Kindle, A New Way To Read

Monday, March 31, 2008

RH Latest Publisher to Use e-Readers In-House

-- Publishers Weekly, 3/31/2008 7:47:00 AM

Random House has joined the growing ranks of publishers using Sony Readers to distribute galleys and other preview material to employees. At its sales meeting over the weekend, the company announced that the entire RH field and home office adult and children sales staff will receive Sony Readers in early April.

According to RH, the company has bought “several hundred” readers for its sales management, reps, and home office sales support staff. The sales department will use the device to read manuscripts and other relevant material in digital form. The company’s goal is to, as quickly as possible, “eliminate altogether manuscript dispersal to our sales group by migrating this reading experience of many thousands of paper pages to the electronic reader,” said spokesperson Stuart Applebaum.

Hachette, Simon & Schuster and St. Martin’s are among the other companies that are already using the Reader to distribute ARCs and other material in-house. The complete story on their activities is in the March 31 issue of PW.

The Judith Regan Show

If anyone is interested in what the notorious publisher, Judith Regan, is up to, tune in to her radio show on Sirius.

Wednesdays 4 am, 6 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 6 pm, 8 pm & 10 pm ET Thursdays 12 am & 2 am ET Publishing powerhouse Judith Regan brings her media and culture savvy to SIRIUS Stars every Wednesday. Sitting down with actors, authors, designers, doctors, philanthropists, politicians, commentators, comedians and America at large, Regan tackles it all. From intimate one-on-one interviews to raucous roundtable discussions, no territory is left uncovered.

Past guests Include: Robin Quivers, James Lipton, Wally Lamb, Nicole Richie, Donny Osmond, Ed Burns, Neil Sedaka, Dr. John Sarno, Mickey Rourke, Paul Anka, Steve Tyrell, Jerry Springer, Vidal Sassoon, Bob Saget, Chris Botti, Janice Dickenson, Danny Bonaduce, Erica Jong, Victoria Gotti, Patti Davis, Peter Falk, Chris Hanson, Jermaine Dupri and Patti Austin.

Houghton Mifflin Cleans House at Harcourt San Diego

By Rachel Deahl -- Publishers Weekly, 3/28/2008 7:54:00 AM

On Tuesday staffers in the Harcourt San Diego office, which is set to close this summer, were told their fates. According to an insider, only a handful of the roughly 65 employees were offered relocation packages to the east coast, where Harcourt employees are being integrated into the newly formed Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade & Reference Publishers division. In January, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced it would be closing the San Diego office by June 30,2008. A spokesperson didn't comment directly on how many staffers are coming east, only confirming there are discussions with some San Diego employees. For any employees moving to New York, they will set up shop at HM's office in Union Square which will house all former Harcourt employees; Harcourt's New York offices are set to be shut by June 30.

At least one now-former Harcourt San Diego employee, Allyn Johnston, has already landed a new position. Johnston, who was editor-in-chief of Harcourt Children's Books, is launching a new imprint at S&S. Johnston will join S&S with the title of v-p and publisher; her imprint does not yet have a name. She will also remain in San Diego, and report to her former colleague (at Harcourt Trade), senior v-p and publisher of Children's Trade Publishing, Rubin Pfeffer. Johnston's imprint will focus on middle grade fiction and picture books.

Quote of the Day for the Writer

"Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young."

-- W. Somerset Maugham

Quill Awards Program Suspended

The Quill Awards, launched in 2005 to celebrate the best book in U.S. publishing, has lost the support of one of its corporate co-founders, Reed Business Information (which owns Publishers Weekly).

The Canadian Press reports:

Reed Business Information gave no reason for the decision and a company statement did not make it clear whether the awards had been placed on hiatus or ended permanently. A spokeswoman for Reed, which operates such publications as Variety and Publishers Weekly, declined to give any further details.

The Reed announcement, posted on the website of Publishers Weekly, said the plan was to “suspend” backing of the Quills, but also referred to the “dissolution” of the awards. Money raised for the Quills Literacy Foundation will be distributed to two non-profit organizations - First Book and Literacy Partners.

The award ceremony was a black-tie affair that has featured Jon Stewart and Donald Trump as presenters, and had been broadcast on NBC stations. The Quills Literacy Foundation, chaired by former Variety publisher Gerry Byrne, raises money to support U.S. literacy.

(the pics below was taken from the 2007 awards show)

2007 Quill Awards

Above: Catherine Tuttle and her husband, Quill Award winning poet Kevin Young
Above: Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris

Above: Karenna Gore Schiff accepting an award on behalf of her Father, Al Gore.

Above: The Legendary Novelist (and one of my inspirations) Mary Higgins Clark

All photos © Patrick McMullan PMC

The 2007 Quill Awards

Above: Dan Rather
Above: Amy Sedaris

The Quills at Rose Hall in New York City. Photo © Patrick McMullan

Simon & Schuster CEO Jack Romanos at his retirement party

Jack Romanos w/ Les Moonves

At the retirement party for S&S CEO Jack Romanos, notables in attendance included Steve Riggio, John Ingram, Jane Friedman, Barbara Marcus, Larry Kirshbaum, Robert Gottlieb, Mel Berger and Irwyn Applebaum. Photos © Lisa Berg

RH Latest Publisher to Use e-Readers In-House

-- Publishers Weekly, 3/31/2008 7:47:00 AM

Random House has joined the growing ranks of publishers using Sony Readers to distribute galleys and other preview material to employees. At its sales meeting over the weekend, the company announced that the entire RH field and home office adult and children sales staff will receive Sony Readers in early April.

