Whenever the economy takes a turn for the worse, the movie industry starts shaking in its boots. Producers turn away from new, original, and unproven scripts, and turn towards known and fairly safe properties that more often than not have built-in fanbases–this is why The Smurfs is happening, against all human decency. (This doesn’t mean this method is foolproof. Paramount has managed to royally piss off a majority of Avatar: The Last Airbender fans with its whitewashed production of The Last Airbender. I’m obligated to remind you to give it a miss in favor of Toy Story 3 or Eclipse.) Books, especially best-sellers, provide the sort of security that soothes a producer in a recession.
But when the rights to a book have been purchased by a studio or, rarely, an actor, speculation starts among readers and fans of the book. While we usually start quibbling over casting (guilty as charged), our main concern is how the book is ultimately adapted for film. I find the question of “will it be true to the book?” to be frustratingly vague. You can stray from the book and still remain true to its overarching themes. What that question is truly asking is this–will be a purist adaptation or a pragmatic adaptation?
While perusing the fabulous T. J.’s new digs at Dreams and Speculation, I noticed that her tags included something else beyond the usual rating system and authors–the publishers were tagged as well. Editing and publishing is what I want to do with my life, but I never paid much attention to who published the things I love before I decided on that fact. This week, I took it upon myself to clean up my tags, so I decided adding the publishers couldn’t hurt. (Fun, irrelevant fact: WordPress doesn’t do spaces between periods for tags, which is why poor Professor Tolkien’s tag looks so squished to your right.) Anyway, I wanted to see–who publishes what I like?
I Am Not Myself These Days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
I’m not usually interested in tell-all memoirs–something about getting all the sordid details of someone’s past straight from the horse’s mouth makes me uncomfortable. I can take it in a biography, but a person baring it all with a vengeance makes me want to cover my eyes. So why did I even bother to pick up I Am Not Myself These Days? Well, in my Internet travels, I stumbled across the personal website of Josh Kilmer-Purcell, who seemed like a lovely gentleman and looked quite fetching in his old photos from his drag queen days, from which he has since retired. I saw that he had written a memoir and I decided to give it a shot.