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Fullback
12-09-2008, 03:13 PM
Alex Greven's 30 handwritten pages entitled "Girls" is now a movie deal. The nine-year-old got "low-to-mid six figures" for the movie rights to "How to Talk to Girls" from the book Harper Collins adopted from his, uh, manuscript.

Some tidbits: comb your hair and don't wear sweats; control your hyperness and cut down on sugar if necessary.

So there it is. The 2009 trend might be writing like a 9-year-old. Get out your pencils, girls. I'm sure some movie mogul will offer you a bundle for a competing "How to Talk to Boys." :)

Here's a link:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3iea59cb79796a9dff3ef92b089a2a1cd7

JJ Cooper
12-09-2008, 03:15 PM
Good for him - well done and let's hope he finishes his schooling and stays away from The Viper Room.

JJ

Ken
12-09-2008, 03:32 PM
...when I was back in fourth grade boys were more interested in How Not to Talk to Girls. Sixth grade was a different matter, though ;-)

Beach Bunny
12-09-2008, 05:22 PM
It was just a matter of time for literature to follow art into the "Jeez, it looks like a six year old did that." :rolleyes: I shudder to think what future historians will make of this era.

thethinker42
12-09-2008, 05:28 PM
Paolini, eat your heart out...

swvaughn
12-09-2008, 05:37 PM
I think something inside me just broke.

MoonWriter
12-09-2008, 05:44 PM
So there it is. The 2009 trend might be writing like a 9-year-old.

I've been doing that for years. It hasn't worked for me.

Shady Lane
12-09-2008, 05:52 PM
So if nine years old is abysmal, what's a proper age to start writing with the intent to sell?

I wrote my first published book when I was fourteen.

thethinker42
12-09-2008, 06:04 PM
So if nine years old is abysmal, what's a proper age to start writing with the intent to sell?

At the age when you have a story to tell and can communicate it in an interesting, engaging way.

Phaeal
12-09-2008, 06:48 PM
Gosh, it's got to be rough for all those teenage writers who are now officially over the hill, like the rest of us dinosaurs. ;)

Me, I'm waiting for the toddler-written porn market to open up before I jump off the bridge.

Darzian
12-09-2008, 06:53 PM
I'm personally interested in seeing the contents of this book.


...when I was back in fourth grade boys were more interested in How Not to Talk to Girls. Sixth grade was a different matter, though ;-)

Things are changing.
Note: talking from experience.:Lecture:

MoonWriter
12-09-2008, 07:56 PM
Gosh, it's got to be rough for all those teenage writers who are now officially over the hill, like the rest of us dinosaurs. ;)

Me, I'm waiting for the toddler-written porn market to open up before I jump off the bridge.

:roll:

Ugawa
12-09-2008, 08:14 PM
Gosh, it's got to be rough for all those teenage writers who are now officially over the hill, like the rest of us dinosaurs. ;)

Me, I'm waiting for the toddler-written porn market to open up before I jump off the bridge.

:roll:

Tirjasdyn
12-09-2008, 08:15 PM
Alex Greven's 30 handwritten pages entitled "Girls" is now a movie deal. The nine-year-old got "low-to-mid six figures" for the movie rights to "How to Talk to Girls" from the book Harper Collins adopted from his, uh, manuscript.

Some tidbits: comb your hair and don't wear sweats; control your hyperness and cut down on sugar if necessary.

So there it is. The 2009 trend might be writing like a 9-year-old. Get out your pencils, girls. I'm sure some movie mogul will offer you a bundle for a competing "How to Talk to Boys." :)

Here's a link:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3iea59cb79796a9dff3ef92b089a2a1cd7


I saw the interview with this kid. This is a publicity stunt. Boy admitted none of this worked for him. Lol. Sigh.

Kitty Pryde
12-09-2008, 08:34 PM
To be fair, it's just an option, not a movie deal. But, um, wouldn't a movie about 9 year olds romancing each other just be creepy and gross? ditto for a movie about a 9 year old giving dating advice to skeevy grown men! how can that be good at all? It's just a gag gift book that no one will remember next year. But the kid is a little smarty, and I say, good for him. Now he has the money to pay for college and MFA program!

maestrowork
12-09-2008, 08:37 PM
Good for him - well done and let's hope he finishes his schooling and stays away from The Viper Room.

JJ

And Meth. I've heard it's becoming very popular among 5th-graders who make six-figure income.

WendyNYC
12-09-2008, 08:43 PM
To be fair, it's just an option, not a movie deal. But, um, wouldn't a movie about 9 year olds romancing each other just be creepy and gross?

