Category Archives: Book News

Fiction2Film: Zombies … an Oral History & a Love Story

In our Fiction 2 Film (F2F) posts, we will share news and tidbits we learn about author’s stories which have made the jump from paper to film.

~ Zombies … An Oral History ~

If you are a fan of zombie novels, you have already heard about Max BrooksWorld War Z film adaption starting Brad Pitt.  In fact, if you’re a major fan, you’ve already read the book.  But, have you heard the major changes to the story?  writing for Screen Rant.com discusses the fact that, although it is a “tricky narrative format to transfer to film” the main character, who in the book is a U.N. employee that interviews zombie apocalypse survivors on their experiences, will be quite different in the film.

Paramount’s announcement stated, “The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.”  This is indeed a different take on the story.  How does author Max Brooks feel about the change?

He acknowledges how difficult it could be turning the book into a film during his interview with the Daily Record.  He admits, “It doesn’t have a main character, the storyline is told from a hundred different points of view, would be prohibitively expensive filming in all these different countries.”  He also realizes the challenge this brings saying, “You couldn’t pay me to turn it into a film.”  However, he doesn’t seem worried about the changes, but rather excited to see how it all turns out.  “I’m not involved so I just want to be able to enjoy watching the movie when it comes out,” he explained. “At least I know they did at least as much research into things as I did for the book.”  In his 26 Aug 2011 blog post, after visiting the set in Glasgow, Max stated, “While I’m still largely in the dark concerning the overall story, it was reassuring to hear from Brad Pitt and Marc Forster that their goal is to make a smart, deep, geopolitical movie. I trust their talent and their intentions and I look forward to seeing what they come up with.”  He also learned from the January 3rd LA Times article, that states, “Forster [the director] and Paramount Pictures each view “World War Z” as a trilogy that would have the grounded, gun-metal realism of, say, Damon’s Jason Bourne series tethered to the unsettling end-times vibe of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead.'”  That’s a nice thought (for them financially), but will fans love the first film enough to support the making of a trilogy? 

‘World War Z’, the Fiction

“The end was near.” —Voices from the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.

‘World War Z’, the Film

Will the film be a hit among Brooks’ fans?  Zombie fans?  Pitt fans?  Only time will tell.

But, in E! News’ interview with actress Mireille Enos, who plays Pitt’s wife in the film, she said, “It’s like zombies are the new vampires.” And, it would seem she isn’t far off as we have seen the number of zombie-related books increase over the past year.  “It’s taking over. But somebody said to me this movie might end the zombie genre because, after this, what else is there to do? It’s huge!”  Now, this statement is not one with which I can agree.

I’ll watch the movie, I may even love it, but “end the zombie genre” because of its awesomeness?  Nah, probably not.  Romero has been doing good zombies for many, many years.  Others will surely follow.

‘World War Z’ is scheduled to hit theaters on, you guessed it, 12/21/12.  How apropos.

[Trailer can be viewed here.]

~ Zombies … A Love Story ~

Now, I have to admit that about a year ago, someone told me about a zombie romance and my first reaction was “Thanks, but no thanks.”  Then, I decided to give Isaac Marion‘s Warm Bodies a go.  The story is told from the perspective of R, a zombie who, try as he might, cannot remember much about his life before now.  Then, he meets his (living) sweetheart.  The book was a quick read, but one that proved in the end that Virgil may have had it right when he said, “Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love.”

I was happily surprised to see on that Isaac’s book is also being adapted to film.  Unlike Brooks’ “fiction2film,” Marion’s appears to be more of a direct adaption than a variation on the story.  Although director Jonathan Levine is writing the script, he consulted with Marion during the process.

In an interview with Jonathan Liu, or “GeekDad” of Wired Magazine, he explained, I’ve not been directly involved as far as collaborating on it, but I’ve been consulted a lot, a lot more than what’s normal, from what I’m told. When they first hired the director he had lunch with me and just chatted about his ideas and vision for the whole thing, and he’s been interacting with me as he wrote the script. He’d call me up and ask me questions: what’s this part about, or how do you see this and that.

I read some draft of the script — I’m not sure how far along it was — and then I got to give notes on that, and later read another draft and gave some notes. It seems like they’re really respectful of my opinion and they seem to really care what I think, which is cool. Very unusual, from what I’m told. Even major best-selling authors who have all the clout in the world, sometimes they just tell them: “Get lost, we don’t care what you think. Just let us make this movie.” Everyone I’ve told about this who knows how that works has been amazed, that they actually have involved me.

Do you think that will make a difference to those who have read the book and watch the movie?  I know it will for me.  As much as I enjoy seeing a film director’s interpretation of a novel, sometimes I want to see the author’s original story, as is, on the big screen.  Of course, just because there has been so much director-author collaboration does not mean the film will be identical to the novel.  It is always hard to completely translate one to the other, yes?

Either way, Marion sounds excited about the film.  Although he did not have much say regarding the casting process, per the USA Today article, he didn’t see that as a problem because he wasn’t sure “how it would have been if [he] had hated them. But they worked out.”  He plans to watch the film in the theater instead of with the executives because “If something bad happened, [he] wouldn’t want them to see [him] cowering.”  That said, he wants to visit the production set as much as possible because, “The whole thing is fascinating and exciting.”   He may even try to “… sneak in the background and get eaten by a zombie.” 

‘Warm Bodies’, the Fiction

A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.

‘Warm Bodies’, the Film

As I said, it was initially hard for me to envision a zombie novel as a romance.  However, either Marion’s writing changed my perception or love really does affect us all – living or undead.  Marion can relate to our uncertainties about a romantic zombie.  “I didn’t want to sanitize him into something I called a zombie,” Marion says. “You watch him kill people and eat people and do horrific things zombies do. There’s a germ of change in there, so you hear him give his distaste for things but this is what we do.

“A lot of people can relate to that mindless repetition, that people do things they don’t want to do all the time. It’s the starting point for his character, and he develops an awareness for what his options are. It seemed natural to make him sympathetic because everyone’s been there at some point, in a place of misery and wanting to get out.”   The fact that R goes through his routines even while he dreads them was absolutely something to which I could relate.  It made him feel more real, I guess.

Teresa Palmer, who plays R’s love interest, Julie, says Nicholas Hoult is “… so beautiful to work with. He does such an incredible performance. He’s playing a zombie, so he can’t say much, but he’s very expressive with his eyes.”   And, he would have to be to pull this off.  The book is full of R’s internal dialogue, so  I’m very interested to see how that will be represented on screen.  I’ve certainly seen that work well in some and not in others.

I wasn’t going to say this because so many others are asking the same question, but after seeing this picture I feel I have to ask … Will these two be the new Edward & Bella?  It may not be too far fetched a question since Summit Entertainment, the production company behind Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight films, is also behind Marion’s film. The picture is certainly reminiscent of Twilight pics.  I’d say they should try to be more original, but on second thought, it was most likely intentional as they try to lure young adult paranormal romance readers into the theater.

‘Warm Bodies’ is scheduled to hit theaters on 8/10/12.

[To date, no official trailer exists, but you can view the book trailer here.]

Related posts: “Fiction2Film” feature on Stephenie Meyer’s ‘The Host’ and our “Zombie Awareness Month” posts

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Pitch Dark Books Presents “Dark Days” Chat

Chat with authors Anna Carey, Jocelyn Davies, Claudia Gray, Amy Garvey, and Kiersten White

Fall ’11 Dark Days Tour Kick-Off

The chat will take place at LiveStream.com

Check it out: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EDT on Thursday, 6 Oct 2011

The place to be for YA reads!

Dark Days presents five books that will inspire you to read through the night. Experience romance, suspense, and a touch of darkness with new books by authors Anna Carey, Jocelyn Davies, Amy Garvey, Claudia Gray, and Kiersten White—on tour this fall and coming to online audiences through Livestream!

 

[You can follow Pitch Dark Books @ Facebook & Twitter]

Cover Reveal ~ Doubletake by Rob Thurman

Doubletake (Cal Leandros #7) by Rob Thurman

Rob shared her love for the newest Cal Leandros cover created by artist, Chris McGrath.

Chris is the cover artist for many of our favorite series, in addition to Rob’s Nightlife series.

Release date: 6 March 2012 | Publisher: Roc

Pre-order your copy @ Amazon | Book Depository | B&N

Yipee! Disillusionists #3 Has a Name & Release Date!

The final book in Carolyn Crane‘s Disillusionists trilogy
has a name and release dates!


We may not know what the cover looks like, but we do know what it will be called …. HEAD RUSH. Carolyn posted the great news on her website, “The third and final book in the Disillusionists trilogy, HEAD RUSH, will release as an audio book in early November (all 3 books will come out at once in audio). It will release as an ebook on December 6th (Samhain) and as print in 2012 at some point.”

The first two books in the Disillusionists trilogy are some of the most unique I have read in a long time. I have had so much fun meeting and following Justine and her merry band of Disillusionists. I am THRILLED to hear the trilogy will finally be complete later this year. I am looking forward to Head Rush.

If you haven’t done so already, check out the stories available now!


Mind Games (Disillusionists Trilogy #1)

JUSTINE KNOWS SHE’S GOING TO DIE. ANY SECOND NOW.

Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.

Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.

