See the electrifying trailer for The Fate of Ten, the penultimate I Am Number Four book — exclusive
On Sept. 1, Pittacus Lore’s I Am Number Four series gets nearer to its close, as The Fate of Ten—the series’ second-to-last book—hits shelves everywhere. The Fate of Ten sees the Garde stretched across North America: John is fighting the Mogadorians in New York City, where his human friend Sam has suddenly developed a Legacy; Six, Marina, and Adam are in Mexico where they’ve reached the Sanctuary, but can’t escape. Can they fight this war without destroying each other, and humanity itself?
Check out the electrifying, exclusive trailer above, and read the prologue [here].
To Smoke Or Not To Smoke: Scientist Says William Shakespeare Used Marijuana
A South African researcher says traces of cannabis were found in fragments of clay pipes discovered in William Shakespeare’s garden. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
LONDON (CBSDC) – The man who wrote Hamlet and MacBeth may have been enjoying some Midsummer Night’s Dreams.
South African researchers examined some 17th-Century clay tobacco pipe fragments found in William Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, reports Time Magazine.
They examined 24 fragments, including some had been excavated from the site of the Bard’s personal garden.
Using advanced gas chromatography methods, they detected cannabis on eight of the fragments, including four that were confirmed to dome from the garden.
Oliver Sacks: My Periodic Table
I LOOK forward eagerly, almost greedily, to the weekly arrival of journals like Nature and Science, and turn at once to articles on the physical sciences — not, as perhaps I should, to articles on biology and medicine. It was the physical sciences that provided my first enchantment as a boy.
In a recent issue of Nature, there was a thrilling article by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek on a new way of calculating the slightly different masses of neutrons and protons. The new calculation confirms that neutrons are very slightly heavier than protons — the ratio of their masses being 939.56563 to 938.27231 — a trivial difference, one might think, but if it were otherwise the universe as we know it could never have developed. The ability to calculate this, Dr. Wilczek wrote, “encourages us to predict a future in which nuclear physics reaches the level of precision and versatility that atomic physics has already achieved” — a revolution that, alas, I will never see.
Francis Crick was convinced that “the hard problem” — understanding how the brain gives rise to consciousness — would be solved by 2030. “You will see it,” he often said to my neuroscientist friend Ralph, “and you may, too, Oliver, if you live to my age.” Crick lived to his late 80s, working and thinking about consciousness till the last. Ralph died prematurely, at age 52, and now I am terminally ill, at the age of 82. I have to say that I am not too exercised by “the hard problem” of consciousness — indeed, I do not see it as a problem at all; but I am sad that I will not see the new nuclear physics that Dr. Wilczek envisages, nor a thousand other breakthroughs in the physical and biological sciences.
A few weeks ago, in the country, far from the lights of the city, I saw the entire sky “powdered with stars” (in Milton’s words); such a sky, I imagined, could be seen only on high, dry plateaus like that of Atacama in Chile (where some of the world’s most powerful telescopes are). It was this celestial splendor that suddenly made me realize how little time, how little life, I had left. My sense of the heavens’ beauty, of eternity, was inseparably mixed for me with a sense of transience — and death.
I told my friends Kate and Allen, “I would like to see such a sky again when I am dying.”
“We’ll wheel you outside,” they said.
Nikki Finke Is Now Making Up Her Stories (Sort Of)
Photo: Jen Rosenstein
For Nikki Finke, fiction was always the enemy. “As a journalist, that was the worst thing you could say about something,” she says. “That’s fiction.”
In the years she spent covering the entertainment industry for the L.A. Times, L.A. Weekly, and her own Deadline website, Finke became famous — and famously feared — for telling the unvarnished (and highly entertaining) truth about everyone in Hollywood, even her own business partner, Jay Penske. “I am a very old-school journalist,” she says throatily over the phone from her home in Los Angeles. “I believe you make the comfortable uncomfortable, and that’s the whole point of doing it. A friend of mine who is in the business always used to say, Why do you always act surprised when people hate you for something you have written? And I said, But it’s the truth! My feeling was always the truth trumps everything. You know, the point is to try and get at that. As uncomfortable and difficult as it is.”
One thing the truth doesn’t trump: non-compete clauses.
