Welcome back to Buzz Worthy News where the stories are awesome and not at all well-written. Need your YA industry news? Never fear, Kat and Kate are here to give it all to you. Just, ya know, not in any kinda sophisticated sense or nothing.
It’s been a while since we at Cuddlebuggery have been able to put our snarky news pants on. The good news is, we’re back and more ready to snark than ever. The bad news? There is plenty to whine about this week. But why start out with the bad? Let’s discuss some good stuffs first.
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly news post bringing you all the best information about the book and blogging world, particularly for the venn diagram of people who overlap between the two. For new releases and cover reveals of all the best Young Adult fiction, check out our Tuesday post: Hot New Titles.
JK Rowling’s Twitter Riddle
Harry Potter Fans the world over were delighted at a Twitter Teaser that JK Rowling posted:
Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 6, 2014
Fans quickly realized that it was an anagram and the internets fairly flew with different translations until JK confirmed the winning guess:
.@EmyBemy2 YES!!!!!!!!!!!! People, we have a winner!
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 7, 2014
But what did it all mean, exactly? Well, apparently JK was dropping hints about the plot of the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them—a trilogy of movies based on the book by the same name.
The project will follow Newt Scamander, the author of the highly successful and highly regarded wizarding text book about magical creatures,Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The movies will take place in New York City in the 1920′s!
Sounds like fun! I’m on board with anything Potter Related.
Youtube Vloggers Are Now Authors
You know how when you’re a writer and you TELL people you’re a writer, they say to you (every. single. time.), “I’ve always wanted to write a story.” Then you think to yourself, “It’s really not that easy.”
Well, you were wrong, writers of the world! Because literally everyone is doing it now, as is proved by this video:
So I guess if you’re a writer, your next step is a vlog, ala John Green.
And since no Buzzworthy News would be complete without John Green himself inserted in some form or other we simply must mention, Green’s book Paper Towns has found itself a cast.
Austin Abrams, Halston Sage and newcomer Justice Smith are joining Fox 2000’s adaptation of John Green’s bestselling novel ”Paper Towns”.
Nat Wolff and model Cara Delevinge will star in the coming-of-age drama, which is being directed by Jake Schreier.
Wolff will play the lead role of Quentin, whose world changes when the lovely Margo (Delevinge) moves in right next door when he’s nine years old. They become best friends but grow apart over the years only to reconnect in the last few weeks of high school. When Margo mysteriously disappears, Quentin and his best friends go on a journey to find her, and in the course of their road trip, discover a lot about life.
Abrams, Sage and Smith will respectively play Ben, Lacey and Radar — Quentin’s friends who journey with him to New York City to search for Margo.
And then there’s this:
John Green‘s adaptation “Paper Towns” has added newcomer Jaz Sinclair in a lead role. Sinclair will play the role of Angela, Radar’s girlfriend.
Sounds like this one is fleshing out nicely.
Cassandra Clare’s continued success may fly in the face of Kat’s opinion, but nonetheless, there’s no arguing with the news released on Oct. 12:
Constantin Film, the production company that controls the rights to Cassandra Clare‘s best-selling YA fantasy franchise and which produced The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film, is relaunching Mortal Instruments as a high-end drama series.
Constantin has hired Ed Decter, whose writer-producer credits include Helix, Unforgettable, In Plain Sight and The Client List, as the showrunner for the Mortal Instruments series. The project is currently in development, with Constantin planning to begin production next year. No broadcast partners are yet attached to the series.
Though fangirls speculate that Starz or HBO will want to buy it because of the success of women-centric shows like Outlander, I would just like to point out that Outlander has hot grown mens and sexytimes. Mortal Instruments has half grown boys and light kissing. I see this more as a CW show, myself. But what do I know? I only read the first three books.
Lena Dunham has had a lot of press lately since the release of her autobiographical book Not That Kind of Girl, but today the news is all about the fact that she will be heading the Adaption of a well known YA novel:
“Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham is leaving modern-day Brooklyn for 1290s England.
Dunham revealed her plans to adapt Karen Cushman’s 1994 YA novel “Catherine, Called Birdy” for the bigscreen at the New Yorker Festival on Friday night. The coming of age story follows a 12-year-old trying to scare off potential suitors.
“I’m going to adapt it and hopefully direct it,” Dunham told the crowd and New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy. “I just need to find someone who wants to fund a PG-13 Medieval movie.”
I personally loved that book, so I hope you do too, Lena!
Dunham will develop the film with production partner and “Girls” exec producer Jenni Konner. This is one of several upcoming historical works from their A Casual Romance production company — or as Dunham descibed it, “projects that sort of aren’t set in the here and now.”
