Some of the greatest stories ever written have been turned into films. Dramas. Thrillers. Romance. With summer upon us, we have more time to catch up on that novel we’ve been meaning to get to, or experience its movie version for that great story fix. Best-selling author John Grisham has provided us with plenty of those, since many of his novels have been turned into hit movies and shows.
Knowing that movie watchers are often avid readers, DVD Netflix is proud to support the launch of the legendary Grisham's latest release, Camino Island. Bryan Kramer, global keynote speaker and best-selling author known for his storytelling, had a chance to ask Mr. Grisham a few questions on behalf of DVD Netflix.
BK: You've been called "America's Favorite Storyteller." What is your approach to storytelling, and why do you think it has such huge appeal?
JG: My goal is to entertain by hooking the reader early and often and making the pages turn. I want my readers to skip lunch, read all night, call in sick at work, whatever it takes to forget everything for a few hours and get lost in the story.
BK: Your first novel, "A Time to Kill," was based on a conversation you overheard in the courtroom. What real life situations, conversations, or people are in your other books?
JG: Virtually every story idea has been grounded in reality, either from my days as a lawyer or stories I’ve heard since then. Writers are thieves. We pick up stories, make some changes, and publish them as our own original brilliance. -wink-
BK: Since you're not in the courtroom regularly, where do you find inspiration for your stories?
BK: Which one of the film adaptations based on your books is your favorite and why?
JG: I’ve been very lucky with Hollywood and all nine adaptations have been enjoyable. But The Rainmaker is still my favorite because Francis Ford Coppola was determined to stick to my story. Plus, the cast was incredible: a young Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Jon Voight, Clare Danes, Danny Glover, Mickey Rourke. I love that movie.
BK: You've written an impressive 30 novels over the years, so it's safe to say a reader could "binge read" your body of work. Since Netflix invented the concept of "binge watching," what are your favorite shows to binge on?
JG: I’m not sure all of these were with your company – kinda hard to keep it all straight these days – but we binged on Downton Abbey, House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Rectify, Broadchurch, In Treatment, Z (Zelda), The Crown, and a few others I can’t recall right now.
BK: Have you ever considered adapting your work to a longer-form series that we could binge on? And, if so, what makes a written novel more appropriate for long-form series vs. a traditional movie?
JG: Yes!! We talk about it every day and are trying to do several longer-form series, so tell your top-level executives to get with the program and make us a deal.
Television is better because of time and space. A feature film is limited to 120 minutes. With television, there are no limits and all aspects of the storytelling – characters, big plots, little plots, setting, dialogues – have virtually no boundaries.
BK: What's on your summer reading and watching list?
JG: I’m trying to finish the legal thriller for the fall so I’m not reading or watching much. I have stacks of books all over the house, but so little time to read them. I want to watch The Night Manager, Narcos, and Making of a Murderer.
BK: Your newest novel, Camino Island, includes writing, books, and bookselling as key plot elements. Can we expect more of that?
BK: When you were young, you wanted to play professional baseball. If you had never become a lawyer or novelist and instead pursued your dream of becoming a ball player, how do you think that would have played out?
JG: At best, I would have bummed around Class D minor leagues for 10 years in a different dead-end town each summer, making $600 a month for five months per year, and sold used cars back home to pay child support for seven kids from three wives, and gone through rehab each winter while still dreaming of playing for the Cardinals.
Thank goodness I wasn’t very good. It was a bad dream.
Enter the Camino Island Sweepstakes! You could win airfare to Miami Beach, a 2-night stay at the Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort, a signed copy of Camino Island, and a $100 DVD Netflix gift card. Click the picture below for more details.
Bryan Kramer is a CEO, Executive Consultant, global TED speaker, and author of best-selling books “Shareology: How Sharing is Powering the Human Economy,” which debuted in USA Today’s “Top 150,” and “There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human #H2H.” Bryan’s “The BK Show” podcast series is in the top 100 Marketing podcasts on iTunes. He co-hosts a weekly Human Marketing and Technology video and Twitterchat series #H2Hchat Mondays 12PM PST/3PM EST with Creativity author Courtney Smith Kramer. He is currently writing his third book.