Last year, a legal battle with Penske over Deadline resulted in Finke walking away with a reported multi-million-dollar settlement and a sworn promise not to report about the industry for anyone else. For a while, it seemed Penske had done something people in the industry had been trying to do for years: Put Finke out of commission. Under their agreement, Finke couldn’t even go online and expound about the Sony hack — the kind of cataclysmic event that would have had the old Finke, who goes on reporting benders the way studio executives used to go on coke binges, sleepless for days.
Finke clears her throat. (“In 2010, I completely had an operation to remove a parathyroid and they paralyzed one of my vocal cords. I couldn’t talk, I would croak. Of course all the agents would go, ‘That’s so sexy.’”) “The hack presented Hollywood the way it really is,” she says. “It demonstrated what Hollywood insiders have always known.” (She’s being careful, but you can hear it in her voice: TOLDJA!)
LOCAL AUTHOR FESTIVAL: James Frey to give free talk at Avon Public Library on Thursday, July 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Local Literary Events Include Author James Frey, Twain Summer Program
Author James Frey, who gained fame and notoriety from his 2003 memoir “A Million Little Pieces,” will give a free talk at Avon Public Library on Thursday, July 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. as part of the library’s Local Author Festival that runs through Aug. 24. (Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)
Avon Local Author Festival
The Avon Free Public Library‘s free Local Author Festival will run through Aug. 24 at the library, 281 Country Club Road.
Children’s Night is Tuesday, July 28, at 7 p.m., with Donna LeBlanc, author of “Explorations of Commander Josh: Book One — In Space” (SDP Publishing, $14.95); Shannon Mazurick, author of “Gemma: The Search For The Gem” (AuthorHouse, $15); J. C. Phillipps, author of “The Simples Love a Picnic” (HMH Books for Young Readers, $16.99); and Martha Ritter, author of “The Nearly Calamitous Taming of PZ” (Bradley Street Press, $13.99).
Author James Frey, who gained fame and notoriety from his 2003 memoir “A Million Little Pieces,” will give a free talk at the library on Thursday, July 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. Frey also is co-author with Nils Johnson-Shelton of “The Calling” (HarperCollins, $10.99).
Local authors will sell and sign books at the library’s Farmers Market from 4 to 7 p.m. on Mondays. Glenn Maynard, author of “Desert Son” (Black Rose, $15.95) and Nan Arnstein, author of “Rocky Shores” (CreateSpace, $16) will sign on Monday, July 27.
In addition, the library is offering a free Story Walk on its grounds during July and August based on the children’s book “Market Maze,” by Roxie Munro, a story about collecting things to take to a farmers market. Visitors can solve the maze and find objects hidden in pictures.
Information: 860-673-9712, ext. 235.
The Inimitable Style of Gertrude Stein
By Carl Cannon
Image from France Culture
Sixty-nine years ago today, as the first crop of baby boomers was being born, iconic American expatriate Gertrude Stein died in Paris. Her life partner, Alice B. Toklas, was at her deathbed.
In one of their last conversations, Toklas later wrote in her autobiography, Stein asked about the meaning of life: “What is the answer?” she inquired.
When Toklas failed to reply, Stein laughed and said, “In that case, what is the question?”
Born in Pennsylvania in 1874, Stein had lived in Paris as a girl before her parents brought her back to the United States. She lived in San Francisco and across the bay in Oakland as a young woman before gravitating to Baltimore, where she had relatives, and then to France after the turn of the century.
It was in Paris that she made her reputation. A famed wit, hostess, and avant-garde writer, she collected artists more than art. Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse were friends and frequent visitors, and after World War I, she and Alice Toklas expanded their salon-type dinners to include a cohort of restless young American writers that included Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Dos Passos.
It was to Hemingway, supposedly, that Stein said, “You are all a lost generation.”
Other than the “lost generation” line, Gertrude Stein’s most famous quote is probably her put-down of a teeming California city. Many decades before Jerry Brown resuscitated his political career by becoming mayor of Oakland, Stein dismissed the place by saying simply: “There is no there there.”
Actually, that five-word description — and three of them are the same word — come at the end of a longer, punctuation-less sentence. These days, one must type it carefully, or the spellcheck function on the computer will correct it for you — the consecutive “theres” being confusing to an intelligence of the artificial kind.