“This is actually my first time talking about it publicly,” Dunham said about the film. “I’m very excited about it. I’m not sure when
it’ll happen, but I’m in the process of [working on it].”
Another Hunger Games Trailer
Like we’ll ever complain about those around here! Check it out:
Drama, Drama, Drama
Book Bloggers have had a rough couple of months according to the internets.
First there was when Ellora’s Cave sue Jane from DearAuthor.com for writing a rather innocuous history of the company that helped start erotic ebooks on the internet. In her post, Jane outlines the company’s contributions to erotica, and then poses several questions about its current solvency.
Yet something strange happened. Growth stagnated. In 2010, it was revealed that EC’s revenues were $5 million but a reported $6.7 million in 2006. How on earth was a digital publisher’s income declining in the biggest boom period of digital books? (This was before self publishing took off).
Word of Ms. Engler’s increasingly erratic behavior surfaced on odd places on the internet and then came the lawsuits. In 2008, former employee Christina Brashears filed suit for unpaid monies against EC. EC countersued. Brashears, Publisher and Chief Operating Officer, left and formed Samhain. Bad blood existed which culminated with EC agreeing to a settlement of undisclosed amount. The damages were alleged to be in the high six figures to low seven figures. EC’s behavior during this lawsuit was so egregious, the judge commented on it in his ruling ordering damages to be paid to Brashears. In 2009, EC filed suit against Borders accusing them of illegal business practices. The suit went nowhere.
None of the contents seemed at all inflammatory, except perhaps the suppositions of what might happen to EC in the future. And if we are to be barred from conjecture on the internet, you may as well shut down every website, twitter and burn the headquarters of tumblr to the ground.
A legal campaign was formed for Jane and as of the 23rd, this update was posted:
Jane would also like everyone to know that she is doing fine and greatly appreciates all the well wishes.
I’d like to add another thank you to everyone who donated to the defense fund, which is currently more than $54,000. Given the awfulness of the past few days, this shared accomplishment has helped keep my faith in the integrity of our overlapping book communities. –Dear Author
I’d like to focus on that last part, because it will come to bear in our next story about Kathleen Hale.
If you haven’t heard about the article penned by Hale last Saturday, I must conclude that you’ve been living under a rock, as I’ve hardly been able to click a link without seeing some reference to it. Still, for those of you who don’t know, Kathleen Hale wrote an account of how she received a review so horrifying and degrading that it drove her to extreme ends in order to confront her critic. No, wait. That’s how it goes in the article. What actually happened is another story. (Here is where I’d like to point you to this amazing article which basically runs the whole thing down step-by-step).
So, Blythe Harris’ review was two words long, “Fuck this.” And while it is TRUE that she may have had a lot of negative things to say about the book to her goodreads friends in the comments, they are on par with many, many, many (have I said many?) reviews by other reviewers on goodreads for a variety of books. A lot of them for my favorite authors.
George RR Martin’s books:
“MAKE NO MISTAKE: THIS IS A ‘HATER’ REVIEW. IF ANYTHING WAS GOING TO CAUSE ME TO SPONTANEOUSLY DEVELOP THE ABILITY TO BREATHE FIRE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THIS BOOK.”
“Being constantly told how some heroine was a “great role model for girls” or “sets a good example” or is “such a strong female character” as a 10-year old was worse than eating Brussels sprouts. I would have rather eaten glue than read this book.”
“This book is quite possibly the most insipid novel I have ever read in my life. Why this book is so highly treasured by society is beyond me. It is 345 pages of nothing.”
In other words, Kathleen Hale did not get special treatment. She wasn’t picked on or bullied. She received one of the highest honors: someone read her book and had something to say about it.
What Hale did in return has had the internet in an uproar. First she engaged in what she calls “light stalking”:
I prowled Blythe’s Instagram and Twitter, I read her reviews, considered photos of her baked goods and watched from a distance as she got on her soapbox – at one point bragging she was the only person she knew who used her real name and profession online. As my fascination mounted, and my self-loathing deepened, I reminded myself that there are worse things than rabid bloggers (cancer, for instance) and that people suffer greater degradations than becoming writers. But still, I wanted to respond.
After being contacted about a interview from a “book club” (Hale’s words. It was actually a Blog Tour Host), Hale used that chance to get ahold of her reviewer’s actual home address. The Tour Host in question has responded by saying:
When KH requested Blythe as her blogger, she also asked me to get Blythe’s mailing address for her because she wanted to send her a gift for hosting her for the Bash. I sent Blythe an email and she seemed super excited and gave me her permission to pass on her mailing address to KH. It seemed safe and simple. I read in KH’s article that she was requested to donate some signed books and that’s why she wanted Blythe’s mailing address. When we send invitations out to the debut authors we give them a set of questions. One of those questions is whether or not they will be hosting a giveaway for the event and if it will be open to US, US & CAN, or INT. We never ask any of the authors to host a giveaway nor do we ask them to donate specific prizes.
