Amanda Hocking first made her mark in the YA world by self-publishing the popular Trylle Trilogy. The novels were so successful, she garnered a publishing deal with St. Martins. Now, Hocking is back with a new series called The Kanin Chronicles set in the world of the Trylle. The first book, Frostfire, hits shelves Jan. 6, and EW has an exclusive first look at the cover (click above for the full-size image). READ FULL STORY
Tag: YA (1-10 of 314)
Jazz hands at the ready!
Tiny Cooper, described as “the world’s largest person who is really, really gay,” stole our hearts when he debuted in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, the 2010 YA novel co-written by The Fault in Our Stars author John Green and Every Day author David Levithan. Four years later, Levithan is giving us a closer, more razzle-dazzle glimpse at the larger-than-life character with the full script of the musical Tiny was working on in Will Grayson. So meta!
Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story (March 2015) will tell of Tiny’s birth up to his ongoing quest for true love, complete with “big, lively, belty” musical numbers. We talked to David Levithan about what exactly a “musical-novel, novel-musical” entails and how he pulled it off. READ FULL STORY
First comes fame, then the magazine covers, the signature perfume, the makeup collection, and—yes—the novel.
Tyra Banks, Pamela Anderson, Nicole Richie, and Britney Spears are just a few of the stars who have novels to their credit, and much like clothing collections or advertising gigs, their literary offerings are considered a commercial product with which to cash in on their fame. And the latest to join the celebrity-turned-novelist club are teen darlings Kendall and Kylie Jenner, who catapulted to fame as the half-sisters of Kim, Khloé, and Kourtney Kardashian.
The Jenner sisters—ages 18 and 16—have just released their first novel, Rebels: City of Indra, marketed as dystopian story about two girls who take off on a journey “amid the constant threat of danger.” But is there any pretense that Jenners or any other celebrity—with their modeling and reality television careers—actually sit down and write these books? (Remember how hard it’s been for Hannah Horvath of Girls? And she actually wants to become a full-time writer.)
The answer, it seems, is a resounding “no.” “I don’t have any expectation that any of the celebrities that I sign or work with will be able to sit down and write a book,” says Rebels publisher Karen Hunter, who has worked on books with Kris Jenner and Tamar Braxton. “I don’t know that many teenagers that could write a book, period.”
Enter the celebrity ghostwriter, usually a seasoned novelist or journalist who gets connected to celebrity projects via literary agents (paired together in what ghostwriter agent Madeleine Morel calls a “matchmaking process”). Then, for a price—a negotiated fee typically between $20,000 and $40,000—ghostwriters will churn out several hundred pages that will ultimately be passed off as a celebrity’s creative endeavor. Which, it turns out, is okay with celeb-crazed readers.
“Fans don’t really care whether or not a celebrity wrote it or not, as long as they can visualize the characters and the setting,” says Valerie Frankel, who’s written several novels under her own name and ghostwritten others, including a 2011 New York Times bestseller for Jersey Shore sensation Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.
But that’s not to say celebrities aren’t part of the process; they’ll usually create a novel’s characters and plot, providing a foundation for a ghost writer to expand on.
“It’s an escape out of my own head to work with other people and be inspired by their lives, and their stories and their characters,” Frankel explains of collaborating with pop culture phenomenons like Polizzi. “It’s as satisfying as writing a novel under my own name.”
Rebels ghost writer Maya Sloan agrees. “It’s a gift to be writing, making a living,” says Sloan, who did “a ton” of interviews with the Jenner sisters and spent hours studying their preferences, style, and language in order to accurately transmit their personalities onto the written page. “And to me, writing is collaborative. That’s how the face of writing is changing—we need to own it.”
Though Sloan’s name appears on the Rebels title page along with the Jenners’ manager, Elizabeth Killmond-Roman, ghostwriters aren’t often acknowledged at all in a book (that largely depends on how savvy an agent is at negotiating—and how willing a celebrity is to share the credit). And while slapping a celebrity’s name on a product seems to be an easy sell, these novels actually aren’t guaranteed bestsellers, says Morel.
“Stars think writing a book loosely based on their life is the way to go, but most of these books don’t sell,” explains Morel. “Fiction is too subjective.”
The books that have done well—like Lauren Conrad’s L.A. Candy series or Hilary Duff’s Elixir trilogy—are aimed at young adult and 20-something audiences who are captivated by their idols’ forays into literature (and will likely also purchase their branded nail polish or musical albums). However, following the success of 50 Shades of Grey, both Mob Wives star Renee Graziano and talk-show host Wendy Williams have ventured into a new kind of celebrity novel: erotica.
Might that be the next big thing? Maybe. But for those who prefer a youthful brand of dystopian chic, feel free to hold out for a Rebels sequel.
“There’s more to come,” says Hunter of the Jenners’ literary efforts. “They’ve already figured out what’s coming next.”
