Sunday, October 28, 2018

Adapting Your Novel to a Screenplay

Hollywood loves Adaptations (See? I even capitalized the “A”.)

The number of Academy Award Winning movies that were once novels, memoirs, comic books, stage plays, etc. is staggering.

A studio executive in the movie industry is more likely to read an adaptation from a successful book than a screenplay with no history of fans and nothing to speak for it.
Even if your book isn't a NY Times Bestseller, it might translate well to screen.
Have you ever thought this?
Me too. 

A few years ago, I attended a Sisters In Crime event at Universal Studios Hollywood that brought together a group of Hollywood’s Who's Who to talk to a select group of crime writers about turning a book into a movie. It was highly inspirational, to say the least. I got to talk to the woman who wrote Batman Forever, the show runner (big shot writer) of Bones, the woman who negotiated Gone Girl for Gillian Flynn, Shari Smiley, and many other big wigs. I came home pumped and ready to find a screenwriter for my novel.
Cut to a year later and I still hadn't found someone to write the screenplay, but I was wondering about writing a script. I attended another conference, this one in my home state of Washington and it was there I met my book to film agent and shortly after that, was offered an option for my 3-book series. Luck had something to do with it, being at the right place at the right time, then having an agent with connections and vision and tenacity had something to do with it too, although the book is high concept.
Before I’d signed the option contract, which is a very thick bundling of legal papers talking about subsequent film deals, merchandising, payment, option length, consequences if the movie doesn’t get made, legal rights etc I was asked by my agent to write the screenplay.
And, because I didn’t want to tell this amazing angel from my dreams that I couldn’t write a screenplay, I started reading everything I could find about how to do such a thing. I read Save the Cat three times, I read the Screenwriters’ Bible twice, I read how to Adapt a Novel to Screen, and anything that was written online that suggested it was possible for a verbose novelist to reduce their 100,000-word book to a mere 100 pages of mostly white space. My agent reassured me that she just wanted to have a spec script in hand. It looked better than having a book in hand with no script.

It took 3 months to polish the script to a blinding shine, but I wrote the thing. I went through a lot of recipe cards. There were loads of rewrites, scenes were dropped or rewritten or combined until everyone thought my screenplay of 102 pages sounded marketable. The company who optioned the 3-book series, 5 x 5 Productions, liked the script and set about showing it around Hollywood to draw other producers in to the fold.

Films take a really long time to get made. Many optioned books, or screenplays never see the camera lens and although I know this, I am hopeful mine will. To help the project, I’ve begun looking for investors, actors, awards for the script. At this point, I'm trying to get a TV actor interested in the project. The production company is in pre-production for another book to film project and mine is next. They don’t object to me dabbling in producer-type activities and I’ve been looking for investors to help with the money needed. That’s what I’m working on in my spare time between writing books.
 And as far as awards are concerned, The Dream Jumper’s Promise screenplay won The Los Angeles Film Awards Best First Screenplay, semi-finaled in the Burbank International Film Festival Screenwriting Competition and won Best Feature Screenplay in the Royal Wolf Awards. There were other smaller wins, but these were the biggies, the ones I’m most proud of.

I wrote another script from a Christmas Romance novel (these are wildly popular!) and then wrote a TV one-hour pilot, then wrote the book from the pilot, something I don’t recommend. I found it hard to go back to write a big ole book after finishing the screenplay, but that could be just me. Then I wrote another script called Christmas in Crystal Creek about a country music singer stranded in Maine over Christmas. I wrote the novella to that one simultaneously with the script.
Writing both at the same time was confusing. It isn’t hard to confuse me.

These days, I speak on the subject of adapting your novel to a screenplay at writer conferences and promote the idea that novelists make fantastic screenwriters, especially of their own work. No one knows the story like you. You already know how to write. Boiling your story down to 45 key scenes that are visually pleasing to carry the story line to a satisfying end is all you have to do. Here's how to start:

Read Save the Cat.
Isolate those 45 scenes in your book that support the story and would translate visually. 
Buy screenwriting software like Final Draft and watch the tutorial.
Buy The Screenwriters Bible by Dave Trottier.
Start writing it scene by scene. 
Only write what the movie audience can see.
Enter scenes late, leave early.
Make all dialogue necessary to the story.
Polish it.
Send it out to a pro for "Coverage"
Register it with WGA
Join Screenwriter Support Groups like Blue Cat, ISA and local chapters of screenwriters.
Upload your screenplay to Film Freeway and enter contests!

Good luck everyone and be sure to keep in touch on Facebook at my private beach where everyone looks great in their bathing suit!

KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon Bestselling Author best known for The Dream Jumper Series, which is optioned for film, with over 400 reviews on Amazon at 4.5 stars.
Sign up for her newsletter to keep posted on news and freebies and contests or follow her on Amazon.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Favorite Fall Pizza with Squash and Bacon!

Do you love comfort food as the weather gets cooler here in the Northern Hemisphere? Me too. And comfort food means carbs, a veggies, cheese and something I can eat with my hands. 


Squash, Cheese & Bacon Pizza!


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 T honey
1 T olive oil
1/4 T salt

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and honey. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in the flour and olive oil stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, on a floured surface, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour into the dough if needed. All of the mixing and kneading can also be done in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Next, rub the same bowl with olive oil, then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.


1/3 cup olive oil
4 cups cubed squash or pumpkin
1 T honey
2 small sweet onions sliced thinly
1/4 tsp honey
1 T butter
1 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp cumin
1 small apple
salt and pepper
6 oz sharp cheddar
2-3 oz blue cheese
6 slices cooked bacon
1 large bunch fresh sage
pumpkin seeds if desired

About 40 minutes before the dough is done rising, start assembling the pizza. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.* In a small bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil,  cinnamon, honey and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
Spread the veggies out in a single layer on one or two baking sheets. 
Drizzle  2 T olive oil mixture over the veggies and toss well to coat. 
Roast until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring the veggies halfway through. Remove and set aside.
While the veggies roast, caramelize the onions. Heat a large skillet with high sides over medium  heat.Cook onions in butter for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
Slowly add the cider, let it cook into the onions, add more and let it cook. Do this until 1 cup of cider is gone or the onions are caramelized to your liking and the cider has evaporated.
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil,  cumin and a good pinch of salt + pepper. Once the pizza dough is ready, lightly flour a counter.
Use your hands or a rolling pin to roll the dough out until you have a flattened disk. Place the pizzas on a greased baking sheet and then use your hands to gently tug, pull and push the pizza dough into your desired shape. Spread the olive oil mixture over the dough.
Add the caramelized onions and half the roasted butternut squash. Add the cheddar cheese and then the sliced apples and remaining butternut. Sprinkle with the blue cheese, sage and bacon.
Bake the pizza for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and gooey.
KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon Bestselling Author best known for The Dream Jumper Series, which is optioned for film, with over 400 reviews on Amazon at 4.5 stars.
Sign up for her newsletter to keep posted on news and freebies and contests or follow her on Amazon.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Moody & The Ghost - DEAD AHEAD - Discussion Questions for Book Club

This novel is a 4-5 hour read and is the first book in the Moody & The Ghost series, originally written as a TV pilot.

Moody is a paranormal investigator who has recently lost her sight in a tragic accident that took her husband's life and left a large scar across her face. After months of grieving, she's ready to pull up her big girl pants and get back to helping ghosts move on to the after world. But, it's not so easy. Her clairvoyance has left her and she's left with a big hole where she used to talk to ghosts. Until . . .

If you read this novel for your book club, and I hope you'll consider it, here are some questions I've written to get the discussion going.

1. Have you ever felt or seen a ghost?

2. Moody had an unusual childhood with her mother Rachel. In what ways does Bryndle show that despite Rachel's unorthodox upbringing of her, she still loves her mother?

3. How do you feel Eve and Carlos contribute to Bryndle's acceptance of her blindness?

4. What role do you think Joan Hightower will play in this ongoing story?

5. The author uses humor to detract from Bryndle's sad situation and gain sympathy from the reader. What's an example of where humor leads the reader to identify with Bryndle?

KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon Bestselling Author best known for The Dream Jumper Series, which is optioned for film, with over 400 reviews on Amazon at 4.5 stars.
Sign up for her newsletter to keep posted on news and freebies and contests or follow her on Amazon.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

How to Write a Book Review

Most Indie Authors count on reviews, the good reviews with lots of stars, to help them get out of bed in the morning and get to that laptop to write. Without validation, we are simpering, insecure, highly-imaginative slaves to the written word. We need lots of love and that means reviews.
Not everyone is prolific on the page and that's why I often write blogs to help readers review.

If you like a book, write something nice for the author. Simple as that.

Here's some examples of perfectly fine reviews.

1. I just finished reading _____ and really enjoyed the book. The story was ______ and the characters were _______. I recommend this book to readers who like _________.

