3 Screenwriters Turned Novelists

By Sean Tuohy

Writing is writing no matter the format. Screenplays, novels, poems, and Writer’s Bone essays are all valuable forms of writing.

There are an elite few that are able to bounce between different formats with ease. Screenwriters are a tough breed, so it’s not surprising when they slip into the world of prose.

Below are three screenwriters who switched to novels:

Stephan J. Cannell

Stephan J. Cannell is one of the most well-known television writers of the 20th Century and produced more than two dozen script television shows before becoming a bestselling novelist. His award-winning Detective Shane Scully series was beloved and showcased Cannel's natural storytelling talent and his close eye for detail and research. Cannell's mysteries featured fast moving plots and engrossing characters that sucked you into Cannell’s world completely. He’s truly one of the best storytellers of our time.

Doug Richardson

Our buddy Doug Richardson penned such hits as “Bad Boys” and “Die Hard” before moving to novels. Like Cannell, Richardson is also a natural storyteller with great timing and the ability to develop wonderful characters. His thriller novels True Believers and Blood Money were smash hits. It is very easy to get lost in the worlds that Richardson creates and it’s even hard to pull yourself out of them.

Robert Crais

Robert Crais started as a television writer, penning episodes of “Hill Street Blues” and other groundbreaking shows of that era before creating one of the most endearing private detective series in modern fiction. 

His Elvis Cole series, which is still going strong, was groundbreaking for its first person narrative, flashbacks, and multiple storylines. Crais’ ability to engineer fun, edge-of-your-seat stories makes him a great read in any format.

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