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Posts Tagged ‘biography’

The Band’s Robbie Robertson Gets Children’s Book Biography

Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group will publish a biographical picture book profiling rock legend Robbie Robertson. Aimed at 6 to 9 year old readers, The book will be written by Robertson’s son, Sebastian Robertson (pictured with his father).

The book will include photographs and other material from Robertson’s personal collection. Editorial director Christy Ottaviano negotiated the deal with literary agent Ryan Harbage at the Fischer-Harbage Agency.

Here’s more from the release: “The book will focus on Robbie Robertson‘s early years growing up in Canada and, later, living and working in America. The son of a Native American mother and Jewish father, Robbie Robertson spent time as a child at Six Nation Indian Reservation where he received guitar lessons and excelled quickly. By the time he was sixteen, he was offered a guitarist spot with Ronnie Hawkins’s band, and then went on to become the lead guitarist and chief songwriter for the acclaimed music group, The Band.”

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Book & Documentary Projects Round-Up

Bibliophiles and film fanatics can look forward to a plethora of book-and-documentary projects. Simon & Schuster announced that rock artist Pearl Jam has signed a deal with them; the illustrated self-portrait, Pearl Jam Twenty, will be released in September.

Here’s more from the press release: “Published and in celebration of Pearl Jam’s twentieth anniversary and in conjunction with Cameron Crowe‘s definitive documentary film and soundtrack of the same name, Pearl Jam Twenty is an aesthetically stunning and definitive chronicle of their two decades as a band.”

The video embedded above features the trailer for HBO’s Bobby Fischer Against The World. We reported earlier on the books Bobby Fischer and Living in the Material World: George Harrison; the accompanying films will be available later this year.

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Freddie Mercury Biography To Be Updated & Revised

In a pre-London Book Fair auction, publisher Hodder and Stoughton has acquired the world rights to an updated and revised version of Freddie Mercury: The Definitive Biography authored by Lesley-Ann Jones. Although an exact number was not revealed, the deal is reportedly worth “high five-figures.”

According to The Bookseller, nonfiction editor Hannah Black negotiated the deal, securing world rights, with Mulcahy Conway Associates literary agent Ivan Mulcahy. A publication date has been set for 2012 to synchronize with the release of the Freddie Mercury biopic starring Sacha Baron-Cohen as Queen’s lead singer.

Jones (pictured, via) released the original version of her Freddie Mercury biography with Hodder and Stoughton in 1997. In the past, she has also written titles profiling pop star Kylie Minogue and supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Elvis Presley Biography to Be Adapted

Peter Guralnick‘s 1994 biography, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley, will be adapted into a biopic. Screenwriter John Fusco will write the script.

According to Deadline, this project has been in the works for over a decade. Here’s more from the article: “Steve Bing is producing the film now for Fox 2000. The book covers the formative years of Presley up to his enlistment in the Army.”

In addition to biographies, Guralnick has published short story collections, novels, and music criticism. The Last Train to Memphis (1994) is the first book in a two-volume biography set; it was followed by Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley (1999).

Britney Spears Stars in Comic Book Biography

Britney Spears will star in her very own biographical comic book. Bluewater Productions will release Fame: Britney Spears in March.

The 32-page issue will explore everything from Spears’ Disney days to her more recent tabloid exploits. Patrick McCray wrote the script and Ricardo Jaime penciled the book.

In the release, publisher Darren G. Davis described the comic: “She was created in the Internet Age to be put on a pedestal, but no one can stand the glaring lights of celebrity that intensely. The title seeks to find the person within.”

Betty White Comic Gives Back to Zoo Association

Blue Water Productions will donate part of the sales of  Betty White‘s new biographical comic to Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA). The star of the Female Force: Betty White comic specifically requested the donation.

Comic book author Patrick McCray explained: “Working on the Betty book was an honor and a blast. While covering a new entertainer is always fun, there is something special about profiling an icon.”

White has been a lifelong animal lover and has served as a GLAZA Trustee since the 1970s. White reentered the spotlight in May when she  hosted Saturday Night Live. She also landed a two-book deal with Penguin Group (USA).

Kitty Kelley Predicts the End of the Unauthorized Biography

After documenting the lives of iconic figures like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the Bushes, and Britain’s royal family, author Kitty Kelley says she doesn’t see much of a future for the genre of biographies and her style of in-depth writing.

“Well, I just think it’s a huge investment of a writer’s time and a publisher’s commitment. This represents four years of my life. This was college,” she says of her latest release, Oprah: A Biography. “You know, we’re in a 24/7 information era…I don’t think you’ll be able to write this kind of book 10 years from now.”

Watch the final installment of our Media Beat interview to find out what Kelley says has been the biggest piece of feedback she’s gotten on the book, plus the answer to the million dollar question: How would she feel if there was a bio about her?

Part 1: Kitty Kelley Says Bio is Not ‘A Takedown’ of Oprah

Part 2: Kitty Kelley Calls Oprah Herself ‘The Biggest Source’ for Bio

RELATED: Attend Mediabistro Circus to hear from visionary women in media and tech.

Kitty Kelley Calls Oprah Herself ‘The Biggest Source’ for Bio

Few remember that Oprah Winfrey wasn’t always the beacon of “best life” she is today. Once upon a time, the rising talk show host covered topics like KKK members, Mexican satanic cult murderers, and women who were allergic to their husbands (true story). Unfortunately for the now media mogul, educator, and activist, all of her not so enlightened moments are back in the spotlight thanks to infamous biographer Kitty Kelley.

For Oprah: A Biography, Kelley says she combed through a mountain of information on the icon and spoke to 850 people who either worked with or knew her. “Oprah turns out to be the biggest source of information in this book — THE biggest source. Because I got all the interviews that she’s given over a period of 25 years to radio and television, to newspapers, and to magazines.”

Sidebar: How happy are you that Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist back then?

Part 1: Kitty Kelley Says Bio is Not ‘A Takedown’ of Oprah

Part 3: Kitty Kelley Predicts the End of the Unauthorized Biography

RELATED: Attend Mediabistro Circus to hear from visionary women in media and tech.

Kitty Kelley Says Bio is Not ‘A Takedown’ of Oprah

Unless you’re just getting back from a vacation on Neptune, you should know by now that Kitty Kelley (best known previously for upsetting Frank Sinatra‘s number one fan) has a new biography out about Oprah Winfrey.

But, at just 196 pages in, I felt like Kelley was editorializing a bit too much. So, I called her on it. Without interviewing Oprah herself, how do you know that your sources aren’t fudging the facts out of jealousy?

“Everybody has a motive. Everybody does. You have to give it to the reader honestly. You have to put it in context, and that’s really what I’ve tried to do,” said Kelley during our Media Beat interview. “This book is not a takedown of Oprah by any means. There are many, many people on the record talking about her in a most admirable fashion.”

Watch the video to find out what Kelley says she uncovered about Oprah’s now distant relationships with her family and several co-workers from The Color Purple, including Steven Spielberg, Alice Walker, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Part 2: Kitty Kelley Calls Oprah Herself ‘The Biggest Source’ for Bio

Part 3: Kitty Kelley Predicts the End of the Unauthorized Biography

RELATED: Attend Mediabistro Circus to hear from visionary women in media and tech.