Gertrude Stein’s brainpower was the opposite of artificial. Her deathbed conversation with Alice B. Toklas? She was witty that way all the time.
Oakland wasn’t the only place subject to the Stein wit. She was dismissive of entire regions of the U.S., notably the Midwest. Referring to her pal Ernest Hemingway, she once said, “Anyone who marries three girls from St. Louis hasn’t learned much.” (For the record, Hadley Richardson and Martha Gellhorn were both St. Louis natives, but Pauline Pfeiffer, his second wife, was Iowa-born. But you get the point).
As for that lack of a comma in the Oakland put-down, it wasn’t an accident, either. That was Stein’s signature style.
The Forgotten Man Behind William Carlos Williams’s ‘Red Wheelbarrow’
image from cliparts.co
For decades, much has depended on his red wheelbarrow, streaked with rain, next to some white chickens, even if no one has known — or perhaps even wondered — exactly who he was.
But now, the owner of the humble garden tool that inspired William Carlos Williams’s classic poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” will finally get his due.
On July 18, in a moment of belated poetic justice, a stone will be laid on the otherwise unmarked grave of Thaddeus Marshall, an African-American street vendor from Rutherford, N.J., noting his unsung contribution to American literature.
“When we read this poem in an anthology, we tend not to think of the chickens as real chickens, but as platonic chickens, some ideal thing,” William Logan, the scholar who recently discovered Mr. Marshall’s identity, said in an interview.
The discovery doesn’t change the meaning, he said, but “knowing there was a man with a particular wheelbarrow and some chickens does help us understand the world the poem was embedded in.”
Williams’s 16-word poem, first published in 1923, was hailed as a manifesto of plain-spoken American modernism. Williams himself declared it “quite perfect.” A staple of classrooms and anthologies, it has inspired endless debates about its deeper meaning — how much of what, exactly, depends on the red wheelbarrow? — not to mention provided the name of an English-language bookstore in Paris, a craft beer from Maine and an episode of “Homeland.”
But Mr. Logan, a professor at the University of Florida who has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, may have taken the poem’s fullest measure yet. His roughly 10,000-word essay on the poem, published in the most recent issue of the literary journal Parnassus and titled simply “The Red Wheelbarrow,” considers the poem from seemingly every conceivable angle.
Remembering a Meeting with Frank Zachary
A tribute from Town & Country editor in chief Jay Fielden.
A few weeks after I started editing Town & Country, I took a flight down to Florida to see a very important person—Frank Zachary, who edited Town & Country from 1972 to 1991. Under his bowtied command the magazine became a handbook for the way to live it up in America that was chronicled with documentary-like detail by the snapshot virtuoso Slim Aarons. Zachary, 97 and living in a retirement home in Delray Beach, generously shared memories and advice—”Don’t lose your nerve!”—from his two-decade tenure, while we sat on a back porch that overlooked a grassy yard encircled by a chirping mass of Florida jungle.
In the weeks since that visit Frank’s voice sometimes echoed back in the heat of things. One of the most memorable understatements he muttered that afternoon was, “Life’s a little lonely without deadlines.” Whenever I remembered that, the oft-occurring how-will-we-get-it-all-done-in-time chest-tightening moments immediately melted away.
Getting Past Genre in Digital Acquisitions
The growth of ebook publishing has heralded the growth of genre publishing—and it’s no wonder: Readers gravitate toward online communities that mirror their interests. By publishing genre-oriented ebooks, publishers and authors can cater to established communities of readers.
And since ebooks can often be produced inexpensively and sold at lower prices than many of their print counterparts, they’re perfect for those communities of voracious readers. At the height of the ebook boom, a low-priced, commercial genre title could find amazing traction. The author Amanda Hocking is one famous example of this type of success. Between 2010 and 2011, her self-published, $2.99 paranormal romance ebooks sold over a million units.
But the boom years are over, and many of the hit-making formulas acquiring editors and indie authors developed just a few years ago are bringing diminishing returns. Facing a much more competitive market than ever before, digital fiction publishers need to rethink their acquisition strategies.