Yes. I have a 9-year-old, and, as far as I can tell, they are still in the girls/boys have cooties stage.

scarletpeaches
12-09-2008, 08:47 PM
This makes me cry.

Tirjasdyn
12-09-2008, 09:04 PM
I'm waiting to hear who his parents are and who they know. Castle Rock is part of Rich Ville here in Colorado.

katiemac
12-09-2008, 10:50 PM
Well, let's break this down. His book is nonfiction, a self-help guide, advice about girls written by a young kid. I see why HarperCollins picked it up and published.

The movie option is an option and, being an advice guide, someone is going to have to write a story that goes with this book. It could be anything--probably a romantic comedy not about nine year olds, but a movie that features a wise kid--and there you go. You get the book buyers interested as well as the regular romantic comedy crowd.

It's not like he's written an epic literary tome and got it published and made into a movie. And even if he did, all that proves is that if you really want something, you can do it, too.

Noah Body
12-09-2008, 10:58 PM
Good for him - well done and let's hope he finishes his schooling and stays away from The Viper Room.

JJ

Or starts a preschool prostitution ring.

Little Red Barn
12-09-2008, 11:06 PM
I think this is cool. In the past I've worked with this age group and their Young Author's entries. As well, had the privledge of seeing some mighty fine plot developing, geared of course to their peers.

KTC
12-09-2008, 11:09 PM
...when I was back in fourth grade boys were more interested in How Not to Talk to Girls. Sixth grade was a different matter, though ;-)

I think you have yourself an idea for the sequel. Copyright that fast!

IceCreamEmpress
12-09-2008, 11:12 PM
Well, let's break this down. His book is nonfiction, a self-help guide, advice about girls written by a young kid. I see why HarperCollins picked it up and published.

Oh, yes. It's a cute stunt.


The movie option is an option and, being an advice guide, someone is going to have to write a story that goes with this book. It could be anything--probably a romantic comedy not about nine year olds, but a movie that features a wise kid--and there you go. You get the book buyers interested as well as the regular romantic comedy crowd.

Yes, it's probably going to have Adam Sandler as the single dad whose 9-year-old son teaches him how to win the woman of his dreams (Scarlett Johansson as the world's most expensively dressed elementary school teacher).



Guys? It's not like the people at HarperCollins decided to take this book instead of the books what you wrote. They took this book because they thought it would be a fun, headline-grabbing stunt, and because they bet they can move copies (great gag gift for guys to give to their single friends, for instance: "Hey, Joe, maybe this 9-year-old can help!")

scarletpeaches
12-10-2008, 01:37 AM
Oh, yes. It's a cute stunt.

And this little boy is an astute-?

selkn.asrai
12-10-2008, 01:42 AM
It was just a matter of time for literature to follow art into the "Jeez, it looks like a six year old did that." :rolleyes: I shudder to think what future historians will make of this era.


Depressingly true, friend.

blacbird
12-10-2008, 02:03 AM
it's probably going to have Adam Sandler as the single dad whose 9-year-old son teaches him how to win the woman of his dreams (Scarlett Johansson as the world's most expensively dressed elementary school teacher).

And Michael Jackson as the 9-year-old boy.

caw

Cyia
12-10-2008, 02:14 AM
I see a movie being about a little boy who does just like this kid did - wrote a little handwritten thing for school. Then his guardian (unlce, babydaddy whatever) who is a failed writer/publicist/boyfriend of reporter sees the chance for gold. He looks to get rich off a pint sized flash in the cute pan.

(of course this could be straying out of romantic comedy and into pseudo-documentary)

Ken
12-10-2008, 02:20 AM
"How Not to Talk to Girls" / (c) 2008 Ken :-)

KikiteNeko
12-10-2008, 07:12 AM
At least this kid is nine years old. What are the other rich and crappy authors' excuses?

scarletpeaches
12-10-2008, 07:13 AM
Everyone missed my joke at the bottom of page one. :(

scarletpeaches
12-10-2008, 07:47 AM
SHADY LANE I LOVE YOU FOR THAT REP POINT COMMENT YOU JUST SENT ME.

maestrowork
12-10-2008, 08:39 AM
Yes, it's probably going to have Adam Sandler as the single dad whose 9-year-old son teaches him how to win the woman of his dreams (Scarlett Johansson as the world's most expensively dressed elementary school teacher).


They just made a movie out of He Just Isn't That Into You (or some such nonfiction best-seller). Also, wasn't Sleepless in Seattle about some 10-year-old boy fixing up his father with "Annie"?