In other words… if it isn’t clear here, HALE SOUGHT OUT HER REVIEWER’S ADDRESS AND CAME UP WITH A WAY TO GET IT.
Hale’s confession at this point, veers into the land of someone who genuinely needs the help of a professional, and I mean that in all seriousness, because what happens next is scary and unbelievable.
The exterior of the house that showed up on Google maps looked thousands of square feet too small for the interiors Blythe had posted on Instagram. According to the telephone directory and recent census reports, nobody named Blythe Harris lived there. The address belonged to someone I’ll call Judy Donofrio who, according to an internet background check ($19), was 46 – not 27, as Blythe was – and worked as vice-president of a company that authorises disability claims.
It looked as if I had been taken in by someone using a fake identity. I Gchatted Patricia: “I think we’ve been catfished?”
No, Kathleen, you haven’t been catfished. Blythe wasn’t trying to seduce you via the internet and a fake persona. She was using a HANDLE and REVIEWING BOOKS. It’s also worth noting that Blythe’s average rating on Goodreads (3.57) is higher than a few reviewers here on Cuddlebuggery. Take that for what you will.
But Hale was determined to figure out what her reviewers “hidden motives” were and consequently not only WENT TO HER HOUSE (later chickening out at the thought of talking face-to-face), but also phoned her at her place of employment and tried to somehow wring a confession from her?
The results has been that Blythe Harris has quit reviewing, possibly for good.
What I think of, when I consider all of this, is what was Hale’s motivation in posting this story? She confesses in several places that she knew what she was doing was morally wrong, dangerous and impulsive. She had also been advised by many, many people not to do it.
So why confess to all of it? Why post what was probably an outright illegal act for all of the internet to read? Was it a cry for help or the act of someone who wanted to be patted on the head and have agreement for her actions?
For those in the world that think Hale’s actions were justified, I would point you to the third and final story in this trio of book blogger terror.
Earlier this month, book reviewer Paige Rolland was hunted down and assaulted. Why, you might ask? Because the author did not appreciate her review of the prologue of his book.
The writer of the World Rose is arrogant. SO arrogant, in fact, that my review hit him where it hurts a little to hard. In return, he found out where I worked through Facebook, came from LONDON to where I live in the east of Scotland, and attacked me by hitting me over the head with a wine bottle from behind. Not a word or a sound. And then he left. I had to be taken to hospital to receive medical treatment for it, which included several stitches in my head.
Warning – make sure you are internet safe. Check your privacy settings. Because sick men like Mr. Brittain do exist.
This is real life stuff here, folks. And but for one tiny detail, the detail of assault, Hale could have been this author. What she did was horrifying and WRONG and Blythe deserves an apology from Hale and the chance to tell her side of the story (which it seems like she was never given, but who knows, maybe she refused it. I might have.).
In response to this debacle, the publishing community has banded together, deriding Hale and praising authors who believe that readers have the right to review how they choose to review. Check out the hashtags #HaleNo and #authoryes for more details.
John Grisham and Kiddie Porn
John Grisham landed himself in serious hot water this week. In an interview with NYT, the best selling author defended people in prison for sexual offences and campaigned for lighter sentencing.
He went on to cite an anecdotal case of the infamous “it happened to a friend of mine” case.
“It happened to a lawyer friend of mine, a good buddy from law school. They haven’t hurt anyone. They deserve some type of punishment, whatever, but ten years in prison?”
How about a slap on the wrist? Preferably their gherkin-jerkin wrist so they can’t use it for a couple of days.
“We’ve got prisons now filled with guys my age, 60-year-old white men, in prison, who have never harmed anyone. Who would never touch a child, but they got online one night, started surfing around, probably had too much to drink whatever and pushed the wrong buttons, and went to far and went into child porn or whatever.”
As we all know, 60 year old white men don’t belong in prison. And as we all know, looking at child porn is a victimless crime. It only means that someone had to abuse those children, put them in a vulnerable position, sell their pictures. Possibly enslave them. Totally a victimless crime.
Also, I’m not saying I look at a ton of porn (I totally do), but it’s not that easy to find child porn at all. AT ALL.
John Grisham did end up issuing an apology but, honestly, too little too late.
What you should ACTUALLY do if you get a negative review (courtesy of Chuck Wendig)