The Books We Want to See Made into Movies

Cathy Castelli

Cathy: I think the obvious answer is a book that I’ve written! However, I will choose Disclaimer by Renee Knight. It’s a thriller where a woman receives a book in the mail. When she starts to read it, she finds out that it’s about her, and it’s something she hasn’t told anyone.

Faran Fagen

FaranI️ Will Save You by Matt De La Pena. It’s such a touching love story from the perspective of a heavily troubled teen, and it’s pretty much a thriller due to the suspense. De La Pena includes a clever twist, and I’d love to see how they pull that off on the big screen.

Melody Maysonet

Melody: The book I’d most like to see made into a movie (besides my own) is Justin Cronin’s The Passage. It’s one of those meaty books with lots of characters (also the first in a trilogy), so maybe a television season for each book would be better.

Joanne Butcher

Joanne: I’d like to see A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles made into a movie. In it, an aristocrat finds himself as a waiter after publishing a poem against the Russian regime in 1922. The historical shots of the old hotel and the city would look great on screen alongside a great tale of personal growth while Russian supremacy ruled.

Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan: My obvious response is my own, but putting that aside, I would love to see The Mysterious Benedict Society made into a movie. It was a fun book, dealing with smart kids, a mysterious school, and lots and lots of puzzles for them to solve, in order to get to the bottom of things. Would be a movie that I’d be buying tickets for already.

Library Memories

Do you have a favorite library memory from your childhood? The Tuesdays share theirs.

Melody Maysonet

Melody: When I was very young, I remember my mom taking me to the public library and getting to check out–not just a few books like we did at school–but stacks of books. When I got them home, I spread them out around me to decide which one I’d read first. Among them was The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell. I loved the book so much that, as an adult, I went on a quest for it and finally found an old copy in a used book store.

Cathy Castelli

Cathy: I loved the La Salle public library. The children’s library was downstairs, but if you went upstairs, that was where the main books here kept. It was said that you couldn’t check out books from the upstairs library until you were in eighth grade. I remember the day I went to the upstairs library for the first time. It was magical, but now that I’m a real adult, I know I don’t have to restrict myself to the adult section of the library.

Faran Fagen

Faran: At my local library, every Wednesday they showed clips about mythology. I really liked those, especially the one about Medusa. Her snake hair and ability to turn things into stone left me both scared and excited. I couldn’t get enough.

Joanne Butcher

Joanne: My favorite library memory as a kid was when Mum took me to the city library for the first time. It was summer, school was out. I’d read all the middle-grade books we had at home. I was amazed, walking through the stacks, at how many books there were. After I picked out the ones I wanted to read, I asked Mum if she would take me through the adult side of the library too. I loved the smell of the books and that the people talked in hushed tones. I asked Mum why people whispered. She said it was out of respect for those who were trying to read. It seemed to me that it should be out of respect for the knowledge held in all those books.

 

Our Favorite Type of Pets

Joanne: We had two cats when our children were young. We trained them to stay off the kitchen counters and had them do tricks for their treats. Tiger, the gray one, would do pull-ups on the kitchen drawer, and Spencer, the orange one, would sit on his haunches with his paws bent. They’ve both been gone for a few years now. I really miss them.

Tiger & Spencer

Melody: I much prefer cats over dogs. We adopted our two cats, Dizzy and Freya, when they were eight weeks old. The guy at the shelter said they were two for the price of one and when that didn’t sell us, he told us that two of the ones we were looking at were actually litter mates. So of course we couldn’t break them up.

Freya & Dizzy

Stacie: My fave type of pet? You’ve got to be kidding me. Do you all know I have THREE rescue dogs. Big ones, too. Here’s a pic of Delilah who is spokesdog for the group, apparently. She’s typing up a nasty note that she says she’s willing to unleash(she went there) on CHEWTUBE if anyone suggests that ANY type of pet could be better than a big rescue dog from Big Dog Ranch Rescue. Don’t shoot the messenger. #Delilahsays.

Faran: I’ve had cats and dogs, and I love them both,  but my wife and I began our lives together with our Maltese and Poodle so I have to go with them. Both of them are so loyal like my cat used to be, and love to snuggle. What else can you ask for?

Jonathan: My favorite kind of pet is a dog. Seriously, is there anything else? A dog gives unconditional love and is always happy and affectionate, not like those aloof cats. Some people may try to give lame arguments why a cat is better, but they’d be terribly wrong. I’m including my affectionate 65 lb lap dog, Parker

Our Favorite Scary Movies

Joanne Butcher

Joanne: Silence of the Lambs is my favorite scary movie with Hannibal Lector being my favorite creepy antagonist. Since I was a kid I haven’t liked gory scary movies. Back then they scared me too much and I’d have nightmares. Now I find that many of them are overly dramatic to the point of being silly. I find a psychological thriller much more interesting than a chainsaw massacre.

Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan: It’s tough to pick just one because there are a few that are my favorites. I’m really not a big scary movie person, in general, but I do love the humorous ones. So, since we have to pick something, I’m going with Shaun of the Dead. It’s such a funny movie and yet still has the fun zombie elements. I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen it, but every year at Halloween, I make sure to revisit.

