Book Beat: First Glimpse of the Mrs. W’s
Hello all! We are back this week with news about some of our favorite book series!
Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate have finally settled on a five year-long legal battle over Warner Bros.’ breach of contract and copyright infringement for Lord of the Rings merchandise – specifically “electronic and digital rights, rights in media yet to be devised or other intangibles such as rights in service.” In other words, the Tolkiens were really mad about that Lord of the Rings online slot game. So remember this, aspiring writers: be careful what rights you sell away. You probably don’t want to find out your characters are being used in gambling games through a spam email and you definitely don’t want your fans seeing that either!
Unfortunately, sometimes fans want certain products that just aren’t there. Take Wonka bars. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” just ended its tenure on Broadway (the national US. tour starts September 2018) and the entire time there were no Wonka bars, with or without a golden ticket, to be found and consumed by theater-goers. Unfortunately that’s because Nestlé, the company that makes the Wonka brand candy, has since discontinued the line due to disinterest. At least Rococo still makes Roald Dahl-themed chocolates even if they can’t produce Wonka bars or Everlasting Gobstoppers.It’s a real shame. I don’t even particularly like candy but I loved book-themed products and I know I’m not the only one.
Take fashion, for example. Who wouldn’t want a book-themed dress? Or, even better, a dress with a story written on it? Recently J.K. Rowling revealed that she has a dress with an unfinished fairytale written on it sitting in her wardrobe ever since she wore it to her own “private nightmare”-themed birthday party. I may just have to steal the idea. At the very least I’ll have something to covertly read while I’m being an introvert at my next party.
Friend is reading Harry Potter for the first time. He suddenly realizes he's read a fanfiction Order of the Phoenix instead of the real one. pic.twitter.com/tKNgT6usi6
— Shelley Zhang (@shelzhang) July 10, 2017
Speaking of Rowling, if you haven’t caught the Twitter thread about a guy who accidentally read Harry Potter fanfic and thought it was actually part of the series please go do so now (trigger warning for mentions of rape)! Just goes to show you reap what you sow – the reader in question had illegally downloaded the “series” instead of, I dunno, going to his local library and borrowing or downloading the books from there. No word yet on whether or not Jo has heard of this latest Potter-related news. Apparently the writer of said fanfic is now a professional author. Wonder what she thinks of all this new attention. If I ever uploaded my fanfic I’d take that secret to the grave, but everyone’s gotta start somewhere.
Some start writing and publishing really young. As in single-digit young. As in 6-year-old Caedence Baylee recently publishing Little Girl Brown, Where is Your Crown? official site It’s heartening to see a book that broadcasts the experience of young girls of color do so well (according to the book’s Little Girl Brown regularly sells out rapidly).
Of course it’s also important to add minority voices to existing, classic stories such as A Wrinkle in Time. We’ve finally got our first images of the Mrs. W’s – Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), and Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) – via “Entertainment Weekly” and they all look gorgeous. Selma-director Ava DuVernay, who also directed the lauded Selma, made sure to emphasize her conscious effort to include minority representation, saying, “I wanted a black Mrs., a white Mrs., and a Mrs. that was not either” (the TV movie version of Wrinkle featured Alfre Woodard as a black Mrs. Whatsit back in 2003). A Wrinkle in Time is slated for March 9, 2018. I cannot wait.