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May Third Thursday: “Adaptation: Going from Book to Screen”

May 16 2024 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT

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WLT hosts Third Thursday each month, featuring discussions focusing on specific topics of interest to writers and readers, bringing together distinguished panelists for conversations moderated by a WLT staff member.

Film and television adaptations of our favorite books often elicit strong reactions. After all, there’s an ownership we feel over a story that’s played out so viscerally in our head and hearts. So, of course it follows, that an adaptation of your own book might come with its own set of joys and challenges, to say the least. 

For our May Third Thursday conversation, we’ll be joined by celebrated authors Louis Bayard (The Pale Blue Eye, streaming now on Netflix), May Cobb (The Hunting Wives, currently in production), and Owen Egerton who have each navigated this thrilling and daunting journey of having their work adapted for the screen. (In the case of Owen Egerton, we’ll have the bonus perspective of a novel and short story writer who is also a screenwriter and director!) We’ll hear from all three about the process, from getting the call to watching their stories unfold in 3D. 

This conversation will be moderated by WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver.

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Buy our panelists’ books and support indie bookstores! You can find our May Third Thursday booklist here.


Featured Presenter(s)

Louis Bayard, in the words of the New York Times, “reinvigorates historical fiction,” rendering the past “as if he’d witnessed it firsthand.” His acclaimed novels include The Pale Blue Eye, adapted into the global #1 Netflix release starring Christian Bale, Jackie & Me, ranked by the Washington Post as one of the top novels of 2022, the national bestseller Courting Mr. Lincoln, Roosevelt's Beast, The School of Night, The Black Tower, and Mr. Timothy, as well as the highly praised young-adult novel, Lucky Strikes. A New York Times Notable author, he has been nominated for both the Edgar and Dagger awards, and his story, “Banana Triangle Six,” was chosen for The Best American Mystery Stories. His reviews and articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Salon. An instructor at George Washington University, he is the chair of the PEN/Faulkner Awards and was the author of the popular Downton Abbey recaps for the New York Times. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
May Cobb is an award-winning author of The Hunting Wives, My Summer Darlings, A Likeable Woman, and Big Woods. Her books have received attention from Book of The Month, The Today Show, and Oprah Daily and have been optioned for film/TV. She has an M.A. from San Francisco State University and her essays and interviews have appeared in The Washington Post and Good Housekeeping. She currently lives in Austin with her family.
Owen EgertonOwen Egerton is the writer/director of three feature films: FollowBlood Fest, and Mercy Black which premiered on Netflix this past spring. As a screenwriter, