Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Robin Shope: From a Book to a Movie

by Robin Jansen Shope

My fifth grade writing teacher inspired me. Because of her I fell in love with writing. I couldn’t help myself, didn’t mean to lose my heart and the rest of my life to it, but when emotions are involved, I can’t help myself. The way my teacher cradled the stories in her hands let me know this was the real treasure. How I wanted my words read aloud, pleasing the listeners, but I was never chosen. A few years later, we moved to another state where I wrote a new composition for my new English teacher. She said there was no way I could have written that paper because it was too good. Timidly I explained that every word belonged to me alone but I was sent to the principal “for lying”. Actually, I was pretty happy by then because all this fuss made me realize I had written a very good story. The principal called my mother. She backed me up because she watched me write that paper while sitting at the kitchen table.

Between then and now, I have become a bit schizophrenic when it comes to my genre. I began my adult writing career with a trilogy of mystery books, co-authored with Susan Wales. Since then I decided that I needed a bit of romance in my life so I wrote a new series of books, The Turtle Creek Edition, starting with The Christmas Edition, followed by The Valentine Edition and now the spring release of The Easter Edition.

The Christmas Edition caught the eye of director/producer Steven Zambo of Salty Earth Pictures and by the time this interview ‘airs’, they will be in post production. The targeted release of the movie, based on my book, is December 2010 and titled Journey to Paradise. As a result, my publisher is re-releasing this particular book with a new ending and more scenes. Even if you read the first edition, you will want the newer copy.

Next Steve Zambo plans on releasing The Valentine Edition, then The Easter Edition.

The spiritual message of The Easter Edition is, follow God for He will give you the desires of your heart. Not only will readers be entertained, but they will find a message of hope and renewal.

Here is a blurb: Bridal shop owner, Carol Horn, looks forward to being a bride herself someday. Having surrendered her desires to God, she's praying the Lord will show her the path she should take. When she meets new assistant pastor, Luke Peters, she feels he’s the answer to her prayers, but if that’s so, why does she feel called to go overseas to help build an orphanage? Luke has a messy past that includes doing time, but he comes to Turtle Creek, Wisconsin a changed man. He falls hard for Carol, but when she applies for the mission trip, Luke finds himself torn between ignoring her application and giving up the one person who trusts that he’s really a man of God.

Can Luke overcome his shadowy past and show Carol that he’s the man for her, or will she discover the rumors about him are true?

And this is just the beginning. I also am contracted for a new book series which combines mystery and romance. A young female biologist returns to her hometown, which happens to be an island in Lake Michigan. I hope you’ll watch for Wynn in the Willows by Point Yonder Press and the subsequent books. The first book will be released in 2011.

Late spring 2010, my Young Adult novel, Ruby Red, will be released by Sparklesoup LLC. Set in the 1920s, it’s about an eleven-year-old African American girl who sneaks on board The Orphan Train, intended for white children only.

Like a smoker (which I am not) I have given up writing and then taken it back up again at least a hundred times. What drives me? It is part of who I am. And I have all these characters inside of my brain that want to be let out, given breath to, and have their story told. What a thrill for me when I hear my words coming out of the mouths of actors and actresses.

There were very discouraging times when the rejections piled up but I started right back up writing again. I became even more determined to write a good book. I learned a lot from reading books, attending writer’s workshops, and going to ACFW conferences. That organization is invaluable. They are loving and supportive, and it’s good to have a ‘friend’ when things go right and wrong.

I never sit back and relax the ride. There is always the next book to tend to. It’s like having a lot of children. You want to enjoy the ones that are already born and you do, but it’s the newborn that needs the most attention. God has opened many writing doors for me and I keep walking through them. I never chose willy-nilly. I study the market to see what publishers are looking for and query those publishers with a suitable book proposal.

Journey to Paradise Trailer from Frank Datzer on Vimeo.

Do you like reading books and watching movies which revolve around a holiday? Do you like to read the book, see the movie or do both?

Readers can find my books on amazon and also order them from any bookstore.