According to RH, the company has bought “several hundred” readers for its sales management, reps, and home office sales support staff. The sales department will use the device to read manuscripts and other relevant material in digital form. The company’s goal is to, as quickly as possible, “eliminate altogether manuscript dispersal to our sales group by migrating this reading experience of many thousands of paper pages to the electronic reader,” said spokesperson Stuart Applebaum.

Hachette, Simon & Schuster and St. Martin’s are among the other companies that are already using the Reader to distribute ARCs and other material in-house. The complete story on their activities is in the March 31 issue of PW.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Julie Andrews Moves Children's Line to Little, Brown Books

By Rachel Deahl -- Publishers Weekly, 3/28/2008 8:00:00 AM

Julie Andrews has left HarperCollins for Little, Brown. The British star launched her imprint, The Julie Andrews Collection, at HarperCollins in 2003. At Little, Brown Books for Young Readers the venture, which Andrews founded with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, will be overseen by editorial director Liza Baker.

The Collection's 25-title backlist will stay with Harper. At LBBYR the imprint will maintain its focus, doing more illustrated titles that, like the previous titles, provide a glimpse into the doings and likes of the titular artist. The Collection will relaunch in fall 2009 with Julie Andrews' Collection of Favorite Poems, Songs and Lullabies, which LBBYR describes as "a deluxe fully illustrated anthology" both of Andrews's childhood favorites and of original songs and verses she composed with her daughter. The book will be packaged with a CD featuring recordings by Andrews. In Spring 2010, LBBYR plans to release, from The Collection, a new picture book, The Very Fair Princess, featuring a new character that is planned to reappear in future titles.

Amazon to Force POD Publishers to Use BookSurge

by Jim Milliot -- Publishers Weekly, 3/28/2008 8:34:00 AM

BookSurge, Amazon’s print-on-demand subsidiary, is making an offer that most publishers would like to refuse, but don’t feel they can. According to talks with several pod houses, BookSurge has told them that unless their titles are printed by BookSurge, the buy buttons on Amazon for their titles will be disabled. A detailed explanation of her how the new program was explained to her is provided by co-owner Angela Hoy on her blog.

Over the last year, BookSurge has been trying to cut into the market share of pod leader Lightning Source and is using the selling clout of Amazon to generate more business. “I feel like the flea between two giant elephants,” said the head of one pod publisher about the upcoming battle between Lightning Source and BookSurge/Amazon. He said although the deal with BookSurge will be more expensive, he has no choice but to make the move since most of his authors expect their titles to be for sale on Amazon. He added that his company will also continue to use Lightning Source for printing as well. Amazon's BookSurge mandate extends to traditional publishers as well as to online pod houses.

An Amazon spokesperson explained that the new policy will allow the company to "marry" books with other products that a customer might buy at Amazon, which would be combined in the same package. She said for publishers that don't use BookSurge for pod, they can still use Amazon's Advantage Program (which works on a consignment model) or third party vendors to sell their pod books.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Emerging e-Book Market Top Subject at IDPF Conference

The emerging e-book market will be the top subject at the upcoming IDPF Digital Book 2008 Conference on May 14. Stands for: International Digital Publishing Forum. The one-day event, held in New York City at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium, will discuss how the Kindle and Sony Reader's strong market penetration is bumping e-book sales; the conference will also address the adoption of the EPUB digital publication standard. Among the presenters at the event will be Mikio Amaya, president of Japan's largest digital bookstore, Papyless Co. Ltd., and Dawn Bruno, team leader and senior international trade special from the U.S. Deptartment of Commerce Global Publishing Team.

Danielle Steel To Do Children’s Book for Harper’s Collins

HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Danielle Steel's The Happiest Hippo in the World. The world-famous romance novelist, who has penned 88 adult titles, is not a complete stranger to the genre, having published the Max and Martha picture books with Delacorte in 1989. The new title with Harper, about a baby hippo that's green instead of the standard gray, is slated to hit shelves in fall 2009. The book will be illustrated by Margaret Spengler. Kate Jackson, Senior VP, associate publisher and editor-in-chief of HarperCollins Children's Books, brokered the deal with Kate Schafer of Janklow & Nesbit.

Harper Collins Fulfills Wish

On Tuesday, March 25, HarperCollins partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to fulfill the wish of Kayte Gyles. Gyles, who celebrated her 18th birthday that day, and her parents, had breakfast with some of the HarperCollins team to learn more about the publishing process and get a tour of the HC offices. On top of a towering stack of books and some HC goodies, Gyles left with some ideas for her own masterpiece. Pictured (l. to r.) are: Sarah Burningham, associate director of publicity; Scott Gyles; Gayle Gyles; Kayte Gyles; Jeanette Perez, editor; Kate Nintzel, associate editor; Nicole Reardon, marketing manager; Robin Bilardello, art director).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Novelist, Sandra Brown, Cuts First Movie Deal

By Gregg Goldstein Thu Mar 20, 2:46 AM ET

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - For the first time in her 27-year career, best-selling novelist Sandra Brown has made a movie deal.