Melody Maysonet

Melody: Normally, I would say Jaws, but since Halloween is just around the corner, I’m going to say Fright Night, the first one, not the remake. Scary, funny, plus the ’80s. What’s not to like?

Faran Fagen

Faran: I gotta go with John Carpenter’s The Thing, based solely on the scene when they’re tied to the couch and Kurt Russell is testing their blood trying to figure out which one of them is “the thing” (which means they’ve been consumed by an alien who can mimic human beings). So creepy not knowing who’s part of “the thing” and who’s still normal in this sci-fi thriller.

Cathy Castelli

Cathy: In high school, the John Carpenter’s Halloween movie came out. OMG this ages me, but HBO was in its infancy so not that many people I knew had it. Halloween was playing on it, and someone I worked with had it. I went to her house and watched the movie. The walk from her front door to my car seemed verrrrrrrrry long that night!

Stacie: I lurves me some scary movies. So many scary movies. I strive to watch a scary movie every day during the month of October, but I admit I’m really far behind this year! Ugh. If I have to pick just one, I’d have to say that Rosemary’s Baby is one of my faves. Or The Shining. Or Halloween. Or The Thing. Sigh. 

 

Our Favorite Quotes

Stacie Ramey

Stacie: My favorite quote is by Edgar Allen Poe. “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” It seems to me all at once fantastical, imaginary, and surreal. Life frequently feels like this to me, both when it’s wonderful and when it’s less so. My hat is off to EAP for summing up the un-sum-up-able. Bravo, Poe.

Cathy Castelli

Cathy: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Faran Fagen

Faran: “Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness.” –Sacha Guitry. I truly believe that the best way to learn is by making mistakes. Even the most successful people fell on their faces on their way to the top. I think we don’t allow young people to experiment and learn from trial and error, which is how you grow. This quote embodies this sentiment.

Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan: I’m sticking with writing quotes, and this I take to heart. Dialogue. Have plenty of it and get the info out that way. “All the information you need can be given in dialogue.”– Elmore Leonard

Melody Maysonet

Melody: My favorite quote is “It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate. It takes guts to be gentle and kind.” Because it’s so true! From a song by The Smiths called “I Know It’s Over.”

Joanne Butcher

Joanne: Peace begins with a smile. –Mother Teresa  (1910-1997, Nun and Missionary)

What We Love Most About Libraries

Faran Fagen

Faran: I love the smell of books and the excitement I get when I find a new book that’s totally unexpected and it’s just what I’m looking for. It’s even better when I find other books by that same author and they resonate with me too.

Stacie Ramey

Stacie: How do I love thee, libraries? I couldn’t possibly count the ways! I love the feeling of crossing the threshold of those automatic doors. I love the info desk and the movies all lined up in a row. I love the stacks of books. I love the feeling of finding a new book. Or a new author. Libraries, you are my jam!!! *blows kisses* And librarians? You are my rock stars!

Cathy Castelli

Cathy: It’s like shopping with an unlimited budget! I can spend hours in a library just browsing all of the shelves. It’s dangerous, too, because I’m quite bad at returning the books!

Melody Maysonet

Melody: I love the smell of all those books, plus, you know, all those books. I love going home with a stack of them and just spreading them out to decide which one I’ll read first.

Joanne Butcher

Joanne: What I love about libraries is the endless possibilities held within their walls. When my mum would take me to the library as a kid, I would pick out the books I wanted and while she checked them out, I would wander around thinking about the treasure trove of information held within all those books.

Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan: The thing I love most is the most cliche. I love the books. I love walking in and being inundated with books. Seeing books everywhere. There’s a feel to a library. I love that I can find classic books, which are no longer in print in bookstores. I can browse and see titles which are thirty or forty years old, or maybe more. A library is a magical place, and I love being there.

The Worst Writing Advice We Ever Received

Cathy Castelli

Cathy: Worst advice? Why don’t you just self-publish? That’s not the goal for me. I’m working on my writing because I am going to get good enough to get past the gatekeepers. It will mean my writing has reached a high enough level that I’m ready for that world. I look at the novel I’m currently re-writing. I thought it was done several times, but then I got some industry feedback which was spot-on. It’s an entirely new book and so much better! I think traditional publishing is worth the wait.

Melody Maysonet

Melody: The worst writing advice I ever received was when teachers told me, “Write what you know.” I understand the logic behind the directive, but if I only wrote what I knew, my stories wouldn’t be very interesting.

Joanne Butcher

Joanne: An acquaintance who had never written fiction but had a bestselling non-fiction book said to me: “Go ahead and write it. It’ll only take a year.”

Faran Fagen

Faran: The worst writing advice I received came from a conference critique. An agent suggested I transplant my climax into the first chapter, and it totally sucked the life out of my manuscript. I put the climax back where it belonged and came up with a whole new first chapter that was much better. So in a way the suggestion from the agent led to a stronger story — in a roundabout way.

