Alaric Hunt, a jailed convicted murderer wrote a serial killer thriller… inspired by watching Law and Order.. and crime novels. He then submitted it to a writing contest… and won the $10,000 award, AND a publishing contract.
Hunt and his brother pleaded guilty in 1988 to murder and arson, after they set off fires during their burglary of a jewelry store. A student died of smoke inhalation.
Contest Sponsor Minotaur Publishing was not put off to learn of Hunt’s incarceration. The publisher commented, “he’s allowed to write, to submit, and to publish. He’s not writing a memoir of his crimes and trying to make money off that.”
For more on killer new titles, tune into my show The Book Report.
A slew of sensational books are heading to the big screen this year. Here’s what to look for during the second half of 2014.
The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard Morais will delight culinary enthusiasts with its delicious French setting. Not only does it star Helen Mirren, but it’s produced by Oprah AND Steven Spielberg. Lois Lowry’s The Giver is finally screen bound, with Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift. Comedy lovers, Jonathan Tropper’s “This is Where I leave you” is the tale of a guy forced to sit shiva with his astoundingly dysfunctional family. With Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, we’re gonna love it. 2 Gillian Flynn titles are cineplex bound. Dark Places starring Charlize Theron, and Gone Girl with Ben Affleck. December will showcase …Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl? Hmmm….the jury’s out.
Know before you go. Get the literary 411 on my show The Book Report.
There’s a Twitter account that claims to relay overheard conversations from inside the Goldman Sachs elevators. The person (or people) behind the account, have amassed nearly 600,000 followers since 2011.
Now, inevitably, @GSElevator has decided to write a book. Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance and Excess in the World of Investment Banking, proports to be “the definitive exposure of investment banking culture today.” The stories, the writer claims, will be “100% true. Many of the exploits are reminiscent of The Wolf of Wall Street, such as a party with “impromptu bowling with crystal wine glasses. No comment from Goldman Sachs, though workers at the bank have spent untold hours speculating about the mystery tweeter’s identity, including whether or not he actually works at Goldman.
For the latest on books in the news, tune into my show The Book Report.
“Mein Kampf,” Hitler’s 1925 quasi memoir and manifesto on the “the Jewish peril,” has become a full-fledged e-book chart-topper. Across platforms like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes, the book is wiping up the floor with more contemporary political authors.
In an effort to make sense of this, observers speculate the reason for the e-book success is because you need not go to a store and ask for it. You don’t have to conspicuously pull it out on the commuter train – it’s hidden by a Kindle cover.
But as one reporter from the UK’s Guardian points out, “The privacy electronic readers are availing themselves of isn’t exactly private. The person opposite you on the train may not know you’re following der Führer on your Kindle, but Amazon knows.”
For more astonishing book news, tune into my show The Book Report.
Calling all wannabe writers….Scientists have developed an algorithm that analyzes a book and predicts with 84 per cent accuracy whether or not it will be a commercial success.
A technique called statistical stylometry, mathematically examines the use of words and grammar. Scientists from Stony Brook in New York downloaded classics from the Project Gutenberg archive, then analyzed texts with their algorithm and compared its predictions to historical information on the success of the work.
Trends often found in successful books, included heavy use of conjunctions and large numbers of nouns and adjectives. Less successful work included more verbs and adverbs and relied on words that explicitly described actions and emotions such as “wanted”, or “promised.
Writer and readers, tune into my show The Book Report.