Sandwormd and Dune book cover

Dune upcoming movie

 

The famous science fiction novel Dune makes the leap to the big screen. Dune has been a huge influence not only in science fiction genre but a cultural influence itself, inspiring films such as Star Wars, or songs like “to tame a land” by Iron Maiden. Aren’t you amazed by this Dune upcoming movie? Dune 1984 was a really good job, Denis Villeneuve has a challenging deal but for what we have seem before this director fears nothing.

What is Dune about

Dune is a science fiction novel written by American author Frank Herbert. This novel is set in a distant future in which humans colonized other planets and control them. Their society is ruled by Noble Houses, being similar to the feudal system in medieval Europe. All these houses owe allegiance to the Padishah Emperor, the supreme sovereign of the known universe.

This book begins with the planet Arrakis, also called Dune, a desert planet which before was ruled by the noble house Harkonnen but now, due to the emperor’s orders, is ruled by House Atreides. Despite being a desert, this planet has a valuable product that makes it really coveted: melange (also known as “The spice”). Arrakis is the only source of mélange, a substance that not only enhances mental abilities but also provides a longer life span and, in some cases, future sight.

The duke, Leo Atreides realizes this new duty is too convenient but this is an opportunity he can’t deny. Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a 15-year-old who arrives on Arrakis as his father, the duke, has to rule it. It won’t be late after arriving that his father will be betrayed and killed. As a result, Paul becomes the duke, a duke in exile since house Harkonnen had plotted against his father to rule Arrakis once again.

If you are willing to read this series and you don’t know where to start, here you have my “How to read Dune” post which will prove very helpful.

When is Dune going to be released?

This new Dune movie will be directed by Denis Villeneuve, the director who also directed Blade Runner: 2049. The main character, Paul Atreides, will be featured by Timothee Chalamet who had roles in Call Me By Your Name and  Interstellar. The upcoming film will also have Dave Bautista, but his featured character is not yet confirmed.

This movie will only cover the first half of the book, so this is only the beginning of a new franchise. Seeing that The Hobbit had three movies, a trilogy for this story is to be expected, since Dune has a complex and wide world so there’s a lot to be told.

There is no release date yet as of right now. The movie will start filming in February 2019, so the release date should not be earlier than 2020.

Previous adaptations

This novel is probably not unknown for most of you since it had a previous film adaptation in 1984 directed by David Linch, and a miniseries in 2000 by John Harrison.

There are also video games based on this novel Dune II, a strategy game released in 1992 which was a success, ironically, this led to a remake in the 2000s and a sequel that turned out to be a failure and therefore the developer company, Cryo Interactive, went bankrupt.

Hope you liked this Dune summary. It is a good time to start reading Dune books, you have enough time to start reading them before the first Dune film gets released!

 

Discover more on Wottaread.

Bernard Jan book covers

Knowing Bernard Jan

It’s time to know more about Bernard Jan:  Author, Novelist and Poet. In this interview, the Croatian writer Bernard Jan will tell us more about him, his life as a writer and his work in English. Bernard Jan already has two works published in English:  A World Without Color and Look for Me Under the Rainbow which you can purchase on Amazon.

Without further ado, let’s know more about him:

The man

Who is Bernard Jan, not the writer, the man. What can you tell us about you?

Bernard Jan is the pen name of one silly guy who likes to joke and play pranks on people he loves and is close to. 😀 I am also an animal advocate, an activist for animal rights and I hate any kind of injustice and violence, whether it is toward animals, humans or our planet. You could say I have deeply rooted green and animal and human rights characteristic in me.

Is writing your only profession or you have also another job?

Writing is more like a hobby and passion than a real profession. I am not a typical commercial writer who writes primarily to make money from his books (though it would be great I could haha). I write and publish in my free time and when I feel the need and desire to write while I work as an animal advocate which is also my passion.

You are from Croatia, what do you love the most about your country?

