Recently I was featured on the blog of Liss Thomas - for a fun Author Interview! Go check it out below!
Thanks for having me, Liss. It was a lot of fun!
Recently I was featured on the blog of Liss Thomas - for a fun Author Interview! Go check it out below!
Thanks for having me, Liss. It was a lot of fun!
Today I'm delighted to be joined by the incredibly talented Andrez Bergen, who took time out from his busy schedule to tell me a little about a couple of books that he's got coming out in the near future. Being a huge fan of his work I am VERY interesting to hear what he's got to say - and I'm sure you guys are as well. If you guys like comic style stories, I think you'll want to read this one!
Take it away, Andrez!
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Author Andrez Bergen unveils meaning behind his upcoming books 'The Condimental Op' and 'Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?'
Although "Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?" is my newest novel, set to be published on September 27th, there are elements of the 473-page tome that render it the oldest in my imaginative repertoire.
Meanwhile, one of the newest parts in the book ended up on the cutting room floor — but you can read up on that in a collection being published in July, called "The Condimental Op".
Sound complicated and/or strange?
Well, "The Condimental Op" is as I say a collection, bringing together new, old, unpublished and reject material of mine from 1989 to the current period, including outtakes from my three novels including "Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat" and "One Hundred Years of Vicissitude". The new, ditched section of "Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?", a prologue piece, is also one of these outtakes.
Both the collection and the new novel are being published two months apart by Perfect Edge Books in the UK.
"Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?" dives into the old school quite literally.
It's a noir/sci-fi mystery that's set in a world of comicbook superheroes, but also reflects Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. It bounces time-wise somewhere between an art deco infused 1930s and the hip Marvel Comics take on New York from the '60s.
And the fact is that while I pushed through high school consuming and adoring detective noir, I dreamed about being a comic book writer/artist. I grew up on the things, especially original versions and black-and-white reprints of Marvel's '60s range, things like Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Captain America, Hulk, Thor and Ant-Man.
I have a confession to make to anyone who’ll listen — I adore 1960s comic books and occasionally obsess over comic artist Jack ‘King’ Kirby. His work for Marvel in the mid to late 1960s, the so-called silver age or pop-art era, remains mind-boggling for me 50 years after it was first drafted.
It's why, in high school, I conjured up my homegrown Australian hero Southern Cross as doodles in a notebook. Costume-wise he was very much inspired by Kirby's interpretations of both Captain America and the Black Panther—spiced up with a touch of Barry (Windsor) Smith's influence and that of Frank Miller when it came to the poses.
When I was 20-odd I finally got up the courage to send Southern Cross to Marvel Comics—in particular addressed to one of the few establishing creators I still recognized at the top: Stan Lee.
Unfortunately, although Stan's name usually topped off every splash page in every issue of Marvel Comics during what was then the tail end of the bronze age of comics (the mid to late '80s), with "Stan Lee Presents...", he'd retired as editor-in-chief.
So even though I got an initial letter back from Stan Lee's P.A., saying "Stan thinks Southern Cross is a great idea, and is going to recommend it to the editorial staff at Marvel," subsequent correspondence from Tom DeFalco (the ed-in-chief at the time) shot down the concept in flames.
So I stuck Southern Cross in a desk drawer until dusting him off in 2012 — and asked better atists like Dave Acosta (see here) to have a go.
And while Southern Cross relates to my childhood, other bits of "Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?" directly reference my ulterior career making music since 1996.
I've worked under 25 different aliases, creating mostly electronic music that veers from hip hop and techno to experimental, and some of these aliases sounded like perfect names for dim-witted and supercilious superhero types. Hence in the novel Little Nobody, Slam-Dunk Ninja, Funk Gadget, Psyborg-9, Schlock Tactile, Nana Mouskouri's Spectacles, Dick Drone, Curvaceous Crustacean, Atomic Autocrac — well, they all get a shoo-in here. As does Iffy Bizness and his roll of stickers, based on the record label (IF?) that I ran in Melbourne from 1995. It's still around, these days helmed by cool DJ/producer Sebastian Bayne.
