When editors approached author Cecily von Ziegesar to write a genre mash-up of her popular first Gossip Girl book, she immediately came up with some ground rules: “No zombies, no vampires.” Instead, she kept the characters human, but took the original text of Gossip Girl and added some murderous elements. Just as in the original novel, Serena comes back to the Upper East Side after spending time away at boarding school — only in this reboot, she has murder on the mind. The Serena we know would exact vengeance on her enemies by sleeping with their boyfriends or getting them in trouble at school. Psycho killer Serena just kills them in the bloodiest possible fashion. While there’s more in this week’s issue of EW, see below for von Ziegesar’s thoughts on Gossip Girl‘s strange new twist. Spoilers ahead! READ FULL STORY »
Tag: Interview (71-80 of 118)
At a slim 128 pages, We the Animals by 31-year-old first-time novelist Justin Torres makes an unforgettable impression. It’s a story about a difficult childhood and adolescence, but it’s not without flashes of joy. The narrator, who goes unnamed, is the youngest of three boys. He tells of growing up with a fragile white mother and an unpredictable Puerto Rican father. Writing in visceral yet elegant prose, Torres proves to be an author to watch – - he depicts the violence and messiness of young boyhood with incredible authenticity and takes the novel to unexpected, startling places. Having recently been published in The New Yorker, Torres took a moment before embarking on a national book tour to talk to me about We the Animals and what’s coming next. [Spoiler alert]
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So I know your novel is partially autobiographical, which is something a lot of fiction writers seem to look down upon because it’s seen as being less imaginative, perhaps — what’s uniquely creative about fictionalizing real life? READ FULL STORY »
Joel Courtney, the promising young star of Super 8, is featured in a brand new, action-filled trailer, but this clip isn’t for the next big Hollywood blockbuster. It’s for a book.
N.D. Wilson, author of the popular young-adult 100 Cupboards trilogy, asked his hometown friend for a little help to launch his next book, the first in a projected five-part series titled Ashtown Burial #1: The Dragon’s Tooth (out Aug. 23). Both Wilson and Courtney hail from Moscow, Idaho (Courtney currently goes to school with the author’s kids), which provided the inspiration for The Dragon’s Tooth’s blue-collar Americana setting. When it came time to make a promotional trailer — which Wilson himself wrote, produced and directed — Courtney was an ideal and convenient choice to star. In the exclusive video preview, Courtney plays Cyrus, a wayward and rebellious boy who joins a fantastical group of explorers in adventures far beyond the run-down motel he and his sister, Antigone, call home.
Sometime in the late 1980s, the British invaded and changed comic books forever. Superman may stand for the American way — at least most of the time — but it took Scotsman Grant Morrison to write one of the best modern interpretations of the Man of Steel with All-Star Superman. Morrison’s latest work, Supergods, is an analysis of what superheroes, caped crusaders, and masked men can tell us about ourselves and our culture. It’s a fascinating discussion, and one that continued when he got together with fellow comic book icon and Sandman maestro Neil Gaiman to discuss their medium, their lives, and each other’s work in a wide-ranging conversation that EW was lucky enough to listen in on.
NEIL GAIMAN: First off, congratulations! You’ve got a book out.
GRANT MORRISON: Oh, thank you. It’s great after 30 years of actually taking it seriously to finally write it down. READ FULL STORY »
UPDATE: Read our review of Cabin Fever.
Cabin Fever, the highly anticipated sixth installment of the Diary of the Wimpy Kid series, will get a monster first-run release of six million copies on Nov. 15, the largest of any book in the series. Series creator and author Jeff Kinney spoke to EW about the new book and Greg Heffley’s future — apparently love and death are on the horizon.
Tell me a bit more about the concept behind the sixth book.
On the surface, Cabin Fever is about the Heffley being family being snowed in for the holidays and the claustrophobia that creates, but it works as a theme as well. The idea behind the book is that as you’re growing up you’re forging your identity, and that identity becomes hard to escape later on. I find that no matter what I do in my professional life, if I go back home, the people I grew up with and the people in my family and the people who know me bring me back to my true self. Part of the book is about the claustrophobia of your identity — it’s hard to forge a new one. READ FULL STORY »
Jay Asher‘s YA novel Thirteen Reasons Why, which comes out in paperback tomorrow, has grown into a major phenomenon over the last four years. In this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly we caught up with the author and got the story behind the book that some readers credit with changing — and even saving — their lives. You can read the story below.
