jumps to mind. I thoroughly enjoyed both the book and the movie. Emma Stone was fantastic as Eugenia aka “Skeeter.” I loved seeing 1960s Jackson, Mississippi come to life. It’s hard to imagine this was a way of life in the not-so-distant past. I was able to get lost in the story. And I think that’s what both books and movies are supposed to be about. Getting lost in the story.

Do you enjoy watching movie adaptations of books? What were some of your favorites? Or least favorite? I’m giving away an eBook copy (from Amazon or Barnes & Noble/US) of my latest romantic suspense, Too Close to Home, to one commenter.

Too Close to Home
They say you can never go home. If you do, better watch your back.

Ten years ago, after her father’s gruesome death was ruled a suicide, Kathryn McNabb left her hometown, vowing never to return. And never to let anything—business or personal—break her heart.

Now an overachieving manufacturing engineer, she thrives on order, control and solitude. But an unexpected inheritance makes her the co-owner of the company her father founded, forcing her to face the ghosts of her past. Including Ben Nowak, childhood friend, secret crush, and son of the man who ruined her father.

Ben hadn’t planned on returning home, either, but with his own father’s death it falls to him to continue the family legacy. When he learns Kathryn plans to sell the plant out from under him, his quest takes on new urgency—Midport Industries is the main source of jobs in town.

Butting heads strike sparks of attraction that entangle business and pleasure into a hopeless knot. And someone is watching. Someone with a darker reason to prevent the deal from going through. Someone desperate enough to kill…

Warning: Beware of the shadows, disgruntled employees, and childhood crushes all grown up.

Thanks for joining us today, Alison! Readers, if you’d like the chance to win a copy of Too Close to Home, post a comment. Don’t forget to either include your email address or check back on Sunday to see if you’re the winner. Too many winners are forgetting to do this, and we can’t send you your book if we can’t get in touch with you! -- AP



The following comment is from Patt who had trouble posting:

I have to agree, I rarely like movies made from books mainly as you said, the books are usually better. Exception, GONE WITH THE WIND.. the book is phenomenal (long) and then we all know the movie went all out.

Then there are those time when movies are made into Books eek!... KING ARTHUR (the Clive Owen Version) was adapted from the Movie to a book, also Louis L'Amour's, HOW THE WEST WAS WON was an audio version made from the movie word for word.
One of my least favorites was the sci fi (now denoted as SYFY on TV) tale WHAT DREAMS MAY COME by Richard Matheson was made into a movie with Robin Williams in the title role was terrible. I
if you listen to (I am an audio book aficionado) the book I swear you will feel just like you're in HELL and I mean that from the fiery POV since it is about a man's descent into it to bring his wife out it because she committed suicide.

It takes a pretty good group of people to really make a good movie adapted from a book and that starts with casting. I can't tell you how many movies I've seen that were from books where the casting was so off it made he shudder. But I am a reader, watcher and listener and last but not least, a writer. It's what I love it's what I do.

You also mentioned LIFETIME MOVIES, that and LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK are my guilty pleasure escapes.

Thank you for a great post.

Alison Stone said...


Oh, never thought about the reverse -- movies made into books. Brought me back to my teen years when I purchased a book adapted from a movie with Rex Smith. ha ha Yeah, I know, who's Rex Smith and how did I ever remember his name? I think he was a budding musician turned actor. Well, he played a musician in this movie and he fell for a 13 year-old girl who lied about her age. Good stuff, especially when you're 13. :D

Anyhow...I enjoy a good Lifetime movie, too. Sometimes they're so bad, they're good.

Thanks for posting.


Samantha MacDouglas said...

I think that adapting novels to film is a specialized skill and one that unfortunately, most screenwriters aren't very good at. As you said, they are different mediums, so the key is to capture the spirit and not try to fit everything in. My absolute favorite adaptation is Contact. The book is complex, brilliant and wonderful. The screenwriter combined some characters, removed some scenes and completely captured the flavor and spirit of the novel. I'm also really fond of the 3rd Harry Potter, the Prisoner of Azkhaban. I think, again, the screenwriter did an excellent job capturing the spirit of the story.

My least favorite is Patriot Games. One of my favorite Clancy novels, the screenwriter tried to include everything from the book and predictably managed to completely lose the story in the process. In adaptation, less is often more!

Sandy Lo said...

Great post Alison! I definitely agree. One of the only times I liked the movie better was with The Hunger Games. I think it was for the simple fact that the action of the movie was easier to watch than to read.

However, in Ben Sherwood's The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, I thought the movie added something to the characters that weren't in the book. That being said, I still loved the book more and felt the movie was missing something.

Anyway, I look forward to reading your novel! Thanks for the awesome post and best of luck!

Alison Stone said...

Interesting perspective, Samantha. I would agree with you. You mentioned the Harry Potter movies. This brings up another question: are huge fans of books like Harry Potter or Twilight more or less critical when the books "come to the big screen?"

Thanks for stopping by.

Alison Stone said...


Thanks for stopping by. So many books and so many movie adaptations I've yet to check out.(Confession: watched the movie, Hunger Games. The book is on my TBR pile.) :D


Irene said...

After seeing One for the Money, I realized that it is impossible to make a good movie from a good book. I actually cried over the errors of judgment in that movie. Pittsburgh is nowhere near Trenton's burg. Now, if they let ME choose the locations and actors, it would have been much better for sure! :)

Alison Stone said...

Yeah, I heard One for the Money wasn't very good. Oh well...

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Mary Hawkes said...

I read Susan Hill's The Woman in Black for a book club discussion. After reading, I decided to watch the recent movie with Daniel Radcliffe. The movie was so different that I am planning to re-read the book just to get myself straight on that story.


Alison Stone said...


It will be interesting to see how your perception will change once you reread the book after seeing the movie.

Thanks for stopping by,

Pat Marinelli said...


Your book sounds great. Can’t wait to read it.

I love to see the movie after I’ve read the book, then I usually read the book again.

I’m waiting for One for the Money to come on TV to see if I like it.
I laughed at your reference to the Rex Smith movie. I remember it. I think it was an after-school special. Loved it. I also loved the movie version of The Help but couldn’t watch The Lovely Bones and I didn’t care for My Sister’s Keeper movie.

Movies I loved, but hated the books:
Bridges of Madison County
Under the Tuscan Sun

Movies that were okay, but the books were better:
High Noon by Nora Roberts (Like the characters but didn’t like that they changed the setting from Savannah to Baltimore and change the season from March to October.)
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicolas Sparks
The Lucky One by Nicholas Spark
French Silk by Sandra Brown

Movies that were just as good as the books:
A Walk to Remember by Nicolas Sparks
Midnight in the Bayou by Nora Roberts
Sanctuary by Nora Roberts
Certain Prey by John Sanford
Message in a Bottle by Nicolas Sparks
The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks
Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts
Angels Fall by Nora Roberts

Wish you much success with Too Close to Home.

Alison Stone said...


Thanks for the awesome list. I've seen only a few of those movies. I enjoyed Bridges Over Madison County but never read the book. Shhh...don't tell anyone.

Would you believe the same day I made the comment about Rex Smith, someone else tweeted about him. Must have been something in the air that day. :)

Thanks for the well wishes,