The Christmas Candle: Books to Film

books to film

         Books to film — when a manuscript takes off and a film producer takes over!

The Christmas Candle: A Classic Example of “Books to Film” Projects

Anyone interested in politics recognizes the name Senator Rick Santorum. But my interview with him had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with faith. As president of Echolight Studios, he reenvisioned a Max Lucado book entitled The Christmas Candle and rolled out a big screen treasure, starring none other than Susan Boyle! This is a classic example of what studios can do with wholesome “books to film” adaptations. I attended the premier and loved the warm, timeless message: pray, and trust God to supply.

Books to Film

books to film

A perfect example of a books to film project

I’ve been honored to interview authors and directors who adapted books to film for audiences around the world, most of them faith-based. In fact, Houston author Joe Barfield was in the process of producing his film, Live for Today, as I was editing the book (more on that later)!

The Interview

Enjoy my interview with Rick Santorum published by Katy Christian Magazine and shared below. After the interview, I include some details about the Senator’s role as dad and his devotion to daughter Bella, who lives with Trisomy 18.  

A Christmas Chat with Rick Santorum

    Rick Santorum may be best known as a former U.S. senator and presidential contender, but he’s also involved in faith initiatives. In June 2013 he announced his new venture as CEO of EchoLight Studios to make family-valued movies.

    He visited Lakewood Church on November 17 to promote the The Christmas Candle, a major motion picture based on best-selling author Max Lucado’s same-titled book. The full-length feature film debuted at the Katy Cinemark on November 22. It also played at 19 theaters around the Houston area and 400 theaters nationwide.

    Susan Boyle, who stars in the movie, is famous for her perfect rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent. She also visited (and sang) at Lakewood Church, to the delight of throngs of fans.

    “This major motion picture marks a milestone at the studio,” says Santorum of the film project, which was 10 years in the making. Even in the preliminary stages of film production, Santorum recognized that the plot and quality of acting made the movie something very different and very special.

    Although it debuted against competing films such as The Hunger Games, he believes it fills a special need for family audiences. “This film hearkens back to the heartwarming and uplifting movies of yesteryear. The story inspires renewed hope in the miracle of Christmas and illustrates that this holiday is not just about reindeer and receiving gifts,” he says. The mission of The Christmas Candle is to remind audiences of the spirit and sense of wonder of the season – something that is often lost as Christmas becomes commercialized.

A Notable Cast

    Susan Boyle plays the character of Eleanor Hopewell and sings the anthem for the film, “Miracle Hymn.” The cast is filled with highly recognizable talent who bring the story to life.

Also starring: Hans Matheson (Clash of the Titans, Sherlock Holmes), Samantha Barks (Les Miserables), Lesley Manville (Disney’s A Christmas Carol), and Sylvester McCoy (The Hobbit Trilogy, Doctor Who), John Hannah (The Mummy, Four Weddings and a Funeral), Barbara Flynn (Miss Potter) and James Cosmo (Game of Thrones, Braveheart).

A Reminder of God’s Bountiful Love 

    “Surprisingly, a Christmas movie releasing for the holidays is a unique event, as there have been very few in recent years,” says Santorum, noting that The Christmas Candle will remain in theaters as long as it draws viewers. Shot in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and in the Isle of Man, the setting takes viewers back to a fictional 19th-century village of Gladbury, deep in the heart of the English countryside. Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve.

    But in 1890 at the dawn of the electric age, a progressive young minister arrives in Gladbury and begins to modernize the village. The miraculous and human collide when the candle goes missing in this timeless Christmas tale.

Commentary from Max Lucado

The Christmas Candle includes quotes from Jesus and the Gospels, and is an alternative to violent movies during this season of peace and joy. Max Lucado, himself, says of the novel and film, “This tale has lifted spirits for seven Christmases, and now, thanks to producer Tom Newman and EchoLight Studios, the Candle story will touch a whole new generation… I couldn’t be more pleased. What an honor to be a part of capturing a slice of this golden era of British history…the light of the candle still flickers.”

Family and Faith

    Santorum and his wife Karen are devout Catholics and have raised their six children in the faith: Elizabeth, John, Isabella, Sarah, Gabriel and Daniel. We thank him for his service to the nation, his focus on family-friendly films, and for taking time out of his busy schedule to discuss the The Christmas Candle. Learn more about The Christmas Candle movie at Visit EchoLight Studios at

More About the Family Man

Rick Santorum is a devout Catholic and family man with a cause. His eighth child, Bella, was born with a rare genetic condition known as Edwards syndrome or Trisomy 18.  This disorder is the second most common trisomy, with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) being the most common.

Bella, miraculously, has beat all odds. Only 5-25% of babies survive past their first birthday…and Bella is now nine years old. Her proud father occasionally tweets about her on his Twitter account, and he and his wife Karen have authored a book about Bella’s remarkable journey entitled Bella’s Gift (available on Amazon).

Faith-based Authors — The World Needs More Projects Taking Books to Film!

It all starts with a book…a book only you can write! Contact me if you are interested in bringing your manuscript to life. I’d love to help you write your story! Check out my book editing services here, and my ghostwriting services here.

Contact and let’s get started!