TwinStar Entertainment has purchased the option on her 1996 legal thriller "The Witness."
The story centers on idealistic public defender Kendall Deaton, who discovers a dark secret in the forest near her small South Carolina town. It leads her to turn state's witness against her white supremacist ex-husband and father-in-law as she struggles to discover whom she can trust.

Brown, who has written 56 New York Times best-sellers and has 70 million copies of her books in print, has turned down several offers to adapt her books over the years.

"Some excellent books have been made into excellent movies, but just as often the film renditions were bad," she said. "For decades I've been developing a 'voice' my readers recognize and expect." She said that TwinStar executive vice president Lane Shefter Bishop, who will serve as one of the producers of the film, "approached me with a full understanding and appreciation of that voice."

The film will be one of the first features from TwinStar, which owns a library of original stories and options on film and literary properties aimed at a wide audience.
Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Gauging Amazon's Audible Buy

2/11/08, PW

Amazon's pending purchase of Audible has some publishers wondering how the e-tailer will wield its position in the market, while some of Audible's small shareholders are grumbling about the acquisition price and hoping that Apple might still swoop in with a bid.

The Audible purchase will make Amazon the most important outlet for spoken-word audio, be it in traditional CD or digital formats—which makes publishers a bit uneasy. “It's a smart move by Amazon, but I'm concerned about the power they will have in the marketplace,” said the head of one major trade house about the acquisition. That strength could be further enhanced if Amazon ends up acquiring Recorded Books, as many in the spoken-word audio world expect. Recorded Books was put on the block by parent company Haights Cross earlier this month.

In an interview, Amazon senior v-p for worldwide digital media Steve Kessel said Audible will remain in New Jersey under the direction of founder Don Katz. Kessel said he hopes to work with publishers to add more titles to the Audible system. On the question of DRM, Katz said that DRM “is part of the Audible platform.” However, he added that Audible will work with publishers “to deliver content any way they want.” While some industry members believe spoken-word audio should be available DRM-free, consultant Seth Gershel believes there is no need to rush in the direction that the music industry has taken. “Audiobooks are publishing, and should be copyright protected as such by publishers and retailers,” Gershel said.

Amazon sells its music downloads without DRM and is battling to become more competitive in the music download business that is now dominated by Apple, which puts Audible in a bit of an awkward position, since a major reason for its recent growth has been its exclusive deal as the spoken-word distributor for iTunes. Katz said he anticipated no changes in Audible's contract with Apple, which runs through September 2010.

It is Apple's relationship with Audible that has some small shareholders hoping that the company will try to top Amazon's $11.50-per-share offer. On Audible's message board, several posts noted that while the bid is a premium over where Audible's stock had been trading the day before the acquisition announcement, it is below Audible's price for much of last year's fourth quarter; Audible was selling at a high of $14.16 on November 6. One possible roadblock to a bid is a provision that calls for a $10-million breakup fee if Audible terminates the merger. buys Audible; March into digital content distribution continues’s march into digital distribution of content continues–this time with plans to acquire Audible for $300 million.

In a statement on Thursday, Amazon said it will acquire Audible, which provides digital spoken word content–audio versions of books, newspapers and other programming. Audible offers more than 80,000 programs.

If you couple Audible with Amazon’s march into DRM-free music distribution the e-commerce giant is building quite a content arsenal. Obviously, Amazon’s Kindle (all resources) is going to be one key way this content is distributed. When Amazon reported earnings last night (Techmeme roundup) it noted that it was scrambling to keep up with Kindle demand.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said on the company’s earnings conference call:

Kindle is, in terms of demand, is outpacing our expectations, which is certainly something that we are very grateful for. It’s also on the manufacturing side causing us to scramble. We’re working very hard to increase the number of units that we can build and supply per week, so that we can get back — our goal is to get into a situation as quickly as we can where when you order a Kindle, we ship it immediately. That’s the standard we want to hold ourselves to and we are working very hard to get there. We are super-excited by the very strong demand.
If successful, Amazon could have a vertically integrated lock on digital content much like Apple. Amazon isn’t there yet, but the strategy does make you go hmm.

