The verdict's in after our literary-themed costume contest. . .
Fans of Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié’s New York Times bestselling Wicked series got a huge surprise on Monday. DreamWorks Studios (known for other book adaptations such as The Kite Runner and forthcoming The Lovely Bones ) bought the movie rights to the five-book saga, which tells the story of Holly Cathers, a descendent of a coven of witches (who falls for a guy from their rival House).
Since we know that a call from DreamWorks is a dream-come-true for an author hoping for a movie deal, we had to contact Holder and Viguié for their reactions to the news.
“Once we hit the New York Times bestseller list, the nibbles we'd had on our books became more serious,” said Holder in an e-mail interview. “Then about three months ago, our literary agent, Howard Morhaim, and our film agent, Michael Prevett of Gotham Group, started preparing us that serious negotiations were about to begin, but I kept a lid on my hopes. Once we were in negotiations with DreamWorks, it dawned on me that we’d been writing about the reality of magic for seven years, and something magical was happening to us. I really took a look at the name of the studio...dream/works. A place that creates dreams. And makes them come true. I think every writer daydreams about selling a novel to a place like DreamWorks, but in our case, we stand to sell them five.”
What Wicked scene do you most want to see on the big screen?
Nancy Holder: Well, avoiding any spoilers, I would love to see one of the big battles. I want to see Holly face down Michael Deveraux. And I would really love to see the scene with the birds in the skies of London. A certain song based on a ballad that we used would be lovely to hear on the soundtrack.
Debbie Viguié: Is it cheating if I say “all of them”? Seriously, from the second book, I’d love to see the scene where Nicole meets up with the Spanish coven in Europe.
Are there any actresses you envision as Holly, Amanda or Nicole?
NH: There have been some great fan YouTubes suggesting various actresses. I loved talking to the casting director(s) at “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” about how the show was cast. So much more goes into it than simply figuring out who would make a great Holly or a wonderful Nicole. The actors have to have chemistry with each other as well. Here are some actresses I would hope could have some sort of role in Wicked: Danielle Panabaker, Emily Browning, Zoe Saldana, Bryce Dallas Howard, Eva Green, Emily Blunt, Evan Rachel Wood, Keira Knightley, Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. I would love it if Adrien Brody could have a part. BTW, Richard Dean Anderson is my guilty pleasure. I usually watch between five and ten episodes of “Stargate SG-1” a week.
DV: “Who would you cast?” is one of the favorite games my husband and I play. I’ve got ideas for several of the older parts, and I also love all the fan suggestions. I’d love to see Molly C. Quinn as either Nicole or Amanda, Jensen Ackles as Eli and Jackie Earle Haley as Uncle Richard.
What project are you working on right now?
NH: I’m so happy that Debbie and I are still working together! We’re just about to turn in Crusade: Converted, the first book in a new series for Simon and Schuster. It’s similiar in style and tone to Wicked, but it concerns a band of vampire hunters based in Salamanca, Spain, after the “Cursed Ones” have declared war on the human race. I’m in love with it.
It’s that time of year when my weekly TV consumption increases by about 200% and the first newspaper section I read in the morning is sports. . . The World Series!
I’m not a huge baseball fanatic during the regular season, but when the post-season rolls around, I can’t help but get caught in the fever. In the spirit of this year’s Phillies v. Yankees showdown, I asked our Twitter followers for baseball book suggestions. We got a great variety of answers: from Wait Til Next Year, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s memoir about bonding with her family through their love of the Brooklyn Dodgers, to Sliding into Home, Joanne Rock’s new Harlequin anthology of baseball-themed steamy short stories.
At the start of the season in April, sports blogger Martin Brady wrote a baseball roundup for BookPage. He recommended Matt McCarthy’s Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit, a memoir of a minor league player in Provo, Utah; Straw: Finding My Way, about former Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry; and others. If you’re intrigued by the lives of umpires (I am – do they ever get hate mail?), you’ll love Bruce Weber’s As They See ’Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires, in which the author “charts umpiring history, profiles some of the legendary practitioners, explains recent labor disputes and attempts to clarify some famous on-the-field incidents.”
So, in honor of the World Series, here’s a question to think about as you wait for tonight’s first pitch: What book best captures baseball?
The title that immediately comes to my mind is Bette Bao Lord’s now classic In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. My teacher read it to our class in the third grade, and I believe I got scolded for sneaking peeks at the book under my desk during math time (then went out an slugged a homer at my softball game after school.)
In this new weekly series, we’ll excerpt a memorable passage from a book we’re currently reading.
The Privileges by Jonathan Dee
January 2010 from Random House
She looked at him as if he were a little mad, but then she caught something exciting in his eyes and threw up her hands and said, “Why not?” That was it: everything was open to them. What was life’s object if not that?
When I sat down to interview Jessica Verday at Davis-Kidd bookstore in Nashville, I hoped to hear juicy details about how she came to write a paranormal teen romance inspired by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Well, I got that info (which you can read about here), plus an unexpected gift: perfume inspired by her book.
Abbey Browning, the main character in Verday’s novel, The Hollow, loves to create scents with various herbs and oils. (Perfume-making provides a distraction while she’s falling in love with Caspian, a mysterious guy she met at the Sleepy Hollow cemetery. . . )
Now, there are now real-life perfumes based on Abbey, Caspian and Kristen, Abbey’s best friend.
