If are more then a casual fan of this blog then you know that I am a huge Rick Riordan fan. I know he writes for kids but I find his writing to be so clever and charming. He has introduced to stories and myths that I didn’t know before or had forgotten. He has widen his universe to be the most inclusive in children’s literature. He uses his voice and privilege to ally and uplift other voices that don’t always get the spotlight. To put it simply. Rick is a good egg. He is also been one of the biggest critics of the movies of his own books. While the way he trolls them is amusing it does highlight the difference between the two mediums and how as much as we think Authors have a say in the movies based on their work, they don’t. We all have a favorite book that was completely ruined by it’s movie. For fans of Percy Jackson the movie is just terrible and almost unrecognizable to the books. The choices that the filmmakers chose made it almost impossible to make it a franchise. I think they realized it with the second movie and tried to fix it but it was already too late. A problem that Rick foresaw when the filmmaker’s asked for his opinion. Today, Rick posted a blog post where he details the email conversations with the filmmaker’s and how little power he had in the process. It’s an interesting read and I suggest taking a few minutes to read.
First, it kills any possibility of a movie franchise. I don’t know if you or your staff have had the chance to read farther than The Lightning Thief in the Percy Jackson series, but there are four other volumes. The series is grounded on the premise that Percy must progress from age twelve to age sixteen, when according to a prophecy he must make a decision that saves or destroys the world. I assume that XXXX would at least like to keep open the option of sequels assuming the first movie does well. Starting Percy at seventeen makes this undoable. I’m also sure that XXXXX (for) the first Harry Potter movie, some in the studio argued for making the characters older to appeal to a teen audience. Fortunately, they took the long view and stayed true to the source material, which allowed them to grow a lucrative franchise. This would’ve been impossible if they’d started Harry at seventeen. The same principle applies here.
Lately some of the books we have read are being turned into TV shows and we couldn’t be happier about it. Here’s three that will be hitting the airwaves in the next couple of years.
The first being The Raven Cycle by Stacks Fave Maggie Stiefvater. It’s still in development but making progress. It’s found a home on Syfy with Catherine Hardwick of Twilight fame at the helm. Now this series is perfect for a series. There is really just too much for a movie. Too much of it’s weirdness and nuances would have to be cut out to make it fit into a two hour movie. As a TV show, we can get all the adventures of Blue and the Raven boys and also expand on the people of Henrietta. I’m particularly hopeful they dip deeper into the ladies of 300 Fox Way. I’ve been dying to know more about Maura, Calla and Persephone. Like how did they even meet?
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor has been optioned by HBO and produced by George R.R. Martin. This is exciting because it takes place in a post-nuclear-holocaust Africa meaning an all black cast. Yeah diversity on TV! I’m not sure how this will play as a TV series. It wasn’t a very long book but plenty of room to expand on the universe. Go more into Onyesonwu’s people and the conflict between the Okeye and Nuru. If you are squirmish about some of the violence in Game of Thrones this is going to be any better. There were several scenes in the book that were very hard for me to read. I’m not sure how they are going to do them on TV, even if it is HBO. I can definitely tell you that there will be nothing like this on TV and the fact that HBO and George R.R. Martin are taking it on is impressive. Almost makes you forget that they are also trying to make a TV show about the Confederacy. Almost
Who Fears Death maybe produced by George R.R. Martin and HBO but in my mind N.K. Jemisin’s novel The Fifth Season is probably closer to Game of Thrones in scale of epic story telling. The Hugo winning novel was picked up by TNT earlier this week. I’m not even sure how they will be able to present this on screen without giving too much away. It also means more diversity on primetime television as the main characters are all women of color. If this done right it’s going to be impressive. This also reminds me I better get on to reading book two in the Broken Earth series, The Obelisk Gate.
Last year Rick Riordan announced that he was starting a new imprint to highlight diverse authors and diverse stories. His mythology based stories have made him famous. So far he has tackled Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Norse mythology but he often gets asked about exploring other culture’s mythologies as well. Being a while male, he has wisely said that he was not the right person the write about Mayan or Indian mythology however it did spark him to start his own imprint so marginalized authors can write about their own cultures. It was just announced the first three titles under Rick’s new imprint. Yoon Ha Lee, Roshani Chokshi and Jennifer Cervantes will author the first books. Yoon Ha Lee’s book Dragon Pearl will take on stories from Korean Mythology. Roshani Chokshi’s series, Aru Shah and the End of Time, is based off of Indian Mythology and Jennifer Cervantes’s book Storm Runner will have inspiration from Mayan Mythology. All three sound interesting and will be published in 2018. Adding all three to my to-read list.
EDIT: Rick went to his Tumblr page to give more details on his Imprint, his role and involvement with the books and more information on the authors and more indepth synopsis of Dragon Pearl, Aru Shar and the End of Time, and Storm Runner. I highly recommend checking out if nothing else for a tiny glimpse into the publishing world.