The beautiful nature and amazing sea. Even though the Adriatic is, like most other seas and oceans, overfished and soon will be dead if something doesn’t change fast, it is still very clean and very blue.

Any hobbies you want to share with us?

Hm, sure. Reading, reading, books, reading lol. Going to the movies, listening to music, roller-blading, ice-skating and sk8boarding (when I was 20 years younger). I used to have many hobbies in my teenage years (collecting records and CDs, movies, books, stamps, pins and what not) but now I am more oriented to collecting awesome people through my social platforms, meeting new friends and readers from all over the world. That’s how I‘ve met some amazing writers and authors too I would have never heard of otherwise.

Favorite book, movie, song, food, sport and videogame?

Ugh please, there is a bunch of them haha. It’s hard, very hard because each year gives birth to another amazing movie, a song or a book that thrills you and captures your attention or you fall in love with. But to give you an idea what I like to read, watch, listen to or eat, here is my “short” list.

Books: Anything by Stephen King or Dean Koontz, The Maze Runner series by James Dashner; Wool, Shift and Dust by Hugh Howey, Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, authors Eliot Peper, Davor Rostuhar, James J. Cudney, Jonathan Hill, Anne Rice, John Grisham, etc. I know I am not being fair to other authors I love and adore, but the list is just too big, and it goes on and on.

Movies: Titanic, Brokeback Mountain, Gone with the Wind, Hair, Call Me By Your Name, original Star Wars episodes, Billy Elliot and many more.

Songs: “Just Another Day” by Jon Secada, “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, “Here with Me” by Dido, “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia, “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes, everything by ABBA, EMINEM, Linkin Park, Pet Shop Boys and Modern Talking! Again, the music doesn‘t stop playing here!

Food: Only vegan food and almost all of it. I prefer vegetables because I am not a big fan of fruits. Life without chocolate would be a torture, don’t you agree with me?!

Sports: I am not a sports person, but I give a big thumbs up to skateboarding, snowboarding, ice hockey, figure skating, skiing, athletics. I’m more into extreme sports.

Video games: No video games, have no interest in them.

The writer

Writers are such for different reasons, which was your thing that made you decide you wanted to become a professional writer? How long have you been writing?

My turning point when I started writing with the goal to be published happened at the beginning of the war in Croatia. Facing the possibility of imminent death makes you think about your life and what you want from it. Writing is the way I fought the oppression and injustice, not only during the war years in Croatia but also in general. I published my first book in Croatian in 1992 while my first attempt to be published in English was in 1998. I started to publish as an indie author in English in 2017.

I’d like to know about your first steps, the very first day you decided to become a professional writer, what made you do it? What made you step in such an uncertain world as is the writing one?

As mentioned earlier, it was not a planned thing. It came as a necessity. Out of the need to do something good in and for the world, to leave some kind of legacy to future generations should anyone want to know and read about it.

How did your family, relatives and friends react when you told them you wanted to be a writer? Did you feel supported? Who supported you the most?

They supported me one hundred percent. My parents were with me all the time and so were my friends who read my work and my cousin who was the first one who thought I was good enough to be published and who pushed me into these waters.

What are your writing habits? Do you have the so known Writer’s block? If so, how do you avoid it?

My writing habits are as bad as my eating habits haha. I do not have a writing plan and I do not write on a daily basis nor do I count how many words I write. I write only when I am inspired to write about something because writing is a passion. Everything is about passion and emotion. I write when I get in that special and deep emotional state and then it pours out of me. The words and the tears. Look for Me Under the Rainbow I wrote in about ten days, if I remember well, because it was a long time ago; A World Without Color I cried out in even shorter time.

Cruel Summer, the over-127,000-words-long novel I am yet to publish in English, I wrote in a little over six months, including research. It varies depending on the length of the book and how much research I need to make to collect the facts and mix them into my fictional world.

Do you have any ritual for writing? like a specific number of words per day, goals per month?

