J.K. Rowling

Dear JKR,

Thank you. I grew up reading any and all books I could find, but none left such a mark as the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter gives me a feeling unlike any other. I would say it’s almost magical, but that would be cheesy. When I opened Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time, I got bored and set it down. It collected dust for about a year before I picked it up again, and then I couldn’t put it down. I attended all the midnight book releases, movie premieres, and had all the merchandise available at the time. I dreamt in Potter, and was convinced that I would get my letter each summer. I have laughed, sobbed, and screamed during my readings.

When I was diagnosed with depression, Harry Potter was there for me. No matter how little I am able to feel, Harry Potter allows me to feel. When I was hospitalized multiple times, I still had Harry Potter. Every bad day, break up, fight, or loss was lessened by the presence of my HP books. The last book came out nine years ago, but I will never stop rereading whether it be in print or audiobook. Harry Potter gives me life, hope, and happiness unlike anyone or anything I’ve ever known.

To say that Harry Potter saved my life would be an understatement. Thank you, Ms Rowling, for creating the most amazing universe for me to escape into when real life gets tough. Thank you for allowing movies to be made even if they don’t always match the brilliance of the books. Thank you for giving me a fandom where I feel so comfortable. Thank you for giving me friends in Hermione, Neville, and Ron; role models in Ginny and McGonagall; everlasting laughs from Fred, George, and Harry; and self-assurance and confidence from the examples of Luna and Tonks, who stayed true to themselves regardless of what the rest of the world had to say. I couldn’t imagine a world without Harry Potter in it. Thank you for giving me a way to turn on the light during my darkest of times.

Sincerely,
Juliana (Ravenclaw)

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In Defense of “Filmamir”

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Madeleine Cassier
Producer
Website | Twitter | GoodreadsBookTube

If you happened to read my previous post, “In the Shadow of ‘The Ring’,” you know I’m not the biggest fan of Tolkien. And, if you haven’t read that then, well, now you know: Tolkien and I don’t get along. But Peter Jackson and I? We have a much better relationship. Sure, his films can be overlong and easily criticized as “indulgent,” but there’s no denying he did something amazing with his film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings. In a time when fantasy was not selling well onscreen, Jackson undertook what could be lotrtwotowersconsidered one of the biggest and most ambitious film projects in the history of the business, to craft what would ultimately become both a critically and commercially successful fantasy film trilogy. With an overall budget somewhere around $300-million, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy grossed a grand total of almost $3-billion which, when unadjusted for inflation, makes it the bestselling film trilogy of all time. Not only that, the films walked away with a combined 17 Academy Awards; the third film, The Return of the King, currently sits in a 3-way tie with Ben-Hur and Titanic for most awards won for a single film.

But on a more personal note, Jackson made me actually enjoy Tolkien’s trilogy. Shocking, I know. But, as with any adaptation — especially of something perceived as a “classic” — there have been many controversies over the various adaptive changes from books to films within Jackson’s cinematic trilogy. One in particular even garnered its own, ire-filled name amongst purist detractors: “Filmamir.”

“Filmamir” — or, the film version of Faramir — as portrayed by actor David Wenham, represents one of Jackson’s greatest deviations from the source material: a combination of imagination and a need to balance the pacing of the storytelling within the cinematic trilogy. Faramir’s storyline, therefore, especially within the Two Towers film, is largely the invention of Jackson and the three other screenwriters.

And, quite frankly, not only do I like the change, but I think it improves upon the original material.

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Tortall, Emelan, and Birth Control (Followup to TBT #06)

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Dorothy McQuaid
Showrunner for Pycera/Social Media for BWP
Twitter | Blog | Email

I have to be honest- I learned a lot about sex and relationships from Tamora Pierce.