Product description from Verday’s blog:
Abbey: Clove, blood orange, honey, and red apples dance among a base of sandalwood and incense. Intoxicating. Lovely. Layered. Just like our heroine.
Kristen: Grapefruit, ginger, vanilla, and myrrh swirl together to create a sweetheart of a scent. What else could be a better fit for a best friend?
Caspian: Pumpkin pie, fall leaves, vanilla, and bonfire smoke make up this mysterious and luscious blend. Careful, too much will only leave you wanting more.
To win the perfume, read the profile and answer this question: What is the tentative title of book two in Verday's trilogy? The first person to e-mail me (eliza at bookpage dot com) with the correct answer gets the perfume (which, from the box, smells great!).
Today at the Book Case, we're welcoming author Sara Morgan, an entrepreneur who explains how readers can achieve success on their own terms in a new book, No Limits: How I Escaped the Clutches of Corporate America to Live the Self-Employed Life of My Dreams. Today she shares her top 10 tips for successful self-employment with Book Case readers. Give your own in the comments, and you'll be entered to win a free copy of No Limits!
Top 10 tips for successful self-employment
I have been self-employed for the past four years, and in that time I have learned a few things about what to do and what not to do. The following are what I consider to be the top 10 tips for finding your way to successful self-employment.
#1 – Do something you are passionate about. Without passion, it will be very difficult for you to deal with the inevitable problems that will arise. Don’t pick a business just because it promises a lot of money. I think many small businesses fail because the person running the business did not really love what they were doing.
#2 – Don’t wait till the last minute to consider things like taxes. Schedule a consultation with a CPA if you need to, but don’t put it off until the end of the year unless you enjoy facing stiff penalties.
#3 – Use an accounting program to get organized—I recommend the online version of Quickbooks. It is very affordable and easy to use. Don’t make the mistake of trying to manage your finances with a pen and paper. You may quickly become overwhelmed.
#4 – Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others. This includes not only your family, but people in your community as well. You may be surprised to find out how helpful people really are.
#5 – Consider having multiple streams of income to ensure that you are able to survive financially, even in the event of a downturn or unforeseen circumstance. Just be careful not to take on too much. You do not want to compromise your primary business by putting too much on your plate.
#6 – Trust your instincts. Too many times we ignore our instincts, but research has shown that our instincts are typically correct.
#7 – Become a feedback machine. Get advice from everyone you can before starting out on your own and even after you are established. Don’t think of it as criticism, but rather a source of valuable information.
#8 – Schedule breaks and stick to them. It is very easy to let things get away from you when you own your own business. Resist the urge to over work yourself. You will not be doing your business or family any favors if you are stressed out from working too much.
#9 - Never give up. Most often people fail because they gave up too soon. Running your own business can be hard, but it can also be very rewarding. Hang in there, even during the tough times.
#10 –Don’t forget to have fun. Your business and life should be fun. If you’re not having fun, then it just ain’t worth it.
Since I know our blog followers love free stuff and info about upcoming books (who doesn’t?), I thought I’d make sure our new readers know all about our popular e-newsletter, BookPageXTRA, which goes out twice a month.
In each issue of BookPageXTRA, readers will find something new, like advance access to author interviews and features on BookPage.com, exclusive reviews, or sneak previews of our print edition. We also give away books—and lots of ’em. (In our last issue, one XTRA reader won Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna, David Baldacci’s True Blue, John Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River and Mary Karr’s Lit . . . even with the crazy price wars, that’s still a deal.)
The next issue comes out Nov. 2. . . sign up for free right now!
Over on BookPage.com we have a web-exclusive feature with Brandon Sanderson, the YA and fantasy author who was hand-picked to complete Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. His long-awaited contribution to the cycle (the first of the final three books), The Gathering Storm, goes on sale today.
Are you a Jordan fan? Don't miss our Q&A with him for book 10, where he predicted the series could be completed in just two more books. (Obviously he was an optimist!) The Wheel of Time is an epic quest/battle series in the tradition of Tolkien. What's your favorite fantasy series? Comment letting us know and you'll be entered to win a copy of The Gathering Storm.
Though she made her name with the historical Slammerkin, Irish-Canadian novelist Emma Donoghue is also known for her contemporary fiction. After last year's historical, The Sealed Letter, Donoghue has plans to publish a ripped-from-the-headlines story with Little, Brown. As she describes it on her site, Room is a "dark contemporary novel in the voice of a five-year-old boy," who happens to have been held captive in a garden shed (with his mother) most of his life. Shades of Jaycee Dugard, but, eerily, Donoghue had been working on the novel for months when Dugard was discovered in the Garridos' backyard.
Don't miss our interview with Donoghue for her 2004 historical, Life Mask.
A few weeks ago I posted about Nightlight, the parody of everyone’s favorite vampire love story. The completed book arrived at our office today, and in honor of Halloween (and because we need costume ideas), we will give it away to one creative reader.
To win: In the comments section, give us an idea for a literary-themed Halloween costume. (I dressed up as Nancy Drew two years ago, so that’s out.) The winner will be our favorite, which I'll announce on Thursday at 5 p.m.
And stay tuned, because we’ll have another spooky giveaway later in the week. While you wait, read our handwritten interview from Stephenie Meyer, author of the original Twilight.