Buzz Worthy News
Welcome to this week’s Buzz Worthy News! Fifty Shades of Grey apparently has not plot, J.K. Rowling is writing children’s books again, the Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded, and small presses kicked butt in the Man Booker Prize! All this and much, much more. Read on to find out everything that’s been happening in the book world this week.
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly Monday news post. Bringing you all the most interesting, relevant and fun news from the publishing and book blogging world.
Buzz Worthy News 15th October 2012
No Plot in Fifty Shades? Who Knew?
So the screen writer for 50 Shades of Grey has been selected – and the honour goes to Kelly Marcel.
John Stewart has a segment titled “Polish That Turd!”
But, apparently, the Marcel’s problem isn’t that she has to polish the turd, but rather that she has to build the turd pretty much from scratch.
“The first, and likely the hardest, of the challenges that the screenwriter faces is toning down the hot, dirty sexy.”
“Another challenge is that there isn’t much of a plot to the movie—it’s sex, sex, and more sex. MTV pointed out that the screenwriter will need to “craft a meaty narrative,”” (Usually it’s the author’s job to create a narrative to begin with – not to leave that to the movie adaptation, but hey, what do I know?)
“Challenge number with a 50 Shades of Grey movie is playing out the email exchanges without it being a total snoozer.” (Cause the rest of the books are SO interesting)
“The final challenge that MTV News pointed out is the audience. Can porn for women appeal to men as well? Or does it matter? Wouldn’t the film make plenty of money with just a female audience? Also, let’s not forget that some ladies will drag their men to the movie anyways.” (Because men have never enjoyed watching sex – unless it’s all pink and girly, of course!)
Rejoice! Our Queen is returning to Children’s Books!
Potterites! Our time of revival is at hand! The signs have come, the world has turned, and our queen has announced that. She. Is. Back!
“Speaking to an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Rowling revealed that she has “a number of ideas” on her laptop, but kept mum on any other details.”
She also revealed, to the sacchrine sighs of all, that:
“She told everyone about how she makes up bedtime stories just for her kids, but that nobody else would appreciate those stories. “They are tailored very much for my children so don’t expect to see those being published anytime soon..””
The only question that now remains is: just how many of my children do I have to sacrifice to get my hands on her next book!
Mo Yan Kicks Nobel’s Butt This Year
Mo Yan got the big prize this year after a rather exemplary writing career. According to my remarkable Wikipedia skills, the Nobel prize for literature has been running since 1901 and is awarded to those who show: “in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction” (Wikipedia).
Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition. In addition to his novels, Mo Yan has published many short stories and essays on various topics, and despite his social criticism is seen in his homeland as one of the foremost contemporary authors.
Congrats, Mo Yan! You can read free samples of his work here. Mo Yan has used this opportunity to speak up for, and urge Chinese officials to free Liu Xiaobo, winner of the Peace Prize.
Score 1 for Small Presses!
The illustrious Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious and richest literary prizes in the world, has released its shortlist and the six authors named may come as a shock to some. Three of the six authors come from small presses.
The Man Booker prize is for full-length novels, written in the English language by authors from the Commonwealth, Ireland or Zimbabe (aren’t my wiki skills sublime?)
More about the three Small Press books:
Three of the six books on the shortlist were published by regional independents: Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books, of Newcastle upon Tyne), Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home (And Other Stories, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire) and Alison Moore’s The Lighthouse (Salt, based in Cromer, Norfolk).
Bribe a Celebrity, Get an Interview
The Nerdist Podcast team had a game plan. They wanted an interview with Tom Hanks and they were going to get it. Knowing Hanks to be an avid typewriter collector, they presented him with a bribe. Appear on their Podcast for an interview, and enjoy this lovely typewriter.
Surely nothing as ridiculous as that would work! It’s Tom-Freaking-Hanks! And we’re pretty sure that’s actually his legal name! He’s not going to be bribed by a TYPEWRITER! So Tom Hanks wrote them back to find out what games they were up to! And this is what happened:
Lucky bastards! Does J.K. Rowling have a thing for Type Writers? Or costume jewelry? Or…lint balls? Something? ANYTHING?!
Neil Gaiman blasts us with his awesome ray gun… again
So Halloween is coming up and there’s this great idea going around to turn Halloween into a holiday for giving scary books instead of candy. Which, you have to admit, makes a helluva lot more sense! Forgive me, I’m Australian and we don’t really have a Halloween tradition here so none of it really makes sense to me. But what the hell IS up with the candy? Gaiman himself explains the new tradition better than I do:
“Obviously, we support bookshops and authors, but more than that, this is about making a holiday tradition of book-giving. So feel free to give second-hand books or books from your own shelves. And feel just as free to buy a beautiful new book from a small independent bookseller, or from online or… look, there’s no wrong way to buy a book. You can even gift it to their Kindle … If you do not know what scary book to give someone, talk to a bookseller or a librarian. They like to help. Librarians will not mind even if you admit that you are not planning to take out a book, but instead you are going to buy one and give it to someone.”
