Thanks to Skyfall, the world has contracted James Bond fever again — and even former 007-er Sir Roger Moore isn’t immune. “It’s absolutely marvelous,” says the British actor of the latest Bond adventure, which opens in the U.S. today. “It’s the best Bond film without a doubt.”
Tag: Interview (51-60 of 144)
Patricia McCormick’s Never Fall Down is the haunting story of the Cambodian Genocide as told from the perspective of Arn, an 11-year-old boy who’s taken from his home and forced to work in the rice fields for the Khmer Rouge. There, Arn volunteers for a band and discovers his affinity for music. The decision saves his life, but it also thrusts him into the middle of Killing Fields, where he’s forced to commit atrocities.
Based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, Never Fall Down was recently named a National Book Award finalist. The winners won’t be announced until November, but McCormick took the time to talk to EW about the nomination, her interviews with the real Arn, and the power of a simple song.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congrats! You’re a National Book Award finalist. You’ve been one before for Sold, but how does it feel this time around?
PATRICIA McCORMICK: It’s meaningful for this book because it needs that seal of approval for some more cautious readers, people who wouldn’t necessarily be interested in reading a book like this. It validates storytelling as a way of healing. This is all about how Arn healed by revealing the worst things about his past. We all have these stories to tell and by telling them we will free ourselves.
Was it difficult to get Arn to share his story?
Yes and no. He would become that 11-year-old all over again. He would jump away sometimes from the more difficult aspects of it. My job was to lead him back without re-traumatizing him. There were days when the two of us would cry and have to call it quits. There were other times where I would have to stand firm as the witness and show that I could listen to what he was telling me.
Getting paid to sit around in your pajamas and write mean things about strangers on the Internet — sounds easy, right? But as Jessica Grose proves in her new novel, professional blogging is much more grueling (and even less glamorous) than it seems.
For Sad Desk Salad protagonist Alex Lyons, working for a popular women’s website is one third dream job, two thirds nightmare. She spends 12 hours a day writing posts that hit a nerve — at the cost of rarely seeing daylight, constantly being insulted by anonymous commenters, and never quite knowing how secure her job is. Things get more complicated when Alex receives a salacious video from an unnamed source. Posting it could make her career — or destroy her last shred of integrity.
Though the book is fiction, it contains more than a kernel of truth: Grose has worked as an editor at both Jezebel and Slate’s DoubleX vertical. (I interned at Slate when Grose worked there, though we rarely interacted.) Shortly after Sad Desk Salad hit shelves, I called Grose to chat about working online, the perils of privacy in the Internet age, and the best way for a blogger to keep her sanity. Hint: It involves avoiding Google.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you decide to write a novel?
JESSICA GROSE: Well, I had been seeing the issues that I deal with in the novel — privacy, and how journalists are navigating new media — for at least the past five years. I really wanted to talk about those issues, but I didn’t want to do it in a serious way — if I did it as nonfiction, I’d have to take a stand. And I think it’s such an ambiguous, complicated issue; it would be much more interesting to weave those conflicts into a fictional narrative. Also, I wanted to have a little fun. [laughs] I actually started writing it just to entertain myself, which sounds goofy.
How did you come up with the title?
There’s actually a very new media explanation.
When Mary Anne Schwalbe was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, she didn’t want to slow down. A tireless advocate for refugees around the world, Mary Anne didn’t stop striving to build a library in Afghanistan — or continuing to discover new literature with her son Will. In his engrossing, deeply moving new memoir The End of Your Life Book Club (EW grade: A), Will Schwalbe writes about his mother’s last days through the prism of the things they read together. He took the time to talk to EW about his mother’s inspiring legacy and the transformative power of books.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Your mother Mary Anne was clearly an exceptional person with very impressive accomplishments and passions — but in a way, I felt like she was every great mom, and you were like every child of a great mom who wanted to give her the tribute she deserved.
WILL SCHWALBE: There’s no reaction that could make me happier than that reaction. I’m very proud of my mother. But when she died, there was no obituary in the New York Times. She wasn’t famous. In fact, I don’t think her name was ever in the New York Times, and that’s true of most people’s moms. I like to think of her as an extraordinary, ordinary person. There are so many extraordinary, ordinary people across the country — people who are fantastic mothers and adore their children, and their children adore them, and do incredible things in their communities. I was in publishing for 21 years, and I saw a lot of really wonderful memoirs by people who had very difficult times with their mothers. In fact, it’s almost a kind of genre, yet there are a lot of people who have great mothers. In some ways, I feel like this is a celebration of moms. READ FULL STORY
“Hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest is a secret laboratory where a group of scientists have created the first (and only) member of a new immortal race. But after Pia sneaks out of the compound and meets a local village boy, she begins to question—wait for it—her origin.” That was the blurb featured in EW’s recent roundup of the latest YA novels. Now that Jessica Khoury’s debut novel has been on shelves for a few weeks, we decided to catch up with her and get the, well, origin story of Origin. Check it out, and then read an excerpt from the first chapter after the jump.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where did you come up with the idea for Origin?