As for the nuts and bolts of the Audible purchase, Amazon is paying $11.50 a share for Audible. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Arthur Miller's Missing Act

For all the public drama of Arthur Miller's career—his celebrated plays (including Death of a Salesman and The Crucible), his marriage to Marilyn Monroe, his social activism—one character was absent: the Down-syndrome child he deleted from his life.

by Suzanna Andrews September 2007

No photograph of him has ever been published, but those who know Daniel Miller say that he resembles his father. Some say it's the nose, others the mischievous glimmer in the eyes when he smiles, but the most telling feature, the one that clearly identifies him as Arthur Miller's son, is his high forehead and identically receding hairline. He is almost 41 now, but it's impossible to say whether his father's friends would notice the resemblance, because the few who have ever seen Daniel have not laid eyes on him since he was a week old. When his father died, in February 2005, he was not at the funeral that took place near Arthur Miller's home, in Roxbury, Connecticut. Nor was he at the public memorial service that May, at Broadway's Majestic Theatre, where hundreds of admirers gathered to pay homage to his father, who was, if not the greatest American playwright of the last century, then certainly the most famous. In the days after his death, at the age of 89, Arthur Miller was eulogized around the world. Newspaper obituaries and television commentators hailed his work—including those keystones of the American canon Death of a Salesman and The Crucible—and recalled his many moments in the public eye: his marriage to Marilyn Monroe; his courageous refusal, in 1956, to "name names" before the House Un-American Activities Committee; his eloquent and active opposition to the Vietnam War; his work, as the international president of pen, on behalf of oppressed writers around the world. The Denver Post called him "the moralist of the past American century," and The New York Times extolled his "fierce belief in man's responsibility to his fellow man—and [in] the self-destruction that followed on his betrayal of that responsibility."

In a moving speech at the Majestic, the playwright Tony Kushner said Miller had possessed the "curse of empathy." Edward Albee said that Miller had held up a mirror and told society, "Here is how you behave." Among the many other speakers were Miller's sister, the actress Joan Copeland, his son the producer Robert Miller, his daughter the writer and film director Rebecca Miller, and her husband, the actor Daniel Day-Lewis. Miller's oldest child, Jane Doyle, was in the audience but did not speak.

Only a handful of people in the theater knew that Miller had a fourth child. Those who did said nothing, out of respect for his wishes, because, for nearly four decades, Miller had never publicly acknowledged the existence of Daniel.

He did not mention him once in the scores of speeches and press interviews he gave over the years. He also never referred to him in his 1987 memoir, Timebends. In 2002, Daniel was left out of the New York Times obituary for Miller's wife, the photographer Inge Morath, who was Daniel's mother. A brief account of his birth appeared in a 2003 biography of Miller by the theater critic Martin Gottfried. But even then Miller maintained his silence. At his death, the only major American newspaper to mention Daniel in its obituary was the Los Angeles Times, which said, "Miller had another son, Daniel, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome shortly after his birth in 1962. It is not known whether he survives his father." Citing the Gottfried biography, the paper reported that Daniel had been put in an institution, where Miller "apparently never visited him."

Miller's friends say they never understood exactly what happened with Daniel, but the few details they heard were disturbing. Miller had not only erased his son from the public record; he had also cut him out of his private life, institutionalizing him at birth, refusing to see him or speak about him, virtually abandoning him. The whole matter was "absolutely appalling," says one of Miller's friends, and yet everyone probably would have kept silent had it not been for the rumor that began to spread earlier this year, passing from Roxbury to New York City and back. Although no one was sure of the facts, the story was that Miller had died without leaving a will. Officials had gone looking for Miller's heirs, and they had found Daniel. Then, the rumor went, the state of Connecticut had made Arthur Miller's estate pay Daniel a full quarter of his father's assets, an amount that was believed to be in the millions of dollars.

For some of Miller's friends, the possibility that Daniel had been given his fair share brought a measure of relief that, finally, a wrong had been righted. Attention had been paid. The feeling was shared by the social workers and disability-rights advocates who have known and cared for Daniel over the years as it became clear that he had indeed gotten a share of the Miller estate. "An extraordinary man," "very beloved by a lot of people," Daniel Miller, they say, is a "guy who's made a difference in a lot of lives." They also say he is someone who, considering the challenges of his life, has in his own way achieved as much as his father did. The way Arthur Miller treated him baffles some people and angers others. But the question asked by friends of the father and of the son is the same: How could a man who, in the words of one close friend of Miller's, "had such a great world reputation for morality and pursuing justice do something like this"?

What none of them considered was the possibility that Arthur Miller had left a will and that, six weeks before he died, he was the one who, against common legal advice, made Daniel a full and direct heir—an equal to his three other children.

Filmmakers face book-to-screen challenge

Sat Jan 12, 3:42 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - David Benioff was sitting on a plane, having a perfectly pleasant conversation with an elderly passenger about his job as a screenwriter, when he mentioned that he was working on an adaptation of "The Kite Runner". "She grabbed my arm and said, `That's my favorite novel. Don't change a word!'"

Based on the international best-seller about a man who returns to Afghanistan to right a childhood wrong, "The Kite Runner" is one of an inordinately large number of films in this year's awards race that come from books.

Screenwriters like Benioff are acutely aware of the inevitable comparisons between book and movie, and face the daunting challenge of telling a cinematic story that will resonate with audiences while remaining somewhat true to the source material.

Sure, every year there are several book-club favorites that turn up at the multiplex. Perusing the list of Academy Award best-picture winners can feel like a trip to Barnes & Noble, from "Gone With the Wind" and "The Godfather" to "The Silence of the Lambs" and "The English Patient."

But during this tumultuous, strike-hobbled awards season, at least a dozen movies with literary roots have real shots at winning the biggest prizes. Some of those novels, like Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner," are beloved and readers feel proprietary about them. Others, like Ian McEwan's "Atonement" and Jean-Dominique Bauby's memoir "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," seemed impossible to adapt because they were too complicated, too internal.

