It's been a big year for fans of Maggie Stiefvater. The final book in her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, Forever, came out in July . . . and just last week she released a new stand-alone book, The Scorpio Races. This novel is about a couple of teens who risk their lives in dangerous horse races on cliffs.
Trisha and I had the opportunity to meet Maggie at the American Library Association conference in New Orleans this year. Trisha talked to her about leaving her characters from the world of Shiver behind, and Maggie told us a bit about her research for The Scorpio Races.
Best part of the interview: When Maggie tells us how she had the opportunity to have a romantic day of sightseeing with her husband while she was on tour in Paris—and instead she whisked him off to go look at cliffs as research for the new book.
I linked to this video back in July, but I wanted to share it again in case any of you need reminding about The Scorpio Races. Other news: Today on Publishers Marketplace it was announced that Warner Brothers has bought the film rights to the novel.
Here's the interview from ALA:
Just for fun, check out this awesome stop-motion trailer that Maggie created for The Scorpio Races:
Have you read, or will you read, The Scorpio Races? We'll let you know if we hear any more details about the movie . . .
It's been an interesting few years for Jane Austen fans. With homages, continuations and mashups of the 19th-century novelist's works coming at a dizzying pace, it's hard to know which are worth reading.
One of the few that belong in that camp is Shannon Hale's Austenland, which I found "clever and imaginative" back in 2007. Hollywood agreed; the book was optioned for a movie and Hale spent 7 weeks on the set last month. It stars Jennifer Coolidge, Keri Russell and JJ Feild.
Now Hale has written another book set at Pembroke Park, a British estate where you can live the Regency lifestyle (for a price). Midnight in Austenland's heroine, Charlotte, is escaping her recently remarried ex and their ungrateful children. Like Jane, the heroine of Austenland, Charlotte finds herself more caught up in the activities at Pembroke than she thought she'd be—and it's hard to tell where fantasy ends and reality begins. The book will be published in January by Bloomsbury.
Here's the first few lines:
No one who knew Charlotte Constance Kinder since her youth would suppose her born to be a heroine. She was a practical girl even from infancy, only fussing as much as was necessary and exhibiting no alarming opinions. Common wisdom asserts that heroes are born from great calamity, and yet our Charlotte’s early life was pretty standard. Not only did her parents avoid fatal accidents, they never once locked her up in a hidden attic room.
Sounds kind of like Northanger Abbey to me. Will you check out Midnight in Austenland?
Even if you haven't read it yet (the novel only came out on August 23), you've probably at least heard of The Language of Flowers. The novel is about 18-year-old Victoria, a young woman who has nowhere to go after "aging out" of foster care. The story flashes back to her experiences bouncing from one foster situation to the next, then explores what happens when Victoria discovers her interest in the symbolism and secret meanings of flowers.
We liked this big-hearted debut novel so much that we interviewed author Vanessa Diffenbaugh for our September issue. If you read the interview, it is clear that this story was very much inspired by Diffenbaugh's passion. She told BookPage contributor Deanna Larson that she and her husband have been foster parents throughout their marriage, and she's even started an organization, The Camellia Network, to support young adults leaving foster care.
Learn more in our live interview with Diffenbaugh at Book Expo America:
Soon, you're going to start hearing about The Language of Flowers even more; Fox 2000 has acquired the rights to produce a movie version, and Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick will produce it. (They are producers of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, which is up there on my own personal list of most anticipated movies for 2012.)
Readers are clearly interested in the novel, too; last week it hit the New York Times bestseller list for the first time.
Have you read The Language of Flowers? If so, do you think it would make a compelling movie?
By the way, if your book club is reading this one, there are a lot of resources on Diffenbaugh's website.
The first clip of The Hunger Games movie was released last night during MTV's Video Music Awards. Jennifer Lawrence introduces the clip, which I'll let speak for itself:
What do you think of the clip?
Hope everyone had a great, summery week! Today's weekly links celebrate classic favorite reads (and suggest new ones), recognize some great songwriters' books and enjoy some book-to-film if-onlys. Enjoy!
Socially important or academically fascinating books might get all the attention, but that doesn't make them great reading material. The Guardian points readers to some overlooked masterpieces.
Some examples include Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust over Brideshead Revisited and Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle over Slaughter-House Five.
What are your this-over-that reading suggestions?
The New Dork Review of Books celebrates medium-crossover books -- particularly those from musicians (and disregarding "idiot celebrities"). There's something very similar between telling a story through song and through prose, as often a creative mind can tell a tale through either medium.