The other Capes' names all have their own background yarn, but I need to keep some secrets. A few are riffs on or homages to golden age characters from the 1940s, while others reference mates, Aussie and Japanese cultural icons, and more recent Australian-made comic book glitterati.
The leader of the Equalizers, Sir Omphalos (a.k.a. The Big O), who is assassinated at the beginning of the novel, is reasonably fresh — although his murder was an integral part of the story until just a few months ago. I remember writing scrap-notes about his unsuspecting demise, and intended to use that as one of two prologues for "Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?"
I was fortunate enough to have a character design for him drawn by Maan House in Uruguay (see here) this January, a collaborative combination of ideas between us that included an unused design for Captain America by Jack Kirby, the Equalizers’ logo on the belt buckle, and the cape-design for Captain America’s short-time alias Nomad — created by Sal Buscema and Gil Kane in 1974.
Funnily enough, I abandoned this particular prologue by the time of tweaking the final manuscript in the rewrite of "Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?"earlier this year, because the thing didn’t want to click.
There's a Celsius/Fahrenheit riff in there that was pretty much dead in the water no matter how much I really wanted to work with it, and without the riff the scene was just plain bland. Keeping the Big O’s actual death “unknown”, aside from basic information, adds to the man’s mystique. So I removed the prologue — but opted to run with it in "The Condimental Op".
After all, as a friend of mine recently quipped, that book is like the DVD extras collection, helping pad-out, undercut and understand the novels in greater detail.
I like that allusion.
I'll be sure to keep an eye out for both these novels as they sound right up my street! Anyone that mentions either Jack Kirby or Stan Lee is ok in my book! Thanks for taking the time to vist my blog, Andrez.
Don't forget to leave a comment below with your thoughts about this upcoming novel.
Have a great weekend guys!
WARNING: The following blog contains a LOT of spoilers from various movies, TV shows, books, video games and comics. Read at your own risk!
So, I’m sure some of you are still reeling from the shock ending in the recent Game of Thrones episode, The Rain of Castamere. It was an episode with a shock ending the likes of which very few have seen – resulting in the death of a few main characters. This is an episode that has caused a lot of kerfuffle on social media, with a lot of fans voicing their upset for the death of such popular characters. Myself, I kind already knew what was gonna happen as I had already read the books – but I was amazed at how well (and how heartbreaking) the scene was. It left me cold afterwards and actually brought several tears to my eyes, much like the scene in the book.
But despite all the controversy surrounding it, one mustn’t forget that Game of Thrones isn’t the ONLY show that has killed off main characters in the past. In fact, the idea of killing off main characters as part of the plot has been a staple in quite a lot of other media. So, after seeing that episode, it inspired me to write this blog – where I look at the Top Five most shocking deaths in fiction. These are deaths that have caused upset, uproar, or just came out of nowhere. These are the deaths of some of the most popular characters in fiction, ones that have haunted our emotions for several years and made us cry "OMG!"
If you haven’t read the spoiler warning at the beginning of the blog, now’s your time to back away if you don’t want to see the results. Keep in mind, this is just based on stuff that I’ve seen, or know about. It’s also listed in no particular order, like all my Top Five posts. Let’s begin. Grab your hankies as we weep for these amazing characters, whose death changed our lives. Or rather mine! They are listed in no particular order.
1. Omar Little – The Wire
Of all the characters in The Wire that they could have killed off, WHY did they have to kill this guy? He was one of the coolest characters in the whole show! His death was one of the few times I’ve have to pause the TV and take a few moments to scream “No, that did NOT just happen!” Simply because his death comes out of nowhere and doesn’t happen how you expect it to.
For me, Omar was one of the most interesting characters in The Wire. He was a kind of “Robin Hood” drug dealer that stole from others so that he could sell on himself. This earned him the fear (and hatred) of other dealers in the area. Omar was a shrewd and cunning man who would set traps for his victims, rather than going in guns blazing. In fact, Omar usually tried to avoid violence unless it was a last resort – but he wasn’t afraid to go out firing if he was backed into a corner or his friends (or lovers) were threatened. Occasionally, he would just walk down the street, whistling Bringing in the Sheep, which served as a warning to nearby dealers that “Omar comin’!”
