Welcome to Buzz Worthy News where the stories are awesome (or at least fun to read). Need your book industry news? Never fear, Kate Copeseeley is here to give it to you straight.
In this week’s Buzz Worthy News: #EverythingEverything Trailer, New Philip Pullman Series, Hayley Atwell Lands a New Role, and Carnegie Medal News. All this and more!
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.
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been waiting and waiting for this trailer and now it’s finally here. And it looks sooooo gooood.
So this is based on a comic book series? What the… so trippy.
Vita and Virginia
Good news Virginia Woolf fans! The film currently in production featuring the story of the romance between writers Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West has its stars! Woolf will be played by Eva Green (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) and Sackville-West will be played by Gemma Arterton.
Woolf’s affair with Sackville-West inspired her 1928 novel Orlando, a faux-biography meditating on the genre and on gender performance — not to mention an extended love letter to her inamorata. The film, Button says, will trace the romance and, accordingly, the composition of fiction inspired by real love.
“Focusing on the time in 1927-8 during which Woolf wrote Orlando, the novel their relationship inspired, Vita and Virginia will be a visceral love story, a vivid exploration of creativity, and an energized perspective on one of our most iconic writers,” Button explains.
The film will also convey the social strictures corseting women in the early 20th century while demonstrating how both Woolf and Sackville-West resisted them.
“We often associate women of the past with oppression,” Button begins, “bound by the duties of marriage, propriety, and domesticity; but what Vita and Virginia offers is an example of a relationship where bold, brilliant women bent these institutions to their will at great personal cost.”
Is it just me, or does this seem sad?
Hayley Atwell Cast In Howards End
With the cancellation of Agent Carter—and (spoiler alert) her death in the last Captain America movie—many have wondered where Hayley Atwell would be popping up next. Well, now we know!
The Agent Carter and Conviction alum is set to star in Kenneth Lonergan’s TV adaptation of Howards End. Starz is now on board as a co-producer with BBC on the four-part limited series.
Additionally, Matthew Macfayden (Ripper Street, MI-5) and Tracey Ullman have signed on for the project, which will be directed by Hettie Macdonald (White Girl).
The drama will explore the changing landscape of social and class divisions in turn-of-the-century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business and the working-class Basts.
Atwell will play Margaret Schlegel, Macfadyen will portray Henry Wilcox and Ullman is set as Aunt Juley Mund.
Published by E.M. Foster in 1910, Howards End previously was adapted for the big screen in 1992. The film, starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Bonham Carter, Vanessa Redgrave and Emma Thompson, went on to win three Oscars, including a best actress nod for Thompson in the role Atwell will play in the four-part series.
Looks interesting! I’ll keep my eyes out for it.
Paula Dawkins Gets Another Movie Deal
Looks like having a blockbuster book and the film to go with it has paid off for Paula Dawkins. Dreamworks has bought the film rights to her newest book Into the Water and it hasn’t even been released yet!
The novel, slated to hit shelves on May 2 via Riverhead Books, has the same dark, mysterious storytelling and compelling female protagonists that made Girl on the Train so popular. Hawkins’ new tale is set in a town where the bodies of a single mother and a teen girl have been found separately at the bottom of the river. Left behind is a 15-year-old girl who is now parentless and friendless, and finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from.
Marc Platt and Jared LeBoff are producing Into the Water, while Hawkins will executive produce. Amblin Partners bought the rights and will release the adaptation under its DreamWorks label.
There was strong interest in Hawkins’ latest from several producers and studios after the success of 2015’s The Girl on the Train and the movie adaptation. Into the Water will mark a reunion for Hawkins and DreamWorks, which adapted Girl on the Train into the film starring Emily Blunt. Released in October via Universal, the pic earned $172.6 million worldwide. The book has sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. and more than 18 million copies worldwide.
Archie Comics To Make More CW Series?