BenPanced
12-10-2008, 09:08 AM
*erases hard drive*
*burns "how to write" books*
*takes up candle making*

Gogoplata712
12-10-2008, 09:14 AM
I die a little more inside hearing news like this. :D

maxmordon
12-10-2008, 09:15 AM
To be fair, it's just an option, not a movie deal. But, um, wouldn't a movie about 9 year olds romancing each other just be creepy and gross? ditto for a movie about a 9 year old giving dating advice to skeevy grown men! how can that be good at all? It's just a gag gift book that no one will remember next year. But the kid is a little smarty, and I say, good for him. Now he has the money to pay for college and MFA program!

There's an artistic Italian movie called Malacrianza... the less we talk about it, the better...

My idea about this?

Agent Asshole: Did you see this Paolini lad I am working? Can't believe the mozart cow is still milking with him!
Agent Dumbass: Mozart, you say?
[[Six months later, at HarperCollins]]
Agent Dumbass: ...and he's only nine!
Publisher: That's younger than Pablini or whatever that old bag is called!

icerose
12-10-2008, 09:26 AM
I don't see why you guys are so upset. The boy wrote it as a school paper, period. His teacher liked it so much she had to put into book form and distributed locally at 3 bucks a book, it was a best seller at the school's book fair. It then got the attention of someone else who talked to Harper Collins. You do realize that these book fairs have representatives of those big companies right?

This isn't a self-help to adults either. It's listed under the kids section. The more this book makes, the more money that's out there for all of you. It's not like he's stealing your spot.

Furthermore the kid is donating half his royalties to a cancer foundation. So what's the big deal?

maxmordon
12-10-2008, 09:34 AM
I don't see why you guys are so upset. The boy wrote it as a school paper, period. His teacher liked it so much she had to put into book form and distributed locally at 3 bucks a book, it was a best seller at the school's book fair. It then got the attention of someone else who talked to Harper Collins. You do realize that these book fairs have representatives of those big companies right?

This isn't a self-help to adults either. It's listed under the kids section. The more this book makes, the more money that's out there for all of you. It's not like he's stealing your spot.

Furthermore the kid is donating half his royalties to a cancer foundation. So what's the big deal?

Could be jealousy?

KikiteNeko
12-10-2008, 04:25 PM
Could be jealousy?

Hell yeah we're jealous. I want a six figure book deal for one of MY school papers too. Or my novel. That would be better.

JJ Cooper
12-10-2008, 04:32 PM
If he was a member of this forum, we'd be passing on our congrats.

One of the reasons we are here is to celebrate the achievements of our fellow writers - regardless of age, gender, religous beliefs etc.

JJ

scarletpeaches
12-10-2008, 06:41 PM
...As long as the quality's good. I praise books I like and rip into those I don't.

And I reckon a 39-year-old man has more chance of writing a quality book than a 9-year-old boy.

icerose
12-10-2008, 07:03 PM
...As long as the quality's good. I praise books I like and rip into those I don't.

And I reckon a 39-year-old man has more chance of writing a quality book than a 9-year-old boy.

I can see that, however, the publishers are a business and with a tough economy they're always looking for a new angle. A 9 year old writing a short book about talking to girls is a major angle, he had already appeared on a couple major networks before the book was even picked up. At that point there's money signs popping up all over the kid.

They didn't print the book for quality, and they certainly don't expect it to compete on a writing level to any adult books, and it isn't even marketed toward adults. Full stop.

This is a marketing ploy that is working extremely well, and it's getting people into bookstores and talking about books.

So again, what's the problem? You're judging a 9 year old against a 39 year old??? Why? There is absolutely no point. The boy didn't even set out to get it published, the publishers came to him and his parents signed the contract, so back off the kid. It's not like it's some huge conspiracy or anything.

scarletpeaches
12-10-2008, 07:14 PM
"Back off the kid?"

Uh...oh...kaaaaay...

Phaeal
12-10-2008, 07:23 PM
Meh, it was a publishing stunt, as ICE pointed out. Business as usual -- find an angle and push it. The wow-he/she's-so-young angle is a venerable and hard-working one. Nothing new here, people.

Sometimes the publisher's angle is: Wow-great-story! That's the one that works for me. ;)

Cyia
12-10-2008, 11:31 PM
I don't like the idea of a kid being exploited and IMO that's what this is. He's a publicity ploy, nothing more. This could have serious repercussions later on if he can't live up to the hype. He's already writing a "sequel" about how to talk to mom's. What happens when the novelty wears off?

nevada
12-11-2008, 12:05 AM
I don't like the idea of a kid being exploited and IMO that's what this is. He's a publicity ploy, nothing more. This could have serious repercussions later on if he can't live up to the hype. He's already writing a "sequel" about how to talk to mom's. What happens when the novelty wears off?