But Omar, unlike a lot of drug dealers in the show, was more than just a cold blooded killer. He had a code of ethics that meant that no innocents would be harmed. He always looked out for his own team and even blamed himself when a crew member got killed. He was also an openly gay dealer, something which a lot of the gangs in Baltimore took umbrage to. In fact, one time they even had a boyfriend of his killed to send a message. A couple of times, Omar went into hiding, but after Marlon (a rising drug lord that Omar had p***ed off) killed one of his friends, Omar returned, systematically hunting down Omar’s crew and calling him out.
In the end, Omar met his end not at the hands of Marlon or his crew – but a little kid. A kid that shot him in the back of the head whilst purchasing cigarettes at a store. This is completely against how you expect Omar to go out – considering he’s been in many death defying situations and always come out (relatively) unscathed. He even escaped a gun fight by throwing himself out a window and breaking his leg – and THIS is how he goes out?
I won’t lie I was kinda p***ed off at how he went out like this, but then The Wire isn’t about Hollywood style shoot outs. It’s about a city ravaged by drugs and poverty and a place where violence can happen at the drop of a hat. And Omar’s death shows that, despite all the urban myths and celebrity status he had amongst the dealers, he was still mortal. But I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was shocked at the way he went out the series.
2. Optimus Prime - Transformers
No, I’m not talking about the crappy Michael Bay Transformers movies (you suck, Bay!), I’m talking about the TRUE Optimus Prime of the 80’s cartoon series. In particular, the infamous death of Optimus Prime in The Transformers: The Movie – a death that traumatised many childhoods.
The Tranformers movie (released in 1986) was actually not a big success at the time and had very little commercial help – but has since gained a cult following. Nevertheless, Transformers was a very popular cartoon (and toy series) at the time and so it did garner a lot of attention from the fans. It’s worth mentioning that this film was the last film Orson Wells (who voiced Unicron) did before he died. Apparently he was so ill when they filmed it that they had process his voice, which I actually think helped as his voice was just creepy as hell to listen to. Other big name stars include Leonard Nimoy and (of all people) Eric Idle. But I’m getting off track.
At the time that they were doing this film, Hasbro was bringing out a new toy series and so they asked that some older characters be killed off to make way for the newer ones. This means that The Transformers movie has a much darker tone than the previous series and a lot of Autobots (and some Decepticons) are killed off – one of which was Optimus Prime, who passes on The Matrix of power to Ultra Magnus as the new leader of the Autobots.
But Hasbro didn’t realise how much this would upset their fans. There was a lot of backlash over Optimus Prime’s death, with many fans sending in letters of how upset they were. This backlash was so great that they even changed the fate of the character Duke in G.I.Joe: The Movie, who was also supposed to die, but just went into a coma and revived off screen. Even Peter Cullen, the voice actor, was amazed at how popular a character he was.
So how could one character be so beloved? Well, for me, Optimus Prime was a true symbol of heroism. He was a moral, ethical and beloved leader that would always put himself in danger to protect his soldiers and the humans. He never gave up in the face of danger and would ALWAYS lay his life down to protect the humans. He also had one of the coolest voices of any fictional characters at the time. And if that wasn’t cool enough, he could turn into a truck! Let’s face it, what kid WOULDN’T love the idea of a truck that could change into a giant robot?
Optimus Prime’s death is so infamous that in 2010, when the Nostalgia Critic did his Top 11 Saddest Nostalgic Moments, he received a lot of complaints from fans for not including this death scene. He would later go on to explain his reasons in the Top 11 F*** Ups video, but even he had to admit he made a mistake not including this scene. Michael Bay even tried to pay “tribute” to this scene by killing off Optimus Prime in Revenge of the Fallen – but he failed to even come CLOSE to the emotional feeling that the original scene had in my opinion. As I said, you suck Michael Bay!
