We’ve got a guest post today from PeggySue Wells, author of an awesome new Christmas story that I had the pleasure of being on the launch team for!
Available October 8, Homeless for the Holidays, is the hope-filled novelization of a film with the same name, based on the real life experiences of producer George Johnson. Unemployed, Johnson penned the screenplay in three weeks. Though the usual budget for a film like this is $1.5 million, George kept costs to $30 thousand. Expecting fifty people might show, open auditions were announced in the Auburn, Indiana newspaper. Eight hundred actor hopefuls auditioned. All together, there were five hundred people in the cast.
The film featured local residents including media personalities who played themselves in the scene where main character, Jack Baker, opened his front door to find his cul-de-sac filled with television and radio crews. In the media crowd was Marsha Wright, Johnson’s friend who loaned her house—decorated for Christmas—as the setting for the Baker family home. Marsha agreed to novelize the story, inviting author, PeggySue Wells, into the writing process.
“A screenplay tells a story in 120 minutes,” PeggySue said. “A book allows the author to tell a far longer, embellished tale. Writing from a screenplay is akin to receiving a newly constructed home on a bare lot and having the freedom of an unlimited budget to decorate and landscape.”
Drawing from seasons she experienced growing up, and as an adult, when employment and finances were less than adequate, PeggySue added the between-the-scenes details of what life could look like as a family faced an extensive period of unemployment. She shared the completed manuscript with folks who had been unemployed and homeless, adding what she learned from them to the manuscript.
PeggySue’s favorite character in Homeless for the Holidays is the Baker’s son, Adam. The mother of seven, she mined Adam’s sense of humor and quick wit from quips made by her own young adults. The generous review provided by The Christmas King, Richard Paul Evans, made her heart happy.
“The world needs hope more than advice,” PeggySue observed. “Throughout Homeless for the Holidays hope shines bright.”