You can see Gaiman explaining in a video here.
Hello, Foot. Meet Mouth.
Alethea from Read Now Sleep Later blog wrote a rather insightful post about issues she had with Isaac Marion’s public comments regarding his opinion of the Young Adult label being associated with his book.
Particularly comments like these:
“This YA thing is going to be a rash on my eyeballs for this book’s entire run…”
“I don’t know who started the idea that it’s a YA book but it drives me crazy. There’s one character in the entire story who’s younger than 20 (Julie, 19) the writing is not simplified for a young reading level at all, containing lots of big ol’ fancy words like “loquacious” and “sepulchral”, and there’s nothing teen-specific about its themes. Not to mention the copious amounts of “adult content”. I would love to know what about all that screams “YOUNG READERS” to book stores…”
Alethea’s blogpost is worth a read as she intelligently counteracts many of Marion’s misconceptions about YA.
Marion commented on the post frequently to explain that he simply wasn’t explaining himself well and that he doesn’t think anything less of YA authors. Fair point. He’s clearly misinformed about YA and probably doesn’t mean to offend anyone. It’s just hard not to offend people when you say things like. “YA authors aren’t any worse than any other authors… OH GOD THEIR YA LABEL TOUCHED ME! GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF! COOTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
That does tend to give the wrong impression. Jessica Corra made some comments on this issue as well, but I can’t say we particularly agreed with her.
Also: Totally don’t see why anyone would mistake it for YA. Has absolutely no crossover appeal.
I had no idea Tom Hanks has a thing for typewriters! I’m a big fan of NPR’s Wait Wait & he was the guest this week. For such a huge celebrity he really sounds like a down-to-earth, funny, average Joe.
Great post! So, just how many children do you have to pawn off to get your hands on Rowlings next book? Inquiring minds want to know! I am <b>still</b> laughing about the no-plot of 50 Shades, I L.O.V.E Tom Hanks! And that letter is too funny!
Have a great week!
If Marion doesn’t consider his book a YA, then why was Stephenie Meyer, the queen of YA blurbed on the cover?
@KTGrant Oh my gosh! You’re right. At my work he’s filed in YA, but I never knew he was so whiney about it. I want to understand the prejudice of YA books to others…
That IS the question. My guess it has more to do with her fame and name being plastered on the book vs. what genre it was. Stephenie Meyer does have one adult book out (even though, IMO, could be YA).
LOL! that thing with Tom Hanks totally cracked me up!
And poor woman writing the script for 50 shades! I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
I can’t tell which article is more awesome this week… there’s… there’s just so much amazingness packed in here. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The world is whole and beautiful! 😛
I’m so confused by that Jessica Corra response…it’s making me kind of angry but I’m not really sure why. One thing I am sure of is, I don’t think Pride and Prejudice needs a “trendy” cover to be a YA book…I loved Pride and Prejudice as a teen, and I know lots of other girls who did too. (I’m sure there are boys too, but, uh…I haven’t met them yet.) I don’t think the cover or marketing is what does/doesn’t make something YA, at least not in the way that I’m proud to be a lifelong YA lover.
‘My book ISN’T YA!’ Maybe we should nominate him for some YA awards, and then like Jamie McGuire he’ll start accepting it.
I am going to start looking for bribes for my favourite celebs now!
Isaac Marion’s paranoia over the YA label reminds me of Terry Goodkind (ye gods those books haunt me!) and his horror of being thought of as fantasy – with magic and dragons and stuff
I read The Garden of Evening Mists earlier this year. It is a fantastic book and I am glad to see it nominated for the Man Booker. It was slow in a few places but really was a moving account of the aftermath of World War II.
I’m also pleased that I managed to read a Booker nominee before it was even nominated. Cuz that never happens because I have no taste in literature. 😉
“Usually it’s the author’s job to create a narrative to begin with – not to leave that to the movie adaptation, but hey, what do I know?”
I read this 5 times, and I still laugh every time I read it. It is better than crying. Always choose laughter.
I forgot to mention this, but Amazon sent me an e-mail about a settlement with Big Pub and I will be receiving a credit for previously purchased Kindle books. Rock on.
All jokes aside, it is so wonderful to see some Chinese writers come to the forefront. With literate people such as Mo Yan at the helm, China will soon start their oven civil rights protest. These things take time, and geat minds have to first plant the seeds for the common people.
Gosh, Kat. I hope none of the authors you want to give up your future children for actually reads your blog posts, if they do you might prepare yourself for years and years of being pregnant 😉
I’m living under a rock these days and haven’t seen(or heard) about Marion’s comments until now. I personally cannot see why tha YA label should hurt his novel, as I do think it has a certain appeal to YA readers(and adults reads YA too… adults like me :D).