Novelizations: How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels (Sample Chapter)

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Interested in learning about how to adapt a screenplay into a novel?

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Here is the first chapter of the new “How To” book by Rene Gutteridge & Cheryl McKay: Novelizations: How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels (A Writing Guide for Screenwriters and Authors)

Chapter 1

Cheryl McKay (aka The Screenwriter)


What is a Novelization?

There is a new trend percolating in the writing industry with novelizations. I’m not talking about serials that show up on bookshelves to match every episode of your favorite TV crime drama or the book spin-offs depicting your child’s favorite TV or movie characters. Rather, there is a different trend that began in the endlessly imaginative world of Hollywood around 2008.

Most writers are familiar with the custom of taking a book and adapting it for the silver screen. That’s been around since Oliver Twist, Ben Hur, and Rip Van Winkle’s clever arrivals. But what is this reversal? Can we take screenplays—even before they are filmed—and turn them into novels? Can these novels have a life of their own, independent of a film or television release?

The novelization process, as its own piece of artistry, is a whole different form of writing; it’s literally the opposite of book-to-screen adaptations and it’s gaining popularity. This topic that—just a few years ago, you’d never heard of—is suddenly on the roster of classes at screenwriting, film, and fiction writing conferences. Rene and I have even had the chance to teach some of those.

We find this new trend exciting. Perhaps it’s because we had the privilege of getting involved on the front end of its newfound popularity before we had even heard of it.

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Our Story

Our journey began in 2007. We met after Rene wrote the novelized version of my screenplay for The Ultimate Gift after it had been made into a feature film. What was unusual about that was the screenplay was already based on a book, penned by Jim Stovall. However, the producers and the publisher thought there would be value in releasing a second novel that closely matched the feature film. Rather than just rereleasing the original novel with the movie poster on the front, Thomas Nelson Publishers hired Rene to novelize my screenplay and then they published it in time for the feature film’s release.

This creative process gave us a fresh idea. What if we could get publishers to commission novels based on screenplays, even if those screenplays hadn’t yet been made into films?

If you are a screenwriter, can you imagine not having to wait for your movie to get cast, filmed, posted, and distributed to the nearest theater or Redbox to find an audience? Wouldn’t you love to start building an audience sooner?

Now you can, with what we are going to teach you through this book.

When Rene read my script Never the Bride, she knew she wanted my quirky rom-com to be the first story we worked on together. Our dream came true! In early 2008, when this new trend was barely even a concept, Random House contracted us for the novelization of Never the Bride.

Thus began the journey that has continued since that day. Collectively, we have seven of these in publication or soon-to-be released, and we plan to do more. We have learned so much about the script-to-novel writing process. We now want to share that with you. It is a different art form altogether from adapting books into scripts or writing novels from scratch.

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Why Novelizations?

You may be wondering what the motive is for a screenwriter or a novelist to get involved in this process. For those writers who can do both forms of writing—why would you want to pen two projects based on the same material?

Well, it’s simple.

The film industry is risk-adverse. Check out the slate of films releasing on any given Friday. You will notice most of these projects are based on something preexisting: a novel, a nonfiction book, a comic book, a character, a true story, a historical event, a sequel, prequel or spin-off of a prior film or TV series, a remake of a prior film. (Did you know Les Miserables has been adapted into film over ten times?) Hollywood loves to know they have a built-in audience with whom to start. Otherwise, they are too afraid no one will shell out the big bucks to fill their stadium-style theater seats.

Yet screenwriters have good ideas for stories too, right? New, fresh, original. Naturally, not all screenwriters are novelists, just like most novelists wouldn’t know how to adapt their books into screenplays. (The writing rules couldn’t be more opposite!) In recent years, if executives came across a project they liked but they wanted to see if there was an audience for it, they might suggest the screenwriter get their project novelized and published first.

Besides having your story published, the benefit for the screenwriter is to be able to take meetings with studios, TV networks, and producers, and talk about how her story sold first as a novel. This gives the impression that someone else considered that story worth buying. It will give that screenwriter a leg up on other scripts in the slush pile that have no track record.

There have also been success stories in the independent publishing realm if a screenwriter released a novelization on her own and it gained a big audience. Studio executives pay attention to ebook sales, whether books are traditionally published or not, especially if there’s a large following made obvious by chatty readers in book forums. (According to an executive at a conference speaking on novelizations, it may only take the sale of 10,000 copies of an independently published novel to capture the eye of a studio.)