DETAILS:
Publisher: Bantam/Spectra
Release Date: 23 March 2010
Excerpt
Buy Now: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N


Double Cross (Disillusionists Trilogy #2)

SOME SECRETS COME BACK TO HAUNT. OTHERS COME TO KILL.

Justine Jones lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she was lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard, who gifts her with extraordinary mental powers—dooming her to fight Midcity’s shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.

But now serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity’s new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.

As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men—one on a journey of redemption, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.

DETAILS:
Publisher: Bantam/Spectra
Release Date: 28 September 2010
Excerpt
Buy Now: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N


Wild & Steamy Anthology (Disillusionists Trilogy #2.5)

Kitten-tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane – A Disillusionists novella of 20,000 words: Sophia Sidway, Midcity’s most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption…but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.

DETAILS:
Format: eBook only
Release Date: 2 August 2011
Excerpts for each novella within the anthology (Other novellas authored by Meljean Brooks and Jill Myles)
Buy Now: Kindle | All Romance Ebooks | Smashwords | Nook



Sneak Peek ~ One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost

Night Huntress #6

Visit Harper Collins’ site to browse inside

Synopsis:

The grave is one wrong step away.

Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans’ voodoo queen just keeps on giving–leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.

Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity–forever. But how do you kill a killer who’s already long dead?

Thankfully, we don’t have to wait long for the whole kit-n-kaboodle.  One Grave at a Time will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, 30 August!  If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy, you can find it at many retailers, including AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY | B&N | POWELLS.

Series Reading Order:

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2) At Grave's End (Night Huntress, #3) Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4) This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5)

Wishing Well Wednesday ~ Who Said Bad Things Come in Threes?

Wishing Well Wednesday is a weekly feature showcasing the books we have on our wish lists and those we’re looking forward to being published.



Who said bad things come in threes?

I am an admitted series whore, but trilogies are great too.
Not every story needs to go on past three books.


Shadow Kin (Novel of the Half-Light City #1) by M.J. Scott

Release Date: 6 September 2011

Description from Goodreads:

On one side, the Night World, rules by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages…

Born a wraith, Lily is a shadow who slips between worlds. Brought up by a Blood Lord and raised to be his assassin, she is little more than a slave. But when Lily meets her match in target Simon DuCaine, the unlikely bond that develops between them threatens to disrupt an already stretched peace in a city on the verge of being torn apart…




The author has posted a preview of Chapter 1. In her post called “The Story Behind” she states, “I don’t know if any writer can truly explain where their ideas come from. For me, books are triggered by lots of things. By a mood or an image or by thinking about something I’ve read (a myth, a phase, a story). But some books just arrive unannounced.

Shadow Kin is one of those books. I knew I needed another book idea but was working on something else at the time. But there I was, lying in bed one night, drifting off to sleep when a voice in my head said “Revenge is silent.” At which I kind of half-woke up, thought “hmm, random writer thought” and rolled over, fully prepared to go back to sleep. But the voice was having none of that. “Revenge is silent”, she said again (she was a she now) and gave me a glimpse of her standing outside a door, getting ready to kill someone. That woke me up. And the brain started to whirl, wondering why revenge was silent, who this gal was and who was she going to kill. That was pretty much a clear signal that this wasn’t a random sleepy writer thought, and that I needed to get up and haul my butt to the computer and start writing.

Which I did. Got up, wrote about twelve pages in an hour then staggered back to bed. At first I thought I was writing an urban fantasy. But then, I realised they weren’t wearing modern clothes and when the first gun appeared it was an old fashioned, wooden handled, beautifully ornamented pistol. Things only got weirder from there. I believe I told my agent something like “I’m writing this weird book with mages, assassins, vampires, Fae, secrets and oh yeah, kind of quasi Victorian level culture.” She wisely said nothing discouraging and let me carry on. And thus Shadow Kin was born…”



Happy Reading!

Upcoming Kenyon Movies, TV Shows and Webisodes!

Sherrilyn Kenyon, prolific paranormal authoress appears to have gone into showbusiness, well her books have.

Posted on Facebook on July 30, 2011:

We don’t have a release date nor do we know who any of the cast will be. Sherri has no control over the casting or the music chosen. They will consult her, but ultimately, it will be in the hands of Amber. She won’t be writing the scripts as she says it’s not her area of expertise and she’s not vain enough to think for one minute that she could do a screenplay justice. However, she will be working closely with the script writer and production staff to keep the movies and TV shows as close to the books as possible.

As always, we will keep everyone posted as soon as we have more information.

