If your bookshelf looks anything like ours, it's likely sagging under the weight of all the amazing reads on their way to the big screen. From "The Mortal Instruments" to "Beautiful Creatures," we can hardly wait until our favorite literary characters come to life before our eyes.
As it happens, yesterday's news that "The Host" had landed a release date got us once again pondering who would be perfect to portray love interest Jared. Which then got us pondering all the other casting announcements we're absolutely itching for (we aren't a patient bunch). So while we suffer the interminable wait (thanks, studio red tape!), we list our 10 most anticipated adaptation casting announcements (in no particular order).
Character: Simon in "The Mortal Instruments" series
Who is he? Best friend to heroine Clary Fray (Lily Collins), romantic rival to Shadowhunter Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), rock god extraordinaire (in his dreams)
Latest buzz: Names like Logan Lerman and Asher Book have been bandied about for a while now, but the most intriguing rumor of late (courtesy of Young Adult Fantasy Guide webmaster Stacey O'Neale) is that "Eclipse" star Xavier Samuel auditioned for Jace, and though he didn't score the role, he made quite an impression on Screen Gems. Could he be a Simon contender? (Personally I think he's too old and a little too good looking for the part, but I won't say no to more Xavier in my movies.)
Good friends and fellow YA authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare have a number of things in common, from shoe size to their office assistant, and they've been on tour together for the past month to celebrate the release of Cassie's "City of Fallen Angels" and Holly's "Red Glove," the second book in her "Curse Workers" trilogy. Holly was the first of the two to see her books made into a movie—she's the co-author of the "Spiderwick Chronicles" series, which became a film in 2008. Now that Cassie's "City of Bones" is making its way to the big screen, has Holly shared any advice?
"I think the thing that's hardest about the experience, especially when it's the first time you go through it, is you know on one hand that you should never get excited—everyone tells you that you should never get excited," Holly said of the long book-to-movie process. "It was helpful to just wait and know that it was going to heat up and slow down and it takes however long it takes. But I remember walking around the ['Spiderwick'] set, walking through the goblin forest and thinking, 'OK, I think I can get excited now.'"
All week long (and for part of next week) we've been rolling out parts of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black's interview with each other, in which they've revealed a little about the upcoming books in their "Mortal Instruments" and "Curse Workers" series, and a lot about the thinking behind their novels. You may have noticed that the two look very relaxed as they bask in the sunshine on a patio and giggle at each others' questions. The video was actually shot by Holly's husband, Theo, while the authors were at their annual writing retreat in San Miguel de Allende, a town north of Mexico City. And it turns out, all that sunshine definitely helps their dark and broody YA stories grow.
"I have great memories [of being here], because I finished half of 'Red Glove' in a month's time last year, which is crazy for me," Holly said, when Cassie asked how it felt to be back in Mexico. "But I feel really great because I finished 'Black Heart'! I finished I finished! I feel really, really, really good."
It's no coincidence that Holly Black's "Curse Workers" novels, "White Cat" and "Red Glove" (due out next Tuesday), read a bit more like 1940s detective movies than your typical YA romance. Holly is a big fan of the noir genre, and in part two of her interview with pal and fellow writer Cassandra Clare, Cassie asked her about how she incorporates it into her stories about a young con artist in a family of magically gifted criminals.
"One of the things I really love about noir is it is an immensely romantic genre," Holly told the "Mortal Instruments" author during their annual writing retreat in Mexico. "The hard-boiled detective [stories] are very romantic! There's a guy who's come back from the war or some other hard time, and he thinks that he has lost his innocence. He's living a hardscrabble life, often as a private detective, and a lady walks in... She represents somehow his lost innocence, so he believes in her, even though he knows he shouldn't. He does whatever fool thing it is she wants him to do, and then she betrays him. In the process, he loses everything for that hope of love, which he usually doesn't get."
In Holly Black's "White Cat," Cassel Sharpe wakes up precariously perched on the roof of his boarding school dorm room, in his underwear, with no idea how he got there. And this isn't the first time he's woken up in the middle of something, his memory of the preceding moments wiped clean. That's kind of how I feel after spending a weekend entirely sucked up by my latest book obsession — I'm sure my life went on without me, but it didn't seem to matter as much as the fictional world occupying my brain.
That's how it was the weekend I dove into "White Cat," the first in Holly's "Curse Workers" trilogy, and during the weeks when I was lugging around massive copies of Cassandra Clare's "Mortal Instruments" books. Maybe it shouldn't be surprising that these two extraordinarily imaginative and addictive authors are good friends — and their next books, Holly's "Red Glove" and Cassandra's "City of Fallen Angels," are coming out on the same day, April 5.
And we're totally taking advantage of their friendship, for your benefit: While they were on a writing retreat in Mexico earlier this month, Cassandra and Holly interviewed each other just for us!