Today, a paranormal romance ebook priced at $2.99 is just one of many thousands of paranormal romance ebooks priced at $2.99 or less. And that’s to say nothing of the huge number of ebooks that are available for free. Many publishers have found that the value of giving away free ebooks in order to build up reviews has all but disappeared.
Genre fiction in particular risks becoming a victim of its own success. Because it’s become an established winner in the digital space, the marketplace is now so over-saturated that digital publishers can’t afford not to think more creatively about how they acquire new content.
That was our guiding principle in October 2014 when we launched Full Fathom Five Digital. We planned to release commercial fantasy, romance, horror and thriller ebooks—but how to stand out in a sea of these genres? The experiment is still in its early days, but we’ve already learned a lot about what seems to work and what doesn’t when it comes to digital acquisitions. Here are five of them:
Best-selling author to launch imprint for children’s books
By Alexandra Alter / New York Times News Service
Novelist James Patterson is so prolific, his annual output rivals that of many small publishing houses. Last year, with help from his stable of co-authors, he published 16 novels and sold around 20 million copies of his books.
Now Patterson is seeking to extend his brand further, by creating his own publishing imprint, Jimmy Patterson.
The imprint, which will be part of Little, Brown & Co., will release eight to 12 children’s books a year, with a focus on middle grade and young adult fiction.
Patterson will oversee it all, choosing manuscripts and shaping the marketing plan for each title. He will publish four to six of his own children’s books a year under the new imprint and will acquire books by other writers.
“We’re not going to buy a lot of books, but if we buy them, we’re going to publish them with gusto,” said Patterson, who announced the initiative during BookExpo America, the publishing industry’s annual trade convention.
A handful of other writers have moved into publishing roles and created their own imprints and book packaging businesses. Author Lizzie Skurnick started a young adult imprint, Lizzie Skurnick Books, which publishes new editions of classic young adult novels dating from the 1930s to the 1980s. Novelists Lauren Oliver and James Frey both created their own book packaging companies, allowing them to acquire and commission works by other writers and sell them to publishers.
James Frey Sci-Fi Book Proposal Has Fox 2000 & Publishers In Launch Mode
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a tasty one to end the week. I’m hearing that James Frey has hatched a proposal for an untitled science fiction space franchise: book publishers are hot and bothered, and Fox 2000 is in talks to set it up as a feature with Marisa Paiva overseeing for the studio. The working title is Space Runners, but I don’t have any more specific information than that. This would be produced by Joe and Anthony Russo, who’d be producing with Frey and Mike Larocca. from the Russo’s Getaway Productions banner. They are already plenty busy as directors, with Captain America: Civil War, the next two Avengers installments, and the Ghostbustersspinoff that has Channing Tatum attached.
10 rules for making it as a writer, by Dennis Lehane
By Anita Singh, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Photo: Warren Allott
Dennis Lehane is the author of a dozen novels including Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island. His television credits include seasons of The Wire and Boardwalk Empire. His latest book, World Gone By, is out now.
Read whatever you can lay your hands on
We were working class. There were no books. There were some encyclopaedias – I always say it was the day my father didn’t see the salesman coming. And there was a Bible. I read the Bible from cover to cover when I was a kid. The Bible is an amazing piece of narrative storytelling. Then my mother heard from the nuns – probably the only nice thing a nun ever said about me – that I liked to read. So my mother took me to the library. To this day, I’m a big benefactor of libraries. Without libraries I couldn’t be sitting here.
Write out of necessity
I started writing when I was too poor to go out and entertain myself. I was living in an over-55s community in Florida where my parents had a little house. I was broke and staying at their house. I was 25 and had no money. I said, ‘I’m going to write to entertain myself.’
Amazon Greenlights Six Kids Pilots
Amazon Prime members will be able to watch and vote on the four animated episodes and two live-action episodes during the company’s next kids pilot season this summer.
Amazon Studios has greenlit six kids pilots, which will debut during its next kids pilot season this summer.
The order includes four animated pilots — The Adventures of Knickerbock Teetertop, Lost In Oz, Lily the Unicorn and Bear in Underwear — and two live-action pilots — A History of Radness and The Kicks.
Amazon Prime members will be able to watch and provide feedback on which pilots they want turned into Amazon original series.