Jay Asher had dreaded this moment. It was his first book signing, and one woman had been hanging back, waiting for the crowd to thin. Finally, she walked up to the table. Her 14-year-old son had taken his own life a few years earlier, and she’d read Asher’s book. “My heart just stopped,” recalls the author, 35. “I was thinking, ‘Here we go. Here’s where somebody’s going to totally chew me out.’ ”
Asher’s YA novel Thirteen Reasons Why is a great read that happens to be about teen suicide. It’s suspenseful and addictive and more entertaining than people might expect — or, Asher feared, might want. The book has an irresistible hook: High school junior Clay Jensen comes home from school one day and finds a box containing seven cassettes. When he pops in the first, he hears the voice of a classmate, Hannah Baker, who recently killed herself. “I’m about to tell you…why my life ended,” she says calmly. “And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.” Hannah then tells the whole sad story, her voice alternating with Clay’s thoughts as he learns about the bullying and casual cruelty that slowly drove her over the edge. READ FULL STORY »
'L.A. Noire' videogame inspires a crime fiction anthology featuring Joyce Carol Oates, Andrew Vachss, and more. PLUS: Read an exclusive excerpt
Last year, Rockstar Games released the western saga Red Dead Redemption, a flat-out videogame masterpiece by bringing to life a particular time and place in American history with extraordinary detail and telling a rich, engrossing story that challenged the mind and engaged the emotions. Hopes are high among fans and critical admirers of Rockstar’s sophisticated, decidedly adult work that their next major title will prove equal to its Red Dead triumph: L.A. Noire, a murder-mystery adventure set in late ’40s Los Angeles, a sprawling and stylish videogame iteration of the film noir and neo noir genres, typified by movies like The Big Sleep (1946) and Chinatown (1974). Of course, vintage film noir owed a debt to crime fiction by the likes of Raymond Chandler (who wrote The Big Sleep) and Dashiell Hammett. To acknowledge the literary roots of its newest offering – and to expand L.A. Noire into a larger “transmedia” entertainment franchise – Rockstar commissioned several prominent authors to pen short stories inspired by the game and stand on their own as crime genre fun. An eBook compilation from Mulholland Books, entitled L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories, will be available June 6, about three weeks after the game’s scheduled May 17 release. “The concept behind L.A. Noire was to create a crime thriller that built on the classic tradition of noir, not just in film but also evoking the great body of crime fiction that exists within the genre,” says Alex Moulle-Berteaux, Rockstar’s VP of Marketing. “Chandler, [James] Ellroy, and Hammet were as much touchstones for the atmosphere and characters of the game as anything from cinema, so there was something appealing about [the] idea of setting some of the genre’s finest contemporary writers loose within that world.”
Among the authors who’ve written original stories for the anthology: READ FULL STORY »
Candace Bushnell talks 'Summer and the City': Carrie, Samantha, and Miranda take on the wild New York of the 80's
Summer and the City, Sex and the City creator Candace Bushnell’s followup to The Carrie Diaries, continues the saga of young Carrie Bradshaw’s journey from naive suburban teen to the seasoned author/fashionista we know so well. In Bushnell’s new offering, we’re with Carrie during her first summer in New York, where she’s taking a writing class at The New School and pursuing a much older man. We also learn how she first met her future BFFs, Miranda Hobbes and Samantha Jones (we even get a quick glimpse of Charlotte!). The YA novel reveals the darker, seamier aspects of the city in the early 80′s, and it takes an honest look at some of the less comfortable parts of growing up. Still, it’s enjoyable romp of a read, and 17-year-old Carrie often proves to be a sharper, edgier observer than her older on-screen incarnation. Bushnell took some time to speak to EW about young Carrie and what’s in store for her and her friends.
How fun was it to introduce 25-year-old Samantha and 18-year-old Miranda?
It was so much fun. I just love Miranda’s character — it just makes so much sense to me that she would be this kind of hardcore feminist. Because that’s what women were like in the early 80’s. Feminism was a very big deal. There really were women who protested in front of Saks against pornography, and they would shout things like, “Women, wake up!” I came to New York in the late 70′s when I was 19, so I put in a lot of things that were very, very true to that time. It informs the characters and the kind of women they become. READ FULL STORY »
Unlike Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, which had years’ worth of hype before it sold its first copy, A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, released last summer, has been a slower-burning literary sensation. After Goon Squad made its way onto many a top ten list in 2010, it made waves again last month when it beat out Freedom for the ultra-prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award. Goon Squad is hardly Egan’s first well-received, wildly inventive novel, but with another literary nod from across the pond and the new paperback release, Egan seems to be experiencing a new level of critical and commercial recognition. She took some time to talk to EW about Goon Squad and why it connected. READ FULL STORY »
The New Yorker‘s “20 under 40″ issue in June 2010. Being a New Yorker-anointed author can be a strong predictor of a great career to come, as evidenced by Jonathan Franzen and Jhumpa Lahiri’s inclusion on the first iteration of the list back in 1999. The magazine took a gamble by giving her a boost before her first novel The Tiger’s Wife was even released, but it has paid off richly: Early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, including one from our own Lisa Schwarzbaum. The Tiger’s Wife is a wise, beautifully imagined novel well beyond Obreht’s years. As a 25-year-old writer myself, I spoke to Obreht about her stunning novel and her journey before, during, and since writing it.25-year-old author Téa Obreht couldn’t have asked for better buzz when she was the youngest author (24 years old at the time) featured in
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: It was exciting to see “20 under 40″ make a discovery of sorts with you, and I came away from the issue remembering you even more than some of the established writers on the list. Were you shocked by that level of public recognition?
TÉA OBREHT: I was. I think to some degree, it felt like it was happening to somebody else. It was a big accolade to get, and a really early one. It took a while to sink in. It was shocking for me, in a very good way. READ FULL STORY »