Tag Archives: novels

Authors Answer 127 – Writing Novels for TV Series and Movies

Many popular TV series and movie series have side stories written by independent authors. Some are official, some aren’t. But would any of us want to write one of these novels?

Question 127 – If you were asked to write a novel for a popular movie or TV series, which would it be and why?

H. Anthe Davis

As I am averse to handling other people’s characters (to the point that I would never write fanfiction, though I certainly read it), I don’t know that I would be comfortable with novelizing anyone else’s material at all.  I’m sure I can do it, but having heard some anecdotes about the process (authors ordered to kill off certain fan-favorite characters in tie-in novels, thus taking a lot of heat from fans), I don’t think I’d be well-suited to it.  I’m also no longer enough of a fan of anything beside books to really feel excited about the prospect.  I’d really just rather do my own thing.

C E Aylett

I’d never think to do that — it’s usually the other way around, isn’t it? Um… dunno, matey! Coo, you’ve stumped me on that one. Maybe Taboo? That’s nice and dark/gritty with lots of criminal behaviour in it — just my style. Or Peeky Blinders. History is often so much about the aristocracy and propriety and I always wonder what went on in the the nooks and crannies in the lower echelons of past society — the whore houses and opium dens, and the bootlegging. Historical fiction is starting to explore those areas more now on TV, which is appealing to me, just wish I’d taken that avenue before it became popular! Ah well, probably missed that boat. Bummer.

Paul B. Spence

I assume you’re asking what I would like to write one for. TV: Stargate, Star Trek TOS, Babylon 5, Doctor Who, any other sci-fi really. Movies: Arrival, Star Trek. Who knows? I’d be willing if I had a certain amount of creative control. I like most sci-fi and fantasy. Does that answer anything?

Eric Wood

I interpret this question to mean that I would write a novel based on the characters of that show or movie using the same theme or setting. With that in mind, after some careful thought I think I would a novel based on a new show called “This Is Us“. It’s based around three siblings and bounces from the present day as adults and the past as they were kids. It’s both funny and touching and it’s what I would want to write.

Jean Davis

Having just made it through the Iron Fist, I’m going to just come out and say the writing was not great on many fronts, action and dialogue being top of my list. If a writer had to step forward to help get that show up to par with the rest of the Marvel shows, I’d raise my hand (along with a lot of other people, I’m sure).

Gregory S. Close

I’m going to go slightly off the reservation and apply this question to a video game, instead of TV or movie.  I would love to write a novelization of Half-Life.  I spent a few years working at the real-life inspiration for Black Mesa (the Los Alamos National Lab) so there’s something personal in there for me along with the great story of inter-dimensional intrusion and government conspiracy mixed in with the mundanity of government contractor work.  I’ve always been surprised that this one never leapt to the big screen – this is a great horror/sci-fi story waiting for a broader audience.

D. T. Nova

Transformers. Sure it’s mostly for kids, but it’s still one of those that is very high in both the amount of existing lore to draw on and the potential for adding new concepts.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are a lot of TV shows that I’d love to write a novel of, but the first one that came to my mind was Doctor Who. The main reason is just that I love the series so much, I think it would be a blast to write my own story toward it. In addition to that, though, it just seems like an excellent series for a writer to delve into. It encapsulates such an enormous universe of worlds, creatures, and stories, that there is basically no limit to where you can go and what you can do.

Jay Dee Archer

Without a doubt, I would write novels for Star Trek, especially the original series and The Next Generation. But the more I think about it, Enterprise needs a continuation that takes it to the Romulan Wars. Of course, that’s probably been written. But anyway, Star Trek has been one of my biggest loves in science fiction, and I would love to write for it. I’d like to say it’s been a bit of an inspiration for my writing, too.

How about you?

If you’re an author, what would you like to write novels for? If you’re a reader, do you enjoy reading novels based on TV and movie series? Let us know in the comments section below.

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NaNoWriMo 2016

Am I crazy? No, I’m just a guy trying to write a book. I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year!

NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, where you have 30 days to write a 50,000 novel or at least 50,000 words toward a novel. It takes place from November 1st to 30th.

I’ve figured now that I live in a house where I can go somewhere quiet in the morning or late evening, I can do some writing. All I need to do is write at least 1,667 words per day, which is achievable. I’ve done it before, but not for 30 straight days.

I’ll be working on completing Journey to Ariadne, which may or may not be 50,000 words. If it’s less, I’ll start on the first Ariadne novel, or portions of it. It’s a natural continuation of Journey to Ariadne, as this web serial is a prequel to the main story.

I talked about this on my YouTube channel, as well. So, check that out below:

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments below with your profile. You can go here to see my profile. Let’s be buddies!