April 2016 was our most successful month page views wise. We had 589 views, which beat our previous record of 552 in December 2015. It made me wonder what were we writing about a year ago to get so much traffic. Well, The Raven Cycle and Maggie Stiefvater. It’s hard to believe that the The Raven King came out a year ago. That it has been a year since we found out if Gansey, Blue, Ronan and Adam would find the sleeping Welsh King and If Blue and Gansey would kiss and if Gansey would die. Those mysteries have been solved. Thankfully, we know that we haven’t read the last of the Gang as Maggie is working on a trilogy about Ronan. Whee!!!
My editor is going to hate me, but I just outlined three books for a Ronan-centered trilogy.
And we have another Maggie book coming in October. So we have a lot to look forward to but let’s take a moment, in honor of the 1 year anniversary of the release of The Raven King and the end of the The Raven Cycle, to look at everything we have ever written about the series.
SQUEE! This is the most fantastic news! I’m so happy that it’s being adapted for TV and not a movie because a 2 hour movie could never hold the likes of Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Adam and Noah. This would be perfect for as a Netflix show or even maybe AMC. I just hope they do it justice.
So this news is a couple days old but I’ve been vacation but LOOK AT THE COVER FOR MAGGIE STIEVFATER’S NEW BOOK! I would read anything that Maggie writes so I’m very looking forward to October for this one comes out. It’s sounds like it’s going to be a very Maggie type book.
The book, titled All the Crooked Saints, takes place in the 1960s in Bicho Raro, Colorado and follows the lives of three members of the Soria family—each of whom is searching for their own miracle. There’s Beatriz, who appears to lack feelings but wants to study her mind; Daniel, the “Saint” of Bicho Raro, a miracle worker for everyone but himself; and Joaquin (a.k.a. Diablo Diablo), who runs a pirate radio station at night
Squee! With the end of the The Raven Cycle last year, I need some more Maggie in my life and if you are like me then you do too. It’s only a standalone which I appreciate. I really don’t need another series in my life and we know that Maggie is working on a new Ronan Trilogy so I can live with only one book. In the meantime, here’s a little interview with her from Entertainment Weekly to tie us over until October..
Day two of Book Riot Live started off with a bang. Rebecca Joines Schinsky and Liberty Hardy did a live recording of their podcast All the Books. Discussing all the best books released this week. Including Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and Anna Kendricks new book whose title escapes me. The two are friends and their chemistry is undeniable.
I decided that after this week I needed some levity and light so I went to the Bookish Broadway Sing-along. All songs were loosely based on books one way of another. Classics like Phantom of the Opera to Annie to Les Mis and of course Hamilton. They did a request and we all sang the Circle of Life from The Lion King. I really wish I took better photos and a video.
Next was Live Pictionary with Sarah Anderson and Valentine De Landro. Sarah writes Sarah’s scribbles and Valentine draws for Marvel, DC and cocreator of Bitch Planet. I’m amazed both at the drawing and people able to guess.
After a little donut break. I checked out Slash Live with a Alyssa Cole, Michael Strother and Zoraida Córdova. Slash is sort of like apples to apples and cards against humanity in which everyone had a set of cards with a name and description of a pop culture character. Each person takes turns picking a character and making a situation and everyone else must pick a character from their own stack and create story based on the situation. Like Xander from Buffy falling for Big foot. It’s very fun to play.
The final panel of the night was Nerd Jeopardy with Mara Wilson, Mark Osborn and Sara Farizan. It was like real jeopardy but without Alex Trebeck and all clues were about shoes. Book nerds are the best. If the panelist didn’t know the answer someone in the audience did. It was very amusing and for those who are curious, Mara won.
So that’s it for this year. I’m looking forward to what Book Riot will do next year.
Famed book website Book Riot is hosting their second Book Riot this weekend in New York. Like the website the panels are diverse and talk about books, authors and genres that are often overlooked in the mainstream media.
The first panel I attended was Nobody Asked Us with Amanda Nelson, Jeff O’Neal and Rebecca Joines Schinsky. Basically it was them talking about everything about how the website is run. The stories they write and the how they go about bringing different voices to their site.
The second panel was a live recording of their podcast Get Booked wth Nelson, Jenn Worthington and author Jade Chang. If you are not familiar with the podcast is personalized book recommendations. Readers write in to ask for ideas for their next books. It’s was super fun and very informative. For one I didn’t realize Meg Abbott had a new book about gymnasts. Yes please! The podcast goes live next week.
The last panel was with Schinsky interviewed author Walter Mosley. I confess I haven’t read any of his book and the only I could name was A Devil in a Blue Dress and mostly because Denzel is in the movie. Mr. Mosley is one funny funny man. He made many good points about the relationship between literary and genre authors. We praise literary authors as great novelist and score genre but let’s be honest. We all read more genre then anything else. I’ll be adding his books to my to-read list.
Today my friend Melissa and I viewed the Charlotte Bronte exhibit at the Morgan Library. It featured many on Charlotte and her sisters works including letters and early drafts of their books. Here are few pictures I took. I hope you enjoy.