April 8, 2012 in Dag

Respect the text – a good old rant

It’s been a while, so today it’s time for a good old rant. And I’m risking finding a bunch of people who are likely to disagree with me on this. So be it…

I saw the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland a couple of weeks ago. And it left me kind of annoyed.

As anyone who knows the tiniest thing about me knows, I’m a massive fan of the Alice stories (ie Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass). I love the way Lewis Carroll creates a unique and wildly fanciful world, then uses the various characters to play all sorts of tricks and games with logic and language. The books are essentially plotless, as Alice wonders from one encounter to the next. That’s their charm. And each character is beautifully rendered, both as a character in their own right, but also as a way to express a different idea or puzzle.

But the Tim Burton movie was nothing like this at all. It was as if the wonderful characters had been commandeered and placed in a completely different story. A quest, or an adventure story, that owed more to The Lion, the With and the Wardrobe (to be honest, I thought that the plot was a blatant rip-off), rather than anything by Lewis Carroll. To me, it stank of robbery. These characters did not belong there. They did not suit that kind of narrative. And the various character features (apparent from a few token lines of dialogue) were barely anywhere to be seen as the characters were put into the service of the plot.

Tim Burton, to me, is a serial offender in this regard. Honestly, fancy giving Willy Wonka a backstory. He’s a classic trickster character – he’s not quite of this earth and that’s the whole point of him.

Which gets me back to the main point of this post. We writers put a lot of time and thought and love and care to create our characters and make them just right. I know, in any adaptation, there are changes that need to be made – you don’t just directly translate a book onto the screen. But you don’t misuse characters either. You don’t divert them from their original source, and their original characteristics in order to stuff them into a different kind of story. In short, you respect the original text.

And if you want to tell a different story, tell a different story. Use your imagination – create a whole new world and a whole new batch of characters. Using other people’s characters smacks of laziness. And it also feels a bit like exploitation – taking advantage of the ubiquitousness of some characters in popular culture in order to make it easier to market.

There. I’ve said my peace now and I feel much better. I’m sure there are lots of people who loved the Tim Burton film and utterly disagree with me. That’s fine. I don’t mind.

Have a great (and original and imaginative) week.

April 2, 2012 in Dag

An epic tale about a very little person in a very big world

Well, it took a bit longer than I originally hoped. I guess it serves me right for attempting to publish a book on April Fool’s Day. But after getting a serious run-around from Amazon, I’m really excited to announce the release of my first novel, Magnus Opum.

So what exactly is Magnus Opum? It’s the story of a very little person in a very big world. I like to describe it as an epic fantasy with a twist – Tolkien meets Dr Seuss.

There’s lots of action and adventure. There are big, scary monsters and evil villains. There are also laughs aplenty, and hopefully quite a few surprises.

This book took me quite a few years to finally finish off but I think it was worth the effort. It’s set in a world where nothing is quite as it seems, which was a lot of fun to write. Maybe, in some ways, it’s a bit like our world. Maybe it isn’t.

Hopefully, you’ll come along for the ride, and have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.

Magnus Opum is available at Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Magnus-Opum-ebook/dp/B007QGNO1I/.

Enjoy.

March 26, 2012 in Dag

Doodling/Flidderbugs Virtual Book Tour – Week 4

I can’t believe it. Is it almost a month already?

It seems like the tour has barely started and already we’re up to the last week.

It’s been a lot of fun. The number of followers is definitely growing which each stop. The support from all the readers out there has been amazing. And we’ve had a lot of laughs as well.

Anyway, I guess we better roll on. Here’s the schedule for week 4:

3/26/2011 Reviews by Molly
3/27/2011 Books are Magic
3/28/2011 A Chick Who Reads
3/29/2011 Reader Girls
3/30/2011 BK Walker Books Etc. 

Hope to see you there. 

I can’t finish without one more big thank you to the people who made this possible:

And make sure you’re back here next week for information on the launch of my novel, Magnus Opum.

March 19, 2012 in Dag

Doodling/Flidderbugs Virtual Book Tour – Week 3

Can you believe it? We’re already up to week 3 of the Doodling/Flidderbugs tour.

The first two weeks have been a lot of fun. Lots of comments and interesting discussion. Who would have thought Dag-Lit could have aroused so much attention in the big wide world.

And remember, while it’s mostly about the fun, there is a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, just be leaving a comment.

So here’s the schedule for week 3:

3/19/2011 A Bookish Affair
3/20/2011 Bunny’s Review
3/21/2011 Fresh Pot of Tea
3/22/2011 Books are Magic
3/23/2011 Jess Resides Here 

Hope to see you along. 

Magnus Opum update

While I’m here, I’d like to post an update on the progress of my novel, Magnus Opum. I’m just completing final revisions now so we’re almost good to go.

Hoping to be able to keep to my schedule and have it ready for release on April 1.

March 12, 2012 in Dag

Doodling/Flidderbugs Virtual Book Tour – Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of the Doodling/Flidderbugs virtual book tour.

Week 1 went really well. Lots of comments and a lot of fun discussion.

Hopefully week 2 will be just as much fun, and not just for me. Remember there’s a $25 Amazon gift card to be won. All you have to do is leave a comment on any of the days and you’ll be in the running.

So here are the details for week 2:

3/12/2011 It’s Raining Books
3/13/2011 Rogue’s Angels
3/14/2011 Marianne Arkins
3/15/2011 The Muse
3/16/2011 The Cerebral Writer 

I really hope to see you all there. 

And before I go, I want to pass big thanks again to: