Rene Gutteridge loves to collaborate. And with her screenwriting and novelization experience, she was a slam dunk when tapped to write the novelization of upcoming film Heart of the Country.

The book is available now as an eBook, with print scheduled for early 2013. The film is in post-production now.

Rene says it’s not always easy to make a movie into a novel—a good novelization is more art than gimmick. “A novelization can sometimes just be used as a by-product of a movie, like a mug or a t-shirt,” she says. “But when a project like this becomes art in its own right, then it becomes something special.

“When I take on an adaptation, I want it to penetrate the reader’s heart and further expand and enhance their emotional and intellectual experience. A novelization lacks enticement when it is simply a reworked version of the script that gives no thought to the difference between the two mediums.”

Heart of the Country is actually the tale of two prodigals, a husband and a wife, both searching for meaning, fulfillment and peace. “What I love about this story is how many themes it explores,” Rene says. “But it all comes back to the love of our family, and in turn the love of our heavenly Father. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters. It’s all we’ll take with us when we go from this earth, yet sometimes it is the thing we sow the least amount of seed into. It is the theme from the beginning to the end of the entire Bible—all that text to say one thing: God loves you.”

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About The Author

Rene Gutteridge is the author of seventeen novels and is also known for her Christian comedy sketches. She served as the full-time director of drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.