For novelists, this is a worthy world to dive into as well. They may find ideas they can be passionate about that will take half the work of an original novel. They have a better chance of their novelizations landing on the big screen. They have a shot at better sales if any of those novels are made into films and the novelizations rerelease with the movie posters on the front. All of this helps novelists become more visible in the film industry; it may call the attention of studios, networks, and producers to their other books.  Can you say win-win?

For novelists and screenwriters, for producers and publishers, there is no downside to playing in this creative world. (So, why didn’t we think of this sooner?)

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What You Will Learn in This Book

There are many questions surrounding this creative arena that we will discuss in this book. For example, how does a novelist know which stories to take on and which projects to avoid? Why is it important to not change everything the screenwriter wrote? And yet, how flexible does the screenwriter need to be when watching someone else adapt (read: change) his words?

Screenwriters, we will help you understand why the novelist will have to make some changes to your beloved, original story, its structure, its dialogue, and other areas in the translation to book form. We will also share some tips on how to make sure you are working with a team that actually wants to adapt your story.

There are patterns we have picked up on that have become helpful to recognize as we approach each novelization. Some key questions we will answer are:

• What are the challenges of novelizations?

• What makes it easier to write these books over novels written from scratch?

• What’s important to keep, to expand, or throw away from the original script’s story?

• If the screenwriter is not writing the novelization, how involved should that screenwriter be with the novelist?

• What’s the best way to form a partnership between screenwriters and novelists?

• What changes should screenwriters be flexible on and what should they fight for?

We will answer these and many other questions throughout this book.

And here’s the cool part. Since collectively, we have done this on seven projects so far, we have specific examples from our own published work, plus a few works-in-progress. You will get the chance to compare side-by-side script pages to the novelization pages that followed. We will explain our whole process: why certain parts of the novel are faithful to the script and why other parts veer off in different directions. We will show you how each writing arena follows different rules and how to use the tools unique to novelists in the novelization process.

For those screenwriters who are also aspiring novelists, there is so much you must learn to do your own adaptations. It’s like having to rewire your brain to think the exact opposite to how it functioned when you penned your screenplay. We will also give you short exercises in select chapters to put what you’re learning into practice.

We will cover such topics as setting, length, point of view, backstory, interior monologue, and the translation of dialogue, character, and structure from script-to-book.

And just a quick word about the format of this book. It’s not that we love seeing our names and titles in print. Since this book is co-written by a screenwriter and a novelist, we will label each section for you, so you know who is speaking. This way you’ll know if you are being given advice from the screenwriter’s POV or the novelist’s POV, or which one of us is doing the comparison from script to novel. Just because we don’t want to be completely annoying with agreement problems by always having to qualify a writer in the singular as a “he or she,” we will often refer to one as a “she.” We mean no disrespect to the wonderful male authors and screenwriters out there. (Rock on, Bill Myers, James Scott Bell, Tom Clancy, Nicholas Sparks!)

Are you ready to dive in with us, into this new, exciting, creative world?

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(Want to know more? To get a copy of the whole book, visit the links below: )


Novelizations – How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels: A Writing Guide for Screenwriters and Authors (Paperback)

Novelizations – How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels: A Writing Guide for Screenwriters and Authors (Kindle Version)

 

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Novelizations: How do you translate a script into a novel? A writing exercise.

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Have you ever thought about adapting your script into a novel? Have you wondered how the process of novelization works?  Rene Gutteridge and I have done a few of these together, and she’s done several with other screenwriters. We won a Carol Award / Book of the Year Award in the Women’s Fiction category of ACFW, for Never the Bride.

I also recently started adapting some of my scripts myself into novels. It’s hard work, but a very fun process. There’s definitely an art to it! It’s exactly the opposite of the process you’d go through to adapt a book into a screenplay (like I did with The Ultimate Gift). And getting your scripts out there as books just might help you get a movie made! And for novelists, you could find some good projects to work on that are about half the work of writing a novel from scratch.

