Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sharing a tub of popcorn with Belinda Missen

Belinda Missen is an award-winning and best-selling author, screenwriter, and freelance writer from Geelong, Australia.

A reader from an early age, Belinda began writing her own stories shortly after her love affair with Steven Spielberg’s film Jurassic Park began. What began as fan-fiction soon took deeper root, and she was scribbling out strange little stories in empty notebooks she found laying around the house.

With qualifications in transport and office administration, and a combined career of fifteen years in these industries, Belinda decided to uproot everything in 2013 and return to her first love of writing. She now writes full-time, between cups of coffee, binge watching television, and feeding her cats and husband.

In April 2016, she was awarded the JOLT Courthouse Youth Arts Award in the Inspire 26+ Category for her piece Obsession.

In February 2017, her book Love And Other Midnight Theories clawed its way to the top of the Amazon charts in its category of Performing Arts, beating JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. True story – she has the screenshots to prove it.

When not dabbling in the written word, Belinda can be found mentoring other writers, beta-reading, reviewing, helping others to ready books for publication, and sleeping. In the digital world, she can be found online at Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Belinda is here today to tell us about some of her favorite movies. Check out her lists and see if you agree.

Meet Lucy, master wedding cake baker, idealistic school canteen crusader, and someone whose broken heart just won’t seem to mend…
Lucy is quietly confident that she has made the right choices in life. Surrounded by friends and family in a small country town, Lucy can easily suppress the feeling that something is missing from her life.
But when a blast from the past arrives in the form of her estranged husband, international celebrity chef Oliver Murray, Lucy’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble beneath her like overbaked meringue.
Is Oliver’s return all business or is it motivated by something more?
A Recipe for Disaster starts long after most love stories would have ended, proving it is never too late to offer someone a second slice of cake or a second chance.
Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.
Purchase Links
Top 5 Movies Based on Books

This question here has bought up some questionable activity on my behalf – mostly the fact that I obvs don’t watch enough romance films. Or, at least, not enough based on books. With that in mind, let me play with this question a little.

Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
Possibly the most well-known of Michael Crichton’s books, this one will always remain my top choice, for a few reasons. Jurassic Park was the first film that made me sit up and take notice. Eleven-year-old me soon became obsessed with writing. It was possibly the worst, most cringe-inducing fanfiction on the face of the earth, but it’s where I began. For that reason alone, I’ll always love it.

As for its adaptation into film, there are a few key characterisation changes, but I can see where that’s been done to make the film more marketable. Hello OTP Grant & Sattler (am I the only one still pining for these two? Yeah, probs). I haven’t read this book as an adult, so I hope I’m not way off, but a lot of the technical jargon was trimmed back, just enough to make it more palatable, but sometimes that kind of fat needs to be trimmed anyway.

The Martian – Andy Weir
See what I mean by not enough romance? I picked up Andy Weir’s debut The Martian at Heathrow Airport in 2015, and immediately loved the character Mark Watney. He was funny, a little punchy, and the story had the perfect balance between several different characters and locales.
I managed to grab one of the last 3D screenings in Melbourne, and immediately loved how close the film was to the book. Yeah, there were a couple of scenes chopped down, but that was more to keep the run-time to an acceptable level. Those minor changes certainly didn’t hurt the aesthetic of the film.

Me Before You – JoJo Moyes
Here we go, Belinda finally coming in with some romance. This tear-filled nugget kept me from seeing the film for about eighteen months. It was one my aunty had been at me to watch – she loves Sam Claflin (Can we blame her? No), so each time I saw her, she’d ask if I’d watched it. My response was that I was waiting to read the book first, because sometimes I just liked to do that.

Somewhere between edits, I got the chance to sit down for a few days and devour Me Before You. A slow-burner, it took me a little while to get into but, once I did, I took out shares in Kleenex. Like all books, there are changes to the film – things are perhaps not as drawn out as between the pages, but it still reduced me to a sobbing mess on more than one occasion, so I’m all for it.

Patrick Melrose Novels – Edward St Aubyn
Honestly, these books wouldn’t have even been on my radar if it hadn’t been for the fact I met Benedict Cumberbatch in 2014. When quizzed on his dream role, Patrick Melrose was his quick, succinct answer. It took me a little while to get to the books (that TBR pile is massive), but I was immediately won over by the dark humour, the acerbic wit, and observations of classism in early nineties Britain – not that I know anything about that at all, but I enjoyed it all the same. I’m now an avid Edward St Aubyn fan, and will hunt out different editions of the Melrose novels just to add to the collection.

When it was announced that Showtime and Sunny March were collaborating for a television series based on the books, I was a little concerned about how some of the scenes would play out. There’s heavy drug use, hallucinations, and sheer brutality that needed to be handled carefully. I was thrilled to find out David Nicholls was heading up the screenplay. Those scenes I worried about? They were handled amazingly. This is possibly one of the most faithful book to screen adaptations I’ve seen in terms of writing.

Doctor Strange – Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
This might seem like one out of left field but bear with me. Comic book movies are always fraught with danger. There are so many different storylines and incarnations to deal with that, sometimes, it’s a little hard to wade through them all and collect something good.
When Doctor Strange was announced a few years ago, I began combing through some of the old comics. One that stood out from 2001 was The Oath. The story arc was a retelling of Strange’s origin story and, to me, appears to have been one of the big influences on the 2016 film. That alone made me happy enough to call it a favourite book to film adaptation. I’m easily pleased.

Top 5 Time Travel Movies

This one was a bit harder than I thought. I’ve been sitting here for twenty minutes Googling time travel films. It’s either too early, I haven’t had enough coffee, or I just don’t watch enough of them. Again, I obviously don’t watch enough romantic time travel films – but I’ve just found a tidy list here to begin watching. So, here we go – here are my top five.

About Time
Domhnall Gleeson – is that enough reason to love a film? It can be, right? I can’t quite pinpoint what it is about this film that I love, other than it’s a gorgeous romantic comedy. It’s kept me entertained through multiple screenings, so I’m okay to leave it at that.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Not at all a romance, but a sci-fi classic that has stood the test of time. I still watch this when it screens on television, and, I’d see it in a cinema if it were to play. From memory, the special effects were a little ahead of their time when this was released, and I spent many a Saturday watching this one with my dad.

Back to the Future
Here’s one left of centre. I hadn’t seen this film until about two years ago. How I made it to thirty-six without seeing it is beyond me. How can you not love Marty McFly?

Kate & Leopold
I’m actually watching this as I compile this list to make sure it’s as good as I remember. Yeah, it’s quite good, actually.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Again, this one gets a guernsey for no other reason than it was one that I watched a lot as a child. We were primarily a Star Trek house and, of all the films, this one was my favourite. Also known as ‘The One with The Whales’.

Thanks to Belinda for sharing her favorite movies with us and to Rachel's Random Resources for including us on Belinda's blog tour. Check out all the stops:

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