Literary Citizenship

Writers on the BIG SCREEN


For the past three years fans of HBO’s wildly popular series Game of Thrones has dominated television ratings and social media. It’s become one of the most popular shows on television with an average of 11.6 million people watching every show, even reruns!

The show is based off the series A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin who is also heavily involved in the process of creating the show itself. The series was published in 1996 and as of now contains five books. Because of the success of the HBO show the book series has become more and more popular in the past few years with old and new fans alike. In addition to the five book Martin has also published companion books such as a cookbook, a map for the extensive universe, and even a graphic novel.

avengersRecently there has been an explosion of books and comics that have appeared on the big screen. Marvel Studios has raked in over 6 BILLION (yes with a B people) with just six films in nine years. They’ve also started a new show on ABC called Agents of Shield the show has drawn in fans from the films and comics and has done an excellent job of utilizing social media to spur on more interest. They are currently in talks with Netflix for shows as well. The best part about the Marvel franchise is that all the films and shows are interconnected. Nothing happens in one films that doesn’t happen in affect something else.

In the DC universe Batman and Wonder Woman are suspected to be joining the next film in the new Superman line up (possibly the start of a Justice League America franchise?). Spider-Man recently got a reboot, X-Men Days of Future Past comes out this summer, and Fox is considering a reboot of the Fantastic Four. Phew!

On top of that The Hunger Games, The Twilight Saga, and Harry Potter are other books that made an enormous splash in theaters and have rekindled interest in the YA genre across a huge amount of age groups.

Obviously there’s a trend here. Wondering what other writers have made it to the big screen?

gone girl cover

Gillian Flynn published her book Gone Girl in January of 2012. The movie version will be released October 3rd of 2014. The film is being directed by David Fincher who has directed films like Fight Club, Se7enGirl With the Dragon Tattoo and many, many more. 

Flynn not only wrote the book though, she’s also writing the screenplay for the film which will star Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. There have been rumors that the ending of the story will be changed but Flynn assured her fans in an AMA on Reddit that the ending wouldn’t stray too far from the book. Here’s a TIME article if you don’t have time to scroll through the whole AMA.

I LOVED the book and I’m so pumped to see what Flynn can do on the big screen this October.

Flynn’s other book Dark Places is also being turned into a movie. Seriously, she’s amazing and I’m so excited to see a female author get so much attention and have so much control over her projects.

I haven’t read this one yet unfortunately but Flynn’s website tells us that the director taking over the project is Gilles Paquet-Brenner who has adapted another internationally acclaimed book Sarah’s Key.

Dark Places is to be released on September 1st of 2014.

Next up? Another HBO show.

true detectiveTrue Detective premiered January 2014, ran for 8 episodes, and has been nominated for an Emmy. It traces the journey of two Louisiana detectives, played masterfully by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. These two mismatched men hunt a serial killer for over seventeen years.

While this show was not originally a book it was written by Nic Pizzolatto who is a novelist and a professor at several universities including DePauw University and the University of Chicago.

True Detective was HBO’s most watched ‘freshman’ series ever, meaning that it broke record for it’s viewership in it’s first season. The show averaged 11.9 million views per episode. The first season’s story has drawn to a close and there is much speculation about who will be cast for the next season and what topics it will cover. There is a lot of clamor for HBO to run a strong female detective or possible two after their success with two men.

Watch the trailer here and the amazing credit sequence here.

Writers aren’t just in the literary world. They’re spreading out into the worlds of television and film to amazing critical success. Personally I find films and television shows written by traditional novelists and authors to have more depth both in their premises and their characters. It’s a fresh trend that I’m very excited to see continue.



Multi-Reading: Tips for reading multiple books at once

My lovely roommate Rianne offers 3 simple tricks to help you read multiple books at once.

White Pages

I have always struggled with reading more that one book at a time. I can do it, but I find my mind stretching to remember all the events, ideas, and themes of each novel/article/whatever.

And it matters because I want everything I read to make an impact. I want all of the novels I read for school or fun or just for knowledge to matter. To sink in. For that to happen, I need time to read them.

College doesn’t account for this very well. Or any part of school, for that matter. These are the books I have been/am continuing to read for the past 3 weeks of the semester.


It breaks my heart that I can’t read all…

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My 80/20 Rule

This is a really good idea about how to use social media for others vs yourself

Live to Write - Write to Live

pinterest2 I dove into Pinterest this past weekend. I’ve used it for a bit, but like many things social media, my first impulse was “this is fun, but what’s the point?”. And then a few friends talked me through it, and how they find it helpful. And one of the Sisters in Crime New England board members started a SinCNE site, and I tried to help. Turns out that half of the Wicked Cozy Authors already use Pinterest to engage readers with their series in different ways. So I started to poke around a bit. And I noticed that the sites I was most drawn to followed the 80/20 rule.

What, you may ask, is the 80/20 rule? It is simple. My definition in this context is that 80% of your social media use should be about other people (or organizations). 20% can be in service of yourself. Only 20%. 10%…

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Caine’s Arcade

Literary Citizenship isn’t just about books. It’s the creative community at large around you and learning how to use that community effectively.

Caine’s Arcade is a short film about a boy who spent his summer making an arcade in his father’s used auto parts store. You can view it here on Vimeo: Caine’s Arcade.


We’ve all seen kids do amazing things. I grew up in the age of the lemonade stand and the Beanie Baby palace (which was just our swing set but whatever). Kids did, and still do, amazing things every single day and through social media we have the ability to spread those ideas and make them known to the entire world.

Caine’s Arcade became famous through Reddit and Facebook. An entire community came out to support this little boy’s idea and his ingenuity and it brought an entire neighborhood together. A scholarship fund has been set up for Caine and all donations are being matched by the foundation. Donate or check out the website here.

The movie sparked a movement that led to the founding of the Imagination Foundation. Their goals focus on creating a community the values creativity as much as any other skill and instilling a sense of ‘social entrepreneurship’ into kids from a young age.

So the next time you see a kid do something amazing, foster it, encourage them, don’t limit them, and spread the word.