On this blog, I’d like to show you one example from my screenplay Never the Bride. To follow are the first two pages of the screenplay:

Nightmare plus wake up

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Now, before continuing to read this blog, go to your favorite book retailer and use the LOOK INSIDE or PREVIEW feature to read the first part of the novel from the opening to the point where Jessie drives off with her tire changed. (If you hop on a paperback version, you’re looking at pg. 1 through top of pg. 5.) The following link goes to Amazon’s Paperback or Google Books:

Never the Bride Sample on Amazon

Never the Bride Preview on Google Books

The sample included 1188 words, four printed novel pages vs. 472 words and two script pages. That’s two and a half times more words that were put into the novel to describe the same sequence.

This novel is in first-person, present tense, which gives us an active thought life from which to play. It’s like getting to write one long monologue as Jessie tells her own story.

For this blog, we’re going to focus on interior monologue (the subject of Chapter Six of our new “How To” book), one of the most useful tools exclusive to novelists that screenwriters are not allowed to use in scripts. The novel begins with the scene that starts on page two of the screenplay. It draws you into Jessie’s dilemma in a way the script simply cannot. She may be in the same predicament, but we get to spend a lot more time with Jessie, getting to know how she feels about life, her vulnerability, and her singleness. The interior monologue shares some of the information from the voice-over where Jessie is fantasizing about the life she wishes she had. Her journal habit, her hair color (and lack of blonde hair), what she sees as her ideal life. We find out she’s responsible with her job, is capable of taking care of herself, and how she feels about her boss. Even her boss’s character is set up here. All of this is revealed in the next part of the script, but in the novel this information comes out in the middle of Jessie’s crisis to reveal more about her character and life. The inner battle between her romantic optimism and her realistic cynicism shines through as well. The novel also takes a bit more time to describe the setting and the weather.

The interior monologue has a voice. It closely matches the style of Jessie’s voice from the script’s dialogue but is infused with additional humor and an openness you can’t have in a script without access to Jessie’s private thoughts.

Look at the segment of the script again where Jessie hopes the guy in the sports car will stop to help her. Then read over the novel version for that sequence. Notice the difference. Many of Jessie’s thoughts are shared during the part where she hopes the guy in the convertible will stop. We get to peek into what she’s thinking and feeling while anxiously waiting to see if he’ll help her. In reality, that scene on film would take just a few seconds, even if the director chooses to follow the slo-mo, brunette hair-blowing-in-the-wind dramatics. The novel allows us to pause and hear what flies through her mind in that moment, getting caught up in all her hopes and dreams of rescue. The script version is no less devastating to the character as she’s pelted with muddy water, yet the thoughts we get to read with Jessie in the novel are so enjoyable, so character revealing. We may even feel more for her in this moment because we got to stop and take the time to do so. Interior monologue replaces the visual of the muddy water. In book form, saying she was splattered with water does nothing because we can’t see her reaction to it, as an actress would depict it. So instead we have to go inside her head. The hope in film is that a cute and talented actress will garner some great empathy as well.

After the guy in the convertible does not stop and she decides to change her own tire, there is a sequence of her interior thought life about being single. It economically gives us an idea of what this character and story are about, what causes her pain, and she plainly states that she hates being alone. None of this exists in the screenplay, even though viewers are likely to get the same message watching an actress. Those internal thoughts voice the intention of the story of the screenplay, yet the script cannot be nearly that direct. However, notice how both the manuscript and the screenplay are moved forward with action.

The novel references the silhouette matching the man who was in her room after her nightmare. This matches the script without going into what her nightmare was about yet. It sets up that she saw this same, mysterious figure before.

This sample shows you the same sequence. It’s the same dramatic purpose. However, we traveled different writing roads to get there.

This scene is also an example of a change to the scene order (structure), as well as the challenge novelists face dealing with voice-over. This is especially true in this case where the voice-over does not match the visuals; the character is lying to herself about her reality.

We deal with all of those special challenges in translating a script into a novel in our book. This has been one sample, but we have many different samples in our new book, Novelizations: How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels.

To purchase a copy, click either on the paperback link or the kindle link below:


Novelizations – How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels: A Writing Guide for Screenwriters and Authors (Paperback)

Novelizations – How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels: A Writing Guide for Screenwriters and Authors (Kindle Version)

 

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Ever thought about adapting a script into a novel?

100_3901Cheryl & Rene, 2009

Since 2007, I’ve been involved in a new trend that takes scripts and turns them into books. Yes, this is the opposite of normal. Many people have asked me how to do it. There are definitely specific writing techniques to this art form that you won’t find in a book on adaptation. In fact, those “How To” books are teaching the opposite rules than it takes to go from script to book.

