As part of yesterday’s Sunday Stealing post I had to come up with eleven questions to ask fellow bloggers. Rather than simply ask eleven random questions I decided to group mine around the theme of books and literature.
Realising that it’s not fair to expect other people to answer these questions if I don’t provide my own responses, I decided to answer them in their own post.
Should you wish to answer them yourself, feel free to do so. Just remember to let me know so I can swing by your blog and take a look.
1. What is your all-time favourite book to film adaptation?
2. What book would you most like to see adapted into a movie or television series?
Many years ago I wrote a treatment for a HBO style television series based in Charles de Lint’s fictional city, Newford.
Unsurprisingly the show was called ‘Newford’ and was a combination of episodic adaptations of his short stories with a longer story arc that was an adaptation of his book Memory and Dream. I envisioned future seasons to follow a similar format, with different novels in his Newford series being used as the seasonal arc (such as Someplace to be Flying, Forests of the Heart) whilst individual episodes were either inspired by his short stories or completely new entities.
So it goes without saying I would love to see his work adapted for the television; the only medium I think would do his work justice.
In terms of movies, I would love to see Richard Montanari’s Broken Angels adapted for the screen.
Given this book forms part of a series, if it was a success other installments (such as The Skin Gods and The Echo Man) could be possible sequels. As his work is serial-killer thriller there is already an established market, but work would need to be done to avoid comparison to films such as The Silence of the Lambs or Seven as this genre is, admittedly, a little overcrowded.
However, the depth of his lead detectives coupled with the intense beauty and creativity of his serial killers would provide an edge.
3. Over the last few years, the literary industry has been obsessed with wizards, then vampires, now erotica…what would you like the next literary fad to be?
Personally, I would love to see the publishing industry become obsessed with quality writing again. No matter how popular the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey series have been, the actual quality of writing within these books is questionable at best. Even this unfocused, mentally ill (ex) homeless man can create characters more well-rounded and interesting than those featured in either of those series.
However, I think we can expect the obsession with the paranormal to continue for a short while at least. So books featuring zombies (yawn), angels (yawn), werewolves (double yawn), vampires (coma) and ill-fated immortal love affairs will continue to hit our shelves with frighteningly uncreative abandon.
How about we go for a literary fad led by strong, intelligent, females characters instead of the insipid bunch we’ve had of late?
4. Every copy of every book written before 2000 has been destroyed by an evil supervillain. So what books do we study in schools now?
Three possibilities off the top of my head:
Thirteen Reasons Why, a wonderful YA novel that deals with bullying, suicide and suicide indicators. Studying this book could lead to several lessons that widen the student’s knowledge of mental health and how best to help those who are not coping.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay covers a rich historical tapestry from World War II, the American Dream and comic books. The latter acting as a hook for the students that would perhaps allow them to want to read the book.
This Is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn is a book that paints an honest and challenging self-portrait of a young girl as she navigates through her teenage years. Accessable to students, evocative and a book that would inspire discussion.
5. You have been tasked to write a sequel to a well-known literary classic; what book do you choose and what happens?
Lord of the Flies; although it wouldn’t so much be a sequel, more of a parallelquel, that explores the same paradigm but from the perspective of a group of stranded girls. How would females do things differently? Would they do things differently?
And no, I would not name it Lady of the Flies, as that just sounds silly.
6. What one book have you always wanted to read but haven’t got around to yet? Why this book?
The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman is a book I have heard much about through my life but one that I have never actually attempted to read. After watching the film adaptation starring Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon and Kelly Macdonald my desire to read the book grew at an exponential rate but I still have yet to do so.
And in all honesty, I have never known exactly why I want to read this book.
Perhaps because I have heard so many conflicting opinions I wish to draw my own conclusions.
Perhaps because it is regarded as a classic of the English language.
Perhaps because of the awesome title.
Perhaps there is no underlying reason other than literary curiosity.
The reason I have been continually drawn to this book over the years is neither here nor there. The simple fact is it is one I want to read but have yet to do so. One day I will, I’m sure of it.
7. If you could employ an author (living or dead) to write a biography of your life, who would you offer the job to? And why?
George Mackay Brown; because he is a master poet, observer of human kind and writes some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever read.
8. In Doctor Who, The Doctor has met (amongst others) William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells and Agatha Christie. What writer would you most like him to meet next?
I once wrote a piece of fan-fiction where The Doctor, along with his companions Amy and Rory, met up with writer Joss Whedon in a very meta Buffy crossover.
Also appearing in the story (as themselves and their Buffy characters) were Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Anthony Head (yes, there was a scene dealing with his appearance in ‘School Reunion’), Alyson Hannigan (obviously, given she’s a genius), Alexis Denisof and Eliza Dushku.
As a piece of fan-fiction it was fine, especially as it was very knowing, very self-referential and frequently took the piss out of the fan-fiction genre. But as a piece of mainstream fiction, I don’t think it would work as there were far too many in-jokes and references.
As an actual episode, I would love to see The Doctor hook up for an adventure set on the Yorkshire moors; ably assisted by the Bronte clan.
9. If you could go out for dinner with one literary character, who would it be?
10. What books do you enjoy reading to your children (or you are looking forward to sharing with your children?)
I don’t have any children, but I have long dreamt of having a gaggle of baby-Addy’s so I could read them:
Winnie the Pooh (both books)
As all children should visit a non-Disneyfied Hundred Acre Wood.
Ultimately I would love to read them the entire canon of Dahl’s work (less his adult fiction, obviously) but as this is my favourite of his work it goes without saying that I long to share it with my offspring.
Quest for a Kelpie
Granted it would have to be left until they were a little older, but being it is my favourite book of all time, how could I not want to share it with them?
The Faraway Tree (series)
For I have fond memories of my parents reading them to me as I was growing up :)
11. What one book do you think everyone should read? And why?
The Stornoway Way by Kevin MacNeil
Although I was tempted to opt for a classic of literature (Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Macbeth and Kidnapped all crossed my mind) I decided that I would recommend a more recent novel.
Firstly, because it would have been insincere of me to suggest a classic over one of my favourite books. However much I adore reading classic literature, if I’m going to recommend just one book then it needs to be one that drop-kicked me several times throughout my reading of it.
The Stornoway Way accomplished this, and more.
Feel free to answer these questions on your own blog should you feel so inspired (or fancy a book themed challenge). If you do, remember to let me know in the comments below so I can swing by and have a look.