This week, Ron Howard's epic adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower was scrapped. Flavorwire added it to "the long list of proposed book-to-film adaptations by famed directors that never saw the light of day." They listed the 10 book-to-films they'd love to see, including Orson Welles' adaptation of Heart of Darkness, Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote and Terrence Malick's Blood Meridian.
Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings has compiled a list of 7 Obscure Children's Books by Authors of Grown-Up Literature, including one of my favorites, T.S. Eliot's Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, as well as 6 others I did not expect. Mark Twain's Advice to Little Girls might be my new favorite thing - ever:
Have a wonderful weekend! What will you be reading?
BOOM goes the long weekend! Will you be taking some time away from cooking out and playing with sparklers (or in my case, trying to calm down my dogs) for some good reading?
Check out some of our favorite links this week:
According to CNN, Conan O'Brien will be a comic book character! Bluewater Productions specializes in transforming famous figures into superheroes, and Coco's set for August.
Author Elinor Lipman (@ElinorLipman) might be a Twitter newbie but she's already making us giggle. She has pledged to tweet one politically-themed poem every day until the 2012 election ("Warning: 'twill be in couplets & 'twill rhyme."). Here's her first:
Valerie Gribben, who published her first novel, Fairytale, when she was seventeen and finished up the rest of The Fairytale Trilogy during college and medical school, suggests doctors make room for Grimm's Fairy Tales beside their medical journals. Read her article in NYT: "Practicing Medicine Can Be Grimm Work."
We were surprised once with Meowmorphosis, the Quirk mash-up of Kafka's masterpiece -- and we are surprised again with the film adaptation of Metamorphosis, a "modern horror version" starring Nick Searcy and Matt Angel. Sounds very . . . goopey. Take a look at the movie website and check out the following video:
Do you have any cool links from this week to share? Reading any good books?
Have a great weekend!
Rocker Lenny Kravitz will be play one of my personal favorite characters in the series, stylist Cinna.
In the series, stylists are the people who prepare the tributes to appear in public and on television. Cinna becomes an ally of Katniss, and he is also the brains behind her memorable "girl on fire" look. Don't you remember this passage?
"I want the audience to recognize you when you're in the arena," says Cinna dreamily. "Katniss, the girl who was on fire." It crosses my mind that Cinna's calm and normal demeanor masks a complete madman.
Can you imagine Kravitz as Cinna? Who is your favorite character from The Hunger Games?
This post needs little introduction—in fact, you've probably already skipped this sentence and hit "play" to watch the trailer for the movie version of Kathryn Stockett's The Help:
Here are my initial thoughts:
1) It's more upbeat than I expected. Although The Help is moving and uplifting, it is also really sad at parts. (Granted, this is only a 2.5 minute trailer.)
2) Where is Celia Foote?!
What are your thoughts?
What are your click-worthy links of the week? Here are a few items that are both news-worthy and just for fun:
Looking for a laugh? Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm posted this hilarious link to a person wondering about a "video rental store but for books." As Kerry titled the post: "It's called the Library."
Thanks to Spike Jonze, Where the Wild Things Are and Maurice Sendak are hipper than ever. Fans will be thrilled to hear that Sendak has written and illustrated his first new book in almost 30 years. Bumble-Ardy will be about "a pig who longs to party." It comes out September 6; read more in this piece on WSJ.com.
Were you intrigued by Jodi Picoult's latest, Sing You Home, after reading our review and the author's handwritten Q&A? You have to check out this brand new web exclusive conversation between Picoult and Ellen DeGeneres—which includes the news flash that Ellen is adapting the novel into a movie.
Sick of eBooks but still want something new? The Guardian reports on the 'flipback' book—a pocket-sized book for reading on the go . . . "It's small, light and portable – and it doesn't need charging." Do YOU think this could kill Kindle?
Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin and several other young actresses were rumored to be in the running for this role, and I suspect many fans will raise eyebrows at Lawrence's casting. As we learn early on in The Hunger Games, Katniss has "straight black hair," "olive skin" and "gray eyes," and the blonde, fair Lawrence does not fit this physical description. (She's also four years older than the 16-year-old Katniss.) Still: Appearances aren't everything, and Lawrence's tough, haunting performance in Winter's Bone convinced me that she could be at home in the arena of Panem.
The Hunger Games movie comes out March 23, 2012. Only 366 days to mull over who should play Peeta and Gale, and try to imagine Cinna's amazing costumes!
What do you think of the new Katniss?
Also in BookPage: Read reviews of The Hunger Games and Mockingjay; read an interview with Suzanne Collins about Catching Fire. Also: Watch a video of some very enthusiastic Hunger Games fans.