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Once upon a time (read: last year), I wrote a post on fairy tales for adults. You can read it here. I’ve decided to make it annual, because modern authors are constantly borrowing from fairy and folk tales, invigorating them with fresh life.
Scotland has been getting a lot of attention lately. Emotions may still be running high in the wake of their verdict to remain part of the UK, but it's a good time to be a Scotophile (the jury seems to be out on whether that's a real word but we'll pretend it is). It’s certainly a good time to be a bagpiper; bagpipe music has abounded in the background of the coverage. It’s a good time to be someone who doesn’t get annoyed when people ask what you’re wearing under your clothes (a frequently asked question of kilt-wearers).
As a person who writes about books, I’m pretty much required to turn up my nose and say the book is better any time one is adapted into a movie or a show.
If there is one series that has crossed multiple generations and genres, it is the Outlander novels. The books, the first of which was published in 1991, have slowly but surely acquired a large base of fans, many of whom who have been reading the series for over 20 years.
One of my favorite parts of my job is conducting interviews for REAL TALK: Publishing. I get to meet people with the most interesting jobs, and, like our readers, get a sneak peek into a side of the book industry that I likely know little about. Preparing for our upcoming REAL TALK interview with audiobook producer/director May Wuthrich was no exception, and actually, it was extra special, because it came with a field trip! May invited me to watch an hour of her recording session with Mozhan Marnò (“House of Cards” fans will recognize her as reporter Ayla Sayyad), who was narrating READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN author Azar Nafisi’s newest book, THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION: America in Three Books. Here are a few of the most interesting things I discovered:
It’s been a week and winter is no longer coming. Whether you are a fan of “Game of Thrones” or are sick of hearing everyone talk about it, the fact remains that the ubiquitous cultural phenomenon is going dormant for the next 10 months.
For those of us who aren’t Stephen King or Donna Tartt, which should be everyone --- unless you are reading this, Stephen or Donna, in which case, hello! --- writing a novel is a strange, complicated and occasionally ridiculous undertaking. Writing time has to be balanced with other obligations. There is no certainty that there will be some kind of payoff in the end. And, when you are between the ages of 18 and 22, there is the added complication of Not Sounding Like a Douchebag when you tell people you are writing a novel.
I’ve always been interested in what classifies a book as “highbrow” or “lowbrow.” What elusive factors --- aside from the basic quality of the writing --- make some books more valued than others? And readers have different tastes; so who gets to decide these things, anyway? But our culture seems to have an invisible yet ever-present value system; a mutual agreement of which books we would most proudly display of if we ever met an alien who asked to see examples of our art.
Veronica Roth's bestselling YA Divergent series made its long-awaited theatrical debut last Friday. I was lucky enough (thanks to HarperCollins!) to catch an advanced screening on Thursday afternoon at one of the best theaters (and a personal fave!) in town. Just like any other Superfan (or diehard movie enthusiast), I would have willingly waited in line for a good seat at midnight as the flick delivered a star-studded cast, great music and the best part of all, a compelling story. But it was all made so much more enjoyable with a courtesy small popcorn and soda in hand. And I can't forget to mention the brief, but very heartfelt speech Roth gave as an introduction to the movie (yes, she was present in flesh and blood) --- she has a way of making each and every one of her readers feel like a special part of her book's growing success. I'll give you some highlights of the movie that are sure to make you more pumped about your planned viewing for this upcoming weekend...in case you haven't seen it yet. (But, seriously...have you been living under a rock?!)