Scooped! Featuring Johnson, Franco, Paranormal Movies and more

For my weekly column Scooped!, I scour the Internet, contact authors and pick my fellow RT editor's brains to make sure no reader question goes unanswered. This week, I report about Jean Johnston's upcoming book, confirm James Franco's debut as an author, provide some non-fiction reading suggestions and more! Still have questions? Send them to me here and you may be featured in an upcoming post.

Question: RT is covering paranormals all month long but only books. Can you suggest any paranormal movies? - W.P.

Morgan: Great question! My personal favorites are 28 Days Later and anything by Alfred Hitchcock. These movies could keep you busy for a while, but I also asked my fellow editors which films top their lists. Here are the results: The Shining, Candyman, Paranormal Activity, It, Disturbing Behavior and the original Freddy movie all thrill and chill the RT staff. But for slightly lighter fare, they also really enjoy Ghost, Shaun of the Dead, Star Wars, Meet Joe Black, Stardust and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Question: So I know that James Franco can act (I really loved him in Tristan and Isolde), but I just saw that he has a book out. Can you confirm or deny that he can write? - N.C.

Morgan: We haven't had a chance to review James Franco's book, Palo Alto, which is a collection of short stories. But here is what I do know. He has taken writing classes at both NYU and Columbia (although there were rumors that that he slept his way through most of his classes, it's no wonder, considering that he was writing a book of short stories as well as acting - in my favorite role - as the crazy Franco on General Hospital. )

Question: Do you have any news about what is happening with the publisher Dorchester? - A.D.

Morgan: We covered Dorchester's transition to publishing primarily e-books back in August (here). But we reports are emerging that all is not going smoothly. For the latest Dorchester developments, check out what former Dorchester authors Jana DeLeon and Leslie Langtry had to say over at the blog SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.

Question:  I just loved the Jean Johnson series Sons of Destiny, but with all eight brothers getting their HEA, have we seen the last of this world? - Diana 

Morgan: I am happy to report that Johnson's anthology, Finding Destiny, will be released in January and will return readers to the historical fantasy setting that the author is known for. So get ready to read about powerful magic and strong characters in the four novellas "The Slave", "The Knight", "The Mage" and "The Pirate." My favorite story in the collection, "The Pirate", has Ellett and Mita duking it out on a ship in a magical duel. (Hint to Mita: never go up against a man who can control the weather with nothing more than a wave of his hand!)

Question: I love non-fiction but I am very disappointed that RT doesn't review it. Do you have any suggestions for me?  - Diane

Morgan: In the magazine we cover a new non-fiction title each month in Fan Forum. But here are some non-fiction suggestions to tide you over until you get your next issue of RT BOOK REVIEWS. I just read Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates, a re-telling of the pilgrims that was both informative and hilarious. If all history classes were taught the way this story is written, Americans would know a lot more. And the next non-fiction that I am looking forward to is the new autobiography of Mark Twain. (This great American writer had a clause in his will saying that his autobiography couldn't be published until 100 years after his death. As he is one of my favorite writers, I couldn't be more thrilled that the wait is finally over.) I don't have as much time to read non-fiction as I'd like, so I also asked Whitney about her recent non-fic favorites. She says, "First up is The Story of Sushi by Trevor Corson. This book looks at the way that sushi took over America in the last few decades and delves into the art behind this delicious Japanese food. If you are searching for a more metaphysical read, I would suggest that you check out The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. This book by Robin Sharma encourages you to try new ways of thinking, even though I never really got into spiritual aspects of the story, it was full of interesting brain exercises. And finally I would suggest that you check out Mary Roach's Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex which delves into the evolutionary impulses and interesting experiments concerning sex." These titles should satify your non-fiction needs until you get your December issue of RT BOOK REVIEWS.

That's all for this week. Remember, if you have a question about anything that's going on with your favorite authors and books, send me an email at and I promise to give you the inside scoop on the publishing world! 

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