Nope. No ritual, no numbers. I just follow my guts, my inner feeling and a muse. I still believe in the inspiration, passion and the art of writing. That comes first. I don’t care how long it takes for a story to be born in me or how fast I deliver it as long as it has passion and emotion in it.

Do you take real people you know and put them in your books? Any specific you want to tell us about?

Yes, I do, but never in a way to compromise them, which means not completely accurate. My first book was an altered autobiography where I used some characteristics of my friends and parents to describe how we felt when the war broke out in Croatia. I also used my personal experience for one character in my future novel Cruel Summer and some Zagreb skateboarders as the skateboarders in New York while A World Without Color is a true story of the last three days I spent with my cat. It cannot be more authentic than it is.

Which book are you writing right now?

I am not writing anything now because I have three more books scheduled for publication in English. All of them are published in Croatian. They are two novels January River and Cruel Summer and a book of poetry Postcards from Beyond Reality.

If you had to define yourself as a writer just using one sentence of your book, which one would be?

Not sure what you mean, like a sentence I wrote in my book? Something like this from Look for Me Under the Rainbow perhaps?

I do not doubt I have a big heart and burning desire, but is that enough for a person to become a Rainbow Warrior, or is there something better?

Which are your writing influences? Any authors you think were the most relevant?

Every author with a beautiful writing style made me learn something. Even those whose writing sucks—let’s face it but there are such authors too—helped me learn how not to write. I like King’s phenomenal sense for detail, the fluency of Koontz’s writing and building suspense. Eliot Peper does amazing descriptions, and so on. I love when authors portray words and sentences and when they make me cry or guffaw, not when they only narrate what’s going Anyone can do that. But not anyone can make an art of writing.

The Books

Two books already published on Amazon, A World Without Color (this book has a nice trailer by the way) and Look for Me Under the Rainbow. Congratulations for that, you are on the way.

A world without color book cover

Let’s talk about A World Without Color, you describe this novel as “the last three days I spent with my cat” it is funny how such a simple description makes it actually intriguing, it makes you want to know more, is the story just about the man and his cat? No other characters?

Thanks! The original name of the book in Croatian is A World Without Color. The “last three days” part I added for Amazon to be catchy and more intriguing for readers to check out what happened in those last three days. Marcel and I are the main characters but my parents are also included a well as some other people like a veterinarian Saša and my friends who helped me deal with the loss. Since the story has a short time-span, not many people could be included in it except when I talk about the happy days we have had together.

I see this book has two endings, interesting, how does it work? The reader can choose which works best for him?

The readers can choose which one they like better and which one works for them. The first ending is how it really happened. How it ended. The second ending is the continuation of the original ending but in which I commit suicide. I thought a lot about committing suicide when I lost Marcel but didn’t have the courage to do it, so instead of throwing myself off the balcony, I wrote that story. In the book I went all the way, following my dark thoughts with hope to be reunited with my cat in some other parallel dimension. Even though I die in the second ending, it is the happier ending for me because we are together again. Everything in that new dimension is good and as it should be. As if none of us had died.

Look for me under the rainbowRegarding of Look for Me Under the Rainbow, this is a story that sheds light on the plight of baby seals in Canada hunted for their fur, what else can you tell us about this story?

Even though this book I market as a YA read, I recommend it to adults too. It is the message to and for everyone, for all of us to reflect on how we live and what we do to our planet: like killing of seal pups for their fur and skinning them alive, fishing with driftnets whilst also leaving them to float discarded in the oceans, the oil spills, etc. All that impacts the life on our planet, and we are responsible even if we ignore it. This story also teaches parents the importance of not lying to their children, never mind them being just kids and too small to understand, and how much each of us can do for our planet individually.

Look for Me Under the Rainbow is a story that opens our hearts and minds to goodness in us, giving us a nudge to act, to do something. The inspiration for writing Look for Me Under the Rainbow came from the Greenpeace materials I’ve received by post in the late 1980s. This story changed my life because it made me go vegetarian (and later on vegan). Writing it was an eye-opener, for I realized that the best way for me to help animals is not to eat them and not to support industries that kill them. Besides, if I wanted to change the world, it would be hypocritical of me not to change myself first. So I did it.