3. Gwen Stacy – Spider-Man Comics
I already covered this in a previous blog, but because I’m sure you guys don’t have time to sift through pages and pages of my previous posts, I’ll quickly go over it again.
Gwen Stacy was the original girlfriend of Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man. She was a feisty, hot headed and very strong female character that was popular amongst many fans. So one has to wonder why Marvel would kill off a popular character, but they did. In a scene that has become infamous in Marvel history, the Green Goblin captured Gwen Stacy (having discovered Spider-Man’s true identity) and took her to a bridge. During the fight, Gwen was knocked off the top and Spider-Man threw a web to catch her and pull her up – only to find her dead.
To me, this is great storytelling – albeit a little depressing. After all, back then the hero always saved the girl and had a happy ending. So for a hero to FAIL to save a heroine it was a big thing at the time. Not only that, but the sound effect by Gwen Stacy’s neck when his web stops her suggests that it was SPIDER-MAN that killed her, as the sudden stop created a whiplash effect to break her neck. Can you imagine the level of guilt that would bring onto someone knowing that they were responsible (however unintentional) in killing the love of their life? Well it certainly had a profound effect on Spider-Man and he’s never forgotten about it. So much so that, when the Green Goblin tried a similar thing to Mary-Jane, Spider-Man was able to save her by shooting loads of webs at once, meaning that her entire body was supported and gradually slowed down, so that there would be no breakages.
But this event didn’t stop Marvel fans from turning on the comic company. Stan Lee, in particular, got a lot of hate mail from the fans, so much so that he practically BEGGED the writers to bring her back. In the end, she came back as a clone, leading to the Clone Wars saga (not the Star Wars film that is), a series which is considered by many fans as the best and the worse of Spider-Man storylines.
Gwen has never really returned in person to the comics, but she has made a lot of appearances in recent Spider-Man media, in particular the new Spider-Man films. Whether or not she will receive the same fate as her comic counterpart remains to be seen.
4. Aerith Gainsborough – Final Fantasy VII
If you’re a fan of Final Fantasy (or RPG’s in general), chances are you’ve played Final Fantasy VII. Arguably the most popular of the Final Fantasy series (although many I have spoken to consider Final Fantasy VI the best of the series – take from that what you will), this game was definitely one of the flagship titles of the PlayStation and practically anyone who had a PlayStation owned this game.
Now personally, I don’t really play a lot of RPG’s, but Final Fantasy VII was a game that I play religiously. For me, it had an epic story, great characters, a fun variety of special moves and magic that you could command and a lot of sub-games that you could play to gain many special bonuses. But for me, once you got the Knights of the Round material, there is no excuse NOT to complete the game.
Aerith plays an important part in the game. When Cloud (the protagonist) first meets her, she’s just a flower girl in trouble with Shinra, the evil corporation that AVALANCE are fighting. However, as the story goes on, Aerith proves to be descendant of a power race called The Ancients, and the key to stopping Sepiroth’s evil plan. Throughout the game, Aerith and Cloud have a kind of “will they-won’t they” relationship, fighting alongside Tifa for Cloud’s affection. Aerith is also a very powerful member of the team as she has many abilities to heal and cure her allies, making her a great support caster. She’s also such a kind and compassionate girl that she even brings out a softer side to Cloud. Many were hoping that the two would end up falling in love.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be. In what is considered to be one of the most shocking moments in video game history, Aerith later goes after Sepiroth on her own. AVALANCE meet her praying at a temple for the planets aid. Sepiroth glides down from the air, slaying her with his sword. The music that plays next is one of the saddest and moving pieces of music ever heard in a video game in my opinion. I remember when this scene happened, I actually dropped my joypad in shock. I had become so invested in these characters that seeing one of them dead, without anything I could do to stop it. It also made me hate Sepiroth as a character and I REALLY wanted to kill him after that.
