Franklin bookstore owners serve as back story for book turned into movie

Weekend Extra

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – Five years ago, the Franklin Theatre rolled out the red carpet for the world premiere of the movie “The Bridge.” It’s a love story based on the book by New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury.

Joel and Carol Tomlin never dreamed their lives could be the stuff that movies are made of, but it happened when author Karen Kingsbury decided their bookstore would be the setting for her book, The Bridge.

“We always wanted to do something together and this was a dream come true,” said Carol Tomlin.

The Tomlins dreamed life after kids. Married for 25 years, they blended families and raised seven children.

“When we got married our kids’ ages ranged from 6 to 16 and so we said when that youngest one graduated we were going to find something we could do together,” said Joel Tomlin.

With an empty nest in 2005, they opened a bookstore. It was risky because bookstores were closing across the country.

“We opened the bookstore to be together. We both loved books. I had been collecting books since I was a child. I’ve just been reading them. My wife loves to read and so when the opportunity opened up in dad’s old bookstore, we didn’t have to think long about it,” said Joel.

With 50,000 books bought from Dad’s old bookstore and Joel’s private collection, Landmark Booksellers opened for business.

The shop is deep in southern Americana with local authors of interest along with an impressive collection of signed books, old books, new books, and classic titles in the children’s section. There are even books about books.

But the one book that often brings customers into Landmark is “The Bridge”, a Karen Kingsbury novel set in the bookstore with Joel and Carol as the main characters.

“Faith ford played me. Ted McGinley played Joel,” said Carol.

“Karen has such a large and faithful following it has brought people into our store every day of the week since who have said, ‘We came to see the bridge,'” said Joel.

“The Bridge” became a hallmark movie in 2015. Customers still want to know what’s truth and what’s fiction?

“Our short answer is this: everything in that book and that movie is true except the parts that aren’t. it is fiction.”

Joel and Carol call Landmark a book lovers’s paradise.

It has such a warm inviting feel, and it’s the kind of place where you can browse comfortably and get a lot of information from Joel.

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