|Monument Rocks in western Kansas.|
By Julie Tollefson
Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of seeing one of my favorite novels, The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard, come to life on the big screen. The movie—screenplay by Jeff Robison and Casey Twenter, directed by Blake Robbins—played to two sold-out crowds at the Kansas City Film Fest and won the festival's "Best Narrative Feature Film" award.
The film richly portrays the secrets and lies swirling in rural Oklahoma after a convicted murderer’s release from prison causes the daughter of his victims to question whether he actually committed the crime. It’s dusty and full of suspense and captures the cracks radiating through a community when tragedy strikes a close knit and influential family.
Q&A after first screening of the film at the Kansas City
Film Fest (Nancy Pickard, third from left).
The cast is excellent and includes Maika Monroe, Brad Carter, Justin Chatwin, Maggie Grace, Bonnie Bedelia, and Will Patton.
|Mid- to late-1970s teenaged me (left) with my parents at Monument Rocks.|
Pickard’s novel portrays that little-traveled part of the state with a deep affection for its people and their way of life. Her story embodies two of the recurring themes that crop up in my own fiction and in my posts for Writers Who Kill: small towns and Kansas landscapes.
“The Scent of Rain and Lightning” is playing the film festival circuit now. Keep an eye out for it!
Scent of Rain and Lightning on Facebook
Nancy Pickard’s website, with complete film festival screening information
What are your favorite movies based on books?