Sunday, September 4, 2011

What Comes Around Goes Around- All Things Poe

Check back for my Nov 6 blog post for a chance to win a copy of Nevermore by Kelly Creagh, and the month after that, maybe, possibly an ARC of Masque of the Red Death. And, soon I'll be able to reveal my Masque of the Red Death cover! 

During a discussion of fashion in the 80's, I once bet my aunt $100 that I would never wear bell-bottoms. The discussion was about the cyclic nature of fashion. She was sure that the 70's would be back in style soon, I was sure, with the great perspective of a 13-year-old, that they never would. I was wrong. But not completely because I never had to pay up on the bet because I never wore true 70's style bell bottoms, just 70's inspired flared jeans. So styles return, but with obvious modifications...

And this cycle, the fashion seems to be Poe.


(for a selection of my favorite Edgar Allan Bro pics see my blog at http://bethanygriffin.blogspot.com/)

When I decided to write a Poe retelling, I wasn't honestly sure if I could do it. Poe exudes a strange fascination for me, and obviously to others. But, as much as I love his stories he isn't my favorite author in the world (that honor goes to Stephen King) because I like longer books that I can completely lose myself in, so I wanted to expand a Poe story and make it last. Masque of the Red Death, for example, is only 2,477 words. My re-imagining is something like 70,000 words after extreme editing, and that's just book one. (It'll be a two book series) I was completely entranced by the world Poe created in Masque, and I wanted to spend more time in it. 

The description of Masque from Publisher's Marketplace-  a post-Apocalyptic reimagining of Poe's gothic horror story of the same name, in which a girl trying to escape everything holds not only her own life in her hands, but also those of two boys warring for her heart...and the fate of her crumbling society, 

 Check back in November to see the cover, but let me tell you, it's gorgeous. 

I wasn't the first YA author to be inspired by Poe. Local (to me) author Kelly Creagh is the author of Nevermore, which came out August 2010, (and the paperback is out now, so pick one up!). When the book came out I was working on a Poe inspired story, so it was a bit of a shock. Luckily our books are nothing alike.  Here's what the book is about. 

When an English Lit. project pairs the two, Isobel finds herself swept into Varen’s world, one that he has created in his notebook and in his mind, one where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Isobel slowly learns that dreams and words can be much more powerful than she’d ever imagined. As labels of “Goth” and “cheerleader” fade away, Isobel and Varen slip into a consuming romance, braced against the ever-clearer horror that the most chilling realities are those within our own minds. When Isobel has a single chance to rescue Varen from the shadows of his nightmares, will she be able to save him—and herself?


Check back for my Nov 6 blog post, I'll be giving away a copy of Kelly's book! Or pick up your own copy today. 

Oh, and I recently saw this announcement in Publisher's Marketplace

SHATTERED SOULS author Mary Lindsey's ANNABEL, pitched as a dark retelling of Poe's final poem Annabel Lee, pitting a pair of star-crossed lovers in a doomed struggle with forces of ancient malice and evil, again to Jill Santopolo at Philomel, by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (World).
Sounds really cool! So, Poe is definitely popular in the world of YA. Which is my favorite world, so I'm very excited. Note- I'm not really shocked that I wasn't the first YA author to come up with the idea of re-imagining Poe, but it was a little bit of a surprise after nothing with Poe, that all of these are being released in fairly close proximity.

But what about the world of television and movies? Well, some googling last week revealed a Poe movie, THE RAVEN, starring John Cusack! 



From IMDB- A fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe's life, in which the poet is in pursuit of a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer's stories. It's set to be released in March of 2012


And, ABC is said to have picked up a 60 minute drama titled POE, in which Poe is not just a detective, but the world's first detective (he did invent the detective story, right?) and he solves crimes "using unconventional methods to investigate dark mysteries in 19th-century Boston." also from IMDB. 


I love to see the classics revisited, and obviously love Poe, so I think this is all very interesting, and I look forward to seeing how it all turns out...and I'll definitely be checking out the Poe movie in March! 


And, like my bell bottoms (ahem) flared bottom pants...none of these are straight retellings. Every story is modified in some way to appeal to modern readers and viewers while keeping (hopefully) the creepy essence and genius that is Poe. Looking forward to 2012! 

18 comments:

Kurt Hampe said...

I think 70s fashion inspires as much horror as Poe. I get chills just thinking of those green-and-orange plaid hand-me-downs.

Perhaps the true mark of Poe's genius is that he continues to inspire writers today.

Jessica Love said...

I love Poe! And Edgar Allan Bro cracks me up to no end.

Safari Poet said...

I love the description of your book and I'm a fan of Poe as well, so I'll be keeping an eye open for more on your book.

bethany griffin said...

Thanks, Safari Poet! I'm sure I'll be talking a lot more about it as May approaches!

Katie McGarry said...

I'll admit, I was never a big Poe fan, but now because of the retellings I am becoming one! Thanks for the post!

Kristin Lenz said...

Oooh, I can't wait to see the cover! The Masque of Red Death sounds so different from your first novel, Handcuffs. You are brave for venturing into this new territory - congratulations!

Janine said...

Great post! It is funny how things go in and out of style. I read a book awhile back--adult I think--called The Pale Blue Eye that had Poe as a character. He is sort of eternally fascinating. Excited for Masque to come out!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds awesome. Can't wait to see the cover.

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Great post! And I'm very intrigued by your book now! can't wait to see the cover.

Lisa Tapp said...

It is fascinating that Poe is suddenly HOT again. I've ordered Kelly's book, and look forward to getting Masque.

Colette Ballard said...

As a lucky member of Bethany's critique group, i can vouch for Masque's awesomeness: ) I can't wait to see the final product!!

Kurt, I'm with you on the 70's style hand-me-down horrors. I'm still traumatized by the green, orange, and brown striped turtleneck bestowed on me by my two cousins and a sibling--they were all boys: (

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'm excited for all these things dealing with Poe. I just took a class last semester all about Poe though, so I'll probably be one of those people that point out the things that they get wrong. Okay, not really, but the whole "Poe was a drunkard" thing might bug me if they really go into a lot...because it's just not true. LOL Re-tellings are fun though and I like the idea of Poe as a detective (He DID, mostly, invent the detective story).

-lauren

Elana Johnson said...

I have seen a few Poe retellings, as you've mentioned. I definitely think retellings in all their varieties are on the rise.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My dad gave me a collection of Poe stories for Christmas one year when I was a teen. Never did read them. I think he still have the book.

I remember Nevermore. Is there going to be a sequel? I was kind of annoyed at how it ended. :P

Katie McGarry said...

Stina - I believe the sequel is coming out in August of 2012.

Kristen Simmons said...

Can't wait to see your cover! Masque sounds amazing!!

bethany griffin said...

Stina, the sequel comes out in January! And it looks like the copy I'll be giving away will probably be signed!

roro said...

Can't wait to see your cover!