This book has a much more social awareness approach it seems, will you write more about protecting our planet?

There are so many ways we can do to protect our planet. Today it is easier than ever before.

Back then when I wrote Look for Me Under the Rainbow, the Internet was not yet so widespread and popular, the flow of information was old-school. Now we get everything in a blink of an eye. We can do so much by boycotting industries that kill our planet. Raising animals for food causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all the forms of transportation combined. The best way any of us can do to protect our planet and life on it is to go vegan. It’s really not that difficult, once you make a decision.

There is a plentitude and a variety of awesome food which does not include animals and their products. If that is too big a step or challenge for someone, not supporting other industries which abuse and exploit animals like vivisection, fur farms, hunt or entertainment industry is also a start. By choosing what we wear, which household products and cosmetics we use, whether we visit zoos and circuses with animals or condemn or sabotage hunt, send letters to our politicians and companies, being a member of a street team of activists or spread the message by sharing and tweeting posts online, everything counts. We can do so much with some or little effort that there is no excuse for doing nothing. It is our world that is endangered. We don’t have another place we can go. We can choose a healthy and compassionate life on earth or self-destruction.

In Croatia, the novella Look for Me Under the Rainbow is listed in a program for elementary schools as a reading of choice for seventh graders, wow! How did this happen?

To be honest, I don’t know how it happened and if my publisher had to do something with it.

My guess is that someone in the right place liked it enough to recommend it and . . . bingo! I am happy and honored for that. Not because it is my book and I am proud of it but because of its educational message. This book changed me in many ways and my great wish is that it motivates and help others to change the way they look at our world and their lives, too. We are compassionate beings after all, and we know all about kindness. We just need to spread our circle of compassion, kindness and empathy, and embrace everyone in it. This is how we will save our world.

*The author wants to credit the book cover designer Mario Kozar MKM Media for such an amazing job with both of his books.

I hope his story inspired you! Discover more on Wottaread.

 

Girl reading Harry Potter

Reading for kids

One of the most sought habits to inculcate in our youngest is the habit of reading. How could it be another way? You came looking for some reading for kids, and that is a great job, since reading has a lot of benefits, such as:

  • Stress reduction and mental stimulation.
  • Vocabulary building.
  • Better analytical thinking skills and concentration.

But of course, we usually don’t read because of these benefits but because it is fun! Reading evokes so many feelings, you can feel sad, happy, angry…

As a result of the benefits previously mentioned, reading helps to improve study, as well as speeding it up and reading comprehension. This is why reading has great importance in the future of the youngest. In this sense, there are many schools and institutes that, as part of their subjects, oblige the reading of different books to the youngest as a form of homework.

These books they must read as schoolwork are sometimes those of the most classic literature. And, in some cases, boring.  This is why a lot of kids are reluctant to read, they had a bad experience, they didn’t have fun reading! for those parents who want their children to love reading since they are kids, you might like to check this article where I mention reading websites for children that will teach and motivate them while they have fun.

Best books for kids

Luckily, this is a problem that can be fixed: offering some more interesting novels. They only need good books to read, that’s all. What about science fiction and medieval genres?  A nice genre that unleashes the imagination of the little ones.  Showing some fantasy world full of magic, for which there is no age to enjoy, let’s see some affordable examples for children. Reading now is easier than ever, you can find a lot of alternative ways to the traditional printed books, just check this post to learn  more.

It’s time to read some cool books for kids, isn’t it? 😊 here some amazing stories to read:

Mortal Engines

Mortal engines book cover

 

You probably heard about Mortal engines since its cinematographic adaptation was recently on the big screen. Mortal Engines is set in a post-apocalyptic universe and it’s part of the fantastic and adventure genre. In 2002 this saga won The Gold award in Nestlé Children’s Book Prize (set of annual awards for British children’s books that ran from 1985 to 2007 according to Wikipedia)  in nine to eleven years old category. So yes, this book is a great way to start loving books again. This series consists of four novels, the series taking the name from its first novel. If you want to start reading this series, just check this reading order post.

