The Novelizers (hardback)
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The Novelizers (hardback)

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The Novelizers

An Affectionate History of Media Adaptations & Originals, Their Astonishing Authors — and the Art of the Craft

by David Spencer


474 pages

7x10 size 

ISBN 9798887711799


BEAR MANOR MEDIA is proud to present

THE NOVELIZERS by David Spencer


…which examines a rich literary category in a manner not merely for fans of media tie-in writing, but for new explorers, seasoned professionals…and even open-minded cynics.

Advance praise from New York Times and internationally bestselling authors Lee Goldberg, Alan Dean Foster, Steven Savile and James Reasoner has already hailed it as “definitive”…“a milestone”…”an eye-opener”…“a genuine treasure”—plus “well-written, packed with information, and above all entertaining.”

Intertwined with its comprehensive history, reaching back to the silent movie era, THE NOVELIZERS is also a deep dive into the craft of adaptive and borrowed-universe storytelling.

Aspiring and veteran writers seeking new insight will find it no less revelatory than the aficionado peering behind the curtain of the creative process.

As you drink in the history and the craft, you’ll also meet the people for whom the book is named—many of them profiled here for the first time anywhere—and fall in love with them, via in-depth interviews and evocative, close-up portraits.

In the tradition of classic insider works about popular culture—such as William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade, Craig Zadan’s Sondheim & Co., and Marc Scott Zicree’s The Twilight Zone Companion—David Spencer’s THE NOVELIZERS resonates beyond its subject matter. It’s not only the history of a genre…it’s a full-blooded and deeply human chronicle of merging media in modern society. Of which tie-in writing has ever-increasingly become an inevitable, inextricable component.

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Spencer (Musical Theatre Writer’s Survival Guide) is not only an award-winning composer/lyricist but also a lifelong fan of novelizations and tie-in books. “Media tie-in writing is literature. Real literature,” he persuasively argues in this massive and affectionate history of novelizations. Screenplay novelizations of silent films began appearing in 1915, decades after stage play novelizations. Far from hack writers, among the notables who wrote novelizations are Pulitzer Prize winner Upton Sinclair (who novelized the play Damaged Goods in 1913); National Book Award winner Paul Monette who penned tie-ins for Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu and Brian De Palma’s Scarface; and Isaac Asimov, who novelized Fantastic Voyage. This is a fascinating history of the shockingly prolific writers who published books under various names. Spencer also conducts illuminating interviews with tie-in veterans John Peel, Martin Noble, and Linda Stewart (who wrote the novelization of Absence of Malice without a finished screenplay). There are also chapter-long appreciations and career overviews of William Johnston, Michael Avallone (writing approximately 200 novelizations, ranging from Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor to Beneath the Planet of the Apes), and others. 

VERDICT Packed with photos, this is the perfect reference tool for the publishing genre that launched many lifetime readers.

-- Kevin Howell, Performing Arts reviews editor, Library Journal