Episode 55: Books into Movies Part 2

On August 10th, Kasie and Rex welcomed MacKenzie Collier, Publicity Manager for the University of South Carolina Press, into the studio to discuss movies made out of classic novels and the #AskAnAgent trending topic on Twitter. Here are the show notes:

Theme for the day

Books they Made Into Movies – Part 2


  • Get to know MacKenzie and the UofSC Press
  • The classic books that are better known for their films
  • #AskAnAgent Twitter hijack
two white and red admission tickets
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Segment 1

Welcome to the show, MacKenzie, thanks for hanging with us on a Saturday morning. Let’s start with your background and passion for literature and then we can dive into what UofSC Press is working on.

MacKenzie bio link here.

Tell us what brought you into the literary industry. What made you want to be part of making and selling books? Are you a writer? What kinds of things do you like to read? Write? Work on? What projects get you excited?

The University of South Carolina Press site link here. How did you end up in publicity for the Press? What’s the best part about working over there? What cool things are on the horizon for that outfit?

Segments 2 & 3

Last week we started a discussion about books that were turned into movies. Show notes for that episode here. We focused a lot on the film adaptations that missed the mark. Today we’re focusing on classic books that some people only know because they saw the movie.

Here’s some from the IMDB list:

  • Black Beauty
  • Pride & Prejudice (Colin Firth or Keira Knightly version?)
  • The Black Stallion
  • Old Yeller
  • Little Women
  • The Great Gatsby (we talked about this one last week; Leo or Redford?)
  • Of Mice and Men
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Jane Eyre

I’d add (another great list here):

  • The Portrait of a Lady — Nicole Kidman 1997
  • War of the Worlds — Tom Cruise 2005 (thatwasnotinthebook.com)
  • The Age of Innocence — Michelle Pfeiffer 1993 (Edith Wharton novel)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front — Ernest Borgnine (1979)
  • Anna Karenina — Keira Knightly (2012), screenplay by Tom Stoppard who also wrote Shakespeare in Love and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.
  • Love in the Time of Cholera — Javier Bardem (2007)
  • The Maltese Falcon — Humphrey Bogart (1941)

Here’s a list that sorting the classics out of would have taken too long.

What do new films of classic books get right?

What do they inevitably muck up?

Can bored young readers count on the film to replace the boring book for them?

Segment 4

We can’t have MacKenzie here and not take advantage of the Agent is in the Room scenario. So let’s lean on her a little with some #AskAnAgent inquiries. Prefacing, of course, that all agent responses no matter where you here them are as subjective as any other consultant, coach, or sales person.

Are agents allowed to rep their own books? — some agents go into the industry because they’re writers, so this seems relevant. From @katiedegilio

Some writers have been asked to age-down their characters and are wondering if NA (new adult) is easier to sell than Adult novels? What are some of the nuances there that writers should be aware of when labeling their work YA or NA? RT with @KutyMichael and @meggyhug

How important is a personal touch in a query letter? @KatieLevie

With multiple points of view, how much of a ratio is too skewed? @AuthorAmyCraig — a bigger discussion, maybe, on the types of narrators you personally prefer and some questions writers can ask themselves when choosing a point of view. We did a whole episode on that.

Is it true one shouldn’t query in August? @bobareann

Is it hard to get a novella published? Why? @JohnnyMarsz and @MrJOcean

Do ya’ll prefer chapters to run about the same length or does it matter? @Writer_KSHunter

For more Ask An Agent Q & A try this Tumblr account: literaticat.tumblr.com

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