Rene Gutteridge and I have taught classes in this writing technique for novelizations and decided to share what we’ve learned through this book.

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Novelizations: How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels

(A Writing Guide for Screenwriters and Authors)

We took 10+ examples from our script to book novelizations, some published, some works-in-progress, to help illustrate how you turn a screenplay into a novel. As a screenwriter, it’s been amazing to see my characters come to life in book form. Having a screenplay come out as a book makes it a lot easier to gain attention for your scripts.

This book is for screenwriters who want to do their own adaptations as well as novelists who want to understand this unique writing format and how both types of writers can get involved in them.

Rene and I first met after Rene was hired to novelize my screenplay from the film, The Ultimate Gift.

TUG poster

Our first novelization that we collaborated on was Never the Bride, based on my screenplay:

Never the Bride

And then our follow up was Greetings from the Flipside, also based on one of my scripts:

Greeting Cover

To order on Amazon CLICK on the Title for Paperback or Kindle:


Novelizations – How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels: A Writing Guide for Screenwriters and Authors (Paperback)

Novelizations – How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels: A Writing Guide for Screenwriters and Authors (Kindle Version)

Here is a description of what you’ll learn from the book:

NOVELIZATIONS: HOW TO ADAPT SCRIPTS INTO NOVELS

A WRITING GUIDE FOR SCREENWRITERS AND AUTHORS

Are you an author who wants to explore the business of adapting screenplays into novels?

Are you a screenwriter who’d like to see your unproduced script written as a novel, to help get your film made?

Are you a screenwriter who wants to adapt your own script into a novel?

This book is for you.

Novelizations used to pump business for existing movies and TV shows, but now a fast-growing trend has publishers contracting authors to pen novel adaptations based on scripts that haven’t been produced—yet. At least until the novel raises awareness about the script and gives it a life of its own. It’s a win-win for all creative writers.

If you are a novelist, you can benefit from learning the craft of adapting scripts into books. You may just end up penning a novelization that will one day be a film. There is an art to this form of adaptation that may differ from starting a novel from scratch.

If you’re a screenwriter who is sitting on a gem of a script, what are you waiting for? We’ll give you tips on how to team up with a novelist. Or you, too, can learn to adapt your screenplay as a novel. Just like screenwriting, there’s a craft to be honed. With the whole story and characters of that script already in place, you’re half way there.

Want to learn the trade secrets of this burgeoning business? Look no further. Using specific, side-by-side examples that compare script pages to novel pages, writing team Cheryl McKay (the screenwriter) and Rene Gutteridge (the novelist) share their experiences, tips, and know-how on adapting scripts into novels. Covering everything from creative technique to collaborative contracts, Novelizations: How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels is an invaluable tool for both screenwriters and novelists to successfully master this highly specialized art form.

RENE GUTTERIDGE is the one of the go-to authors for novelizations. She has written Old Fashioned, Heart of the Country, and Just 18 Summers for Tyndale. CHERYL MCKAY, screenwriter of The Ultimate Gift (which Gutteridge also novelized), has worked with Gutteridge on the novelizations for her scripts, Never the Bride for Random House and Greetings from the Flipside for B&H Publishing. They won a Carol Award (ACFW) for Best Women’s Fiction for Never the Bride.

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Soul Inspirationz

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For the month of January, the website called Soul Inspirationz, which celebrates Christian authors and fiction, has decided to feature Rene Gutteridge and me as featured authors.

If you’d like to read more about our writing careers and lives, visit the following links:

Featured Author–Rene Gutteridge

Featured Author–Screenwriter/Novelist Cheryl McKay

Ripple Effect of Life

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I don’t even know how to begin this blog, this delicate story on my heart. There’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for years. It’s inspired by actual events from my own family. (And for once, no, it has nothing to do with how long it took God to write my love story, as shared through my books Never the Bride: a novel and Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting.) It’s more in line with the themes of my feature film, The Ultimate Gift: legacies and what we do with the time we have, and the gift one day of life brings to us.

This story is about my history, its roots, and how the ripple effect of events are why I am here today, why I was able to be born.

But this story also meant the death of someone else. That is sobering.

In fact, without death and the multiple tragedies reflected in this story, I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t have been able to be born into the family I was born into.

