GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A book signing Sunday in Gulfport served double duty as a movie promotion.
The book, "Wildflowers," will be basis for the inaugural film by a faith-based production company on the Coast. It's the third book by former Jackson County resident Schledia Phillips.
"Every writer dreams of having their books made into movies," Phillips said. "So, it's awesome."
It was picked as the first film to be produced by Sure Vision Productions. But, its theme of domestic violence creates a challenge to traditional spiritually guided teachings.
"I heard a minister saying one time how he had advised a woman not to leave her husband when she came to him saying that she was being abused," Phillips said. "And he said he didn't believe in divorce - that she needed to go home and pray for her husband and that just kind of dropped it in there because he got a phone call no long after that, that she had been beaten almost to death."
The book was published in 2012. Eventually, Phillips heard about the new company and approached producer Ronnie Blakeney. He thinks the book fits in well with the company directive.
"Some sad parts in the movie, but yet some powerful parts in the movie," Blakeney said. "It's really got a message to it that something good can come in life even though there's some bad things you've dealt with."
The independent movie is good experience for Lyndan Anderson, who plays two-faced character Shane Garrish.
"It's been really fun. It's been a lot of fun," Anderson said. "It helped me learn a lot about myself, and a lot about film making, and I think I'll keep doing it."
Another evil character, Loretta McGrath, is played by New Orleans actor Cathie Perez Reyes.
"I'm usually not someone who's falling apart," McGrath said. "I'm usually the person fixing the people. The best friend, the awesome neighbor. But, I never get to be a villain, so this is awesome."
The lead characters are played by Dusty Brown and Mackenzie Brown.
"I love playing the role of Susan Blackman because I would like to think that I'm like her character. Cause she's really nice. She's a Godly girl," Mackenzie said. "It's been pretty good. I'm having fun, and that's all that counts."
The movie, which is being shot entirely on the Coast, is expected to be release in the summer of 2017.