“These new pilots will bring sophisticated stories and unique points of view that we hope will resonate well with kids and families,” Amazon Studios’ head of kids programming, Tara Sorensen, said in a statement. “We’re very excited to be working with such passionate creative teams and look forward to sharing these projects with our customers later this year.”
Amazon’s latest pilots feature an accomplished roster of creative talent.
The Kicks, about a star soccer player who switches schools and has to rally her new team, is based on a book series by U.S. women’s soccer player, and Olympic gold medalist, Alex Morgan. The series was adapted for the pilot by David Babcock, whose credits include Brothers & Sisters and Gilmore Girls. The project’s executive producers include novelist James Frey and his company Full Fathom Five. The pilot was directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum, whose credits include Ramona & Beezus and Aquamarine.
Author Aims to Set New Guinness World Record with World’s Largest Published Novel
Yahaya Baruwa, 27-year-old best-selling Canadian author, aims to do more than just release another commercial success, but also release the world’s largest published novel.
Struggles of a Dreamer: The Battle Between a Dreamer and Tradition will measure 8 ft. 5 in. high and 5 ft. 5 in. wide, resulting in an 11 ft. length when fully opened. The novel will be approximately 200 pages and bound in hardcover, rendered in full color. Due to its size, Struggles of a Dreamer will be crafted by hand, made from a combination of aluminum and tear-resistant paper, all sewn together with nylon stitching.
The novel seems to draw from the author’s own experiences of being a Nigerian immigrant, with characters Tunde, a beggar on the streets of New York City, and Toku’te, the son of a farmer in a faraway land, both testing the boundaries of tradition.
The Greatness of Günter Grass
In 1982, when I was in Hamburg for the publication of the German translation of “Midnight’s Children,” I was asked by my publishers if I would like to meet Günter Grass. Well, obviously I wanted to, and so I was driven out to the village of Wewelsfleth, outside Hamburg, where Grass then lived. He had two houses in the village; he wrote and lived in one and used the other as an art studio. After a certain amount of early fencing—I was expected, as the younger writer, to make my genuflections, which, as it happened, I was happy to perform—he decided, all of a sudden, that I was acceptable, led me to a cabinet in which he stored his collection of antique glasses, and asked me to choose one. Then he got out a bottle of schnapps, and by the bottom of the bottle we were friends. At some later point, we lurched over to the art studio, and I was enchanted by the objects I saw there, all of which I recognized from the novels: bronze eels, terracotta flounders, dry-point etchings of a boy beating a tin drum. I envied him his artistic gift almost more than I admired him for his literary genius. How wonderful, at the end of a day’s writing, to walk down the street and become a different sort of artist! He designed his own book covers, too: dogs, rats, toads moved from his pen onto his dust jackets.
After that meeting, every German journalist I met wanted to ask me what I thought of him, and when I said that I believed him to be one of the two or three greatest living writers in the world some of these journalists looked disappointed, and said, “Well, ‘The Tin Drum,’ yes, but wasn’t that a long time ago?” To which I tried to reply that if Grass had never written that novel, his other books were enough to earn him the accolades I was giving him, and the fact that he had written “The Tin Drum” as well placed him among the immortals. The skeptical journalists looked disappointed. They would have preferred something cattier, but I had nothing catty to say.
One on 1 Profile: Editor/Publisher Nan Talese Continues Her Legacy in the World of Books
By Budd Mishkin
In any book, one of the most heartfelt thank yous from an author usually goes to the book editor, and for many years, some of the most prominent authors have thanked Nan Talese. NY1’s Budd Mishkin filed the following One on 1 profile.
Nan Talese was once dubbed the “high priestess of all New York editor/publishers.”
“People have said, ‘I’m so glad to meet you,'” she says. “Now, I cannot figure it out. (laughs).”
Talese: The hard thing is to write. What I do is easy.
Mishkin: Maybe it’s easy for you.
Talese: It’s easy for me.
Talese is held in such high regard that she has her own imprint, akin to her own department of the publishing giant Doubleday.
On the walls of her Midtown office hang pictures of some of the writers with whom she’s worked for decades, including best-selling authors Margaret Atwood and Pat Conroy.
At her Upper East Side home, there are notes from book projects both present and past.
“What I usually do is – I won’t do it because it’s undignified – I lie down here with my feet up here and I read the manuscripts,” Talese says. “I read very, very slowly. because I hear the words.”