The adaptations themselves range from the Coen brothers' "No Country for Old Men," which maintained much of Cormac McCarthy's rich Texas vernacular, to Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood," in which the writer-director merely used Upton Sinclair's "Oil!" as a leaping-off point. Still others come from novellas ("Lust, Caution"), graphic novels ("Persepolis") or are based on non-fiction works ("Charlie Wilson's War," "Into the Wild," "A Mighty Heart").

Benioff was lucky in that he'd read "The Kite Runner" before he got the job, and he'd started his screenplay before the book became a huge hit. Halfway through his first draft, though, he began to feel the pressure.

"It's an amazingly emotional story. People become attached to those characters and they really long for redemption for Amir, for him to make up for what he has done, to heal those wounds," he said.

As a novelist himself, having written "25th Hour" and adapted the screenplay for director Spike Lee, Benioff said he "felt an extra layer of pressure — I didn't want to let Khaled down. I liked him a lot and respected him a lot and he was a real ally. ... When it's your own book, you want the movie to be good but there's less pressure."

Veteran Ronald Harwood already has an Oscar for adapting 2002's "The Pianist," but still found himself pacing his Paris flat for weeks, trying to figure a way into "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." The late author, Bauby, was the editor of French Elle who suffered a paralyzing stroke at 43 and used his left eyelid to blink out what he wanted to say, letter by letter. Harwood tried to blink the alphabet to get into Bauby's head and it drove him mad.

Finally, it occurred to him to begin from Bauby's woozy, obscured perspective in the hospital room.

"That was my breakthrough," said Harwood, whose script is up for a Golden Globe and who has a new book of his own on the subject, "Ronald Harwood's Adaptations: From Other Works Into Films." "I thought, `This is the story I could tell — the story of his illness.' And the camera did the blinking — that was my idea, because it did two things: It gives the audience the sense of what it's like to have locked-in syndrome, and the second thing it did was that they didn't have to look at him for two hours, which would have been dreadful."

Christopher Hampton read "Atonement," a sweeping drama about a young girl's damaging lie, while on vacation and found it so obviously cinematic, he couldn't wait to dash home, pick up the phone and call someone about writing the script. The movie has a leading seven Globe nominations, including best screenplay.

"I didn't know it would turn out to be far harder than I thought it was going to be," said Hampton, who won an Oscar for 1988's "Dangerous Liaisons." "It was a long, long process with many, many drafts."

Adapting "Atonement" was daunting because it's about a writer and much of it takes place within the characters' interiors. Hampton initially had written in voiceover and a framing device — none of which exists in the finished version, which is closer to the book's structure.

"The most effective way is the simplest," he found. "Show it from the young girl's perspective, then loop back and show what really happened. It's so simple. I can't tell you how many different ways we approached it."

It helped to have a rapport with author McEwan, who chose Hampton himself and got an executive-producer credit.

"The relationship between the adapter and the adaptee, if there is such a word, is very delicate, because you're taking his child and educating it and changing it in your own way," Hampton said. "Fortunately, Ian is very experienced in the sense that he's had a lot of his books turned into movies and even done one or two himself. So he knows what the score is."

McEwan said he realizes the process of adaptation is "a kind of demolition job."

"You've got to boil down 130,000 words to a screenplay containing 20,000 words," the author said in the "Atonement" production notes.

Aaron Stockard, meanwhile, was terrified to meet author Dennis Lehane while adapting "Gone Baby Gone," his first produced screenplay, with director and longtime friend Ben Affleck. The crime drama comes from one of Lehane's books about a pair of private eyes in a rough part of Boston, and has made an awards front-runner of supporting actress Amy Ryan as a junkie mom.

"When he came on set for the first few times I intentionally avoided him. I felt like (he must have thought), `What in the world is this kid doing taking this story I wrote, with characters I've written six books about, and making these changes?'" Stockard said of Lehane, who also wrote "Mystic River." "But I kind of kept reminding myself, this needs to stand on its own. And I can't do it to please him and I can't do it to please fans of the book."

In determining what to cut and what to keep, "Lust, Caution" co-writer James Schamus says the key is to remember always that you're making a movie. Based on a short story about passion and betrayal by revered Chinese writer Eileen Chang, the film is a Globe nominee in the foreign language category.

"You have to keep that in mind — not that you are in some way responsible to or beholden to the underlying work," said Schamus, the Focus Features chief who's also adapted "The Ice Storm," "Ride With the Devil" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" for his longtime friend, director Ang Lee. "The primary task is to make sure the movie is good, not to make sure you're faithful to any part of the underlying work. That doesn't mean you're disrespectful — far from it."

Anderson only used about the first 100 pages of "Oil!" for "There Will Be Blood," the story of a volatile oilman which has Globe nominations for best picture and actor Daniel Day-Lewis. Still, that was a huge departure for the maker of the original ensemble pieces "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia."

"The benefits of the adaptation was that it helped me do things that my natural instincts wouldn't lead me to do," Anderson said in a recent Associated Press story, acknowledging his inclination to "spin off the rails a bit more."

