Anniversary Celebrations: Author Visit and Give-Away: Jay Bell - and some super exciting information!

We have a huge treat today - we are welcoming clubhouse favourite Jay Bell in again, with news about one of our favourite books being adapted for the big screen. That's right folks, Something Like Summer is being made into a film. Read on for news of this plus cast photos and how you can help. Jay is also offering up a fabulous prize!

Welcome Jay, it is, as ever a huge pleasure to have you here. Over to you.

The book was better than the movie. Most people have uttered this phrase at least once. You’ll read a book and love it, let your friends drag you to the cinema even though it can’t possibly be as good. When the credits roll, your friends turn to you with big eyes, eager to hear your verdict. That’s when you say it. The book was better. I’ve been in that situation many times before, and yes, I’ve certainly made the same claim. In many cases, I find the assertion to be absolutely true. It’s funny then to find myself in my current position. A book that is very special to me is being adapted for screen, and as usual, I’m both excited and apprehensive. This time though, the book in question is one I wrote. So if the book really is better, why am I so desperate to make sure the Something Like Summer movie comes to pass?

One of the biggest draws for me is being able to see the characters clearly for the first time. I have a pretty vivid imagination. Some of my characters I can visualize quite well. Others not so much, but nothing can compete with an actor bringing a character to life on screen. It’s always a little shocking when casting news is first announced, since it’s rare that a real-life person matches what you imagined. Sometimes you get lucky though. I’m pumped that Ben Baur will be playing Jace, because he really does look like the character in my mind. That won’t be the case for everyone, but there’s an upside regardless. Even if the actor’s appearance doesn’t mesh with what you imagine, being able to see someone act out crucial scenes—observing their range of facial expressions and the nuances of their body language—all that gets absorbed and reused the next time you read about those characters. That happened to me with the Harry Potter books. The casting was hit and miss for me, but soon it was hard to imagine anyone but the actors. While I did briefly mourn my personal concepts, the reading experience became even more immersive than before and really helped make the stories and characters feel more real.

Visuals are a strong advantage of a movie adaptation. So is sound. I don’t just mean the score, which helps guide the emotional journey of the audience. In some books, music is a big part of the plot, which is difficult to communicate in a medium of black and white text. The main character of Something Like Summer is Benjamin Bentley, and singing is one of his passions. His talent is important at multiple points in the story, and I’m excited this will be true of the movie too. Austin McKenzie will be playing Ben and Ajiona Alexus will take the role of his best friend Allison. The best part? Both of them can sing. Really really sing. The movie won’t be a musical, but music will be at its heart, helping to transition the story through its twelve-year plot. While I might have included clumsy lyrics and descriptions of singing in the book, seeing Ben and Allison tear up the stage together will be a much more memorable experience. People will be able to set the book aside and play the song from the talent show scene if they want, or read along while listening to it in the background. How cool will that be?

Movies are also a social activity. It’s possible to read the same book as someone, but it’s not something you can experience at the exact same time, laughing or crying on cue together. I like the idea of Summer gaining that group dynamic. Not everyone enjoys reading either, so for the first time these characters I love dearly will reach a new audience. The movie is also likely to be dubbed or subtitled into more languages than the book is currently available in. So there are many reasons why I want this project to happen… but will the book still be better? In some ways. Books don’t have limited runtimes or budget constraints. That means more detail, more plot, more everything—the only true limit being your imagination. That’s hard to compete with. But as we discussed above, there are definitely some things a book can’t do that a movie can. So instead of saying the book is better, perhaps it’s fairer to invert that phrase and turn it on its side. The movie is always different. When done right, a screen adaptation will complement the book it’s based on, revealing to us the story’s highlights while helping to enhance our own imaginations. From what I’ve seen of the script, that’s just what the Something Like Summer movie will do. 
We need your help to make it happen though. Right now we’re running an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the movie, and even if cinema isn’t your thing, one of the perks for contributing is a new and exclusive Something Like… story. You can find out more at this link: Even if movies aren’t your style, if you could help spread the word, I would adore you even more than I do now. Need a bribe? How about winning a free set of Seasons series books? That’s Something Like Summer, Winter, Autumn, and Spring. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below! Thank you in advance for any help you can give. Hopefully I’ll see you in the theater. I’ll be the guy one row back, annoyingly rustling his bag of Twizzlers during the most romantic scenes. Sorry! I just can’t resist the things!

Wow - exciting stuff hey! I hope they supply plenty of tissues along with the popcorn - my heart's still not recovered from reading this book! Thank you Jay for popping by, it's been a real pleasure. We're very excited about this film!

