June 22nd, 2007

Ooh , I wish Penguin would do this in the States

Publisher’s Weekly reports: “Penguin U.K. will be launching a book Web site this September for teenagers, run by a teen editorial board. According to The Bookseller, Penguin's research shows that three out of four teens get their information about books from the Internet. "We found that conventional marketing won't reach them but that we could reach this audience online," Puffin publicity director Adèle Minchin told the magazine. The site, www.spinebreakers.co.uk, will launch in September and will cover titles throughout the Penguin group.”

Now if only they had it in America, doesn’t it sound like a good fit with my thrillers Shock Point and next year’s Fire, Kiss, Electric Chair?



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Watching the blood flow

Okay, everybody knows by now that JT Leroy did not exist. There was no gay teen truck-stop prostitute writing novels that reflected his grubby life. Instead there was a 40-something Laura Albert who had never even been to West Virginia, JT’s supposed home. When one of JT Leroy’s books was optioned to be a movie, the story of the author probably carried more weight than the story itself, lending the novel the feeling that it was written from a deeply shattering truth.

But now the movie producers want their option money back.
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As the New York Times article says, “We bought the identity of the book’s author,” Mr. Curtner told the jury. He meant JT Leroy’s identity, which, with its alluring elements of poverty and prostitution, was perhaps more valuable than the book itself.

“And we bought it, in part,” Mr. Curtner said, “because she” — Ms. Albert — “was pimping it, pumping it, she was hustling it any way she knew how because she wanted to get the money.”

Ms. Albert, both in testimony and through her lawyer, Eric Weinstein, has said that JT Leroy was never a profit-making venture, despite the fact she paid a friend to appear in public as “JT” in a blond wig and sunglasses to promote the book. Her contention is that JT Leroy was not an ordinary nom de plume in the Mark Twain-Samuel Clemens mold but a fictional necessity, a sort of imaginary survival apparatus that allowed her both to write and to breathe.

On the stand, Albert has talked about being repeatedly molested. Her defense is that she needed JT to exist so that she could.
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The whole thing is kind of like a train wreck. It’s hard to look away.

Read more here, with links.



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