"It was like collaborating with somebody," he added.

John Orloff did have a collaborator in Mariane Pearl while adapting her memoir "A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl," about the murder of her journalist husband. (Angelina Jolie is up for a Globe for her starring performance; Orloff's script has earned him a Spirit Award nomination.) But he also went beyond her book to interview the people who investigated Pearl's death and present a fuller picture.

"I talked to Mariane constantly. It was both intimidating and really helpful," Orloff said. "Mariane, in person, is this incredibly open, giving partner in all this who wanted nothing more than having her story be told in the most accurate, dramatic way possible. That said, as a writer, I had this incredible — and I think everyone who had anything to do with the film — had this incredible onus and responsibility to get it right, and to make her feel we got it right.

"One reason I fell in love with `A Mighty Heart' was because I didn't have to make stuff up," he added. "I didn't have to make changes. I didn't have to — quote unquote — be inspired by a true story."

John Grisham has no illusions about writing

Well I am transposing some of my postings from 360 to this blog since Yahoo is doing a whole bunch of upgrades. Yeah for me!
NEW YORK (AP) -- Some things John Grisham knows: He got 15 rejections before his first book, "A Time to Kill," was published. He made $9 million last year. He's not James Joyce or William Faulkner. He's an entertainer.

"I'm not sure where that line goes between literature and popular fiction," the mega-selling author says. "I can assure you I don't take myself serious enough to think I'm writing literary fiction and stuff that's going to be remembered in 50 years. I'm not going to be here in 50 years; I don't care if I'm remembered or not. It's pure entertainment."

Grisham is happy to write what he hopes is "a high-quality popular fiction." But that matters not to fans, who gobble every word.

Sometimes he wraps a serious issue around a plot -- the death penalty in "The Chamber," insurance reform in "The Rainmaker," homelessness in "The Street Lawyer." Now the self-styled political junkie and former Mississippi state legislator has written a book that's more political intrigue than legal thriller.

"The Appeal" (his 21st book) tells the story of a huge chemical company that loses a $41 million lawsuit for causing cancer deaths and then essentially tries to buy an election for the state Supreme Court -- where, yes, the appeal will be heard.

"I guess every year now is a political year. ... And it just felt like it was time to write this story," Grisham says, alluding to how the run for the White House has become a marathon of sorts.
Grisham, who turned 53 on February 8 and still has the lanky look of an athlete who once chased a baseball career, is a big supporter of Hillary Clinton and says the Democrats have been outmaneuvered by the Republicans.

"I think what the Republicans have done in past elections is brilliant. Because, they've convinced a lot of people to vote for them against their own economic self-interest, and they've done that by skillfully manipulating a handful of social issues, primarily abortion and gay rights and sometimes gun control," he says. "And the Republicans have used those to scare a lot of people into voting for Republican candidates. It's skillful manipulation."

Grisham, who lives in the Charlottesville, Virginia, area, is so addicted to following the presidential race that he jokes he might need rehab.

"My wife and I went out to dinner a couple of weeks ago, and we actually called somebody to find out if they had any results from the Nevada caucuses," he says, chortling almost sheepishly. "And I said this ought to tell us something: 'You know, we're in this thing way too deep.' "
Still, he's able to pull himself away from primaries and polls to indulge fans and tour his new book, already at the top of some best-seller lists.

Grisham's books have sold 235 million copies worldwide, according to publisher Doubleday. Some, of course, have been adapted into blockbuster movies, starring such heavyweights as Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Cruise and Matt Damon.
Reviews of "The Appeal" have been generally positive, though some can be reduced to previous assessments of Grisham: fine storyteller but not a particularly good writer.

"When I start getting good reviews, I worry about sales," jokes Grisham, who says he's learned to ignore reviews.

"It's a better day if I don't read any reviews," he says. "It's the only form of entertainment where you're reviewed by other writers. You don't see rock stars reviewing each other's albums, and you don't see directors reviewing each other's movies."

An enduring influence on Grisham's work is John le Carre, author of such celebrated thrillers as "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold," "The Honourable Schoolboy" and "A Small Town in Germany."

"He's still my hero," Grisham says.

But he doesn't read a lot when he's writing. "We all want to read good books, and so you read a good book by a really good writer, and I catch myself inadvertently imitating him or her. And so you think, 'Well, I wouldn't use that word, I wouldn't do that sentence that way.' I read a lot when I'm not writing."

He started this year with the goal of reading everything by John Steinbeck ("The Grapes of Wrath," "Cannery Row," "The Pearl"), who was one of Grisham's favorite authors growing up. And he just finished a "Mark Twain binge."

"I keep up with the other lawyers [who write] -- Scott Turow. I read all Scott's stuff. And I think Scott is really underestimated as a writer. He's really, really good," Grisham says.

Turow recently told The Associated Press that the feelings were mutual: "I am an enormous admirer of John Grisham at every level -- as a person, as a citizen of both the literary and legal worlds and, most relevantly, as a writer. John is one of the pre-eminent storytellers of our time, and the grace and seamlessness with which his stories come together to grip us all is a wonder."
Among other writers Grisham likes: David Baldacci, Steve Martini, Pat Conroy and Stephen King.