Jay has brought with him an amazing giveaway. He is offering a paperback set of the Seasons books to one lucky winner. That's four books in total, Summer through to Spring. Comment below, telling us which book you'd like to see made into a film and if you have any actors in mind for the MC's. As ever please leave a way of contacting you (e-mail, twitter, facebook) as well as your name. A name will be picked using a randomiser on Wednesday 3rd December, 12pm GMT. Good luck!

To find out more about JAy Bell, visit his Goodreads page.


  1. This would be an amazing film! I actually have a t-shirt that says "The Book was Better" but I'm always open to film adaptations. I'm not good at casting but would love to see Abi Roux's Cut & Run books, Josh Lanyon's Adrien English or Charlie Cochet's THIRDS as films.

    debdeege (at) optonline (dot) net

  2. Thank you for the giveaway! I would love to see Omorphi by C Kennedy and The Locker Room by Amy Lane made into film.

  3. Thank you for the awesome giveaway, and congrats on your movie !!! mevalem258 AT gmail DOT com

  4. Awesome can't wait love the books and know the movie will be awesome too

  5. Doesn't everyone who's ever read a great book wish that it could be a movie (if only because then more people would know how great of a story it is)? When I see what gets made into movies and what doesn't, sometimes it's just frustrating. So many great stories go unrecognized. I'm so glad Something Like Summer is not going to be one of those! I love all of Jay's Something Like books and have wanted them in paperback. Maybe this'll be the way that happens. Thanks for the chance, and I'm so looking forward to watching SLS!

    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

  6. I would liketo see Charlie Cochrane's "Cambridge Fellows Mysteries" that would be so great. Also Amy Lane's "Keeping Promise Rock."


  7. Thanks for the great giveaway! I would love to see Abi Roux's Cut & Run series as movies even though I know the books usually are better.


  8. This book needs to be a movie!
    It deserves that recognition :D
    There are a lot of non-readers out there (who prefers watching than reading) who deserves to know this spectacular story.
    Reading the story is just pure bliss :)

    In regards with the casting, hmm... that's hard. I do not know a lot of actors so I cannot really recommend one. but for the actors who are already part of the cast, they seem perfect for their role.
    Got me soo excited.

    Thank you boymeetsboy for this giveaway.
    Thank you Jay Bell for this giveaway also and the writing this fantastic books.
    Thanks Blue Seraph for believing in the story and making it as a movie.


  9. A book I always wanted to see made as a movie is " the catch trap" by Marion Zimmer Bradley. The two main characters are trapeze aerialists. I'd love to see Charlie David as Mario and maybe Brent Corrigan as Tommy.

  10. I know that a majority of my friends are non-readers so I'll definitely be dragging them along with me when it comes out (hopefully in a local UK cinema or on DVD). The books and film will hopefully get that recognition they deserve!

    As for books I want to see adapted, Candyfloss by Jacqueline Wilson is definitely top of the list. Mainly because Ruby O'Donnell looks and fits the part of the main character Flora Barnes.

    Thank you so much for doing this giveaway and good luck to everyone who enters!

    My email:

  11. I would love to see Omorphi by C Kennedy! I haven't read this book yet but the cover is simply beautiful! Thank you for the awesome giveaway, and congratulations on your movie!

  12. Congrats on the movie!!!!

  13. I would love to see the culling by Steven dos Santos become a movie. It has everything it take to make a great movie, love, death, action, drama, heartache. And to play the leading role would be max thieriot. Hopefully something like summer will come to life, I have read and love everyone of jays books.

  14. So exited for this movie, this saga is one of my favourites of all time, can't wait to see it in action. And would love to win the giveaway the covers are so gorgeous and I only see them in black and white on my kindle. Thank you Jay for writing these amazing stories, and this give away. If I could cast a movie for a book, off the top of my head I would say Tom Hardy as Agent Sloane Brodie (Hell & High Water by Charlie Cochet).

  15. I'd love to see Cut & Run series in some sort of mini series and I think the new Hell & High Water series would be awesome.

    dmdkindle at gmail dot com

  16. Ah! Made it just in time (sorry for spamming you with comments, lovely ones xD)

    I would LOVE to see Plan B made into a film or Chase the Storm. I don't even care about the actors. They just need to be made ASAP +D Delicious.

  17. Congratulations Shirley Ann, you are the randomly chosen winner of this fabulous prize! We will be in touch.

    Thank you everyone for joining in the fun here at BMBR!