Also if you are curious about the film, check this post.

The Hobbit

The Hobbit book cover

The Lord of the Rings is a reference within fantastic literature. Set in the same world and with a much simpler understanding, we have its prequel, The Hobbit.  A shorter story ideal for reinforcing the idea of friendship and companionship. In this, a fellowship of Dwarves and a Hobbit will demonstrate that together they can perform the greatest of feats, such as stealing a treasure from a terrible dragon that had terrified people for years. This story is quite simple to read and can serve as a perfect introduction to somewhat more complicated novels, such as the aforementioned The Lord of the Rings (which, if you loved it, check these book suggestions).

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia book cover

Once again in a magical world, which in this case the protagonists’ access through the inside of a wardrobe. We find ourselves before a series of short novels in which the adventures that this group of young people carries out in Narnia are told. Narnia is a magical region that has its own problems, beyond those of the everyday world, in which an evil witch tries to put an end to the prosperity of the region and achieve a reign of tyranny and terror. Magic, adventures and a lot of action, in a fascinating world where the young reader will be able to learn and know a lot of concepts about the behavior of other species since the animals also have an important role in this story.

The Legend of Drizzt

The legend of Drizzt book cover

This is a really long series (you can see the read order here) which narrate the adventures of Drizzt Do’Urden, a drow (or dark elf) and his many friends. It is a series of novels with a quite interesting background that makes us reason from a very young age. The dark elves are born in evil and live by and for it, yet the protagonist of the story denies his race and decides to discover the outside world since he was not born to be evil. However, due to the color of his skin and the terrible stories that accompany those of his race, he lives continuously prejudiced by the rest of the inhabitants due to his origins and for racial prejudices.

By the way, I wrote about racism in literature before, check this post if you are interested in this topic. The novels that narrate the life of the elf teach us that we don’t have to prejudge anyone and that in order to get to know people, the best thing to do is to treat them and discover the good things that each one of them can give us.

Harry Potter

Harry potter sorcerers stone book cover

This series is more than known.  If you haven’t read them these books are a fantastic and magic way to introduce you into reading again. Harry Potter, the boy who defeated You-Know-Who being only a baby and his adventures in Hogwarts school of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This amazing story is set in our world, making magical creatures and people coexisting in the mundane world with most of the people unaware of it.

If you already read Harry Potter, you might like these other book suggestions by the way.

 

I really hope you liked these childrens book suggestions! Also,  if you are looking for free reading websites for kids, make sure you visit this post!

Discover more on Wottaread.

Freedays books

Rise of the Dragons

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Today in Freedays book we have Rise of the Dragons by Morgan Rice.  This book can be downloaded on Amazon, here is the link. The plot takes place in a fantasy world, in which the author invites us to dive into exciting adventures with dragons and trolls as companions. This is the first book of Kings and Sorcerers, a six-volume saga. The author decided to let people download the first volume for free, a nice way to introduce you to this wonderful saga. Then if you liked it you can buy the resto f the books which can be found at a reasonable place on Amazon.

What is Rise of the Dragons about?

Rise of the Dragons

Rise of the Dragons book cover

This first book in the Kings and Sorcerers series serves as a presentation for Kyra, a 15-year-old warrior’s apprentice who seeks to follow in her father’s footsteps. Kyra is a girl in a man’s world, but in spite of that, she wants to prove her worth as a warrior. This girl is very special and her motivation comes from a mysterious and unknown element that is inside her and that will lead her to live thrilling adventures

What we can read through the pages of this book, is a world in which the humans who star in the story live along with fantastic beings such as dragons and trolls. In a plot in which the protagonists will have to demonstrate their honor and courage, we will witness how they learn to control this world of magic and fantasy to solve their problems.

Who is Morgan Rice?