"I'll start two, three books a week, rarely finish one. But I'm always looking," Grisham says. "Love to buy books. Love to stack 'em up in the house. We've got a million books in the house."
When he first started writing, Grisham says, he had "these little rituals that were silly and brutal but very important."

"The alarm clock would go off at 5, and I'd jump in the shower. My office was 5 minutes away. And I had to be at my desk, at my office, with the first cup of coffee, a legal pad and write the first word at 5:30, five days a week."

His goal: to write a page every day. Sometimes that would take 10 minutes, sometimes an hour; ofttimes he would write for two hours before he had to turn to his job as a lawyer, which he never especially enjoyed. In the Mississippi Legislature, there were "enormous amounts of wasted time" that would give him the opportunity to write.

"So I was very disciplined about it," he says, then quickly concedes he doesn't have such discipline now: "I don't have to."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pictures of Christina Dodds House

I was over at Christina Dodd's website and looked at pics of her home. She writes paranormals, romantic suspense, and historicals. Its nice to take a peek in bestselling author's home. : )

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Time Passing Us By

Hello Internet Surfers, its me, Cattt. I'm at work working the earrrrrrly morning shift. The past couple of days I've been working some crazy hours, but I always do here. I got off at 4pm yesterday and had to come back in at 12am. The coffee is flowing so I have some fuel to keep me going and now I have warmed up some food and I'm contemplating if I want to eat or not. I'm taking small bites of food and BIG gulps of java! lol!

Well this morning when I was on my way to work to work the 8a-4p shift I stopped at Food Lion to pick up some fuel (aka coffee) before heading off to work. There wasn't anyone in line so I was able to hurry through. I saw Ms. Hoppy, the cashier lady, quickly put down the newspaper and book. As she scanned my can of coffee I leaned over to see what she was reading (I can't help it since I'm a writer). I thought it was the book The King and I, the one with Yul Brynner, but it was The King and I about Luciano Pavarotti. She told me what the book was about and I could tell by the way her eyes lit up that she was such a fan of the opera star. "You love opera?" I asked her. "Oh yes I do!" Ms. Hoppy proceeded to tell me about when she first started to enjoy the music and who her favorites are. She told me that one time she saved up her money to see Pavorotti. She said she would love to go to the opera at Lincoln Center. Attending the event at the center has always been her dream. I was like "For real?" She said "Yes, Cattt, I'm 75, but I'll get there." I was thinking Good Lord! I would hope that I would have visited a couple of times b4 that age if I really wanted to go. I made a note to myself that if I really wanted to go somewhere I needed to get on the ball, stay focused, and actually get it done and not allow other things to pull me away from that.
I will write more later today. Sorry for the errors. What can I say, I haven't slept. Im feeling loopy. Hey the time changed! I get off work sooner! : D

Stephen King and John Mellencamp Write a Musical ???

Stephen King has written a musical with John Mellencamp that they'll be trying out in Atlanta, with an eye towards a Broadway run.

"Ghost Brothers of Darkland County," a new Southern Gothic musical by Stephen King, the horror writer, and John Mellencamp, the musician, is to open in April 2009 at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. In a recent interview in Rolling Stone Mr. Mellencamp said that if the musical, about the reverberations of a tragedy in small-town Mississippi, did well in Atlanta, it would head to Broadway. The musical is desribed as "a sultry Southern gothic mystery with a blues-tinged, guitar-driven score."

The story is set in the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Mississipi in 1957. Two brothers and a young girl die tragically and a legend grows out of the incident. The director is Peter Askin, of Hedwig and the Angry Inch fame. The whole idea was John Mellencamp's. It's based on a story he heard when he was a kid in his hometown of Seymour, Indiana. The duo spent all last summer writing the musical. This is the oddest project announcement we've heard of in a while, but hey, why not?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Love And Consequences, Fake Memoir, Margaret B. Jones Lies

The NY Daily News reports: "Love and Consequences" was published last week to generally rave reviews - and on her MySpace page, Jones/Seltzer trumpeted the plug from O, The Oprah Magazine. A "startlingly tender memoir," read the enthusiastic blurb. Publisher Riverhead Books was forced to recall 19,000 copies of the book yesterday after Seltzer admitted her gripping tale of running drugs for a South Central Los Angeles gang was a work of fiction.

The book's publisher said in a statement: "Riverhead is saddened by this turn of events."
"We feel bad for our readers, Peggy and her family."

Oprah's mag says: "While it was a great read, we now know that it should have been classified as fiction, rather than as a memoir."

According to Page Six, The book's dedicated "to all the Bloods and Crips who lost their lives in the struggle." A passage recounts Margaret Jones' life in foster care, saying "I found a full range of abuse" in the system. "It came in all forms, physical, mental and sexual."

At 12, Margaret became a drug runner, with the pitch, "I'm looking ta make sum ends, anyone got sum deliveries they need made or what?... Homie, I'm perfect. Who would ever suspect me?"

