Monday, June 30, 2008

Nicholas Sparks: More than a writer

Wanted to share with you this recent wonderful profile of Nicholas Sparks, which ran in the New York Times sports section. That's right: sports section. That's because Nick is a long-time track and field enthusiast who has decided to put his money where his hometown heart is, becoming a huge benefactor of New Bern, North Carolina's local sports teams. What the kids and their coach have to say about Nick is really moving. (In the photo above right, that's Nick in the khaki pants with some of the local track stars.) Select Editions readers always knew that Nick Sparks has a big heart, and this story proves it.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Casting choices for the film of THE GHOST

This just in from Hollywood: Roman Polanski's film adaptation of Robert Harris's The Ghost starts filming this fall, with Nicolas Cage playing the ghostwriter, Pierce Brosnan playing the former prime minister, and Tilda Swinton as the ex-PM's wife.

I think that's pretty interesting casting, and now look forward to the movie. By the way, what did SE readers think of the twist ending in The Ghost? I've been wanting to discuss it, but didn't want to give anything away. Post your comments here.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Crais clues: Fun with Joe Pike's red jeep Cherokee

In The Watchman, which is part of Robert Crais's Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series, Pike is forced to abandon his trademark red Jeep Cherokee and drive a friend's old battered green Lexus. Where does the Cherokee go? Why, it appears in The Two Minute Rule, Crais's 2006 standalone novel, when bank-robber-gone-straight character Max Holman steals it from a parking lot (with good reason, of course). We are confident Pike gets it back somewhere along the line.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Picture this

Laments the narrator of Robert Harris’s The Ghost (Select Editions volume 297) when he arrives on the island of Martha’s Vineyard for the first time: “Until that moment I was unfamiliar with scrub oak. Maybe it looks good in full leaf. But in winter I doubt if nature has a more depressing vista to offer than mile after mile of those twisted, dwarfish, ash-colored trees.”

Coincidentally, I had been scheduled for a vacation on Martha’s Vineyard just before I started work on the book—so I decided to provide a snapshot from the island itself to help our readers further crystallize the image of these gnarly but sturdy trees. The photo was taken in early November, and the book takes place in January, so the colors aren’t the same. Still, the shape, the rugged athleticism of the trees—when I close my eyes I can still see them in my mind.

Wouldn’t you know that during the time I was there the island was hit by a violent nor’easter, a remnant of Hurricane Noel. The scrub oaks in the yard of our rented house swayed dramatically in the wind, but very few branches broke. The low-to-the-ground silhouette and the octopus-like branches withstood some of the worst nature has to offer. Look at us, Robert Harris! they seemed to say. We may be ugly, but we’re strong!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Is there a doctor in the house?

If you’ve read the AfterWords profile of Nicholas Sparks at the end of The Choice in the latest volume of Select Editions, you know that Sparks was a pharmaceutical salesman before he became a bestselling novelist. It is not uncommon for writers to start out life as something else. Most, in fact, start their careers as evening-and-weekend scribblers, only dreaming of seeing their names on the spines of a real books. Theirs is a solitary discipline, and it typically involves a long apprenticeship before anyone can spin such polished tales as Message in a Bottle or A Walk to Remember.

Below is a short roster of some of the most illustrious members of the literary House of Fame and their alternate trades. A few combinations, I’m sure, will surprise you.
Kristin Hannah—Lawyer
Jeffery Deaver—Lawyer
T. S. Eliot—Banker
Nora Roberts—Legal Secretary
Charles Dickens—Journalist
Joseph Conrad—Ship’s captain
Robin Cook—Doctor
Anton Chekov—Doctor
W. Somerset Maugham—Doctor
Arthur Conan Doyle—Doctor


Monday, June 2, 2008

Things I want to know about Joe Pike

The Watchman delves more deeply into Joe Pike's character than any other ELvis Cole/Joe Pike novel Robert Crais has written. Yet, I want more! I have so many questions. Honestly, doesn't Pike smile more than a twitch EVER? He must. Do his teeth ever show? And how does he see in the dark with the sunglasses? Does he have special lenses that let in more light or something? I like that he wears them all the time, but the reality factor is distracting me a little.

I would like to see Joe Pike in a book with a kid. How would he behave? Would the kid soften him up (relatively speaking)? Or would the kid stir up past memories that Pike could not handle. We know Joe's dad was a monster, but what abou his mom? And does Pike read books? If so, what kind. Maybe he could have a long lost relative, a sister separated at birth (Princess Leia style) many questions.

Where did he grow up? What part of the country is he from? Has he ever worn a tie? Why did he pick red for his Jeep Cherokee when red is a bright color, and Pike says he is trying to be invisible. I guess I'll have to wait for the sequel...