Seems like I wasn’t the only one that was affected by this. Loads of other players were so traumatised by this that a rumour started that there was actually a way to bring her back to life in the game. Many tried it in the hope that they could bring her back. Sadly, it turned out to just be a wish-fulfilment fantasy. Aerith’s death is plot driven, and is a catalyst for Cloud, before he was just a selfish mercenary – but her death makes him realise how far Sepiroth will go to hurt him and he becomes the hero of the story. I will say this though, the final battle with Sepiroth is one of the most satisfying final battles ever. It feels like a real Anime, where the hero finally owns the bad guy and gives them the punishment they deserve.
Aerith’s death was a major factor for me wanting to go into writing Fantasy in the first place – in fact, her death inspired a certain scene in one of my books. Those who have read my work will probably know what I’m talking about. Aerith would go on to appear in other Final Fantasy VII works, but her death is still considered by many as one of the most memorable moments in video game history.
5. Adriana La Cerva – The Sopranos
Poor Adriana. In a show like The Sopranos, you expect death every episode – and they weren’t shy about killing off main characters either. But Adriana’s death is the one death I wish never happened – and it still leaves me cold just thinking about it.
Adriana never had an easy life in The Sopranos. Partner to Christopher Moltisanti, Adriana had a lot of advantages that a lot of other girls never had – such as the finest things in life. Problem was that Christopher was often abusive to her (and often beat her). She suffered many humiliations at the hands of Christopher, but she still loved him – probably out of fear. I actually felt really sorry for Adriana, she was probably one of the more likable characters in the series. Sure, she was no angel, but compared to a lot of characters in The Sopranos, she was a saint!
Late into the run of the show, Adriana is captured by the F.B.I. and “recruited” as a mole so that they can keep an eye on the Soprano family. Knowing that being a mole for the F.B.I. is a risky business, as a lot of moles end up being killed, we know straight away that this will end badly for Adriana. Hoping that she can someway use this to try and give her and Christopher a happy life and spare him from any criminal charges, Adriana has no choice but to agree. But the guilt of betraying her friends and family gets to her, and she eventually admits to Christopher what happened.
At first, Christopher is enraged and tries to kill her. But then he calms down and the two make a plan to escape, so that neither the F.B.I. or the mafia can get them. As Adriana packs her bags, she gets a call from Tony, saying that Christopher is in the hospital, having tried to kill himself. She is picked up by Silvio Dante and driven to the hospital to see Chris. Or so we think. Silvio and kind and calm with Adriana, assuring her that Christopher will be ok. But when Adriana looks out the window, seeing a forest, she breaks down crying, knowing what her fate is to be – and where Christopher’s loyalties TRUELY lie. In one of the hardest scenes to watch, Silvio turns off the road into the forest, Adriana begs for her life and tries to escape. The camera pans away as Silvio draws his gun and a shot is heard.
At this point, many fans didn’t WANT to believe that Adriana was dead, given that she was a popular character in the show and one of the few that had any redeeming features. Many argued that she wasn’t really dead as you didn’t actually see her getting shot, like you did with other characters in the show. Adding to that was that the actress, Drea de Matteo, was scheduled to appear in the final season, this seemed to prove the fans theory that she was alive. Sadly, it was only in flashbacks or dreams that Adriana appeared – proving that she was, indeed, dead. Just goes to show that just because you want something to be true, doesn’t make it so.
When me and my brother started watching repeats of The Sopranos, I’d hoped that watching this scene would be a little less painful – but it was even MORE so for some reason. I honestly felt that she didn’t deserve this. She wasn’t a totally bad person in my view, she just had a crappy hand dealt. But I have to say, as much as I hoped that Adriana was alive, I always had to call BS when fans said she wasn’t really dead. For one thing, why would Silvio NOT kill her? He was loyal to the family and would always do what was necessary to protect them, even murder. It would also been a cop out if she had survived in my view as The Sopranos was not that type of show that had happy endings.
I would have thought that a show that pretty much told you to expect death virtually every episode wouldn’t be too surprising for people. But that just goes to show that, if the audience love a character enough, even a show full of violence can surprise you.
That’s my list, what deaths have shocked YOU the most in fiction? Please leave a comment below to let me know.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!
All above images are copyright of their respective holders.
