Category: Adaptations

Exclusive Interview with ‘A Discovery of Witches’ Author Deborah Harkness

AMC’s adaptation of Deborah Harkness’ bestseller A Discovery of Witches, the first in the All Souls Trilogy, has been gaining critical acclaim since it aired on AMC on April 7th, and currently holds at 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The show, which follows Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch who discovers a bewitched manuscript which throws her into the world of magic, and compelling her to form a forbidden alliance with a vampire…

We were lucky enough to catch up with author Deborah Harkness to get her thoughts on the show, on writing, and on what’s happening with her wine blog…

 

 

 


 

  1. The first book in your All Souls Trilogy, A Discovery of Witches, has been adapted for TV and brought to AMC and BBC AMERICA in the US. How has the process been for you? Were you involved?

Yes, I was involved. I’m an executive producer on the project and I also wrote the initial series document or “bible” for the show. It’s been exciting to be part of a collaborative creative project. I try to approach each day as a learning experience. There’s so much to discover and all kinds of new challenges to explore.

 

  1. What has been the most exciting thing to come of the adaptation?

 

For me personally, it has been most exciting to see the characters come to life on screen.

It is also wonderful to have a whole new audience come to the stories through the television adaptation, and then to follow them as they find the books and the energized fan community that has sprung up around them.

 

  1. Was a possible adaptation on your mind when writing the book?

 

No, not at all. I thought it was a long shot the books would even be published so I was just focused on telling the story. I’ve been told I have a cinematic imagination, which I think is a fancy way of saying that I see the story in my head and try to capture what I see in words on the page.

 

  1. Have you always been interested in the supernatural?

 

I’m not sure what you mean by supernatural. I am interested in how hard it has been, historically, for humans to figure out their place in the world and how to thrive in it. One of the techniques that they use to cope is to imagine a world outside of the one they occupy and to invest that world with all sorts of powerful beings. In my stories there is only one supernatural element—magic. Similarly, there is only one creature with supernatural abilities: the witch. The rest are preternatural. So by that standard, I guess I’m less interested in the supernatural than many other people!

 

  1. You’ve said the success of novels like Twilight got you thinking about what it is that has always fascinated humans about the supernatural. Can you talk a little bit about what inspired you to try your hand at fiction, after publishing several non-fiction titles?

 

I found the modern interest in the supernatural puzzling, and wanted to be able to figure out how that could be sustained given that our scientific worldview doesn’t seem to support the existence of a world outside our own. So I started imagining – what if magic could be part of the modern worldview? What would that look like? How would someone with supernatural power fit in? It started out as an intellectual mystery to be solved, but as it progressed,  my “what ifs” got more detailed and I realized I was writing a novel. It wasn’t planned or inspired in a traditional way.

 

 

Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Robert Viglasky/SundanceNow/Shudder/Bad Wolf

 

 

  1. Would you return to non-fiction, or is fiction the way forward for you now?

 

Sure. I wrote two non-fiction books and many non-fiction articles. I was also a wine journalist. One thing I’ve learned about myself is that my “way forward” has lots of twists and turns in it.

 

  1. What is your writing routine like? Does it differ between fictional and non-fictional works?

 

I don’t have a writing routine. For me, a writing routine is something that gets in the way of actually writing. So many steps. So many rules. I used to feel a bit bad about that, and tried to distill a list of “a perfect day”. Even I found it intimidating. Writing is, and has been since 1982 when I went to college, part of my daily life. I do it as often as I can in a day, wherever I am, however it happens. I’ve written in my home office, my campus office, on airplanes, in trains, on napkins waiting at the drive-thru, and in cafés. You have to take the time when you can. And it’s no different whether I have an article due, a lecture to give, or a chapter of a novel that I’m trying to finish.

 

  1. As well as your amazing writing career, you also have an award winning wine blog! Could you tell us a little about this? Is it important to you to have hobbies outside of writing?

 

I haven’t had much time to blog since I started writing fiction, so sadly my wine blog is on indefinite hiatus. Like all of my writing, it started out with me trying to solve a problem (namely, how to set up a blog for work more than a decade ago when there were very few of them). I had just come back from wine shopping, wrote about that, and then wrote about drinking the wine I bought over the next few weeks. Pretty soon, I had a wine blog. As for hobbies, I think it’s important to have a LIFE outside of writing. If not, what on earth are you going to write about? It’s pretty easy to see how my love of wine influenced the All Souls books, in all sorts of ways.