He's not living in a vacuum. It sounds like he's got some very savvy adults around him. I'm sure they are looking out for him. And when the novelty wears off? He'll be older, he'll be writing more mature stuff, he'll have tons of money to go to college with, a cancer foundation will have more money to do their good deeds with, and he'll have had the experience of a lifetime. I really don't see this kid discarded and disillusioned and scarred for life. He's 9 yrs old. Ever talk to a 9 yr old? they take everything in stride. And like I said, he's not living in a vacuum. He could not have done any of this by himself. He's not even allowed to sign a contract. He's got people looking after him. I wouldn't worry too much about his future.

Danni
12-12-2008, 07:16 AM
Well, I'm officially depressed. Shall I slit my throat alone, or shall we all commit suicide together? Maybe that way we'll get on the news....although, some 9 year old kid will probably write a book about it, thus negating the purpose.

Cybernaught
12-13-2008, 01:48 AM
This is ridiculous. I'm at a loss for words.

LaurieD
12-13-2008, 02:21 AM
First reaction? I was pissed. Basic human reaction to a situation where someone not trying to get what I want, gets it. Yes, I was jealous of a 9 year old.

Then I got to thinking about it - how exactly did a homemade book at a school book fair end up with a publishing deal and possible movie? Somebody knew somebody knew somebody. Plain and simple. I'm sure there are thousands of people who've written things that teachers, professors, coworkers, etc thought was simply astounding and the words "that should be published!" have no doubt been heard by everyone at some point. I heard them from several teachers in high school. Maybe if the nuns at my school had known someone who knew someone at Harper Collins my stories would have been published too.

However, in the real world, we have to work for what we want.

Unless you're somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody.

ChaosTitan
12-13-2008, 03:24 AM
I'm a little amazed at the negativity by some here. By some lucky turn of events, a PAMPHLET written by a kid got turned into a book for kids. Good on him. It's not like he's taking anyone's slot in the fiction world, or pretending to be some sort of literary genius. He's a kid who had a great idea.

Red-Green
12-13-2008, 04:26 AM
I think the only thing that unnerves me about it is it's such a brutal reminder that so much of this writing for publication game is chance. The right book, the right publisher, the right moment, all aligning in some unpredictable, one-in-a-million occurrence. This is both a hopeful thing and a scary thing.

Danni
12-13-2008, 04:45 AM
We're venting at the general unfairness of life, especially those of us who have yet to see our work in print.
It's nothing personal. It's just unbelievable and sucks that a kid who wrote, what, 1000 words, probably without any editing, gets published, and whose of us who've written novels, edited them to the nth degree, and sweated and bled over query letters have yet to see one smidgen of recognition for hard work, other than the sympathy of close friends and family.
Good for the kid.
But it still sucks.

brokenfingers
12-13-2008, 05:06 AM
It's been a bare-knuckled truth in the publishing world for quite a while that, with non-fiction, you can be the smartest person and the best writer in the world, but without a platform, it's almost impossible to get published.

A platform is something that raises you above the crowd and puts you in the public eye. It can be anything - like being a celebrity, killing someone, getting away with a crime, being there when someone else famous (or infamous) did something, extensive, well-publicized and documented knowledge in the required field (with bona-fides), or yes - being a kid!!

Remember - often with publishers, selling the book is way more important than what's actually in the book. If you have some kind of uniqueness or gimmick or hook, you'll increase your chances of getting your non-fiction work published.

In today's publishing world, the writing is secondary. After all, they have people on the payroll who can fix that.

So, the rule is: Get famous first, write second.

MissKris
12-13-2008, 05:45 AM
Good for him; wish it was me. The only thing that irritates me is that the kid doesn't even have a house payment yet. But dang, that's a lot of cartons of milk he can buy to go with his school lunches (yeah, yeah charity, whatever).

inkkognito
12-15-2008, 06:18 PM
As several others have said, purely a publicity stunt and nothing more. The kid was in the right place at the right time and lightning struck. Hell, my own book contract was a matter of being in the right place at the right time although I doubt it's gonna even be close to a best seller. But kiddo is just a flash-in-the-pan, let's get some attention puppet. The book doesn't show any special creativity or talent, but it's "cute" enough to allow him to be used this way.