Gangland memoir is fabricated: publisher

By Emily Chasan Tue Mar 4, 3:38 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Love and Consequences," a critically acclaimed memoir about a mixed-raced girl growing up in a gang-ridden neighborhood of Los Angeles, is a fabrication and the 19,000 distributed copies of the book will be recalled, its publisher said on Tuesday.
Author Margaret B. Jones, is actually Margaret Seltzer, a white woman who grew up in Sherman Oaks in Southern California and attended a private Episcopal school, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

In a tearful telephone interview with the newspaper, Seltzer admitted she never ran drugs for a gang and never lived with a foster family as she had claimed in the book.

Riverhead Books, the imprint of Penguin Group that published the book, will offer refunds through booksellers to anyone who bought it, spokeswoman Marilyn Ducksworth said.
The incident is the latest black eye for the publishing business. Two years ago author James Frey admitted he had fabricated key parts of his drug and alcohol memoir "A Million Little Pieces," which was the top selling nonfiction book in the United States in 2005.

"The business of publishing is so difficult, so challenging, and so elusive at times that people will do anything," said Lee Gutkind, author of "Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction."

"You would think what happened with James Frey would wake up the publishing world," he added.

According to the Times, Seltzer, 33, also never graduated from the University of Oregon, as she claimed.

In a statement, Riverhead said that Seltzer had provided "a great deal of evidence to support her story," including photographs, letters, support from a former professor and from people who pretended to be her foster siblings.

Ducksworth said Seltzer's real sister had called the publisher to express concerns, after which the story fell apart. Riverhead is canceling Seltzer's planned book tour.

"When it became known that the author was misrepresenting her personal story we took it seriously, moved very quickly and attempted to corroborate new information we were presented with," Riverhead said in a statement.

Eminem Memoir In The Works

Book detailing 'certain aspects of [Em's] personal and professional life' is on the way, but rapper's camp blasts British publisher for releasing premature information.

By Jayson Rodriguez

Eminem will release a book later this year, MTV News has learned, but details surrounding the project were vague at press time.

According to a report in Britain's New Musical Express published Tuesday, British publisher Orion Books and Em will partner to release the Detroit hip-hop star's memoirs, titled "Eminem: The Way I Am," which will include hand-drawn sketches, lyrics and journal notes, along with rare photos of the rapper. A rep for the publisher confirmed an October 16 U.K. release date for the book with the N.M.E.

But the rapper's reps denied having a solid release date for the book and blasted the publisher for delivering inaccurate information.

"While there is a book in the works from Eminem in which he details certain aspects of his personal and professional life, the book is still in the process of being written and edited," Eminem's camp told MTV News via e-mail. "There is no firm release date scheduled, although it is anticipated to arrive in the latter part of this year. The news about the project today came from the U.K. publisher, who is not involved in the day-to-day editing or creation of the book. It's unfortunate that someone who does not have intimate knowledge of the book felt compelled to jump the gun on announcing it by delivering partial and inaccurate information."

Eminem has been in the headlines numerous times in recent months; first the rapper was rushed to the hospital over the holidays in late 2007 for complications stemming from pneumonia. His label confirmed his hospital stay but said in a statement that he was released quickly and recovering at his home.

Tabloid reports also claimed that the formerly lanky rapper had ballooned to more than 200 pounds. Doctored photos of Eminem appeared online, and Slim-Fast offered him an endless supply of its dietary drink. Shady Records signee Trick Trick, however, downplayed the rumors.
"Em just picked up some weight, that's it," Trick told MTV News in January. "He's nowhere [near] 250 pounds or anything like that. He picked up a little weight. He ain't walkin' around obese or some sh--, though. He can still run two miles if you want him to, and still out-box the majority of them. My man still gets down."

News also surfaced about two movie roles involving the rapper — in "Jumper" and an aborted "Grand Theft Auto" flick — neither of which came to fruition.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Judith Regan, lawyers go courtin'

No surprise here: Judith Regan is fighting back.

The victorious vixen, who beat Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., now will sue the lawyers who sued her for allegedly unpaid fees, according to sources.

Regan had "sent them [her lawyers] a check, and they sent it back," a source close to the case tells us.

Marc Dreier, chief attorney on the suit, told us: "We did all of the work on the case from day one, and she terminated us on the eve of the settlement. She sent us a letter terminating our services, and yes, she sent us a check - for $125,000. But our agreement spelled out that we would get 25% of her recovery ... which has been reported at $10 million to $20 million. Our payment should be a lot more than $125,000."

"That's a complete fabrication," argued the friend of Regan. "All they did was draft a complaint - and not too well at that. [Regan co-counsel] Bert Fields didn't even want his name on it. Judith fired the Dreier lawyers because they also violated her strict orders not to play confidential tapes that had been locked in a safe."

Dreier is also suing Fields, claiming interference during the legal proceedings, but not Regan's other co-counsel, Joe Cotchett.

Regan was fired as she was about to publish the O.J. Simpson book "If I Did It." It has since been published by Beaufort Books and reportedly sold 2 million copies. She was accused of making anti-Semitic remarks, and News Corp. was later forced to admit, "We accept Ms. Regan's position that she did not say anything that was anti-Semitic in nature, and further believe that Ms. Regan is not anti-Semitic."

Regan couldn't be reached for comment.