It’s every author’s dream to have her book produced as a movie, but I started out with quite different aspirations. It was a Chicago autumn day in 1950’s when a cabbie asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Instantly I answered, “Either a missionary or a movie star.” Both he and my mother laughed. To me it wasn’t funny. I had dreams, big dreams. Even at the age of six I started reaching for a galaxy of stars. Fast forward fifty years.
The series of stories began several years ago at Christmastime. I had the seed of an idea for my fifth adult book, set in winter in the fictitious town of Turtle Creek, Wisconsin. This would be my first holiday story to be followed by two sequels (The Christmas Edition A Journey to Paradise, The Valentine Edition, and The Easter Edition.) Each book is about everyday people who struggle with their faith. The series contains stories and people that readers can easily identify with, mixed with a healthy dose of romance, snow and hot chocolate. (Truly, it wasn’t until after the first book was finished that I thought it would make a good movie.)
I knew producer/director Steven Zambo of Salty Earth Pictures. At one time, he had been interested in producing Susan Wales’ and my first novel, The Chase. Even though that project didn’t work out, I decided to approach Steve with the possibility of producing The Christmas Edition (White Rose Publishing). After reading the book Steve agreed that it would make a rejuvenating holiday movie. A week later, we had an agreement with a signed contract.
My book The Christmas Edition is now available on Amazon.com and WhiteRosepress.com for purchase. What a beautiful cover with the leading characters on the front and information about the movie on the back. An inspirational Christmas read and stocking stuffer.
Since I had a previous connection to Robin and her work, when she approached me with a faith based love story centered in a small town similar to where our studio was, I felt synchronicity. The book presented universal struggles of adults in a very visual way. The story’s potential was exactly what I was looking for in my first motion picture.
Robin crafts a great story with “normal people“ dialogue. Without changing the essence, we adapted her story to screen and updated the story from a small town newspaper office to a small town television station. Our own faith and belief in the project was rewarded as we found the perfect actors for each part. We were ready to shoot.
Everything ran smoothly from the weather, storyline, to the actor’s schedules. I attribute it all to the grace and goodness of our Heavenly Father given to us through His Son our Savior Jesus Christ. May the Holy Spirit use "Journey to Paradise" to serve the will and Kingdom of God. The final edit presents a movie that we are quite proud of. Good feelings and re-energized faith are the take home that people will have after seeing it. We hope viewers enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.
"You are the salt of the earth!" (Matthew 5:13 - New International Version)
Salty Earth Pictures strives to create, distribute, and encourage entertainment and media that challenges minds, lightens hearts, and strengthens souls.
We accomplish our mission by:
• creating and distributing award-winning, Christ-centered motion pictures and media around the world.
• offering a professional and affordable source for media production.
• sponsoring scholarships for college students who are seeking careers in entertainment and media, and who have a desire to serve the Lord by using their gifts and talents.
• serving as a resource for education and creativity through tours, workshops, seminars, lecturers, presentations, and more.
The premier of Journey to Paradise Movie is November 12 and 13 in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, with a wider release next year, to be followed by a DVD release. It will be listed in catalogs and available on several online sites.
As I get ready for the premier, I can’t help but think about that dreamy eyed six year old girl, who once upon a time wanted to be a missionary or a movie star. A girl who grew up to be a missionary but has yet to be a movie star; yet I shot for the stars, and landed in a beautiful life.
The Christmas Edition Journey to Paradise, The Valentine Edition, and The Easter Edition (Turtle Creek Series) are all available on Amazon. Please check out my latest book, a novel for young adults, set in 1925 about an African American eleven-year-old orphan girl who sneaks onboard the Orphan Train, meant only for white children. Ruby Red is an moving novel for not only preteens and teens, but for all ages.
Journey to Paradise Trailer from Frank Datzer on Vimeo.
Visit Robin's blog The Serial Writings of Robin Shope