Jim Stovall has written 25 books that range from technical business and economic self-help titles to inspirational novels and mysteries. He speaks approximately three times a month in arena events, conventions, and to schools. His best selling novel The Ultimate Gift was turned into a major motion picture. Now, The Ultimate Life, the prequel to The Ultimate Gift is coming to theaters this September.
How did you get the idea for The Ultimate Gift?
When I wrote The Ultimate Gift and subsequent titles in the series including The Ultimate Life, The Ultimate Journey, and the recently released Gift of a Legacy, I was looking for a way to share the principles from my non-fiction personal development books in a story. I have long believed that whether it’s a book, a speech, or a movie, if you can tell a good story you earn the right to share your message.
Which character in The Ultimate Gift do you connect with?
In all of the books in the series, beginning with The Ultimate Gift and through the new title The Gift of a Legacy, Jason Stevens is probably closer to who I really am while Red Stevens is who I want to be. Jason is not a bad person. He is who we all would be given unlimited resources and no responsibilities. Red Stevens has learned many life lessons through eighty years of achievement. He just wants to pass along that wisdom to Jason.
What led to The Ultimate Gift being turned into a movie?
I think several studios in Hollywood were drawn to the story, and we finally found movie partners who were committed to the message. Hollywood has a tendency to want to keep the story and forget the message. In all of my books, speeches, columns, and movies, I like telling the story but I am committed to the message.
What is it like seeing your words being turned into a movie?
I think having your book turned into a major motion picture is every author’s dream. It has happened to me four times now, and it is still an incredible experience. As a blind person myself, writing books I can’t read that are made into movies I can’t see creates an extra layer of fascination in the process.
How does the movie compare with the novel?
In both The Ultimate Gift and The Ultimate Life movies, the message remains intact, but certain parts of the storyline have to be altered to fit into a two-hour theatrical movie.
What has been the response to The Ultimate Gift novel and movie?
The response to The Ultimate Gift book/movie as well as the other movie and novels in the series up to the new Gift of a Legacy book, has been overwhelming. Top-level executives and world leaders have followed this continuing story in over 20 languages while many elementary and middle school students across the country learn these lessons from the same book and movie in their classrooms.
What can you tell us about The Ultimate Life movie coming out soon?
The Ultimate Life movie will be in theatres across the country September 6th. It is both a sequel and a prequel in that the story moves forward with Jason Stevens, then flashes back to connect to young Red Stevens. We have many of the great cast members who were in The Ultimate Gift appearing in The Ultimate Life along with new actors such as Peter Fonda who are introduced to the story.
Are you currently working on a new novel?
I am currently working on several books that are scheduled to be out later this year and in early 2014 including a financial book entitled The Millionaire Map, a compilation of my syndicated columns entitled Winners’ Wisdom, a biographical book about a recently discovered poet entitled Discovering Joye, a novelization of the movie version of The Ultimate Life, as well as the new title just released The Gift of a Legacy which is the fourth title in The Ultimate Gift series.
I appreciate interviewers and writers who help me connect with new readers and movie-goers. I know there are many people who may not read my book but will go to a theater to see the movie version of the story. I am committed to having everyone exposed to the story receiving the message, and I appreciate the opportunity through avenues like this to meet a new audience.