Tamora (or Queen Tammy, as fans sometimes affectionately dub her) is the author of numerous YA fantasy series, including Song of the Lioness, Protector of the Small, Immortals, Circle of Magic, and The Circle Opens. In this post, I’ll discuss why her approach to sex and birth control was so eye-opening for me. I’ll try not to get TOO spoiler-heavy, but if “abc learns xyz about birth control and does some kissing” is considered a spoiler, you may want to skip this post! The primary books discussed will be Song of the Lioness, Protector of the Small, and The Will of the Empress (a continuation of the Circle books.)

This post also discusses things like periods, birth control, and sex, so if those are not your cup of tea, this post won’t be either. 

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TBT Special: Writers’ Nook 05: Writing Partners, Life Partners

Join us for a special interview with Dave and Rebecca Kordesh, a recently (almost a month!) married couple who fell in love while plotting a novel. Hear how that novel is going and how they manage to be writing partners and romantic partners!

In this episode you heard from:
Dorothy | @bwp_dorothy
Rebecca | @rumy91989
Dave | 

This episode can also be found on Soundcloud, YouTube, and iTunes. Or, use your favorite podcast app and search “The Book Table!” Let us know if you can’t find us, and we’ll try to help!

The Book Table is a podcast from Backroom Whispering Productions.  Our theme music is by Mark Wayne.  

If you liked this podcast, rate us on iTunes!  Or get in touch with us:
Twitter  |  @BackroomWhisper
Facebook  |  facebook.com/BackroomWhispering
Email  |  BackroomWhispering@gmail.com

The Curse of Knowledge

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Madeleine Cassier
Producer
Website | Twitter | GoodreadsBookTube

A COMPANION TO TBT EPISODE 05

51sT1gF5PTL.jpgIn our most recent episode of The Book Table (TBT), we discussed Stormdancer, the first novel in the Lotus War trilogy by Australian writer, Jay Kristoff. Marketed as a Japanese-inspired steampunk series featuring what Patrick Rothfuss called “a strong female protagonist” in his blurb, it elicited some very different reactions amongst our discussion participants.

In our online book club, many people specifically picked upon Kristoff’s use of Japanese language and culture, calling it anything from “random” and “uneven” to “frustratingly wrong” and a little bit rage-inducing. The appropriation that formed the foundation of this book drove those familiar with Japanese culture and language to feelings of annoyance and irritation. A few members of our book club didn’t even finish Stormdancer, and a few more said they were unlikely to pick up the sequels.

For my part, I rated the book a solid 4 out of 5 stars and said that, despite acknowledging problems, I enjoyed it. I made a point in the podcast of saying that I had read the entire trilogy back in April 2015 over the course of about a week, so many of the details of all three books often blurred together in my remembering. Though, probably most importantly, I also mentioned that Japanese history and culture are not my forte. My knowledge-base on that topic comes predominantly from media, so I shall never claim myself an expert…ever.

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Character Gender Fluidity

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Madeleine Cassier
Producer
Website | Twitter | GoodreadsBookTube

A COMPANION TO NANOSODE 04

Very recently, I discussed POV characters with Rebecca, specifically trying to examine our opposite predilections as it pertained to the genders of our written POV characters: I predominantly write a male voice, whereas she leans towards the female.

While this was something to which I had truly never given much thought, our initial conversation sparked some thinking about my hitherto unexplored process by which I genesis my characters. Specifically, I began to realize that characters are “born” inside my head with near-100% gender fluidity or neutrality.

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TBT Special: Writers’ Nook 04

Your NaNoWriMo 2015 winners are back! Madeleine and Rebecca have a discussion over character genders, especially why they think they have opposite predilections from each other when it comes to choosing their characters’ genders. 

In this episode you heard from:
Madeleine  |  @madnbooks  |  youtube.com/madnbooks
Rebecca | @rumy91989

The Book Table is a podcast from Backroom Whispering Productions.  Our theme music is by Mark Wayne.  

If you liked this podcast, rate us on iTunes!  Or get in touch with us:
Twitter  |  @BackroomWhisper
Facebook  |  facebook.com/BackroomWhispering
Email  |  BackroomWhispering@gmail.com