Her appreciation for what writers endure is helped immensely by the fact that she lives with a writer, and a pretty fair one at that: her husband of more than 55 years, Gay Talese.
“As Gay writes his book, I read aloud the pages as they come out, and I think it puts me in the atmosphere of the writer’s working,” Nan Talese says. “I think it’s helped me a great deal.”
An Appraisal: The Poet Philip Levine, an Outsider Archiving the Forgotten
Della and Tatum, Sweet Pea and Packy, Ida and Cal. You met a lot of unpretentious people in Philip Levine’s spare, ironic poems of the industrial heartland. Mr. Levine had toiled in auto plants as a young man. “I saw that the people that I was working with,” he told Detroit Magazine, “were voiceless in a way.”
Mr. Levine’s death is a serious blow for American poetry, in part because he so vividly evoked the drudgery and hardships of working-class life in America, and in part because this didn’t pull his poetry down into brackishness.
He was a shrewd and very funny man. I’m not sure another major American poet could give advice quite like the following, from a poem called “Facts,” collected in Mr. Levine’s classic 1991 book “What Work Is”:
If you take a ’37 Packard grill and split it down
the center and reduce the angle by 18° and reweld it,
you’ll have a perfect grill for a Rolls Royce
just in case you ever need a new grill for yours.
Mr. Levine was among those poets, and there are not enough of these, whose words you followed even outside their poetry. His interviews, for example, were feasts for the mind. To get back to Della and Tatum, Sweet Pea and Packy, and Ida and Cal for a moment, here is what he told The Paris Review in 1988 about the unpeopling of American poetry:
Rod McKuen, Poet and Lyricist With Vast Following, Dies at 81
Rod McKuen, a ubiquitous poet, lyricist and songwriter whose work met with immense commercial success if little critical esteem, died on Thursday in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 81.
Mr. McKuen, whom The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture described as having been, at his height, “the unofficial poet laureate of America,” was the author of dozens of books of poetry, which together sold millions of copies.
For a generation of Americans at midcentury and afterward, Mr. McKuen’s poetry formed an enduring, solidly constructed bridge between the Beat generation and New Age sensibilities. Ranging over themes of love and loss, the natural world and spirituality, his work was prized by readers for its gentle accessibility while being condemned by many critics as facile, tepid and aphoristic.
Mr. McKuen’s output was as varied as it was vast, spanning song lyrics, including English-language adaptations (“Seasons in the Sun”) of works by his idol, Jacques Brel; music and lyrics, as for “Jean,” from the 1969 film “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” for which he received an Academy Award nomination; and musical scores, including that of the 1973 television film “Lisa, Bright and Dark.” He also appeared as a singer on television, on many recordings and in live performance.
“What McKuen guarantees is that a certain California sexual daydreaming can be yours for the asking even if you do move your lips rapidly as you read,” Louis Cox sniped in The New Republic in 1971.
Television Review: A million little works of fiction
Illustration: Jim Cogan
‘Based on a true story” ….”Inspired by actual events”…automatically these words on the opening credits lend an extra frisson to a film or a TV series. But to arrive at some understanding of this fiendishly tricky subject, we should probably start with a book, A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey.
It was a book about alcohol addiction which was offered to various publishers as a work of fiction, and rejected. It was eventually published as “non-fiction” and it sold millions, driven by an endorsement from Oprah – who then had to haul the author back to berate him like a bold boy for misleading her and the American people, when it emerged that several parts of the book were exaggerated or just invented.
Frey was in no position to argue, but I would argue on his behalf that he was to some extent the victim of an industry which had lost its confidence, which was dumbing down. That he had written a powerful novel, but that it needed this fake stamp of authenticity – “it all really happened, you know” – to get it on Oprah.
So I think there is more to this “based on a true story” racket than issues of artistic licence, and of where exactly you draw the line between fiction and non-fiction and all that. There is also at times an element of cynicism, of declaring that a story is true and then making it up anyway, a bit like the events recalled in Charlie when they were putting bogus stamps on the beef to Iraq.
