Writing John Carpenter’s “Halloween” Novelization

I happen to have more than a passing acquaintance with Halloween because I was commissioned by Bantam Books to write the paperback tie-in of John Carpenter’s blockbuster movie Halloween under the pen-name of “Curtis Richards.” It was a pretty good novel if I do say so myself. Out of curiosity I checked it out on amazon.com and was gratified to read that one reviewer described it as, “A near classic of its kind.” (Near? Why just near?) If you’re interested in learning how I dealt with the challenge, and the fascinating process of movie, television and game novelizations, read my post called Media Tie-ins – How Do They Work? Here’s an excerpt

“One of the great things about movies is that they move so fast, you don’t have time to think about logic. Novels are a more reflective medium, however; at any time you can put a book down and think about what you’ve read. And it worried me, for instance, that my readers would put my book down and wonder how the hell someone who’d been institutionalized since he was five would know how to drive a car. So I had to concoct a whole chapter describing the fellow’s stay in the asylum (which was okay, since I needed the five thousand words anyway) and showing that because he’d been a model inmate and trusty, he’d been taught to drive a truck and use it to run errands on the asylum grounds.”

Incidentally, I hold an orange belt in pumpkin carving, and above is an example. In the dark you can’t see the bloodstain where my filleting knife penetrated the palm of my left hand.
Richard Curtis
Movies Into Books may be found in a collection of columns by Richard Curtis entitled Mastering the Business of Writing by Richard Curtis

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