JESSICA KHOURY: All at once! I was taking a walk one day and an image popped into my head of a girl trapped by glass walls and surrounded by jungle, separated from the boy she loved. I was so intrigued by her that I asked myself question after questions about her and her situation, and several minutes later ran home with the whole story in my mind. I started on chapter one that very day and kept writing until I had a finished draft, one month later. I was so in love with Pia and her story that I couldn’t pull myself away.
The Amazon rain forest is an interesting setting. Any particular reason you chose that place?
The Amazon is one of the last true frontiers left on our planet. With so much of it still to be explored and so many plants and species yet to be identified, it’s the perfect setting for Pia’s laboratory. This precious resource is drenched in beauty and mystery, and I loved digging deep into the rich color and life hidden beneath the jungle canopy. It truly becomes a character of its own in the story.
Origin has been out for a month now. What’s the general reaction been so far?
We’ve had such wonderful support from sellers like Barnes & Noble and Apple’s iBookstore, both of which chose Origin as one of their best books of September. The response has been just phenomenal; I love opening my email to see letters from readers! It validates every moment I spend putting one word after another.
This is a standalone book, which goes against the current trend of YA trilogies. Why decide to do just one book?
From the start, Origin felt like a complete story on its own. I toyed briefly with the idea of stretching it to more books, but instead of overextending the storyline, I decided to keep it compact and self-sufficient. I think it’s great to give readers a book in which they can get the whole story without having to wait a year on a cliffhanger.
Do you think you’ll ever revisit this story?
I think readers will enjoy envisioning the characters’ futures beyond Origin. There’s certainly room for more adventures to happen, but for now, I’ll leave it as it stands. But you never know what the future will hold!
Origin is your first novel, do you have anything else in the works?
Yes. I’m currently working on my next book for Razorbill. It will be similar to Origin, but not a sequel.
What are some of your favorite YA books right now?
I really loved Elizabeth Richards’ Black City and Morgan Rhodes’ Falling Kingdoms, both of which are coming out later this year. In fact, all of the Penguin Breathless Reads are fantastic. Right now I’m halfway through Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, and it’s just fabulous.
R.L. Stine is famous for traumatizing generations of kids (me included) with his terrifying Goosebumps series — but on Oct. 9 he’ll turn his attentions to grown-ups. Red Rain, one of the prolific author’s few novels for adults, tells the story of a writer named Lea Sutter who’s staying on a small island off the coast of South Carolina. After a hurricane hits the unsuspecting town, Lea decides to help the island get back on its feet and ends up adopting two boys in the process. She takes them back to her home in Long Island, but her husband Mark and their two children Ira and Elena are less than pleased. When strange things start happening around the neighborhood, Lea and Mark are forced to ask themselves how far they’re willing to go to protect the boys’ lives, especially if those lives might cost them everything they hold dear.
Stine took the time to talk to EW about his new book, his fear of twins, and his love of fan mail. When you’re done reading the interview, check out the exclusive trailer for Red Rain below. READ FULL STORY
Before Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior, and dozens of other teenage characters began raging against dystopian machines, there was a 12-year-old kid named Jonas — protagonist of The Giver, a slim novel first published in 1993 that’s become a modern children’s classic. The Giver was Brave New World for the under-18 set before books about futuristic totalitarian societies became a dime a dozen — and most of today’s popular dystopian stories are in Lowry and The Giver‘s debt.
Middle schoolers and former middle schoolers across the world know that Lowry’s Newbery winner ends on an ambiguous note; it’s unclear whether Jonas and Gabriel, the baby he’s rescued from their colorless community, find the safe haven they’ve been seeking or freeze to death on a hillside. In 2000, Lowry decided to partially answer that question by inserting an oblique reference to Jonas into another futuristic novel, Gathering Blue. Jonas reappeared for the first time as a full-fledged character — albeit under a different name — in 2004’s Messenger, a sequel to Gathering Blue. And today, his saga (and Gabe’s) finally comes to an end with the release of Son, the first direct sequel to The Giver. The novel travels back to the community Jonas fled to tell the story of Claire — a 14-year-old girl drafted to be a Birthmother who finds that she, too, cannot live in a society devoid of love.
Before Son‘s release, I spent half an hour chatting with Lowry about everything from her childhood favorite reads — The Yearling and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, for the record — to the unfinished Anastasia Krupnik book sitting on her hard drive. Most of our conversation, though, focused on her now-finished Giver quartet. Read on to learn why she elected to continue Jonas’s story, what she thinks about the dystopian trend, and why she believes The Giver has been one of history’s most frequently challenged children’s books. (Want even more? Check our Inside Movies blog for Lowry’s comments about the long-gestating Giver movie.)