Charlie itself was not motivated by any of that dark stuff, but the arguments that blew up around it are being replicated all over the free world – The Imitation Game, the biopic of the code-breaking genius Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is accused of taking horrible liberties, of misrepresenting really important parts of Turing’s story, and of actually making the man more unloveable than he was.
Editor Samantha Streger of Full Fathom Five Digital
Samantha Streger is the Publisher of Full Fathom Five Digital, where she has the badass job of publishing and promoting commercial books. Before joining FFF, she was Associate Editor in the teen & children’s department at Open Road Integrated Media, so ebooks are her forte. She also holds a publishing certificate from NYU and previously worked at Disney Publishing Worldwide and the Wallace Literary Agency. When she’s not reading and editing, Samantha can be found watching “Vampire Diaries” and re-runs of “The Office,” and trying to quit the gym.
1. How did you decide to become an editor?
I wanted to be an editor since the third grade. Of course, at the time, I thought being an editor was the same thing as being a copyeditor or proofreader, fixing typos and perfecting grammar! I was a stickler for mistakes. When I learned more about content editing, though, I found it even more interesting to give creative input. Even though I don’t have a large opportunity to edit these days, I keep taking on projects because of how much I enjoy being involved in the artistic process.
2. What are some of your favorite YA/children’s books?
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine—the best Cinderella. The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce is one of those series that forever changed me as a person. And I’m not ashamed to say that I love Harry Potter. (And I trusted Snape all along.)
3. What are some things NOT to do when submitting work?
Do not describe your book as containing “the marketability of Harry Potter with the mystery and intrigue of the Hunger Games.” Yes, that’s a real pitch letter I’ve received. Comparing your book to the most popular mainstream titles of the day digs a hole of expectation it’s almost impossible to crawl out of.
4. What title are you most proud of and how did you find the author? Besides myself of course! LOL
I am incredibly proud of my first acquisition for FFFDig: The Apartment Novels by Amanda Black (an adult romance series). I was a fan of Amanda’s stories when they were originally published online for free, and for years I’d dreamed of acquiring and publishing one of the amazingly talented fanfiction authors whose work I admired. I reached out to her on my first day at Full Fathom Five Digital; she had just begun the process of sending the manuscript out to agents. It was meant to be!
5. What is more important: character, plot, or world?
Character. Particularly in YA / coming-of-age novels, there’s nothing better than the emotions evoked by a characters reactions and misperceptions. An incredible world and a strong plot is useless without characters to care about.
Bulldoze first, apologize later: a true L.A. landmark
Architect Thom Mayne, new owner of the late Ray Bradbury’s home, says he plans to build a wall on the property that will pay tribute to the writer. (Byron Espinoza)
It was beginning to feel like a demolition derby.
On Tuesday, word started to spread that the canary-yellow 1937 house in Cheviot Hills where the writer Ray Bradbury lived for more than 50 years was being knocked down.
The person razing it to make room for a new house on the site was the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, whose firm Morphosis designed the Caltrans headquarters in downtown L.A. and a new campus for Emerson College in Hollywood, among other prominent buildings.
The next day, the preservation group Los Angeles Conservancy added an alert to its website that the new owner of the 1957 Norms restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard, a time capsule of the space-age L.A. coffee-shop style known as Googie, had been granted a demolition permit on Jan. 5.
By week’s end, Googie fans at least could breathe a sigh of relief. At a Thursday hearing on Norms at the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission, an attorney for the owner said that there were “no current plans to demolish the property.” The commission voted to consider the building for cultural-monument status, protecting it for at least 75 days.
Glenn Horowitz Bookseller to Open New Midtown Gallery With Photos of Giacometti
This week, Glenn Horowitz Bookseller will open its new Manhattan gallery space Rare, along with the inaugural exhibition. Located on West 54th Street, across the street from MoMA’s sculpture garden, the 1,000-square-foot gallery will showcase first editions, manuscripts, letters, archival materials, fine art, and decorative arts spanning the 19th century to contemporary. Its first exhibition, titled “Matter/Giacometti,” opens this Thursday, January 15 (with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m.) and will examine Swiss designer and photographer Herbert Matter’s book of the same title.
The book is an intimate portrait of the (also) Swiss artist whose signature tall, thin, figurative sculptures (the results of years of experimentations with movements like abstraction and surrealism) have become famous worldwide. But Matter’s book is a highly personal project that took 25 years to create, published after his death in 1986 by his wife.