Have you ever pondered the events that brought you to this earth? Have you ever asked yourself the question, “How was I born into my particular family? Why am I here? What was I meant to do?”

Many years ago, my father told me we should try to do a film about my grandfather’s life as a miner in Springhill, Nova Scotia.  It took me a while to listen to him. Eventually, I woke up to this amazing town and the balance between tragedies and extraordinary miracles this place experienced! It’s one of those tiny towns that, in the 1950s, when tragedy struck multiple times, the entire world stopped and watched. Waited. Waited for good news, hoping for miracles, hoping for news of lives saved.

This place, its stories, and my grandfather’s life there, were all the inspiration for my screenplay, Song of Springhill, which I am currently adapting into a novel. (To be released in Spring 2014.)

My grandfather, Charles Hugh McKay—also known as “Dado” to his grandchildren—died when I was fifteen years old. I wish, when I was younger, I had been more interested in asking him questions about his life as a miner, and the miracles that spared his life. It wasn’t something he voluntarily talked about when not asked. I embarked on a quest to get to know more about what his life was like after he was gone. I wish I had taken better advantage of the time I had with him.

His first mining accident was in the 1940s, and contributed to him not having to go off to war because he suffered a broken pelvis. A rail car ran over him in the mines; it took him months to recover. There are stories surrounding two of Springhill’s biggest disasters, the 1956 Explosion and the 1958 Bump, that also affected my grandfather’s life.

My aunt, Joyce Harroun, told me of a story relating to the 1956 Explosion. The way she remembers it, her father (my grandfather) switched shifts that day with another man. The man wanted to go hunting during the day, and asked my grandfather if he’d work the day shift for him, and upon his return, the man would work my grandfather’s afternoon shift.

Because of this shift, “Dado” got off work just a couple hours before the mine blew up. His life was spared, but the man who switched shifts with him died. They had the same job working in the same spot by the rail cars.

It also meant that the team of men my grandfather was used to working with died that day too; he lost a lot of his friends. As my Aunt shares, it was the only time she ever saw my grandfather cry up until that point in his life.

When interviewing one of the survivors of the Explosion, this survivor supplied two names of those who had the same job as my grandfather. Both of them were killed in the Explosion. I found an article in the Halifax Chronicle that seemed to back up the story my Aunt told. It mentioned one of their names as one who was “working an extra shift for a friend” that day, implying he wouldn’t normally have been underground.

Despite the dangers, my grandfather continued to work underground. Then in 1958, he was trapped underground when one of the biggest disasters in coal mining history hit:  The Bump. October 23, 1958.

My father anxiously waited for news of whether or not his dad was still alive, from the Lamp Cabin, a place where miners turned in their lamps when they finished their shifts. His father’s check number, #712, remained on the board, showing he had not yet surfaced. Not yet picked up his check tag.

Once the earliest miners were rescued, my grandfather was the third person to walk through that Lamp Cabin door. The first face he saw was my dad’s fourteen-year-old face, waiting for him, hoping and praying he was still alive. Seventy-five men died in that disaster.

After the rescue, “Dado” vowed to never go underground again.  That meant he needed to find new work to support his family. This led him to take a new job and move his family to the Boston area. This move is how my father eventually met my mother, when she was an attractive 16 year old, a spunky Massachusetts girl that he was set up with on a blind date.

This blind date never would have happened if my grandfather had not been spared by the 1956 Explosion or survived the 1958 Bump, the tragedy that made him decide to leave his life of mining. My father has said, unequivocally, he would have had no reason to leave Canada had he not been moved to the United States with his father’s career change.

My parents have been married since 1966.  It’s ironic to me to think that this disaster (and the fact that “Dado’s” life was spared 10 years before that time) is the catalyst that brought me to this earth.

At the same time, it’s sobering. I ponder the family who lost their husband / father / son because of the innocent desire this man had to go hunting that day. November 1, 1956.  I ponder what he must have missed out on, dying so young. How those in his family must have questioned over the years “what if?”

This story helps me connect specific dots that allowed me to enter the scene. It makes me ponder why I am here and encourages me to want to make the most of the life I am given and do at least a little bit of good while I am here. It reminds me of how we are not promised any particular amount of days. I hope anyone reading this will be encouraged to make an impact with their lives, no matter how long they are blessed to be on this earth.

Any ideas for how you’d like to change the world?  Your family? Or even just the life of one person?  You never know when that may have a ripple effect on the lives of many others.