Morgan Rice is a novelist who has earned a great reputation in the field of science fiction and fantasy. His prolific career began in 2011 and since then he has declared that he has no interest in publishing using the traditional publishing system. Instead, he has opted to self-publish his books in an attempt to use modern distribution channels. This is one of the reasons why we can find many of his books for free on the internet. So, if you are looking for books for free as a way to introduce you to new universes, check his books!

Other series

His series of books such as “Of Crowns and Glory”, which has 8 books in this series. “Kings and Sorcerers” with 6 books. “Sorcerer’s Ring” with 17 books. The trilogy “Survival”, the series “Vampire, Fallen” that has 1 book. “Vampire Journals” which has 12 books. “Way of Steel” with 1 book. And his new series “Kings and Sorcerers” that begins with this “The Awakening of the Dragons”, constitute all his prolific literary production.

 

As said before, the book can be downloaded from the internet at Amazon for free, to have it in our kindle in a matter of seconds. It is a work that should undoubtedly be downloaded by all lovers of literature and science fiction. Because Morgan Rice’s ability to create dazzling worlds and characters we empathize with from the first minute makes this book worth reading.

Hope you like it!

Discover more at Wottaread.

 

The Witcher Henry Cavill

The Witcher Netflix 2019

The Witcher universe keeps getting bigger. The story, written by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski is gradually becoming a media phenomenon. And this is only the beginning. In 2017 Netflix announced The Witcher was having an eight-episode tv show on their platform. An upcoming show which will undoubtedly increase the popularity of this saga even more.

First came the video games, the action role-playing video games developed by CD Projekt Red which incredibly raised this series popularity. More specifically, it was the third game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. By the way, if you played the video games only, you might want to consider reading the books after reading this previous post. This game had such commercial success and critical acclaim it made the Witcher books being translated into multiple languages.

Just so you can understand the impact better, the books were already popular in Poland and Russia for example.  Meanwhile, there was not even an official English translation for the entire series. This, of course, changed after the video games success, now you can find all the books in English (and if you want to know the proper reading order, you just have to click here).

Therefore, it is fair to say that the video games helped immensely in increasing the popularity of this saga and also boosting the sales. As a result, The Witcher caught the attention of Netflix.

The Witcher Netflix release date

Despite being announced in 2017, the official release date is 2019, as you can see in the official Webpage. Meaning, we are getting close! Unfortunately, there is no specific date, not even a month. But, it is said (unofficially), that release date will be by the end of the year.

 Casting

There are already a lot of confirmations in the cast list. The main character, Geralt of Rivia, will be featured by Henry Cavill, an actor you probably already know since he is (or at least was until recently) the portrayal of Superman.

The cast also includes  Freya Allan as Ciri and Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, actresses whose names are not as big compared to Cavill. Other characters are already cast, which you can see here.

Here is the official cast:

The witcher cast

Stop looking, they are not in that image 😉. Jaskier (Dandelion) and Triss Merigold will be featured by Joey Batey and Anna Shaffer respectively:

Joey Batey actor Dandellion

Joey Batey

Triss Merigold Anna Shaffer

Anna Shaffer

 

Plot

Regarding the plot, there is not much revealed yet, only the brief summary (almost a description) posted in the official Webpage:

“The witcher Geralt, a mutated monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts”

But we already knew this right? Other sources don’t reveal much more, seems like they want to keep it as secret as possible.

There is a leaked script though, about two Yennefer scenes.  Which you can see here

Despite this, the executive producer and showrunner of The Witcher Netflix, Lauren S.  Hissrich, confirmed that these scenes were for the casting process only.

For those concerned about the tv series adaptation, you will be glad to know that Andrzej Sapkowski is working on the Netflix adaptation as a creative consultant. This is a way to ensure that the usual elisions, inventive adaptations or character, which happen in every book adaptation, have at least the approval of the writer.

Seems like we won’t have to wait much more, if you didn’t read the books yet:  Start now!

Discover more in Wottaread.

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