Authors Answer 96 – Required Reading in English Class

Welcome to September. Last month, we had an interesting month for Authors Answer, and the final story was The Personality Dealer. The winner was a tie! Gregory S. Close and Eric Wood won that one.

This month, we’re focusing on education. Not only that, we have three new contributors to welcome! So, say hello to Cyrus Keith, C E Aylett, and Beth Aman. We’ll begin with their answers.

This week, we’re looking at English class in school. There are a lot of novels that are required reading in class, but we don’t always see what we really want to read. So, what do we think should be read?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 96 – What modern novel do you think should be included in high school English class?

Cyrus Keith

Define “Modern.” For me, that could include anything written since 1916. So, with that definition in mind, I’m thinking the book in question should not be one that lectures or sermonizes, but demonstrates solid examples of literary tools and story-telling technique, something that could be broken down and analyzed mechanically, like dissecting a frog in science class. Because kids today don’t need to be told what to think, as long as they are being taught to think on their own. It should also be short enough to cover in a single grading period, and exciting to read. Lord, how mind-numbingly dull some of those books we covered were! With all those points in mind, I would recommend Raise the Titanic by Clive Cussler.

C E Aylett

Well, I think that depends on what you’re trying to teach, but one novel I go back to time and again is Girl With a Pearl Earring (which I think is taught in schools already). That’s if you want to learn about writing tight characters and how relationships create tension and grow plot. If you wanted to teach more action orientated plotting, I’d probably chose something more commercial. I have no idea what they teach for high school English lit these days, so not sure what gap might need filling.

Beth Aman

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  Because not only is it amazingly enjoyable and funny, but it deals with issues of death and life and legacy.  And also the characters are brilliant and hilarious.

Linda G. Hill

This is a tough call for me, because so many of my favourites aren’t necessarily fit for consumption by younger teens. Out of all of the ones I can pick, I’d have to say Harry Potter. The depth of the characters and the trials and tribulations they go through are easy to relate to, whether the students are wizards or not. Having chosen it though, who wouldn’t already have read it?

H. Anthe Davis

I’m really not a literature reader; my roots are in pulp fantasy and sci-fi and mostly I’m happy to stay there!  However, I think that you can pull a book or two from those genres that will have both high school appeal and be teachable material.  The ones that come to mind immediately are Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (for discussion of consumerism, modern values vs. ancient ones, racism, religion, etc) and Terry Pratchett’s Nation (culture clash, mortality, nationhood, faith and tradition).

Jean Davis

I’d love to see something a bit off the wall like Watership Down by Richard Adams. Something that young people would enjoy but still includes a lot of obvious issues to talk about without having to rip the story into tiny miserable bits that suck the enjoyment out of reading.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

This is honestly a bit of a difficult question for me for a couple of reasons. For one, I hardly ever find time to read these days, so I can’t even really think of that many “modern” novels I’ve read. For another thing, I mostly read genres like horror and supernatural, which aren’t ones that are steeped with the kind of content you really associate with the educational, you know what I mean?

I suppose if I’m going to pick something, I’m going to go with Harry Potter. It’s not exactly MODERN modern, but I’m picking it because it excellent, it’s fun as hell, it brightens the imagination, and also I’d love to see the looks on a bunch of bible thumpers’ faces when they find out it’s on the class syllabus. 😛

Gregory S. Close

TIGANA by Guy Gavriel Kay.  This is literary fantasy fiction with wonderful prose, a compelling story, and it’s packed with enough layers to keep any English teacher happily delving into deeper meanings, symbolisms and parallels to the real world.  Also, it’s a stand-alone novel, which is tough to find in the genre these days.  Honorable Mention to FOUNDATION by Asimov.

Eric Wood

I think “The Book Thief” should be included. It gives a great view every day life in Germany during the days leading up to and during WWII. Although the story is told by Death, it shows us life from a child’s perspective as he follows Liesel Meminger.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I’m going to vote for Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. Not only does it give parallels to the fall of the Roman Empire (bonus ties to history class), there’s an interesting theme surrounding the decline in education and independent thought. A minor character insists that the scientific method consists of reading enough studies and not doing any independent study of his own. There are good lessons here that can apply to many area of students’ learning.

D. T. Nova

The whole His Dark Materials trilogy.

Not quite as modern (it’s older than I am), but I also think that Judy Blume’s Forever… should be required reading…whether in literature class or health class I’m not sure. Though I imagine there would be a lot of opposition to that.

Paul B. Spence

Er. Not sure I would. I guess you need to define modern.

