Saturday, December 15, 2018

Are Books Better Than Films?

Written by Carol Michaels and Dr. Melissa Caudle

December 15, 2018


Dr. Melissa Caudle - Author
Carol Michaels, my publisher, and CEO of Absolute Author and I recently had a texted conversation I wanted to share with my readers. It governs our topic on whether books are better as a form of entertainment than films.  Carol is very much a book lover and book reader. To her, there isn't anything better than sitting and reading an enthralling book. For me, I love a good film. I know many actors and work in the film industry as a screenwriter and producer. It was only after the encouragement of a television executive did I turn into a novelist. So, my love of films stays with me. She's determined that watching a film is not equal to reading a book. I'm here to prove her wrong.


Dr. Carol: I love to cuddle up on a rainy day, get a cup of coffee or a glass of wine depending on the time of the day and read a good book. The journey inside takes me to wonderful places and I meet new characters and get involved. I can read in my pajamas if I want too.

Dr. Mel: You can do exactly the same thing with a film. You can watch any genre you want and visually see the places and meet the characters.

Dr. Carol: I understand that, but you are letting someone else's imagination dictate what you see and not your own as their characters are brought to life through words.

Dr. Mel: What is wrong with that? Sometimes even I need a break and I'm a novelist. I am also a filmmaker so I love to see what I wrote on the big screen.

Dr. Carol: Me too. Now you have a  point. Now that I think about it, I would love for The Keystroke Killer to become a film or television series. When I read it, it was so intriguing I remember saying this would make a powerful film.

Dr. Mel: Does this mean I won round one?

Dr. Carol: No, I say a tie, because in order for any film to be made it has to be written first.

Dr. Mel: I'll give that one to you.


Dr. Carol: I love to creep up on a good plot in a book. I can take my time and enjoy the story as it develops.

Dr. Mel: Seriously, that's all you got. That's exactly how a film unfolds. The only difference is you are watching and not reading.

Dr. Carol: You can't stop a film, walk away, then come back to it like you do a good book.

Dr. Mel: That's not entirely accurate. If you're at home, you control the remote control. Have you ever heard of a rewind button?

Dr. Carol: What do you do if you're in a movie theater?

Dr. Mel: You go there with the intention of watching the movie.

Dr. Carol: I really have to think about that one. Well, you can't lay back and get comfortable in a movie theater.

Dr. Mel: When was the last time you went to see a movie? Nowadays, they have recliners and you can get very comfy. I even bring a small lap blanket and cuddled up. It's awesome.

Dr. Carol: Really? They have reclining chairs in movie theaters?

Dr. Mel: I promise, how about let's go see one.

Dr. Carol: I think I'd like that.

Dr. Mel: Does this mean I won round two?

Dr. Carol: Not at all, I'm expanding my horizons.

Dr. Mel: Now that you think about it, a good book does expand a person's horizon.

Dr. Carol: Does this mean I won round two?

Dr. Mel: I'd call it a draw.

Dr. Carol: Agreed. Now let me tell you about this latest book I'm editing.

Dr. Mel: It can't be any better than the one I'm writing.

Dr. Carol: Silly, it's yours, Never Stop Running.

Dr. Mel: Okay, you won both battles. Books are better than films.


I recently came across Skylerr Darren, a young writer who like myself can get pretty gruesome in our writing. For those of you who have read my latest novel THE KEYSTROKE KILLER: TRANSCENDENCE you know it is dark, twisted and takes you on a psychological thrill ride. The author I am going to introduce to you writes in the horror genre if that tells you anything. Get to know him and check out his books.

Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I was born in Upland, California on August 18, 1998, and I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California. A quiet suburban area is what I can recall as my earliest memories living in my hometown, and I usually kept to myself as a small child and found entertainment in drawing and writing small stories for the amusement of both myself and my family.

I attended Bear Gulch elementary school and my mother home-schooled me during my middle school years. At the age of sixteen, I graduated from Mojave River Academy, a charter school located in Victorville, California.

A few months after graduation, I moved to Las Vegas Nevada at the age of seventeen in order to be closer to my uncle before his death.

You bring a psychological twist to your writing. How did your educational background help you with this?