It looks like The CW might be interested in obtaining more Archie Comics content.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the actual Archie Comics has signed a new development deal with Warner Bros. Television, aimed at creating new TV and original content properties from under the Archie umbrella. Mind you, that deal isn’t limited to the Archie characters seen and referenced in The CW’s Riverdale, but those outlined by Archie CEO Jon Goldwater:
Archie is unique in that we have a huge library of characters that are not only recognizable, but they’re successful and entertaining. Everyone knows Josie [and the Pussycats] and Sabrina [the Teenage Witch]. Beyond that, we have an entire pantheon of heroes and villains that are perfect for TV or movies. Not to mention Katy Keene, Black Hood, Sam Hill, just to name a few. The possibilities are endless, and I can’t wait to start talking about what we have coming up.
Josie and the band have already put in Riverdale appearances, with numerous suggestions that Sabrina might follow, but what other Archie-related properties are best-suited for the TV treatment?
OMG, a reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch would be so fun! As long as they didn’t do like “a darker take on Sabrina” where she is all angsty and broody.
Philip Pullman Has New Series
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What now? OMG!!! No way!
The hugely successful fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials will be getting a “companion” trilogy, author Philip Pullman announced this evening.
The first book of the new series, which will collectively be called The Book of Dust, is set for publication on October 19.
The original His Dark Materials trilogy consists of three volumes (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) published between 1995 and 2000. The series has sold over 17.5 million copies and been translated into 40 languages.
The events of the first trilogy took place across several parallel worlds — including our own — and touched on disparate ideas related to theology, particle physics, and the loss of childhood innocence. Characters included a headstrong and fiercely intelligent young girl named Lyra Belacqua, and an armored, talking polar bear.
The Book of Dust will return to the world(s) and characters of His Dark Materials, Pullman said, and Lyra will be integral to the new story — but not in the way she was before. The first volume will take place a decade before the events of His Dark Materials, when Lyra is an infant. The second and third volumes will be set ten years after the original trilogy’s conclusion, and will follow Lyra as a young woman.
“The [new] story begins before His Dark Materials and continues after it,” [Pullman] said, “… you don’t have to read it before you read [the original trilogy] … this is another story that comes after it, so it’s not a sequel, and it’s not a prequel, it’s an equal.”
The title, The Book of Dust, refers to an invisible substance that figures largely in the earlier books — a fictional elementary particle that harbors a mysterious affinity with human consciousness.
“That’s what I really wanted to explore in this new work,” he said. “More about the nature of Dust, and consciousness, and what it means to be a human being.”
Pullman has already followed up the original trilogy with two novellas and an audiobook. He said he was motivated to revisit the world of Lyra and her companions with a full trilogy because “I sensed a big story. I sensed the presence, in the way that you do, of another story that hadn’t been told, and I went closer and … thought about it and lived with it for a while and discovered that yes, it was a big story, and it did deserve to be told, it deserves its own books.”
If you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go read all of the original series, cry a lot, and tremble with fear over the fate of Lyra and Will.
Krysten Ritter is a Writer Now
I’m sure you all are used to seeing this gorgeous face as the butt kicking Jessica Jones, but did you know this awesome lady is also a writer??
Titled Bonfire, the debut novel is a psychological thriller that will focus on small-town corruption as environmental lawyer Abby Williams returns to her hometown after ten years to investigate Optimal Plastics, a local company, of dumping chemicals in local water. But in the process, Abby starts digging into the years-old disappearance of a former high school bully of hers, which in turn, leads her to an even darker secret about the town.
“As a huge fan of psychological suspense novels, I was so thrilled to take on the challenge of writing my first book,” said Ritter in a statement. “This was an exciting opportunity for me to explore a character journey and really get inside the head of my protagonist, a process that has a lot in common with how I prepare to play a role.”
The novel will be published by Crown Archetype, and is scheduled for release on Nov. 7.
I’m not always super excited about actors becoming writers, but I have to admit, I find the storyline for this one fascinating.
Sarah Jessica Parker Teams up with the ALA
If you like Sarah Jessica Parker, and you like book clubs, here’s some good news for you: the ALA is creating an online platform called Book Club Central that will be a place for readers to get recommendations, and browse lists and find other helpful resources for book club lists.
The Divorce actress will serve as the Honorary Chair and provide Book Club Central with a selection of recommended book titles throughout the year, the first of which will be revealed at the President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago on June 24.
