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Candace Havens | Bright Lights in 2010…TV Pilots and books…

January 3, 2010

Candy’s Inside Books
A look at books, authors and movie events

I’m getting ready to head out to Los Angeles to cover the new TV season for the day job. I’ve seen a few of the new pilots and I liked some of them. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything very fresh – At least not yet. (Hollywood, if you’re listening I have some great books that could be turned into fabulous TV series. I haven’t ever seen a series about a witch who protects the British prime minister, or a magical librarian, or four sisters who protect our world from alien beings.

But I digress.

It occurred to me the other day that some of my favorite TV shows and films from 2009 were based on the lives of writers or were adaptations of books. “Castle” is one of my favorite television shows, which is about a fictional writer who works with a police detective to solve murders. I also liked the adaptation of Debbie Macombers“Mrs. Miracle,” which was a very sweet film.

“The Last Station” is a movie about Tolstoy’s struggle to balance is slightly insane family with his commitment to his belief in living a life with out material comforts. I must admit I didn’t know much about Tolstoy, but Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren and James McAvoy really brought his story to life.

I was also a big fan of “Julie & Julia,” which stars Meryl Streep as Julia Childs and Amy Adams as author and blogger Julie Powell. This one is out on video and I highly recommend it.  “Up in the Air” with George Clooney is based on a novel by Walter Kirn, and Clooney gives the performance of a lifetime in this one. I was also charmed by “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which also stars Clooney as one of the voices, and is based on the book by Roald Dahl.

But one of my absolute favorite films last year (it may not have been released yet in your city) was “Bright Star.” Directed by Jane Campion, the film follows the love of 19th century poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and the lovely seamstress Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish).  It’s one of the most romantic films I’ve seen in a very long time. Yet, the lovers barely ever touch. Just talking about it makes me want to watch it again.

As a writer, it’s fascinating for me to see what makes other writer’ tick, and to see how their works are adapted. Let’s face it, I don’t know a single writer who doesn’t secretly wish his or her book would be turned into a movie or television show. And I know my whacked out life could some day be the fodder for someone else’s entertainment, but it would most definitely be a comedy.

Let’s take a look at some of the cool releases out this month. Who knows? One of these may be on a television set or in a theater near you soon!

SEX on the beachMOON TOUCHEDSEX ON THE BEACH from Susan Lyons is every bit as sexy as it sounds. “The idea for Sex on the Beach came to me on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC,” says Lyons. “I thrive on sunshine and warmth, so I nourished my soul with memories of tropical holidays. I remembered how many people I’d seen getting married on the beach, and imagined the sexy fun that might ensue if a group of wedding guests assembled in Belize. And . . . ooh, ooh! What if each of the romantic couples had a reason for keeping their relationship secret? Could you imagine how complicated that could get? Well, let me tell you, it was complicated to write too, trying to keep track of who was doing what with whom, and when and where – but it was sure a lot of fun!”

MOON MARKED is the latest from Linda Thomas-Sundstrom. “In this "Wolf Moon" series of four books and Bites, I had four sets of heroes and heroines, each pair with a book of their own, per se,” Thomas Sundstrom says. “But some of them appeared in stories other than their own, entagling all of those eight people (not to mention the secondary characters) in the circumstances surrounding the plotline of  chasing down a criminal werewolf in Miami who is biting innocent people. Some of those pesky characters muscled in as I wrote, racking up some overtime, when I had no idea they were going to show up in some elses’ tale!  And literally all of them, plus those secondaries, gathered together in the final book ("Wolf Trap," March 2010), joining forces to try to take the nasty wolf down. Just try keeping all that straight! Let’s see now…. which Were had the brown pelt and blue eyes! How about the blue pelt with the brown eyes? NO! Duh! There is no such thing as a blue pelt! It was wicked fun, a real challenge, and more than a little mind-boggling – managing all those wolves and their pals. I’d heard werewolves were aggressive, but hey . . . their energy carried me right along, infecting me with their enthusiasm. Kept me on my writerly toes. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I hope I can!”

DANGEROUS HIGHLANDERETERNAL HUNTERDANGEROUS HIGHLANDER from Donna Grant came from her wondering why the Romans couldn’t take northern Britain. “I’ve always wondered about that,” says Grant. “Was it the Celts or something more? So my Dark Swords series was born with Druids, magic, and primeval gods locked inside Highlanders.”

ETERNAL HUNTER is set in the steamy South–in Baton Rouge, a city close to author Cynthia Eden’s heart.  “Baton Rouge seemed to be a perfect setting for shifters who chose to hunt in swamps,” she says, “and for charmers who spent their evenings in the company of gators.  In the Deep South, anything can happen and usually does.”

VODOOPlay it loudAnn Yost’sVOODOO THAT YOU DO” is all about second chances. “One of the subplots is about a pastor and the local mortician’s wife and how their affair affects the whole town,” Yost says. “It’s loosely based on an incident that occurred in my community.”

The lovely Gina Nelson’s first book “PLAY IT LOUD” is on bookshelves. It’s a sweet romance with a sensual edge that is perfect for adults and teens.

SKYLAR cowboySecret wifeSKYLAR’S OUTLAW was a difficult book for author Linda Warren to write. “The heroine’s four-year-old daughter has juvenile arthritis,” she says. “I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis since I was eighteen so I know the subject very well, but I never realized it would be so hard to write those emotions from a mother’s perspective. To ease Skylar’s worry I gave her a special hero, someone to share her burden, just like I have in my life. Enjoy SKYLAR’S OUTLAW.”

THE SHERIFF’S SECRET WIFE from Christyne Butler has characters from her first book “THE COWBOY’S SECOND CHANCE.” “This book was fun to write because the hero and heroine first appeared in that first book and they tried to take over every scene they were in,” says Butler. “I knew from the moment I met Racy and Gage that they had to have their own story, and it would be wild ride!”

BEDTIME STORIESTawny Weber is one of the authors featured in the Blazing Bedtime Stories III anthology with Tori Carrington. “There’s nothing more fun than mixing the sexiness of a Blaze with a little sassy magic of a fairy tale,” says Weber. “I had the best time writing YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, bringing my own twist to the classic Frog Prince fairy tale. Almost as fun was coming up with a variety of ways to torture my poor hero, whose curse has his once virile ego shrinking to tadpole proportions.”

Well, that’s it for this month, see you next month with more news…Candy

Candy is a nationally syndicated entertainment columnist, who has interviewed just about every celebrity there is in Hollywood and written thousands of articles. She is the author of the upcoming romantic suspense, CATCH ME IF YOU DARE as well as the Charmed & Dangerous series including CHARMED & READY CHARMED & DANGEROUS, CHARMED & DEADLY, and LIKE A CHARM. Her Caruthers sisters books DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES and THE DEMON KING & I are available now!

Her non-fiction prose includes JOSS WHEDON: THE GENIUS BEHIND BUFFY, and essays in ALIAS ASSUMED: SEX, LIES AND SD-6, and FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL. She’s also the entertainment critic providing the latest on TV, film and celebs for the radio station 96.3 KSCS. And she’s the managing editor for FYI Television.

You can visit Candy daily at her blog or her website

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