Jay Dee Archer

I read a lot of long books, but I don’t think that would be appropriate for a high school English class. However, I would like to suggest a lighthearted novel filled with well-known themes and cultural references. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett would not only keep students entertained, but would give them a lot of research to do.

How about you?

What do you think should be included in the high school English curriculum? Let us know which book you’d like to see in the comments below.

Adults Reading Young Adult

I’ve read a handful of young adult (YA) novels, pretty much all fantasy. But I think that’s about the only genre I’d like to read YA books in. I may be 39 years old, but there are decent books out there in the YA fantasy genre that adults will enjoy.

I looked at the first page of Goodreads’ list of the best young adult fantasy books. I have some on my to-read list, some I have already read, some that look interesting, and some I’ve never heard of. Let’s look at the series.

Harry Potter, by J. K. Rowling

I’ve already read this. I enjoyed it a lot. It was quite fun. I sold my copies before moving to Canada, but they weren’t all by the same publisher or had the same cover art. I can buy them again, since I’d like to re-read them down the road sometime.

The Mortal Instruments, by Cassandra Clare

This series is talked about a lot. I haven’t actually looked into what it’s about. Do you think someone like me would enjoy it?

Graceling Realm, by Kristin Cashore

I’ve heard about this and know about the premise. It seems quite interesting, actually. It’s been on my to-read list for some time now, but I don’t remember adding it.

Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas

This is on my to-read list, and I’ve heard a lot about it, mostly that it’s really popular. Seems interesting to me.

The Grisha, by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve only heard about it, but I don’t know anything about it. What do you think?

Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor

Again, I’ve only heard about it, but I don’t know anything about it.

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

Not interested. Sorry. Vampires aren’t my thing, and Twilight certainly has no interest for me.

The Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini

It’s on my to-read list, even though I’ve heard it’s not very well-written. I’ve seen the movie for Eragon, so I already know what I’d be getting myself into. Going to read anyway.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan

This is actually pretty high on my to-read list. I’d like to get this, even though it’s a very long series. It sounds interesting and comes highly recommended whenever I read about it.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Another one I’ve heard plenty about, would like to see the movies, and therefore, need to read the books first. I kind of like Jennifer Lawrence, as well. But this is about the books, not the movies. It’s on my to-read list.

The Infernal Devices, by Cassandra Clare

Another Cassandra Clare series I’ve heard is quite popular, although I don’t know much about it. What do you think about it?

His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman

I know about this somewhat, since there was a movie about the first book, and I did see a bit of it. I guess I’d be spoiled a little. It’s on my to-read list, though.

The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer

I know little about this, but have read the cover blurb. It looks interesting, though the cover of the first book, Cinder, may make some people wonder if I’m reading a romance novel. What do you think of it?

A Court of Thrones and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas

Another Sarah J. Maas series, I’ve heard little about it, but the interest is pretty high. I’m curious about it.

Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman

All I know is that it’s about dragons and their place in society. I don’t know much about it, but from what I’ve read, it looks interesting.

The Raven Cycle, by Maggie Stiefvater

From the cover blurb, I’m not so sure if I’m very interested in this. But I could be wrong. It’s not the kind of fantasy I like to read.

Gemma Doyle, by Libba Bray

Again, after reading what it’s about, my interest isnt very high.

The Iron Fey, by Julie Kagawa

I might have some interest in it. But I don’t know so much about it.

Abhorsen, by Garth Nix

This is definitely pretty high on my to-read list. I’ve heard some pretty good things about it, and I’m very interested.

I’m going to stop here, as that’s plenty to talk about. So, my question for you is this: Which series do you recommend? Keep in mind that while I’m mostly interested in traditional or high fantasy, I am open to other kinds of fantasy. I’m less interested in fantasy that takes place during the present time or in our modern world. But then, I enjoyed The Word and the Void series by Terry Brooks (and that’s not young adult). Please let me know what you think about the series I listed above. What do you think I should read?

Re-Reading Books

I’ve only ever re-read one book, and that’s Macbeth. There has been no other time I’ve re-read a book. But I think the reason is that for most books, I haven’t had enough time to miss them, I guess. However, there are a few that I would like to re-read. I made a video on this topic, so here is what I want to re-read.

What I forgot to mention is that I will be re-reading Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.

In that video, there are a lot of books. Most of them are parts of two series, Pern and Shannara. The others are mainly standalone.

What do you want to re-read? Let me know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 82 – Cover Art

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. But really, people do judge books by their covers. A great cover can sell a book. It’s important to have well done cover art. Authors who are traditionally published usually have it done for them by the publisher. But a self-published author has to commission the artwork from an artist themselves and pay for it. Or maybe some authors do it themselves. So, how did we get it done?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 82 – How did you get your cover art done?

