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Posts Tagged ‘Kathyrn Stockett’

Octavia Spencer Lands Book Deal at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

The Help star Octavia Spencer inked a book deal with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Spencer’s debut novel, Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit, is scheduled for release in fall 2013.

It is the first installment of a two-book middle grade series. Executive editor Zareen Jaffery negotiated the deal with William Morris Endeavor literary agent Andy McNichol. Jaffrey will edit the manuscript.

Here’s more from the release: “Randi Rhodes isn’t your average twelve-year-old. She’s a Brooklyn vigilante with a Tae Kwon Do black belt. But circumstances take a turn for the worse when Randi’s mother passes away and her father decides to move to the small and sleepy town of Deer Creek, Tennessee. Randi couldn’t be more unhappy—until a mystery arises: the town’s two-hundred-year-old time capsule, which is rumored to contain hidden treasure, inexplicably disappears. Randi must solve the case, as the town’s fate hangs in the balance.”

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The Help Trailer Released

The official trailer for an upcoming adaptation of Kathryn Stockett‘s The Help has been released. The film will hit theaters in August 12th.

We’ve embedded the video above–what do you think? According to Deadline, the film stars Easy A actress Emma Stone as Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan and Doubt actress Viola Davis as Aibileen Clark. Tate Taylor served as both director and screenwriter.

On her site, Stockett explains her research process: “Once I’d done my [library research] homework, I’d go talk to my Grandaddy Stockett, who, at ninety-eight, still has a remarkable memory. That’s where the real stories came from, like Cat-bite, who’s in the book, and the farmers who sold vegetables and cream from their carts everyday, walking through the Jackson neighborhoods.”

“Seg-Book-Gation” in Publishing

bm_pic2.jpgEver since she published Sugar ten years ago, novelist Bernice L. McFadden has felt marginalized by the literary fiction world–exiled in the name of diversity.

In an email interview with GalleyCat, she explained her problem with labels in the contemporary publishing industry: “[Publishers] have placed all African-American authors in one box, forcing them to compete for the attention of ONE audience,” she explained, calling the practice “Seg-Book-Gation”–voicing a concern that we’ve heard from other writers as well. What do you think?

McFadden continued: “Art of any medium should transcend color, race, class, religion and ethnicity, but alas, that is not the case in the publishing world … We’re expected to push our books on the streets like our Urban Lit writing colleagues. But we are not hustlers–we are writers.”

Finally, she concluded: “I believe the key is cross-marketing … The success of the novels “The Help” by Kathyrn Stockett and “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd was due to cross-marketing by Penguin. Even though the cast of characters in both books are predominately African-American, the books were not pigeon-holed as ‘Black Books’ because they were written by white women.”