Novel experience: Hit the jackpot by tracking down clues in James Frey’s new book
Bestselling author James Frey speaks about his new book, ìEndgame: The Calling,î to a hometown crowd at the New Canaan Library. Photo: Meg Barone
Authors of the latest entry into the literary dystopian adventure take readers beyond the pages of their book and into a ground-breaking multi-platform reading experience and worldwide search for the key to a cash jackpot.
James Frey, a New Canaan resident and bestselling author of “A Million Little Pieces” and other works, partnered with Nils Johnson-Shelton to write “Endgame: The Calling,” the first of a trilogy, which was published in October.
During an informal presentation and casual conversation Wednesday with about 100 people at the New Canaan Library, Frey talked about his creative process, the inspiration for his latest books, and revealed that even he does not know the answer to its puzzles. The authors’ invite readers to follow the adventures of 12 teens as catastrophic events lead them on a global quest in search of three ancient keys that will save not only their bloodlines but the world. Readers must find the clues hidden within the stories to solve the puzzles.
The first person to find the key for the first book will win $500,000 in American eagle gold coins, currently held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The monetary worth of the prize increases with each book in the series to $1 million with the second novel and finally to $1.5 million with the third.
“It’s definitely not a normal book,” Frey said.
“It’s breaking from the rest of the pack and incorporating the reader,” said Shafer Jones, 15, of New Canaan, who sat in the front row with his family. Frey apologized to Jones and his family for his use of the “F” word in his remarks — and then continued to use it.
What Accounts for Our Current — or Recurrent — Fascination With Memoir-Novels?
Each week in Bookends, two writers take on questions about the world of books. This week, Leslie Jamison and Daniel Mendelsohn discuss our interest in narratives that blur the line between the real and the fabricated.
By Leslie Jamison
Why do we like that space of uncertainty in which we don’t know what’s been invented and what hasn’t?
In May of 1856, a traveling panorama called “Arctic Regions!” arrived in Philadelphia, offering “a complete voyage from New York to the North Pole.” Posters bragged that it was “fresh from the hands” of a “great Master of American Artists” and could “transport us to the icy North,” promising a kind of paradox: that you could become aware of its artistic mastery by forgetting it was art at all.
This brings to mind a certain tension in how we read, as well, a dynamic David Shields has described in his relationship to autobiographical writing: “at once desperate for authenticity and in love with artifice.” There’s an electric charge in toggling back and forth between the shimmer of what’s been artfully constructed and the glint of what actually was. The reader is impressed by the panoramic architecture even as she forgets its presence.
This ambiguous territory has a more established place in poetry, a genre never filed into separate “fiction” and “nonfiction” areas on the shelves. But for narrative we’ve long been obsessed with partitioning the actual from the imagined, and the memoir-novel offers, finally, some relief from that Sisyphean taxonomy project. Shields describes the pleasure of “blurring (to the point of invisibility) . . . any distinction between fiction and nonfiction: the lure and blur of the real.”
So what’s the lure of the blur? Why do we like that space of uncertainty in which we don’t know what’s been invented and what hasn’t?
James Frey Presents Endgame: The Calling at New Canaan Library
ENDGAME: THE CALLING by James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton is an engrossing novel at the core of a groundbreaking immersive, multi-platform reading experience. The ENDGAME trilogy follows twelve teens as catastrophic events lead them on a global quest in search of three ancient keys that will save not only their bloodlines but the world.
More than an apocalyptic adventure tale, each book in the series will feature an interactive puzzle comprised of clues that will lead to the location of a hidden key. The first eligible reader to solve the puzzle for the first book and find the key will win $500,000 worth of gold. Similar to the characters in the novels, readers will embark on their own hunt for a hidden key.
The subsequent two books in the Endgame series will have progressively larger payouts. For the lucky reader who is the first to solve the puzzle in the second installment, the prize is $1 dollars and a whopping $1.5 for the third book.
Join James Frey as part of the Authors on Stage on Wednesday January 7th, 2015 from 7:00 – 8:00pm in the Lamb Room.
And check out FullFathomFive.com for some great book ideas. Thanks.