“From an early age, books were my constant companions and my local library a place I could find a new friend on every shelf,” Parker said in a statement. “It is a great honor and privilege to partner with the American Library Association and Book Club Central. I’m thrilled to help champion original voices for dedicated readers as well as for a new generation, supporting libraries in what they do best.”
Added ALA president Julie Todaro, “I can’t think of anyone more perfect than Sarah Jessica Parker to be the American Library Association chair of Book Club Central. Ms. Parker is an advocate for libraries and literacy issues, has served on a Presidential Task Force to integrate literature and drama into schools, has experience starting a book club, is the Editorial Director of a new line of books: SJP for Hogarth, and is — most importantly — a lifelong reader who shares her love of reading with others. The ALA is lucky to be able to share Ms. Parker’s passion and expertise with book clubs and readers everywhere.”
Carnegie Medal Longlist Creates Ire Among Book Industry
Book Awards aren’t always without their controversies. *cough*Hugo Awards*cough* And it seems this year’s Carnegie medal, one of the UK’s most prestigious awards for children’s books is drawing ire this year:
Writers of colour, led by Alex Wheatle and Sunny Singh, have called for a boycott of the award.
Despite strong showings by writers of colour in every other major children’s book prize this year, not one appeared on the 20-strong longlist for the CILIP Carnegie medal, which is chosen by librarians around the country. The Carnegie, which was established in 1935, has never been won by a BAME writer.
“It’s appalling. There is no other way to describe it,” said Wheatle, who won the 2016 Guardian children’s fiction prize with Crongton Knights. He added that he had instructed his publisher Hachette not to submit his forthcoming novel, Straight Outta Crongton, for next year’s prize.
Though the author was on the Carnegie medal nominations list of 114 books, alongside other BAME writers including Malorie Blackman and Patrice Lawrence, he slammed the failure of the judges to longlist any of them. “They are just ticking a box,” he said. “When it comes to the serious part of the award – the longlist and shortlist – we just aren’t there. We continue to submit our work every year and they treat us like this.”
Singh, who set up the Jhalak prize to tackle the lack of representation of British BAME writers in publishing, was furious at the snub: “I’m just looking at the Carnegie and thinking how is this OK?” she said, attacking claims on social media that the books were not good enough. “That argument is consistently repeated,” she said. “Are they really saying that in a year that had such extraordinary books from writers of colour?”
She called for white authors to pull out of the prize, saying: “There has to be collective action. It cannot just BAME writers against it, it has to be all authors. It’s all very well for already marginalised people to do a boycott, but if you are already excluded, what difference will it make to not enter?”
Author Alan Gibbons, who has been Carnegie-shortlisted twice, said the omissions were a scandal: “Why has Malorie Blackman never won? Bali Rai, Leila Rashid, Alex Wheatle, Benjamin Zephaniah, Catherine Johnson, Candy Gourlay? It is high time the Carnegie reflected multi-ethnic Britain.”
The Carnegie is an important award to children’s authors because of its influence on what is stocked in school libraries. Jo Mead, who co-manages the Southwark book award, which is chosen by pupils in the south-east London borough, said: “The Carnegie prides itself on ‘reflecting the very real issues children have to deal with’ and supporting books ‘which help to make sense of the world’, and while the subjects covered by the list are very laudable, its blanket choice of authors excludes a very large part of the real world and its issues – certainly for my students in Peckham.”
A 2015 report by CILIP found that 96.7% library workers in the UK identify as white, almost 10% above the national workforce average in the UK Labour Force Survey.
Nick Poole, CILIP chief executive, said that it “acknowledges and respects the concerns expressed” and added that the librarians choosing the longlist, shortlist and winner were committed to CILIP’s stated ethical principles, the first of which stipulates “concern for the public good in all professional matters, including respect for diversity within society, and the promoting of equal opportunities and human rights”.
“The books on the longlist are judged on merit and on an equal playing field. This year’s longlist represents, in the opinion of the judges, the very best books of the year, with no consideration of gender or ethnicity of either the writer, illustrator or audience,” said Poole. “The broad subject matter of this year’s longlist – stories about refugees, disability and migration – illustrates the breadth of range that the medals are known for.”