After Mugglenet, 'The Queen of the Tearling' author gave an exclusive interview to Snitchseeker.
SnitchSeeker: In Queen of the Tearling there’s mention of Harry Potter books — are you a Potter fan?Erika Johansen: I’m a big Potter fan!
SnitchSeeker: You had said that you don’t like magic to have “rules” integral to the plot, but that J.K. Rowling is an exception. Why is that?Johansen: Because she’s so good at it. I never get stuck during her books. It’s not my fault, getting annoyed the way I do at so many other books. I really don’t analyze it usually I’m reading. I don’t know why. She’s just great.
SnitchSeeker: Emma Watson is attached to play the lead, but in the books Kelsea is a bit overweight and doesn’t seem to fit the type. Is that an issue with you?Johansen: Not at all. I was worried that they were going to pick a bad actress to play her - one of the various 18 to 25 set that I really feel can’t act. So when Emma Watson’s name came up, I was very excited. I wanted first and foremost a good actress who was actually intelligent for the role. I made Kelsea, for want of a better word, plain – that was a personal decision for me. But when it comes to movies, I understand it’s a very different world than the book. A book can do things it can’t and vice versa. So I never expected them to cast a plain unknown actress in the role. I was very excited just because, Emma Watson, she comes across as so smart in everything she says and does, and that is an integral feature of my heroine that I felt she would be able to really project.
SnitchSeeker: Our readers would agree with you.Johansen: I can’t see her playing a stupid character. I don’t see it working out.
SnitchSeeker: Is there anyone you’d like to see play the Red Queen?Johansen: Yeah actually, although I don’t think I’d ever get it, I would take Natalie Portman.
We were also curious as to how this new author landed a three-picture deal with Warner Bros and secured producer David Heyman (from the Harry Potter series) and actress Emma Watson to co-produce and star. We asked Johansen’s literary agent, Dorian Karchmar, how the deal went down. She explained:
“A pair of film agents at William Morris Endeavor, whose literary department represents Erika, read and fell in love with the debut in the wake of the book sale. With its interesting world-building and complex characters, including Kelsea Glynn, the flawed, compelling young queen at the center of the series, they hoped it might capture the imaginations of producer David Heyman and Emma Watson, who were looking to team up on a new project. It was incredibly exciting when Heyman, who has a first-look deal with Warner Brothers, and Watson both responded with great passion — Watson was so taken with the debut that she attached herself not only to star, but to executive produce. Screenplay writer Mark L. Smith has been brought on to adapt the book.”