I would love for everyone to befriend me on Facebook, Robin Jansen Shope. Also please join Facebook pages Journey to Paradise Movie and Salty Earth Pictures for movie updates.

My blog is

Robin Jansen Shope is a Christian who puts her best efforts into an ordinary life in order to accomplish something extraordinary. After serving overseas as a missionary, she chose the classroom for her next challenge. Twenty-five years later, she’s still there—it’s home. Presently, Robin is the Special Education Coordinator at a county juvenile facility for teens. Her days are busy. So are her nights. That is when she writes, creates, plots and schemes. For the last fifteen years Robin has written articles and short stories. In the last seven years, She has had seven fictional books and one eBook published. More of the former are to be published. Little known fact about this author is her passion for baking delicious cupcakes. She rids her psyche of any tension by her weekly jaunts to antique stores and endless search for garage sales.

Thank you for blogging with us today, Robin.

Anita Mae.


  1. Thanks Anita Mae!

    It's too bad Robin has so little to do, eh?

    Book-to-movie is an amazing concept. I think of it each time I watch a Hallmark channel movie! Congratulations Robin on all your success. I loved your story of the 'lied about' homework. Thanks for coming over to Inktropolis and sharing with us. I'm going to check out your movie links!

  2. I think having your book turned into a movie would be the ultimate dream come true. Many congratulations, Robin. I already have the sound track picked out for when my first book becomes a movie ;)

    Actually, it must be a little scary too. Between the scriptwriter, director, and actors, that's a lot of people interpretting your work. I wrote a script once and the director managed to add in sexual inuendos where I didn't intend them. The whole theme was about innocence and a return to childlike faith. I was pretty ticked, but thankfully, he changed it back to how I wanted it once he heard my point of view.

    Have you noticed that they have made any significant changes to your book? Do you like the changes?


  3. Thanks for joining us today, Robin! I agree with Dina, having one of my manuscripts turned into a movie would be amazing. First I guess it needs to be turned into a book. One step at a time, Lisa. One step at a time.

  4. Thank you Ladies for your comments. It is an exciting process. One step at a time is certainly true. Especially for me.
    hugs, Robin

  5. Hey everyone. I love the idea of turning a book into a movie. I've been on set and involved in the movie process several times as an extra or backgrounder and the anticipation of the end result is somewhat akin to this I would presume. Except moreso, eh Robin? At least you don't have to worry about ending up on the cutting room floor. :(

    I'm going to see if I can add the trailer for Journey to Paradise on the post. Not sure why I didn't think of it before.


  6. Okay, I've added the trailer for Journey to Paradise.

    I love Christmas movies and I'm already anticipating this one.

    Congrats, Robin.

  7. Thank you Anita...and what a lovely blog you have.

    Yes, Dina, the movie is different from the book. In the book the story takes place in a small town newspaper whereas the movie is set in a small town tv station. The name of the town is changed from Turtle Creek to Paradise (there is a Paradise in Wisconsin..Texas too for that matter). And the ending in the book is slightly different than the movie's but do not want to give anything away. The only aspect of the book that upset me was the part about the pink house. To me that was book magic but they didnt include it on the screen. However, you will have to read the book to see what I am talking about. Wait for the re-release of The Christmas Edition before ordering. thanks!

  8. Thanks for bringing Robin today, Anita!

    Robin, congratulations! What a dream come true. I can't imagine how incredible it must be to see your characters on the big screen.

    Your personal story has encouraged me as an often-times frustrated writer. Thanks for sharing with us.

  9. Susanne, how sweet of you to say. Yes, be encouraged.
    Frustration is still part of the process. I still get those feelings too.


  10. Robin, thanks for joining us today :-) Congrats on your upcoming movie release - the trailer looks great! I hope Journey to Paradise movie will be available here in Australia.

  11. Bless you for pursuing two professions with passion! I loved reading about your work and am especially excited about your YA, Ruby Red.

    Thanks for visiting today!


  12. Hey Robin, we really appreciate you dropping by and telling us about your life and writing journey.

    God bless you as you travel down this difficult path. We'll be rooting for ya.


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