The wait is finally over. Ruin and Rising, the highly anticipated conclusion to Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, hit shelves last week. And the epic ending doesn’t disappoint. In Rising, Alina and Mal continue their search for Morozova’s last amplifier and simultaneously discover some dark secrets about their past, which changes they way they go about saving Ravka and defeating the Darkling. We won’t, um, ruin, anything because Ruin and Rising is worth the read. Trust us. Here, Bardugo answered a few of our (spoiler-free!) burning questions and teased her upcoming project. READ FULL STORY
Dark coming-of-age stories 'Heavenly Creatures,' 'Stand By Me,' 'Brick' and 'Young Adult' return to the big screen
“Those days are gone forever … I should just let ‘em go.”
No, Don Henley. To hell with that. Sometimes you’ve got to reach back to those glory days with all your might and pull them right back into the here and now — which is exactly what the American Cinematheque and your friendly, neighborhood EW writer are hoping to do with this weekend’s double-feature film fest Youth Is Brutal: Coming-of-Age Films.
Sinister tales of growing up (or not) make up this three-night event at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, beginning on Friday with back-to-back showings of Peter Jackson’s haunting Heavenly Creatures (1994) and Stand By Me (1986), Rob Reiner’s classic adaptation of the Stephen King friendship saga.
Here’s a rundown of the movies returning to the big screen, with details at the bottom about how to win free tickets … READ FULL STORY
EW senior writer Anthony Breznican’s first novel, Brutal Youth, hits shelves and e-readers on June 10. As part of the release, we asked Breznican to write about his teen years and how they inspired his coming-of-age debut.
I never liked to fight. Maybe that’s because I was bad at it.
I didn’t like to get beaten up.
One time while riding the bus home in seventh grade, some guys who were getting bored of picking on me decided I might be a good candidate for one of their younger brothers to pulverize. That kid was three or four years younger than I was — and eager to kick my ass for no good reason. When we came to my street, the whole gang got up and walked off the bus, making a little semi-circle on the street corner. I trudged down the aisle behind them with my head down, then stopped short of the door and sat down in the front seat. The driver looked at me. “I’ll get off at the next stop,” I said. The guys on the street corner whooped and screamed with fury as the door hissed shut and I rolled safely away. (I’m not sure why they didn’t beat me up the next day. Maybe they were really bored.)
If I could find a way to get out of a fight, I would take it. Maybe I was a coward, but I also didn’t like the feeling of hitting another person. When you’ve been on the business end of enough fists, you’re not so quick to make one. I’m sure I said tons of mean and cruel things to other students over the years, which is its own form of bullying. But I never beat anyone up.
Should adults be embarrassed about loving books meant for teens? With The Fault in Our Stars expected to take in as much as $45 million this weekend at the box office — in no small part due to the swarm of grown-ups eager to see Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters live on the big screen — Slate writer Ruth Graham poses a question that might make some fans squirm: Should adults be ashamed about indulging in “literature” meant for the school-aged set? READ FULL STORY
Empower, the fifth and final book in Jessica Shirvington’s Embrace series, hit shelves earlier this month. In the high-stakes conclusion, Violet Eden risks it all to save her friend Spence. Two years after walking away from her friends and commitment to the Academy, Violet has to step back into her old life — and face the fallout — to make sure Spence is returned safe and sound. Here, Shirvington answered a few of our burning questions about the series and teases her upcoming projects. READ FULL STORY
The wait is finally over! City of Heavenly Fire, the sixth and final installment of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument series, hits shelves today. To celebrate the book’s launch, we’ve got an exclusive interview with Clare and one of the book’s narrators, Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner. The two chat about the best heroines, and Turner spills what fictional character she’d marry. (Hint: He can be found at Hogwarts!)
Veronica Mars’ Jason Dohring also contributes to the audiobook: “Sophie Turner is wonderful at imbuing young characters with humanity and feeling, and that’s why I thought she would be a perfect narrator for City of Heavenly Fire,” Clare told EW in an exclusive statement. “And Jason Dohring can turn on a dime from vulnerable to sinister, which is a wonderful quality in an audiobook reader.” Check out the video after the jump. READ FULL STORY
Former EW deputy managing editor Jeff Giles, who oversaw the magazine’s coverage of movies and books and edited plenty of Hunger Games cover stories, has a new young-adult series of his own coming soon. Bloomsbury Children’s has acquired the global rights to two books by him: The Mercy Rule, a fantasy novel about a teen girl trying to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance who meets a bounty hunter trying to escape the Lowlands (a.k.a. hell), and an as-yet-untitled sequel. Giles is represented by literary agent Jodi Reamer, who also represents John Green and Stephenie Meyer.
“The Mercy Rule daringly straddles the line between realistic fiction and fantasy — the kind of book that takes hold of you and never lets go,” Cindy Loh, Publishing Director for Bloomsbury Children’s Books, says in a press release. “Jeff is an incredibly gifted storyteller and we knew from page one that this was a project to support in a big way. We have ambitious plans for Jeff and his stunning new series.”
The Mercy Rule is slated for publication in early 2016.
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