 

  1. Can you tell us some of the books and authors who have inspired you?

 

I am mostly a non-fiction reader. My most important years as a reader of fiction were from the ages of five to thirty. During that time I devoured books, mostly biographies and novels. Clearly, I was most interested in people and their lives. I loved the Nancy Drew mysteries, and historical fiction (before I became a historian) most notably the works of Dorothy Dunnett, and the novels of Anne Rice. The only book I have ever stayed up all night to read was Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour. One of the last novels I remember making a huge impact on me was A. S. Byatt’s Possession. I was a graduate student, and the ethical and scholarly dilemmas in the book were a perfect companion to finishing my PhD.

 

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 

Write. Edit. Rewrite. Repeat.

 


 Tune into A Discovery of Witches on AMC Here!

Don’t miss your chance to win $500 courtesy of AMC’s A Discovery of Witches! 

 

Arya Stark, pirate queen... Or not?

HBO Shoots Down Arya Spinoff, Proving Network Hates Us

It’s no secret that many people were annoyed by Game of Thrones‘ final season, and if you weren’t one of them, you’re probably pretty damn annoyed by hearing about it. But HBO doesn’t care what you think—not in a defiant, sexy maverick sort of way. HBO doesn’t need to care what you think because, if you watched the episode and subscribed to the network, you helped generate the billion-dollar machine that is HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones effect.’ Unsurprisingly, the show has made HBO hi$$$tory across the board: this past Sunday, the finale garnered 19.3 million total views. Those are the highest ratings not just for the fantasy juggernaut, but also for all HBO shows. Over the last decade, the show has won the network 50 million subscribers, which is no joke.

This, of course, is the joke:

 

"Me cancelling my subscription after watching the final episode of Game of Thrones: my watch has ended"
Image Via Twitter

 

Google searches for ‘how to cancel HBO‘ spiked directly after the sixth episode’s ending. The only previous comparable spike in cancellations occurred directly after the seventh season, but the current looming threat of mass cancellation is still greater by far. Take a look, and imagine that you’ve got a job at HBO. Feel the existential terror? Unlike the rest of our general existential dread, theirs probably won’t be cured by memes—at least, not if the memes are about unsubscribing from HBO.

 

Google Trend Results for HBO cancellation

Image Via Google Trends

 

The pressure to keep the machine in operation is immense, hence the network’s desire to promote its spin-offs this early on. We know that four are potentially in development. We also know that there are currently only details on one: a yet-untitled prequel set in the “mythic ‘Age of Heroes,'” produced by Jane Goldberg and George R.R. Martin himself. S.J. Clarkson of Marvel’s Jessica Jones is set to direct. But there’s been heavy speculation about what the other spinoffs could be. Given fan-favorite Arya Stark’s relatively open ending (“what’s west of Westeros?”), many have speculated that we could see more of our favorite little stabby baby—especially since she didn’t do any face-swapping this season.

Honestly, imagine the possibilities. Pirate Arya? Badass female pirate captain Arya??? Okay, so it’s one possibility, but with an ever-increasing number of question marks. Badass, unstoppable pirate captain Arya stealing from her enemies and stealing all of our hearts???

 

Arya, our queen

Image Via Thrillist

 

Nope.

Dead-set on killing our dreams, HBO programming president Casey Bloys definitively shut us down:

Nope, nope, nope. No. Part of it is, I do want this show — this Game of Thrones, Dan and David’s show — to be its own thing. I don’t want to take characters from this world that they did beautifully and put them off into another world with someone else creating it. I want to let it be the artistic piece they’ve got. That’s one of the reasons why I’m not trying to do the same show over. George has a massive, massive world; there are so many ways in. That’s why we’re trying to do things that feel distinct — and to not try and redo the same show. That’s probably one of the reasons why, right now, a sequel or picking up any of the other characters doesn’t make sense for us.

Okay, so it’s true that we’d hate to see Arya’s character transform in a way that we don’t understand. With a different showrunner, Arya’s characterization may feel inconsistent. While some fans would be all on board (that is, aboard Arya’s PIRATE SHIP), others would certainly be disappointed—and, presumably, be pretty vocal about their disappointment. But there’s one thing we can all (mostly) agree on: we’ve got high hopes & dubious expectations.

 

 

Featured Image Via Screen Rant.

Gwendoline Christie Completely Called the Ending to ‘Game Of Thrones’

Gwendoline Christie is known for her amazing acting, her glamorous red carpet looks… and now, she’ll be known for her incredible foresight in calling who would win the Game Of Thrones.