Hey guys! Just giving a shout out to my good friend Mysti Parker, who today is releasing her latest book Heart's in Exile, the third book in the Tallenmere series. If you love Fantasy Romance then I highly recommend this series of novels. Details and links below!
A lot of people like to say how they want their favourite book to be turned into a film and/or a TV series. Which I think is pretty cool – I mean, what can be better than your favourite story being shown on the big screen? However, you don’t see a lot of people talking about how they want their favourite indie book being put onto the big screen. So that’s the subject of today’s Top Five blog.
Now, for myself, I would LOVE it if my books were turned into an Anime series or film, done by either Bones animation studio (who did Full Metal Alchemist) or Production I.G – but this isn’t about me. This is about five indie novels that I’ve read that I think would benefit from having a film or TV show made of their story. For any indie authors reading this, if I didn’t name your book I’m sorry in advance. That doesn’t mean I think your book sucks, I just am only limited to just five!
Also bear in mind this is based on books I’ve read only. So here we go, in no particular order.
1. A Ranger’s Tale by Mysti Parker
(Note: This book has had a different cover since this blog, but I don't have the new front cover, so I'm posting the old one)
The book series that helped me appreciate Romance novels a lot more and made Mysti Parker one of my favourite authors. A Ranger’s Tale is the first book in the Tallenmere series and a brilliant Fantasy Romance. It tells the story of Caliphany (a great character), stuck between her own desires and the wills of her abusive father. She’s also stuck between a romance between Galadin and Jayden and has to make some tough choices along the way.
A Ranger’s Tale has such wonderfully crafted characters and a great story (that actually wouldn’t feel out of place if set in modern times) that I think it deserves to be made into a film so that others can be introduced to this great series. Also, given the rise in popularity of Game of Thrones, I think now would be a great time to introduce a Fantasy story that isn’t necessarily about epic quests and slaying monsters, but personal struggles as well.
Who could we get to direct this film? How about Sofia Coppola of Lost in Translation fame? I think she would do a great job with this film, given that there is a lot of great room for character development in this story. She could direct the film from the point of view of the characters (just like the book) so that we get the individual thoughts and feelings of the main heroes – leading it to an open ended story whereby we can let the viewer decide which of the characters they’d like to support. I think it would also be great for Sofia to show off her skills, taking on a high budget idea like this one.
Naturally, I think all of the Tallenmere series could make great films. But why not start with this one and see how it goes from there?
2. A Stiff Kiss by Avery Olive
This novel I think would make a VERY powerful drama. Seeing as it deals with the feeling of loss and regret (and in some ways, forbidden love), A Stiff Kiss is almost begging for a film adaptation of it. It’s a great teen drama that also has a lot of mature elements to it, making it a great coming of age story. If that doesn’t make for a great film then I don’t know what does.
Now, the obvious choice for a director, giving A Stiff Kiss is a supernatural teen drama, this would probably be Catherine Hardwicke, director of Twilight and Red Riding Hood, amongst others. However (and at the risk of upsetting some people) I have to say that I do NOT consider her a great director and her films (at least the ones I’ve seen) are just terrible! Red Riding Hood in particular I just couldn’t finish because it was so bland and uninspired. But, of course, that’s just my opinion.
No, I think a better choice would be Joss Whedon. I know he’s mainly known for doing comic book movies (and of course Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly), but Joss Whedon is able to direct the characters in his movies with humanity and wit, so that even if they are super powered heroes, we never forget that they had emotions at heart. Also, he did direct a movie adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing in 2012, so he CAN do other things than superhero stuff. Also, he’s a great writer and director and I think he will have a lot of fun adapting this story.
Sorry if I upset any fans of Catherine Hardwicke with my earlier rant. I’m sure she’s a nice person, I just don’t personally rate her as a director. I also feel that A Stiff Kiss is such an emotional story that it deserves a director that will be able to bring out the emotional content in a way that it deserves.