Scholastic’s reading guide for The Giver includes an interview in which you’re quoted saying that you would never want to write a sequel–
Uh huh. Oh, how I wish I had never said that publicly! [laughs] It comes back to haunt me. I didn’t have any intention of writing a sequel. I liked the ambiguity of the ending. Over the years, though, it became clear that younger readers in particular did not. The amount of mail I got passionately asking what had happened to Jonas — I suppose after a period of time, it made me wonder as well. So I guess it was in response to the kids who didn’t quit asking and wondering.
Film critic Richard Crouse talks about the controversial film 'The Devils' in his book 'Raising Hell'
The story of 1971’s The Devils is an unpleasant one. Based on Aldous Huxley’s book The Devils of Loudun and a play by John Whiting, the film details an episode of alleged demonic possessions and exorcisms — and the innocent priest who was executed for heresy — in 17th-century France. And that’s just the plot line.
The real story of The Devils took place behind the camera, in the movie’s production process and its reception among censors, critics, and audiences. The intensity of the shoot cost director Ken Russell his marriage and tested the nerves of its stars, British screen legends Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave. Later, after facing numerous cuts from the British Board of Film Censors for material deemed inappropriate (or, according to the Catholic Church, blasphemous), The Devils received an abysmal response from critics, was banned in several countries, and basically vanished for three decades.
In recent years, though, the movie’s seen a bit of a resurgence. Fan sites are popping up and bootleg copies with fewer cuts have surfaced (Russell lamented that a fully uncensored version simply doesn’t exist); critics, for their part, have begun to see the film in a different light, hailing it as a provocative masterpiece in league with A Clockwork Orange.
In light of this renaissance, Canadian film critic Richard Crouse has written a book about The Devils, tracing it from conceptualization to its disastrous wide release to today’s renewed interest. With endorsements from a litany of notable directors — Terry Gilliam, David Cronenberg, Guillermo del Toro — and first-hand testimony from many of the principal players, Raising Hell offers a comprehensive look into the making of this brutally controversial film. In our conversation, Crouse (who has seen The Devils nearly 200 times) talked about Ken Russell’s blistering visual style and his never-ending battle with Warner Brothers, and why this movie could only have been made in 1971. READ FULL STORY
My Little Pony meets Sin City: Comic book stars Grant Morrison, Darick Robertson talk up the surreal pulp of 'Happy!'
Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson have created some of the most acclaimed – and controversial – comics of the past two decades. Scottish scribe Morrison has spent the past several years writing best-selling Superman and Batman titles for DC Comics (and penning a great history lesson/memoir Supergods: Our World In The Age of The Superhero), but before that made his name with audacious original work like The Invisibles, The Filth and Flex Mentallo, filled with challenging ideas, formal experimentation and high strange surrealism. California-based artist Robertson, known for his strong, visceral style, has worked in many genres, from pulp to sci-fi, and is best known for long runs on two hard-edged satires, The Boys and Transmetropolitan.
Now, the two talents have teamed up – for the first time – to produce the ironically titled Happy!, a four-issue mini-series that tracks the twisted downward spiral of an utterly reprehensible thug named Nick Sax… and his imaginary friend Happy!, an aggressively sweet winged horse. The first issue, now in stores, includes foul language, brutal violence and a sexual encounter involving a man dressed as seafood.
Naturally, it’s a Christmas story.
It’s also a gleefully gonzo-sick crime comic, and the beginning of a return to trippy-edgy creator-owned stuff for Morrison after years of marvelous mainstream toil. In separate interviews, EW.com spoke with Morrison and Robertson about their collaboration.
'Angelfall' author Susan Ee discusses her hugely popular debut and her appreciation of good eye candy
If you love a kick-ass heroine, a little romance, and a good apocalypse (let’s be honest — who doesn’t?), then Susan Ee’s Angelfall is the book for you. Don’t believe me? Check out the reviews on Goodreads. Or Amazon. Or Barnes & Noble. When was the last time you saw that many happy readers? Seriously, don’t let this one slip by.
In Ee’s (pronounced “E” like the letter) debut novel, the world as we know it has been destroyed by angels. Gangs roam the streets and food is scarce. Seventeen-year-old Penryn is just trying to keep her family together, but when angels fly away with her little sister Paige, Penryn is forced to pair up with the injured angel Raffe to rescue her. Together, Penryn and Raffe will risk everything to journey to the heart of the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco. Ee gave EW a call to talk about Angelfall, her legions of dedicated readers, and good eye candy. READ FULL STORY
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