Linda G. Hill

So far that’s a secret. The artist who has agreed to work on my cover art doesn’t want anyone to know until the novels are out. Stay tuned!

Gregory S. Close

I spent a lot of time researching this, and months browsing DeviantArt and other sites for a quality freelance artist.  I finally settled on Mike Nash.  He had an impressive portfolio, had done artwork for Star Wars and Magic the Gathering, and he was accepting new commissions.  It’s more expensive to go with an artist like Mike, but I loved the result and I believe that you generally get what you pay for.  The cheaper options often look very much like cheaper options.

I felt pretty vindicated when I got an “excellent cover” compliment from Brandon Sanderson at WorldCon.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I bought pre-made cover art from an online shop that specializes in book covers. Not the most glamorous way to go, but if you can get lucky and find a good fit for your story there’s nothing wrong with that.

Eric Wood

Unfortunately, I don’t have any cover art, yet.

Allen Tiffany

Great question because there is a lot of talk about cover art. Unfortunately, a lot of it is really bad.

In my case, for my first novel, I did it myself. I knew exactly what I wanted – an iconic picture  of US infantryman getting out of a “Huey” helicopter in the jungles of Vietnam – and quickly found a high res photo in the Gov’t  archives.

For my upcoming novel, which I have not yet revealed, I sort of had an idea for what I wanted and scanned a lot of book cover designer’s websites. At long last I found a cover I loved. Totally in love. Thought it was brilliant. I wrote the creator and told her what I was after, and sent her $50 for the first pass.

As luck would have it, when the proof came in, one of my daughters was sitting beside me. She is an award-winning artist and has read the novel and the sequel. I called her over to the computer before I opened it. I told her this was a big moment in my writing career. “Just open it, dad.” When I did, we both stared in silence.  Finally, I said, “Holy crap.” She said, “That’s terrible.”

After that, I spent a lot of time on DeviantArt looking for what I wanted, and eventually I found it. I really liked it, so this time I wrote the artist and sent him a contract. We agreed on a price, and I secured the art I wanted.

Going forward, I think I’m just going to keep going back to DA and finding cool stuff from up and coming artists. It means my covers won’t be similar, but it will be fun to get aspiring artists a bit more publicity.

D. T. Nova

As of writing this answer, I haven’t yet, but I really can’t keep putting it off much longer.

Paul B. Spence

I hired an artist whose work I liked.

S. R. Carrillo

Initially, I purchased a pre-made cover that fit the book perfectly. For the sequel, I commissioned the same artist to create a similar cover as the first. This was an artist I found through another writer friend of mine.

For the latest set of covers I’ve commissioned, I found another writer friend whose covers I admired and visited the artist’s website to ask some questions and request a few covers. To make the search a little easier, I compiled a list of resources for writers looking for cover artists.

In the future, I plan to use artists I know personally to draw up my covers and use my own photography as the covers I need. I’m working very hard on that, actually.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

For Nowhere to Hide I created the cover art myself with a bit of Photoshop magic. I took a photo my father had taken of an old apartment building, darkened it, played with the colors to make the moonlit sky appear red, and then I transferred in a picture of a guy in a trench coat that I’d turned into a black silhouette with red eyes. Add the title and author bits and ta-da! Mind you it is far from the most professional-looking cover, but I wasn’t looking to spend any money since I didn’t know if the book would ever sell a single copy, therefore I was determined to create it myself. Overall I’m actually quite pleased with it, although I do know that it doesn’t quite look right in previews and thumbnails. With all that in mind, I’m definitely seriously considering commissioning an artist for The Other World.

H. Anthe Davis

All my covers are produced through cooperation between me (concept) and my friend D. D. Phillips (art).  I provide all the reference material I can find, and recently have begun compositing mock-ups for her to better see what I mean — since we’ve had communication issues before, with me not knowing some terms or having a hard time expressing just what I want.  I’m really nitpicky.  Thankfully she’s in another state so can’t just teleport over here and strangle me!  We’re working on the Book 4 cover now.

Jean Davis

I said to my editor, I want something dark and simple. A week later he sent me an image and I said, yep, that’s it.

Jay Dee Archer

I actually have a cover for my first novel, Knights of Ariadne, even though the first draft isn’t done. It’s a simple story, actually. Another author decided to whip up a cover for me, and what she showed me was great. In fact, it’s pretty much what I was imagining in my mind for the cover. Great minds think alike! She’s also an INTJ, which is how she discovered this blog. Once I’ve written enough, as in finished the first draft and edited it, I’ll probably reveal the cover. Well, we’ll see about the timing. Must write it!

How about you?

If you’ve published a book or are going to publish a book, how did you get your cover done? Let us know in the comments below.