Thanks,
Carl
MB Staff

It appears that Kenyon has signed up to a partnership deal with Amber Entertainment to bring her back catalogue to the screen. The first up for adaptation is the Chronicles of Nick which begins with Infinity and will be made into a movie. It’s the young adult spin-off series from the Dark-Hunter adult series which, according to nFamous, will be the second project, turning it into a TV show and the Were Hunters will become an animated series.

All of these series share storylines and characters who all appear in the Dark-Hunter Universe so it’s difficult to see how these books/series, most of which are not suitable for younger audiences (Were-Hunters into an animated series -for children, I assume? That’s not right, surely?) can be split up into separate projects. I understand Kenyon is to be a producer with Ileen Maisel (Inkheart, The Golden Compass) and will be consulted but won’t have full control over how her works are interpreted so it’s hard to imagine there’ll be much left of the originals once plotlines and character backgrounds have been untangled, unravelled, reconstituted and edited enough to be appropriate for the screen. Unless they plan to have some sort of continuity between projects but I worry there won’t be enough left for fans to recognise once we sit down to watch the results.

Amber’s previous projects include transferring the very popular Inkheart (movie) and The Golden Compass (movie) young adult books from page to screen, combined they have 77,000 ratings on IMDB.com with similar average ratings of 6/10, with many critics and fans panning the adaptations. Due to their negative receptions there were no movie sequels despite there being plenty of material as both were part of trilogies. We’ll have to wait and see if the Kenyon projects do any better.

Richelle Mead Series News

Storm Born Comic

Issue 2 is now out!



SNEAK PEEK: There is a 5-page preview from the middle of the issue:

Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5

The Storm Born Comics are based upon the first book of the Dark Swan series, Storm Born, featuring Eugenie Markham, a powerful shamaness. Here’s the first scene from the first book:

The 5-page preview from issue #1: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5

Series reading order:
Storm Born volume #1Storm Born volume #2Storm Born volume #3Storm Born volume #4


Vampire Academy Graphic Novel

This series may have been put to bed last December with Last Sacrifice but the very first book that started it all has been turned into a graphic novel which is due out August 30, 2011!








Bloodlines


SNEAK PEEK: The first chapter of Bloodlines, the first book in the Vampire Academy spin-off series, is now available to read HERE.

It’s due for release on August 23, 2011.








COVER REVEAL: The Golden Lily, book #2 of the Bloodlines series is set for release on May 1, 2012.

A Q&A about Bloodlines by Mead is HERE.

Bloodlines Facebook Page
Bloodlines YouTube Channel


Georgina Kincaid


SNEAK PEEK:The first chapter of the sixth and final book in the Georgina Kincaid series, Succubus Revealed is available HERE.

This one is set for release on August 30, 2011.






And finally, Mead has discussed her future schedule now that she’s having a baby.

So, three Mead books out in August. Will you be buying any of them?



Kitty Norville Series Extended!

Carrie Vaughn‘s Kitty Norville series, which starts with Kitty and the Midnight Hour, has been extended from 10 books to 14!

From Vaughn’s blog:

I’ve officially signed a contract for four more Kitty books. That’s #11 – #14, for those keeping score, though one of those will probably be a spinoff. I’ll update y’all as I’m writing them and know more. Like, I’m currently halfway through #11, which doesn’t have a title yet, and is at the “oh crap, how am I going to pull this all together and I’ve left out an entire plot line” stage.

So, back to work with me.


Series reading order:

UF Cover Reveals

I’m not sure how long these cover shots have been available.

But, I just spotted them and I’m thrilled because they are all next up in some of my favorite UF series!


Fair Game (Alpha & Omega #3) by Patricia Briggs
Expected Release Date: 2 Feb 2012

When the FBI request a pack consultant on a serial killer case they’re following in Boston, Anna and Charles are sent in. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves – all of them were.

Someone is targeting their kind. And if Charles and Anna can’t get to the bottom of this mystery, they may be next…











The Isis Collar (Blood Singer #4) by Cat Adams
Expected Release Date: March 2012


No summary available at Goodreads or Author’s Website, but I did find this chapter 1 sneak peek.

Interesting cover. Much different from the previous three which were a lot darker.

Blood Song (Blood Singer, #1) Siren Song (Blood Singer, #2) Demon Song (Blood Singer, #3)







Shadow Heir (Dark Swan #4) by Richelle Mead
Expected Release Date: 2 Feb 2012

#1 New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead returns to the Otherworld, a mystic land inextricably linked to our own–and balanced precariously on one woman’s desperate courage…

Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land’s prophecy-haunted queen, there’s no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born-children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld…

The spell-driven source of the blight isn’t the only challenge to Eugenie’s instincts. Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can’t trust the synergy drawing them back together. The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can’t–or won’t–reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon–and risk the ultimate sacrifice…



If you haven’t started these series yet, you should! They are must-reads!