The Best Writing Advice We Ever Received

Faran Fagen

Faran: I’ve been fortunate to receive so much good writing advice from friends and mentors over the years. However, one tip that sticks out comes from one of my author idols, Chris Crutcher, who I met at a writing conference. He told me not to reveal my entire hand at the start of each scene and always leave my reader wanting more. I find when I follow that mantra, it often leads to a strong chapter.

Melody Maysonet

Melody: Years ago, I had been trying to write the novel that would eventually become A Work of Art but I couldn’t seem to make much progress. I started going to writing workshops, which were invaluable, and I learned a lot. But the best piece of advice came from writing coach/editor Jamie Morris, who suggested I carve out a time to write and stick with it. It sounds like a no brainer, but I needed someone to call me out on my laziness. Once I started treating writing like a job, it only took a few years for A Work of Art to see publication.

Cathy Castelli

Cathy: I’ve heard this from more than one place, but you need to let the book sit for awhile once you think it’s finished. In a few weeks, when you go back with fresh eyes, you will be able to see what else needs to change.

Joanne Butcher

Joanne: My best writing advice has come from Joyce Sweeney in a variety of forms. I took a class from Joyce about a year ago on scene and structure. I learned more from that class than any other workshop, or book. The best gem was that the climax may be the realization of someone’s motive, but it must have a physical dimension to it to increase its power.

Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan: The best writing advice I ever got is one many people have already stated, but it’s true. You need to keep going and not give up. It’s easy to be discouraged, but you have to keep trying. Just press on and work on your craft to get better. Not everyone goes at the same pace. You go at yours and don’t get down

Themed Thursday: Something We’ve Always Wanted to Try…

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? We’d love to hear from you.

Stacie Ramey

Stacie: I’ve always said I’d like to try skydiving, but honestly, I KNOW I’d chicken out and not jump. I mean, who would jump out of a perfectly good airplane? For no good reason. I do think I’d like to zipline and or parasail. Both of them seem so majestic and, despite the serious height thing, tame enough for me to do.

Cathy Castelli

Cathy: Glass blowing. Years ago I almost took a class in Lake Worth. It was a pretty extensive class, but at the time all I could think was…so I learn how to do this, then am I going to have to put a molten glass furnace in my house? That didn’t seem practical. This question got me thinking, though. I found a place in Hollywood, FL that has classes. Maybe I should make a Christmas ornament. I’d get the experience and a nice addition to my tree.

Melody Maysonet

Melody: Gosh, there are a lot of things I’ve always wanted to try. Parachuting from an airplane, taking a photography class, trying out a gluen-free diet. But if I had to pick one thing, I think I’d like to try writing the first draft of a novel in just a few months. The only problem is… I don’t think my inner editor will let me.

Joanne Butcher

Joanne: I have so much admiration for painters. I love landscapes and seascapes and abstract art. I have wanted to try oil painting, but, like writing, it’s a matter of learning the craft, and writing is keeping my hands full.

Themed Thursday: Pantser or Plotter? Which kind of writer are you?

For those who may not know what I’m talking about here, a plotter is a writer who outlines. A pantser is a writer who flies by the seat of their pants.

Faran Fagen

Faran: I’m a little of both, outliner and panster. I plan ahead when it comes to key points (inciting event, binding point, turning point, etc.). But when it comes to writing each chapter, I easily get lost in each scene and I think that adds to the excitement and suspense of the story. Because of this spontaneity, I often have to go over each chapter when I’m finished to make sure there are no inconsistencies (sports stats, details out of order, etc.). One thing I find really helpful is to make a list of major plot points and powerful moments I know I want to include in each chapter. That way, I make sure to include those but also give myself the freedom to add in new exciting scenes as well.

Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan: Pantser or plotter? Well, I’d like to think that, for once, I would get an easy question for Thursday, but noooooo! Truth is, I’ve done both. All my novels, I’ve insanely plotted, but for my last one, I just went with an idea and how I wanted it to end, and went with it. It was fun and freeing, but I still had the basis of the plot in my mind. I do like both methods and don’t say one is better than the other, but I will say, if you are a pantser, you better, at least, have a very good idea of how the plot should go, or you risk muddying everything up. So, my answer is both!

Cathy Castelli

Cathy: I was a pantser, and I got pretty lucky that things seemed to fall into place where they were supposed to plot-wise. I have taken to outlining some of the story, but right now the re-write I’m in the middle of, in spite of the outline, is taking its own twists and turns.  What can you do? Go with it!

Melody Maysonet

Melody: I am definitely a planner, but you know what they say: “The best-laid plans of mice and men…” My plans often go awry, so I end up writing completely different, very detailed outlines for the same book.

Stacie Ramey

Stacie: The answer to the age-old writing question, Do I outline or do I write by the seat of my pants? It’s not that simple. I sort of do a hybrid approach. I write a synopsis, blurb, and sketch out key scenes. Then I fill in the blanks as I write. Except when I write without a plan, whatsoever, just a vague feeling propelling me along. Like the one I’m working on now. Which I’m totally pants-ing. Sooo that makes me a poutliner, I guess.