Springhill, Nova Scotia Pinterest Board

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Some photos of the book author with Springhillers:

Caleb Rushton Miracle SurvivorCheryl with Caleb Rushton and his wife Pat (He was a miracle survivor of the 1958 Bump, after being trapped for 6 days)

Dr. Arnold Burden heroCheryl with Arnold Burden, a doctor/ rescuer for both the 1956 Explosion and the 1958 Bump

Herb Pepperdine Miracle SurvivorCheryl with Herb Pepperdine, miracle survivor of the 1958 Bump

Norma Ruddick Singing Miners WifeNorma Ruddick, wife of the “Singing Miner”, Maurice Ruddick, a miracle survivor who was rescued after 8 1/2 days underground.

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NOW AVAILABLE:

Spirit of Springhill: Miners, Widows, Orphans, Rescuers and Children Tell True Stories of Springhill’s Coal Mining Disasters (A Book of Interviews with People of Springhill)

Spirit of Springhill (PAPERBACK VERSION)

Spirit of Springhill (KINDLE VERSION)

For Canadian Citizens:

Click Here to Buy Spirit of Springhill in Paperback from Cheryl’s Createspace Store

Click Here to Buy Spirit of Springhill in Ebook Format from Amazon.ca

COMING 2014:

 

SOS a love story graphic

Finally Fearless: Journey from Panic to Peace


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To watch the Finally Fearless Video:

Some of you who know me, know that I have been working on this next book for a very long time. Some of you know of it as my “autobiography” about fear and knew that Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting was only a small part of my life, that book I was writing while bored and waiting for God to finally bless me with a husband.

Those who’ve known me for the past ten or so years of my life may have no idea this part of my life ever existed.  I was struck recently by reactions when my mother and my husband read the book.  Both of them had a very similar response. My mother asked, “How is it that I never knew my own daughter?” And my husband said when he read this book, while he knew it was mine, it’s not who he’s married to now. He was very thankful that God healed me so abundantly. When you read my story, you will understand fully why my healing and freedom from fear were necessary for me to walk down the aisle and marry the most wonderful man God gave me. I often pondered the thought about how what I longed for I feared the most. And that fear kept me away from men and relationships for a long time. There were years I thought I’d never be able to get married because of it.

Praise God, I was able to heal, face my fears, and win the battle over anxiety in this area of my life.

I understand why my mom and husband reacted this way.  Even when I step back and read my book, it’s like reading about a stranger. This is so much due to the fact that God healed me so well, that the person I was for over 20 years of my life seems like she doesn’t exist anymore.

That person barred by the jail cell of extreme fear.

I’m glad my newer friends didn’t have to get to know this other part of me. I’m glad I am no longer acquainted with who I was, even though what I went through is a very real part of my history. It no doubt has an effect on who I am today.  Sadly, I know many people relate to me and the journey I share in Finally Fearless: Journey from Panic to Peace. I wish more people didn’t have to. But it’s a very common problem people face, and I am tired of the silence that keeps people locked up in their fears.

It’s why I had to release this story, no matter how much vulnerability it called for. I knew back in 2001 that one day, like it or not, I would write it, and then be compelled to release this book.

That time has finally come.

Here’s the blurb from the back cover that shares my heart and why I wrote this book:  (You can click on the links below and order the paperback and workbook or kindle version on Amazon.)

“This is one courageous book. In her bravest turn yet, Cheryl McKay dives into the storm-tossed depths of suffocating anxiety. This unflinchingly honest account is the personal hand of experience…guiding all who would read to still waters.”

Susan Rohrer, author THE HOLY SPIRIT: Amazing Power for Everyday People

From Cheryl’s Journal:

Why am I like this? What is wrong with me?  Why am I so afraid? I can’t control my anxiety; these fears seem to overtake me. Does anyone know how I feel? No one else has this problem. I am a freak, and I am alone. Where is God in this?

Do fear and anxiety rule your life?

They used to rule mine.

This is the book I was too afraid to write and definitely too afraid to publish. That would mean others could read some of my most private thoughts, pieces of my most difficult and painful journey. Most of my life, I put on a good face, that “life is perfect” façade. It was a sham. Then I realized I had to face my problems, my past, and my fears if I ever wanted to live a normal, healthy life. In writing this book, I decided to join the imperfect human race. I wrote it because I needed to heal.