(Insert words like compelling, fun, interesting, very good, easy to identify with, well-written, Mysteries, Romance, Suspense, Supernatural, Y/A, Humor, Memoir)

2. This book is about _________ . I found the story _______ and would recommend it to other readers who like ___________

3. I was given a copy of this book to read in exchange for a fair review. ____________ is about a person who________ and needs_______. I found it a _______ book and enjoyed _______.

That's all you need to write, readers, and remember that 3 stars is a bad review to a writer. You might as well not review at all because a lack of reviews says something too.

ALSO, do not spoil the ending for anyone reading reviews to decide if they'd like the book. Spoilers in reviews are not nice.

After you write your review, copy it and paste on:


and anywhere else you might have seen the book, if you feel generous.

And THANK YOU from all the authors who write for you.

Kim Hornsby

KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon Bestselling Author best known for The Dream Jumper Series, which is optioned for film, with over 400 reviews on Amazon at 4.5 stars.
Sign up for her newsletter to keep posted on news and freebies and contests or follow her on Amazon.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Fear of the unknown is a powerful emotion.
What's more unknown than paranormal? And that includes ghosts. Bwwwaaaaaa...
I'd like to say my new novel series is really spooky and scary but it's more suspenseful and amusing than filled with horror and fright. There will be spooky moments because it's about a woman inheriting a haunted house, but the book is also about her trying to cope with being newly blind and discovering her new life as a blind paranormal investigator.
As the title of the series mentions, there is a ghost and I'll let you figure out how that entity comes into her life and what that ghost does for her.

                                                                                  and MORE.

Dead Ahead - Book 1, is a 3-hour read at 40,000 words (half a novel) and is on Presale now for only 99 cents. The book launches SEPT 6th.
I'm not sure if the price will go up but it won't go down. That I know. It's been read by my team of beta readers and typo hunters with great excitement. Everyone loves Bryndle Moody and can hardly wait for Book 2.

"Such a fun read! Can't wait for the rest of the books." Chetty M

"Oh Kim, I love this story and Bryn is awesome and the storyline is awesome I think that’s why I’m dying here cause I wanted more!!" - Donna B

"The book is wonderful! It is definitely going to be an interesting series and I look forward to it." - Lavisha P

"I have to say that I really enjoyed this and look forward to seeing what comes next!"  - Sandie K

If you like ghosts, mysteries, snark, paranormal, affordable books, humor with your mystery or just me, I can highly recommend you take a chance with DEAD AHEAD.

Here's a sneak peek of the first 2 pages to see if you like it:

Chapter 1

Five months ago, I was perfectly capable of more than descending a staircase on my own. I often took two stairs at a time.
These days, I must be helped down stairs by my younger cousin, Eve. Being dependent on someone else 24/7 was on my This Totally Sucks list, along with having someone buy my groceries and lead me to a car I can no longer drive. And, although this next one doesn’t keep me from functioning, I have a large cut on my face that’s “healing nicely,” according to the plastic surgeon. The wound I originally called "Frankenscar," runs from my cheek to my chin and is responsible for introducing me to scads of doctors and nurses at Seattle’s Swedish Hospital in the last few months.
There have been many adjustments since the accident, not the least of which was the loss of my soul mate, Harrison Moody. But, I can’t talk about Harry. Not yet. I’m trying to concentrate on the positive, as suggested by everyone who knows me. Including the woman helping me down the stairs, Evelyn Xio Primrose, a woman with whom I used to share that last name until I married Harry last year. Then I became a Moody.
My name is Bryndle Moody and I have a Youtube show called Moody Paranormal Investigations. Ghosts are my specialty. They love me. In the biz, I’m known as a medium, but I like the more badass term Ghost Hunter, even though my small team of investigators hunt to help ghosts, not annihilate them. I’m a bit of a celebrity in paranormal circles. At least I used to be.
I’m known to my Youtube followers as Moody, which is appropriate as I attempt to adjust to not only being a young widow but being as blind as a bat. This expression, I have recently found out, isn’t accurate. Bats are not blind. I looked it up online with the help of my vocal software that translates screen to audio.
As I walked to the car, on Eve’s arm, I thought how this day was getting stranger every hour. First, I woke to my mother, Rachel Primrose, calling my cell phone to say her neighbor and friend, Mrs. Giovanni had died mysteriously.
 “I watched the ambulance take her away just now. Horrible. She was such a good neighbor.”
My mother wanted me to come over to do a reading. “Why not let the police handle it?” I asked, knowing better than to engage with her but I was fuzzy from sleep and temporarily forgot her history of being a dangerously aggressive Budinski.
“They think she died in her sleep but that daughter of hers…”