Many fans are not happy with the finale to Game Of Thrones. Writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been accused of rushing the script and, as a result, closing arcs in a way that doesn’t make any sense. In addition to fans’ frustration with how they ended Jon Snow’s story arc, everyone is mostly upset and downright confused with Bran becoming the King of the now 6 Kingdoms.

 

 

Image result for bran king reaction

Gif via Cosmopolitan

 

Between all the hints and buildup for the endings of just about every other main character (of course, this is up for debate) and the disappointment with Bran throughout the final season, the decision to put Bran the Broken on the Iron Throne definitely felt a bit random. I don’t think anyone predicted that would happen, except Gwendoline Christie, who played the iconic role of Brienne of Tarth.

 

Image result for brienne of tarth

Image via Nerdist

 

Back in 2017, Christie was interviewed by entertainment journalist Mario Lopez, to whom she revealed her prediction for the end of the series. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who acted as Jaimie Lannister, was interviewed alongside Gwendoline Christie. His reaction to the Bran becoming King prediction is very similar to how just about every fan is feeling right now… though possibly with less screaming.

 

 

 

The two share a really interesting debate that does bring up a lot of points that fans are talking about right now, both in person and online. Audiences have wondered what Bran’s omniscience means for the moral universe of the series—did he simply allow these deaths to occur for the greater good? For his own personal gain? Since he isn’t Bran, does he HAVE personal gain? It’s all very complex. What Christie and Coster-Waldau say at the very end supports a theory that Bran may be the evil mastermind in the end, controlling certain players at the right moments to ensure that he would rise to power. With the series already over, that theory is simply just a theory.

 

Related image

Image via 9Gag

 

Westerosi conspiracies aside, it seems that Gwendoline Christie guessed it right—Bran Stark is King.

And then there’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and the rest of us still arguing how that doesn’t make any sense.

 

Image result for game of thrones shaking head gif

Gif via Tenor

 

 

Featured Image via Pagesix

Celebrate ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban’ Anniversary With This Drinking Game!

It’s the fifteen-year anniversary of the Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban movie, an adaptation beloved for its introduction of fan-favorite Sirius Black, who offered Harry a glimpse of the family and childhood he might have known. In addition to this heartwarming (and ultimately tearjerking) experience for Harry, we ALSO get to watch Hermione Granger punch Malfoy right in his smarmy little face. We love seeing Harry get his iconic Firebolt, and no matter how many times we’ve heard them, we always smile at iconic lines like you foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach!

 

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Gif Via WeHeartit

 

There are so many reasons why many believe the third franchise instalment to be the best Potter film of all. Critics cite this film as a moment that the story transitioned from binary good and evil to increasing moral ambiguity as director Alfonso Cuarón focused on interpersonal relationships and the tumultuous passage into the teenage years. Cuarón darkened the film’s color scheme to distance the ever-more-serious story from its more whimsical predecessors, and, most notably, gave the three protagonists their infamous character development essay assignment: you know, the one Emma worked hard on, Dan appreciated, and Rupert didn’t do. Though the first two films deal with powerful themes, the third marks the transition from childhood to adolescence and juxtaposes the complex reality of a teenager with the increasing tumult of the wizarding world.

 

 

Spoiler alert: Ron Weasley didn't do his character development essay because "he's Ron"

Image Via Pinterest

 

The hit film came out in 2004, and that DOES mean it’s been long enough since the iconic film was released that those born after it have gone out and gotten their learner’s permit. (It’s scary enough when some adults drive, let alone high school freshmen.) Most of us were children then, but we’re not anymore… and that means we’re old enough to play this drinking game. So break out your butterbeer or firewhiskey, turn on the TV, and turn UP in general.

(Booze & Books(tr) reminds you to drink responsibly & read voraciously!)

 

Take One drink when…

1. Harry casts a Patronus spell (trust us, you won’t want to do a shot for this one…)

2. A dementor appears onscreen

3. The boggart changes form

4. Harry learns he’s in “grave danger”

5. A Daily Prophet newspaper appears onscreen

6. The Whomping Willow changes seasons

7. “Sirius Black!” is said in a grave tone or hushed whisper

Image result for harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban drinking game

gIF viA thE oDYSSEY

 

TAKE TWO DRINKS WHEN…

1. Animal shapeshifting occurs

2. Buckbeak takes flight!

3. The trio sees their past selves (“is that what my hair really looks like from the back?”)

4. Mischief is managed—that could be the phrase “mischief managed” OR anytime mischief takes place, depending on your alcohol tolerance

 

FINISH YOUR DRINK WHEN…

Malfoy gets punched in the face, duhhhhhh.