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Archives: July 2013

Ballerina Michaela DePrince Lands Book Deal

18-year-old ballet dancer Michaela DePrince has signed a book deal to write her memoir.

DePrince appeared in the 2011 documentary, First Position. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers will publish the book in fall 2014.

Executive editor Erin Clarke negotiated the deal with Full Circle Literary agent Adriana Dominguez. DePrince’s adoptive mother, Elaine, will co-write the book.

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J.K. Rowling: ‘We need to become absorbed in something bigger than ourselves’

Over at Goodreads, J.K. Rowling responded to one reader’s question about writing gritty characters–sharing advice for both writing and living.

With the new paperback release of The Casual Vacancy, reader Anne Gunden asked about the “gritty exposure of the ugliness and weakness of human nature” in the book. Rowling replied with a short essay about her novel for adults:

I suppose that is my real answer to the second part of your question: we need to become absorbed in something bigger than ourselves. That doesn’t mean that everyone should stand for Parliament (God forbid); it is a more subtle business than that. If we make decisions in small matters in the awareness that our actions can have huge impact on others, we will begin to make a difference. If we choose to understand the other person’s point of view, if we make the effort to understand before rushing to judgment, all kinds of different vistas might become apparent to us.

Promotions & New Hires at Random House Children’s Books

The Random House Children’s Books marketing department has hired Kimberly Lauber as its director of marketing and Laura Antonacci as senior manager of library marketing.

Seven members of the marketing team also received promotions: Kerri Benvenuto (executive director of marketing, licensing, and proprietary brands), Rachel Feld (executive director of consumer development), Lynn Kestin (director of content development), Lauren Adams (marketing coordinator), Nora MacDonald (associate marketing manager), Santhana Souksamrane (producer), Linda Camacho (marketing associate), and Beth Conte (executive director of marketing, production, and operations).

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Oliver Potzsch Lands Deal for Historical Novel

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has picked up the North American rights for Oliver Potzsch‘s new stand-alone historical fiction book, The Castle of Kings.

Potzch is the author of The Hangman’s Daughter series. HMH recently published the fourth installment, The Poisoned Pilgrim.

Publisher Bruce Nichols negotiated the deal with the German publishing house, Ullstein.

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Homemade Book Dress Goes Viral

Reader Jorimoo created an entire dress out of book pages, earning more than 86,000 views online for her literary creation.

We’ve embedded her photos above–what do you think? Here’s more from the photo gallery of the dress: “here is the long awaited photos!!! A dress I made entirely from the pages of a book! Modeled here by myself at a readers and writers festival”

If you are looking for more, Google has a massive collection of images called “Dress Made of Books.” (Via Ted Weinstein Lit.)

Shimon Peres Featured in New Kindle Singles Interview Format

Amazon introduced the Kindle Singles Interview format with a long discussion with Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. The Optimist sells for 99-cents.

Who would you like to see interviewed in the new format? New Yorker and Atlantic contributor David Samuels conducted the two-hour interview with the 89 year old politician, working in association with Tablet Magazine. Here’s more about the new book:

In “The Optimist,” President Peres insisted that forthcoming peace talks arranged by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are serious, and asserted that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a partner for peace. He also called for a peaceful resolution to his country’s conflicts with Iran, declaring that “sanctions are functioning” and adding that “I wouldn’t like to start anything by shooting.” In a nearly two-hour conversation last Sunday, President Peres described Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg as the most important revolutionary leader in the world today. “Karl Marx never forecast Zuckerberg,” Peres said. “He made a revolution with a billion people.”

Read the Story that Inspired ’47 Ronin’

Keanu Reeves made an Internet splash today in the trailer for 47 Ronin, an action movie very loosely based on a Japanese story.

Above, we’ve embedded the trailer. The movie comes out December 25, 2013. Here’s more about the film:

Keanu Reeves makes an explosive return to action-adventure in 47 Ronin. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and restore honor to their people. Driven from their homes and dispersed across the land, this band of Ronin must seek the help of Kai (Reeves)—a half-breed they once rejected—as they fight their way across a savage world of mythic beasts, shape-shifting witchcraft and wondrous terrors.

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How To Cope with Layoffs

As the publishing industry evolves in the 21st Century, layoffs have become an all-too-common experience. Sometimes, it can be helpful to see how other writers coped with this devastating situation.

Journalist and author Matthew Newton published Death of a Good Job recently, a short memoir of losing his job as an editor during the Great Recession. We caught up with Newton to get advice for writers and editors:

The best advice I received was also probably the most annoying: Don’t take it personal. For me, that was impossible. Not only because the experience was so fresh in those first weeks, but because I had no job, no money, and a family to take care of. So at first, all I did was take it personal. Because, no matter what friends and family tell you, there’s a definitively personal element to every layoff. That way of thinking, however, was toxic and did nothing but make a bad experience worse. It’s hard to have perspective though when everything feels like it is falling apart.

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Neil Gaiman Writes a Video Game

Author Neil Gaiman has written his first video game, Wayward Manor. We’ve embedded a video introduction to the game above, guided by Gaiman himself.

Inspired by classic films like Arsenic and Old LaceBlithe Spirit and The Man Who Came To Dinner, the game will come out this fall. Here’s more about the game:

Set in a 1920s Victorian Gothic pastoral estate, Wayward Manor focuses on the plight of a ghost whose hope of a peaceful after-life is interrupted by a remarkable cast of intruders. Awoken from his post-mortem slumbers, our ghost must find ever-more inventive and brilliant ways to scare them away. As the ghost learns more about the living characters, he also learns more about his own death and after-life, and the danger they are all facing.

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Man Booker Longlist Debut Novel Rejected 30+ Times

Are you frustrated by your mounting rejection letters from editors and agents? According to the The Irish Independent, Man Booker longlisted author Donal Ryan was rejected 47 times before his novel was accepted by a publisher.

In an interview last year, Ryan counted “around thirty rejections” before The Spinning Heart found a home. No matter how many rejections he received, Ryan offered this rejection advice at the Dublin Book Festival site:

I had around thirty rejections in the bag before Daniel Caffrey from the The Lilliput Press rang me one evening and everything changed. They were mostly what I think of as out of hand rejections, though, so weren’t quite as wounding as someone saying, look, we’ve read your book, it’s not good. Form rejections hurt a little bit less, I think. It’s less personal.

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