Playing the TV Show Novelization Game

Did you know that there are writers making real $$$ writing novels based on your favorite TV shows – authorized and not fan fiction? That’s right, gang, a whole new gaggle of episodes can await your binge-reading pleasure. This TVWriter™ minion has to admit to never even suspecting this format existed!

Murder-She-Wrote

So, what about this odd sometime-practice of turning a TV show into a book?
by Susan Winlow

As I finished the final chapter in the latest, and best-to-date, “Murder, She Wrote” mystery, “Design for Murder,” due to be released April 5, I couldn’t help but wonder just how many more intrepid adventures the perennial sleuth Jessica Fletcher can have.

She should be at least 80, but she hasn’t aged a day as one book after another, two a year or so, are published under the authorship of the character Jessica Fletcher and the real-life Donald Bain, with the last two including Renee Paley-Bain, Donald Bain’s late wife.

The books, inspired by the amateur sleuth TV show that ran from 1984-1996, are favorites of mine, as was the show. The protagonist, Fletcher, played by Angela Lansbury, is a best-selling mystery writer herself, a worldwide traveler, sometimes college professor of criminology, and a consummate solver of homicides. The books are easy reading, and more often than not, the some-45 books in the series so far have a solid plot, enjoyable and believable characters and a surprise ending.

Bain began writing the books in 1989, about midway in the show’s 12-year run and started out with “Gin and Daggers.”

Interestingly enough, the first book contained several errors, including Fletcher’s middle initial, accidentally changed from a B to a D – born Jessica Beatrice MacGill. Fletcher also famously biked all over her hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine, because she didn’t drive. Bain suddenly made a driver out of Fletcher in that first book. The outcry from fans led to a reissue of the book several years later, in 2000, with many corrections fixed….

Read it all at Daily Republic