“I’ll call you later,” I said, ending the call. My mother and I have a complicated relationship. That doesn’t stop her from calling me three times a day. Or me from hanging up on her at least twice. We have a strange dependency on each other.
Then, while I was walking from the houseboat to my car an hour ago, a crow landed on my shoulder. Eve screamed when she saw the big thing alight on me, but I happen to love crows. I once befriended one, who could say “Shut the god-damned door.” It flew away after a few days of hanging around my uncle Ogden’s house, where we lived temporarily. They are so incredibly smart. If my telepathy wasn’t dead-in-the-water right now, I might have known why this morning’s crow came to me. I’d often read my dog Hodor’s mind. But, I didn’t get anything from the crow except that it thought I was its private launch pad. I just stood very still, enjoying the moment with the weight of a large bird on my right shoulder until Eve shooed it away.
“Scram,” she said, after her little yelp to see a large black bird on me.
Eve is very protective, sometimes taking her job as my assistant a little too seriously. I later wished she’d gotten a photo of the crow sitting on the shoulder of my favorite pleather jacket. I choose to not wear real leather, but you can. I don’t judge. I eat hamburgers so go figure.
With social media such a big deal now, and me a business owner, I was constantly telling either Eve or my tech guy, Carlos, to take a picture for our Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts. Today was no different except I was too thrilled to have the weight of a crow on my shoulder I didn’t dare say anything. You could say Moody Investigations is as big on social media as we are on ghosts. Youtube is our livelihood, our bread and butter.
On the drive to Seattle’s downtown, I wondered if the crow was Mrs. Giovanni, then realized that was not possible. It was a strange thought, even for someone who believed in some pretty wacky stuff.
The next unusual event occurred when we arrived at the lawyer’s office, were seated and were told that I’d inherited a house from someone I had no recollection of ever meeting. I’d previously been informed there was something left to me in this woman’s will and I’d thought maybe as a fan of the show she’d left me a weird statue or a favorite black cape. But the woman, Belinda McMahon, had left me a house. On a piece of property. In Oregon, which was the next state over. I didn’t know yet if the house was a dilapidated shed on a sliver of swampland but the fact that someone wanted me to have her house was both touching and mysterious. Unless the house came with a curse.
Unfortunately, the lawyer, a man named Sheldon Rinkle, (who Eve had secretly renamed Seldom Wrinkled,) knew nothing about the structure, only that I was the recipient of the house.
The deal was that if I accepted the house, I couldn’t sell it for five years. I immediately wondered how many years of upkeep I’d have to contribute to warrant inheriting real estate. And how much I’d need to spend on taxes. Then, Mr. Wrinkled told me five years’ worth of taxes and repairs had been factored in to an account his office was paid to manage.
Very mysterious.
Walking across the parking garage, I suggested Eve and I pretend to both be blind when we saw a car coming. “Keep your eyes open a little to tell me if they look horrified,” I said. But no cars approached, and I didn’t think Eve was totally on board with my little joke. Knowing her, she’d think it was unsafe for her to even partially close her eyes in a parking lot.

To Be Continued...

Find Moody & The Ghost - DEAD AHEAD on  AMAZON
                                                                                and MORE.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Ghosts, Braille and Lasagna

My newest book, which launches Sept 6th, is the ongoing story of a woman who's lost her sight and just might lose her business if she doesn't think of something fast.
Bryndle Moody is a paranormal investigator with a Youtube show and thousands of followers who are waiting for her next show. But, having not only lost her sight in a car accident but losing her new husband, has Bryndle grieving and consequently unable to access her clairvoyance or abilities to reach ghosts, something that defines who she is.
In accepting  she's now blind, Bryn must learn to use a white cane as well as her braille watch and practice listening, instead of relying on sight. Cooking is something she longs to do but is unsure how to go about it. In the book, she makes dinner and I've included her lasagna recipe in the back matter of the upload. Yummy!

The first book has Bryn inheriting a house months after the accident and that mysterious incident leads her to take action to try to get her "super power" back. But, it's not as easy as it might seem and things look bleak until a strange entity enters her life.

The book is on presale everywhere, is a 3 hour read and only 99 cents!
I'm now busy writing the second one which will be available in early October for 99 cents.
Check it out...
Other etailers

I wrote the book with lightness, humor and ghostly apparitions. If ghosts intrigue you, like me, you might enjoy this book that follows the life of a medium who speaks to ghosts.

Happy Reading!

KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon Bestselling Author best known for The Dream Jumper Series, which is optioned for film, with over 400 reviews on Amazon at 4.5 stars.
Sign up for her newsletter to keep posted on news and freebies and contests or follow her on Amazon.