3. The Plaza by Guillermo Paxton
Never have I been so moved by a novel than this one. The Plaza is a gritty, no holds barred story telling of how the city of Juarez, Mexico has been destroyed by the drug barons. It is a city where the drug lords rule and crime is rampant. Even the police, the ones dedicated to protecting the public interest are just as corrupt as the criminals they are supposed to capture. I even said at the time when I reviewed it that this show deserves to be made into a film or TV show if only to bring awareness to the problem.
I can think of no other writer/director that would have the job of bringing this story to life then David Simon, creator of The Wire and co-creator of Treme. Giving that The Wire alone shows have been praised for their gritty realism and honest portrayal of a city in peril, who better than to bring the harsh reality of Juarez onto the screen. It would be a very bleak series and not one that everyone could stomach – but you can’t really tip-toe around this subject and, personally, I think this would be one of those situations where the more violent and disturbing it is, the more people will come to appreciate the dangers that the people have to suffer.
Normally Simon does tend to film a lot of his stuff in real urban areas to get that realistic feel – but I don’t think he’d be able to do this in Juarez for real. The drug barons would probably not let that happen. But I do think that The Plaza does need to be made into a TV show to show everyone what a crisis the city is in. It may actually go some way to solving the problem. I hope.
4. Vaalbara: Visions and Shadows by Michelle Horst
I kinda gave this book a bit of a hard time in my review of it, considering that I was torn between the concepts and thought it was maybe a little too dark for a YA novel, given that it dealt with the destruction of humanity as we know it. But at the same time I also thought that it was a really good story, chronicling the rise of Alchera from a simple nobody, to the one responsible for saving some of the human race so that they can make way for a new perfect world. It kinda had mixed messages, but at its core it was a really great story and, again, another “coming of age” tale.
Needless to say, it would definitely make for an exciting, high budget action film that, as long as they keep the pathos and human spirit aspect, could end up being a great summer blockbuster. As such, my choices for bringing this film to life would either be Peter Jackson or Steven Spielberg. After all, when it comes to creating blockbusters that have heart, who better than those to? You only have to Google their names to see the list of classic films that they have done to know that they would be perfect for this choice. Admittedly, they would probably try to go for a less darker ending and maybe change the emphasis a little for the purpose of making it more of a “happy ending”, but for the most part I think they could do a good job.
I just really hope that Roland Emmerich doesn’t get his hands on this, as he’d just turn it into a high budget disaster movie for the sake of it with little storyline or anything. An adaptation of this deserves time and effort to make it into an enjoyable film that is both dramatic, yet poignant. But if done right, I think it will make an amazing film.
5. One Hundred Years of Vicissitude by Andrez Bergen
Being a huge fan of Studio Ghibli, I think this is one book that would make an amazing Anime film – especially if Hayao Miyazaki got his hands on it.
Why do I think that? Because One Hundred Years of Vicissitude is full of a lot of themes that Miyazaki is fond of. The story is full to the brim of Japanese mythology and history (which he often mixes in), but also intermixes it with the World War and Hiroshima bombings, and Miyazaki is strongly anti-war (so much so that, when Spirited Away won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, he refused to attend the ceremony because he "didn’t want to visit a country that was bombing Iraq") so I think he could do a lot with this.
Not only that, One Hundred Years of Vicissitude has a very strong and interesting female lead in the form of Kohana – and a lot of Miyazaki’s film’s have a strong female protagonist. But not only that, I think the dynamics between her and the character of Wolram would make for a lot of comedic effects.
But the main reason that I think this would work so well as a Miyazaki film is that One Hundred Years of Vicissitude is, for me, a story about personal growth – looking back over your life and learning from the mistakes. Even reading this book, the ending I imagined having music by Mamoru Fujisawa (who has worked on a LOT of Miyazaki films) play over the end to capture the raw emotion of the final scene. I always felt that Miyazaki's films have a lot of heart to them, so this would be perfect for him to direct.
Reading this, it’s almost like One Hundred Years of Vicissitude could have been specially written for Hayao Miyazaki. Therefore it makes sense that he could do a great job with this film.
Those are my choices for the Top Five indie books that could become films. What are your fav indie books that you would like to see as films? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.
Thanks for reading guys. Have a great day!