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I.N.J. Culbard: ‘I do take the story apart and reconstruct it again…’

I.N.J CulbardHave you ever written a scary story? In honor of the Halloween season, we are interviewing horror writers to learn about the craft of scaring readers.

We sat down with comics creator I.N.J. Culbard to discuss his new graphic novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Culbard adapted the story from H.P. Lovecraft’s novel. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

Q: How did you land your first book deal?
A: Back in 2004 I was enrolled in The New Recruits programme set up by Dark Horse comics. I had two stories appear in an anthology there and a short while after that, 2000AD publisher Rebellion published a short strip of mine called “Monsters in The Megazine.” Following the work I did there I got in contact with artist D’Israeli, who put me in contact with a long time collaborator of his, Ian Edginton.

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Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101

Freelancing 101Learn how to manage a top-notch freelancing career! Starting December 1, you'll hear from our expert speakers on the best practices for launching a freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. Register now!

‘Sesame Street’ Team Parodies ‘Harry Potter’

The Sesame Street gang stars in a Harry Potter parody called “Furry Potter and The Goblet of Cookies.” Cookie Monster plays the title role; he is guided by the wise Professor Crumblemore.

We’ve embedded the funny clip above–what do you think? In the past, the team behind Sesame Street has created parodies inspired by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Les Miserables, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (via Bustle)

What if Cats Had Starred in ‘Gone Girl’?

What would have happened if director David Fincher had casted cats for the Gone Girl adaptation? The feline fans that run the Pet Collective YouTube channel posted a “cute kitty version” of Gillian Flynn’s thriller story. We’ve embedded the full short film above—what do you think? (via Vanity Fair)

Are You Dressing Up in a Literary-Themed Costume?

Alison Bechdel Creates Drawing For The Great Studio 360 Doodle Dare

The Great Studio 360 Doodle DareStudio 360 invites creatives to join in on a “Doodle Dare.” Fun Home author Alison Bechdel drew a doodle to serve as a start point. Participants should use Bechdel’s drawing (pictured on the left) to create a finished composition.

Artists “can use any image-manipulation software, or print it out and go old-school with pens and pencils. The more creative your scenario, the better.” A deadline has been set for November 10, 2014.

Follow this link to learn all the rules. Studio 360 has unveiled a few of the submissions in two posts. What do you think?

Gene Luen Yang Acts as an Editor For His Brother-in-Law’s First Comic

Gene YangWhat does it take to create comics? Award winning graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang has been collaborating with his brother-in-law Luke to help him create his first comic book.

Gene has been offering guidance, suggesting exercises, and essentially acting as an editor for Luke. The collaborators decided to chronicle the process on Gene’s blog “so other folks could see what the development of a comics creator looks like.”

Thus far, three episodes have been posted. Gene’s own editor Mark Siegel, the editorial director of First Second Books, chimed in with a tip in the comments section of the first post. We’ve collected three pieces of advice below so that other writers can glean from Gene’s wisdom.

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Michelle Aielli Moves to Hachette Books

Hachette LogoMichelle Aielli has been named executive director of publicity at Hachette Books. She will report to publisher Mauro DiPreta.

In new new role, Aielli will oversee the publicity for both the division’s brand and the titles on its list. The start date for her new position has been set for November 17th.

For the past 10 years, Aielli has worked in the Little, Brown PR team. She launched and managed campaigns for James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Donna Tartt, Keith Richards, Elin Hilderbrand, Jonathan Safran Foer, and more.

2 NYC Library Organizations Team Up to Win the Battle of the Book Sorters

NY & BK library book-sortingThe New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library teamed up for the 4th Annual Battle of the Book Sorters. The two New York City organizations went up against the Washington state-based King County Public Library.

Here’s more about the contest: “New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library share a state-of-the-art, automated book sorter (as well as all book delivery operations), so they form one team. King County, which has its own book sorter, won last year, and is currently leading the annual contest with two wins to New York’s one.”

In one hour’s time, Team New York sorted 12,570 items and emerged victorious. The winning competitor received the “Lyngsoe Sorting Cup” prize package which includes beans from Seattle’s Best Coffee and salmon. If the King County team had won, they would have collected cheesecake from Junior’s and pastries from Ferrara’s.

Can You Compare Dolores Umbridge to Lord Voldemort?

Dolores UmbridgeFor a Halloween treat, J.K. Rowling has published a new essay on Pottermore about the infamous witch Dolores Umbridge.

Harry Potter readers first meet Umbridge in the fifth book, Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. Actress Imelda Staunton plays this character in the film adaptation.

According to the press release, Rowling feels that Umbridge’s cruel nature is comparable to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. She feels that the antagonist’s “desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil.”

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more, you should stop reading now!

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PW names the 100 best books of 2014

PW_11_3_1Publishers Weekly today released its list of the 100 Best Books of 2014, for the first time including three translations among its top 10 books, which were written by Hassam Blasim, Elena Ferrante, Marlon James, Lorrie Moore, Joseph O’Neill, Héctor Tobar, Eula Biss, Leslie Jamison, Lawrence Wright, and Emmanuel Carrère.

The three translations include two works of fiction: The Corpse Exhibition by Hassan Blasim, translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Penguin), and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Europa). Limonov: The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet Poet Who Became a Bum in New York, a Sensation in France, and a Political Antihero in Russia by Emmanuel Carrère, is nonfiction translated from the French by John Lambert (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

“Every year when we put together our best books list, we understand why we’re in this business,” Publishers Weekly review editor Louisa Ermelino said. “It’s not just about the best books, but the fact that there are so many good books being published that we have to struggle to choose. We consider the game-changers, the brilliantly written pure entertainment, the clever, the well researched.”

Publishers Weekly’s selects for the best Young Adults books include: Meg Wolitzer’s Belzhar, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin, and Half Bad by Sally Green, among other titles.

Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi and Redefining Girly by Melissa Atkins Wardy are two of its best Lifestyle books of 2014.

Marlon James, featured on PW’s cover, is author of A Brief History of Seven Killings (Riverhead), a sweeping saga with the attempted assassination of Bob Marley at its center.

Descriptions of Publishers Weekly’s “100 Best Books of 2014” are available here.

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