It is my absolute joy to share with you all today my interview with #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Kingsbury, whose book The Bridge has become a Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie, officially titled, "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge".
In addition to the The Bridge, you may also recognize other popular book titles from Karen Kingsbury, such as: Chasing Sunsets, Angels Walking, Divine, Unlocked: A Love Story, and many more wonderful reads - you are sure to find at Amazon, and other popular book stores!
Today, I’ll will be interviewing writer, Karen Kingsbury on her new movie “Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge”, starring Ted McGinley, Faith Ford, Wyatt Nash, and Katie Findlay, which airs this Christmas Season on the Hallmark Channel during their distinguished Countdown to Christmas event!
|Author Karen Kingsbury|
Karen Kingsbury: It was summer, 2014, and I took the call from my agent, Rick Christian of Alive Literary Agency in Colorado Springs. "Karen," Rick said. "You better sit down! You won't believe what just happened!" Then he told me how the team at Hallmark had read my book and they definitely wanted to make it into a Christmas movie! It was like Christmas in July. Having "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge" on the Hallmark Channel this Sunday night is absolutely a dream come true!
It's a Wonderful Movie: Your stories are always written with heart… please give us a little synopsis of the movie "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge" and its message…
Karen Kingsbury: The Bridge is about Charlie and Donna Bartons, a couple struck by tragedy early in their marriage. Unable to have a family, they open a bookstore, a place where people can discover their dreams and find healing from hurts. A cozy place with a fireplace and coffee and comfortable sofas where friendships are forged and people find community. Here at The Bridge bookstore Molly and Ryan study together and fall in love. Then tragedy strikes and the bookstore is wiped out by the Nashville flood. The Bridge is a story of beauty from ashes and the hope of second chances for life and love - especially at Christmastime.
It's a Wonderful Movie: Karen, from following your books over the years, I know your faith is also an integral role in your life and family. Please share how this carries on to your stories…
Karen Kingsbury: It's like you said. Faith is an integral part of my life and family, and so it is an integral part of my storytelling. To me, the best storytelling involves physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual elements. In that sense, I have characters running toward God, and others running from Him. It's representative of real life. Always, though - whether a happy ending like in The Bridge - or a loss at the end, my stories have redemption. And that is true for those who love and follow God.
It's a Wonderful Movie: What was it like meeting the cast: Faith Ford, Ted McGinley, Katie Findlay, Wyatt Nash, etc… who would play your beloved characters?
Karen Kingsbury: I prayed so often about this cast, believing God would bring the perfect actors to play my characters. These four incredibly talented actors are the result of a truly miraculous answer. If you could know how difficult casting can be ... and yet these four literally are my characters personified. In "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge" this Sunday night on The Hallmark Channel, you'll see my characters come to life -exactly as I always hoped and believed they would be.
|Main Cast: Wyatt Nash, Katie Findlay, Ted McGinley, and Faith Ford|
It's a Wonderful Movie: The backdrop to your story/film is Franklin, Tennessee… please share how special this setting is to you… (I have precious family who live nearby!)
Karen Kingsbury: I used to live in the Portland, Or., area ... and I traveled to Nashville often for business. Finally in the summer of 2011, we decided to make this place home and we absolutely love it. We all wish we would've moved here sooner! The fact that The Bridge is set in Nashville and Franklin, TN., makes it even more special to me.
|Author Karen Kingsbury on set of "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge".|
It's a Wonderful Movie: Did your own life or family experiences inspire any part of the story?
Karen Kingsbury: In February, 2011, I came to the Nashville area for a visit to my publisher. On our day off, my editor, Becky Nesbitt, took me to downtown Franklin. We visited a bookstore called Landmark, and I learned the history of the place. It had housed Civil War soldiers back in the day, and now it was run by a married couple who treated customers as family. That was the inspiration for the story. So I created a fictitious store called The Bridge and a fictitious couple with deeply personal, heartfelt reasons why they run the bookstore. Then I read more on the Nashville flood of 2010. The real bookstore was not damaged, but I began to imagine what if a bookstore like The Bridge was devastated by a flood. Since bookstores are not highly profitable any longer, it would be almost impossible to come back. That's where the miracle of friendship, love, and second chances comes into play. So yes ... real life definitely inspired this story.
It's a Wonderful Movie: Since you now have your own Christmas movie… I must ask, do you have favorite Christmas Movies you enjoy watching every year?
Karen Kingsbury: Absolutely!!
We love "Elf", "Scrooge" with Albert Finney, "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Preacher's Wife" with Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington. We also love "While you Were Sleeping" with Sandra Bullock. We schedule these movies every December so the whole family can be together! Now we have one more to add to the list - "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge!"
|Promotional Image of Katie Findlay and Wyatt Nash for|
"Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge".
It's a Wonderful Movie: The movie premiering this year is part 1 of "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge". Are there any details you can possibly give us on part 2, which will debut as part of Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas, 2016?
Karen Kingsbury: Well, in many ways Part 1 is a set-up for the tragedy about to hit The Bridge bookstore. We understand the owners and their love story, their losses, and we watch Molly and Ryan fall in love and be pulled in opposite directions. Part 1 is amazing. I cried and laughed and wanted to watch it again and again. It's wonderful! But Part 2 will be extraordinary.
It's a Wonderful Movie: As individuals and families gather around to watch your movie, what do you hope viewers will take away from seeing "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge" on Hallmark this Christmas Season?
Karen Kingsbury: We all have struggles, hard times, losses we've suffered. Watching "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge" this Sunday night on the Hallmark Channel will help people believe they can have a second chance. They can begin again, and see something beautiful come from their difficult times. They will understand better the importance of people and friendship and faith - as they head into the New Year.
|Faith Ford and Ted McGinley, on "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge".|
Thank you so much Karen for having this "chat" today with It's a Wonderful Movie. It is such a blessing to share in the promotion of your story which is filled with faith and inspiration through the trials of life that bridges us all together. The Bridge is a moving story that is befitting the quality of the Hallmark Channel and I hope many will watch it this Christmas Season.
Karen Kingsbury's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKarenKingsbury
Hallmark Channel web-page: http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/christmas/karen-kingsburys-the-bridge
*Images via: Hallmark Crown Media