Maybe you need to heal, too.

Through writing about my story of panic, fear, and seemingly irrational anxieties, I uncovered so much about panic and anxiety disorders, coping techniques, causes of anxiety and fear, soul-searching activities to help unearth the root of anxiety problems, and methods that can bring about healing. After many years of stagnancy, I found hope. God walked me through every step to help me find ways to grow, heal, change, and climb out from under the relentless thumb of anxiety. I can honestly say I am now healed.

Are you tired of fighting against your fears? Has panic interrupted your life?  Has anxiety stopped you from going after your dreams? I encourage you to read my story and start your soul-searching journey now so you, too, can venture toward peace.

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Finally Fearless: Journey from Panic to Peace is filled with practical advice, exercises, personal stories, and tangible ways for readers to participate in their healing.

Also available:

Front Cover Workbook

Get the workbook that accompanies this book. The Finally Fearless Workbook is a great tool for church groups, book clubs, or individuals who want to play an active role in their healing from fear and anxiety.

I am not a medical doctor or a psychologist. I am a creative, intelligent woman. Yet panic and anxiety left me feeling completely out of control. I ached for God to show up and heal me instantly. Instead, He became my Wonderful Counselor, and He walked me through my fears, step by step, toward healing.

Much of my personal recovery came through healing exercises I did, the same ones I’m now sharing with you in this companion workbook. The work you will do here is a reflection of God’s relentless help in healing and encouraging me through these most vital exercises, creative assignments, journaling, reflection, and meditation on key scriptures.

This workbook also contains bonus material not found in the original book, including extra journal entries, assignments, poetry, and helpful collections of Bible verses grouped by topics like peace, hope, God’s faithfulness, fear, and trust.

Are you tired of fighting against your fears? Has panic interrupted your life?  Has anxiety stopped you from going after your dreams? Start your soul-searching journey now so you, too, can venture toward peace.

You can get copies of the Ebook or Paperbacks on Amazon.

Special thanks to my husband for all of his hard work on this project. He designed the covers, designed the workbook, and took all of the beautiful, peaceful photography used in it. He wrote the original music for the book trailer, and edited it. (And yes, that’s his lovely singing voice at the end.) But more importantly, I’m so grateful for the role he played in helping me become Finally Fearless.
 

Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting

It’s finally here: A book I have been working on since 2008. When Rene Gutteridge and I were working on the novelization of my script for Never the Bride, I felt compelled to write the non-fiction version of my life story as a single person who felt like she was waiting far too long to find love. This book is written in “real time”  as I was going through it, not something I went back to write later. Consider it a companion book to Never the Bride. While that was the fictional version of my life, this is the raw honest non-fiction one.

Why Would God Care About My Love Life?

From the woman behind the screenplay and novel, Never the Bride, comes a roller coaster of a love story with God. Cheryl McKay pulls no punches about what it’s really like to be single, with your age creeping up, and no end in sight to the wait for love and marriage.

It seems that many years ago, God asked Cheryl to surrender the pen she was using to write her love story. All He wanted was carte blanche. No problem, right? Cheryl tentatively conceded–that is, until it became apparent that the Almighty had no intention of conforming to her writing schedule, much less the tick of her biological clock. In fact, He blew every deadline she ever attempted to set. As romance seemed to pass Cheryl by, she couldn’t help but question: Could God really be trusted to bring her the love of her life?

Written during a long wait, this book opens up Cheryl’s painfully honest, personal journals. She explores what it’s like to enlist in God’s Marriage Boot Camp, and how to survive singlehood year after solitary year. She wrestles with her Creator over multiple best friends that never see her “that way.” Then there are those lists of what she wanted–you know, the ones she revised a billion times then laminated for safekeeping. She watches, bewildered, as much younger women find love that seems to elude her.

Through it all, she falls head over heels for a God who proves Himself to be as resistant to her controls as He is faithful beyond her wildest dreams.

Are you still waiting? Have you lost hope? Venture to victory with a woman who knows just how hard it is to wait for the day when you are Finally the Bride.

This book includes a collection of real-life God-written love stories by such authors as SQuire Rushnell & Louise DuArt (God Winks Series, Couples Who Pray), and Victorya Michaels Rogers (Finding a Man Worth Keeping).

Finally the Bride is available on Amazon.