Tara Parsons: Q&A with the Greek book series editor

Posted July 23, 2010 by Sara | Novel Novice 2 Comments


Earlier today, we brought you our review of Greek: Double Date by Marsha Warner — the first in a new series of books based on the hit ABC Family series. We’re also offering you the chance to win a copy of the book!

This afternoon, we’ve got an exclusive Q&A with the series editor, Tara Parsons from Harlequin Teen — who talks about turning a TV show into a book series (usually it’s the other way around) and even gives us a sneak peek at what’s to come!

What’s it like editing a book that’s based on a TV show? How do you relate the book to the series, while still making it accessible to readers who’ve never seen the show?

Not surprisingly, it’s a lot of fun — especially because I’m such a fan of the show. The writer was able to capture the characters’ voices so well, it felt like watching a secret episode of the show that never aired. To make the book accessible to those that haven’t watched the show, we worked closely with the author and ABC Family to plot a story that would bring the characters’ most notable vices and virtues to the forefront. In books, as in television, if you can portray humor and the seemingly real-life flaws of people, readers will respond.

What’s the benefit for fans of the show to reading the new book series?

The books follow the general timeline of the television show, but are entirely original stories, so fans of the show will see more of their favorite characters in new situations. Since we worked closely with ABC Family, we were able to ensure that the characters’ voices and motivations were authentic. Even watching the show, a viewer might wonder what Cappie or Casey is thinking internally, but never really know. With the books, they’ll find out what their thoughts are behind their actions.

Do you or the author, Marsha Warner, work at all with any of the TV show’s creative team? And if so, in what way or to what extent?

Yes! We worked with several representatives from the show, from the development side as well as from the show’s writing team. It was truly a collaborative effort, with all sides brainstorming story ideas and vetting the pages to make sure we stayed true to what GREEK creator Patrick Sean Smith saw for his characters.

How is editing a book series based on a TV show different from editing an original book/series?

In some ways it’s easier — having seen so many episodes of the show, it was easier to pinpoint the few areas that didn’t encapsulate the show’s voices, and fix them. The challenges came from needing to make sure we were depicting all of the true motivations of the characters on the show. For instance, we needed to find out how Cappie really feels about his future (Is he a slacker? Does he avoid the future because of something having to do with how he was raised? Does he have a master plan behind it all?) so that all his actions in this book still make sense in future episodes of the show.

Are there any teasers you can share with readers about what’s coming in future books?

Hmmm, I’m probably not supposed to do this….But, I think readers can look forward to a bigger confrontation between all the ex-es on the show, that will give them some new insights into why some of them *really* broke up and how they may still feel about one another.

Remember — check out our review for more on how you can win a copy of Greek: Double Date!

Sara | Novel Novice
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