Surprisingly enough, my education actually didn't have anything to do with my choice of book genre. I have always been fascinated with the extremely morbid incidents that have plagued the human race since the beginning of time. I like eccentricity, most likely because I used to be the kid that didn't have a lot of friends growing up, so I kind of developed my own interests and kept myself busy. I decided to take a psychology course in college, and I didn't enjoy it.

What inspired you to write this book?

At the time, I was fifteen in a half, and I got into watching a lot of gruesome body horror movies on Netflix. Those types of films bring out a lot of creativity in me as I think about how the movie could've ended or what plot twist should've been used. I bottled all of these ideas and decided to write something of my own.

You’re very young for a novelist? When did you begin writing?

At about seven years old. I published two books in my elementary school library about a rabbit with super-powers which originated from a comic strip that I would draw during recess.

Are there any authors who inspired you growing up or who inspires you now?

I can name two actually. Dav Pilkey, for his “The Adventures of Captain Underpants” books, and Alvin Schwartz for his retelling of historic folklore and scary stories. I loved the illustrations in his books.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Maintaining the willpower to write, come up with new outlandish material, and keep my ideas fresh and amusing.

Tell your readers about your book.

Interview with The Devil Part 1 is about a young man named Victor Florence who recounts his troubled childhood full of disturbed family members, mental abuse, and overall dysfunction and misery on his part. Determined to leave this life behind him and understand the mentally ill, now as a young adult, he attempts to become a psychologist before being referred to an asylum by his professor to interview a patient that has been there before Victor was even born. Part 2 focuses on Victor interviewing the patient Lanza, which Victor calls the Devil, hence the title. Both books come together as one, and reading them will even help you learn something about yourself.

Who is your target audience and why?

The target audience I would say is people in their mid-thirties to early sixties. I've come to this conclusion because these are the age groups that I usually sell my books to in person. As well as people who have an interest in body horror, psychological thrillers, and or have a degree or education in the field of psychology.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

Although many may interpret this to be a negative trait, but I have no boundary as to what it is that I will cover. Some subjects even creep me out once I'm done writing it and I read over it. But in my mind, the weirder, the better. Not a lot of writers will do that.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I thought it would be interesting to see a stable minded young man interview a psychopath in an attempt to fix him. I thought that I would have a lot of fun coming up with disturbing things that the mental patient did leading to his being admitted.

What is your next book? Tell us a little about it.

I enjoy comedy as much as I do horror, and I think the combination is good.

Interview with The Devil Part I was originally going to have a few jokes in it.

My next book is going to be a dark comedy called “The Life and Times of Clementine Nevada.”

It will focus on a washed-up author attempting to regain a fan base and produce new material.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

Interview with The Devil Parts 1 & 2 are both available for purchase on I believe that they would be great gifts for book readers, as well as if you enjoy dark suspenseful thrillers that would relate to something that you would read about on the dark web for example.


I recently came across another author, Xu Xue Chun and his book Century Sentence: A Diary Written to God Accusing Against All of the World. I was so excited to read and learn about it and found his book so intriguing I have chosen it to be The Book of the Month. You can read his complete interview over on the page Dr. Mel's Book Club. But first, I wanted to introduce him.

Xu Xue Chun was born in Xinjiang, a province of China in 1972. It's in the northwest of China. It is very cold in winter and very hot in summer and is near Russia. His family came back to Shanghai one after another in accordance with Chinese policies when he was in college. He graduated from Shanghai University in 1995 and majored in electronic technology. In his interview, he said, "I feel like I've spent most of my life writing Century Sentence. I go to study, work, fall in love and get married all in order to understand the society, analyze and study the society, and earn money to support myself. What I've been doing with my heart and soul all my life is writing this book, Century Sentence."

In 2004, when the Chinese government was on the verge of collapse, he wrote five articles that were adopted by the Chinese government as a basic state policy. It helped the Chinese government get through the crisis and put China on the right track. At present, China is enjoying sound development in all aspects. Its people are prosperous, its society is stable, and it is recognized by all countries in the world. All this is because Xu Xue Chun gave the Chinese government correct guiding ideology. They have developed China with my wisdom.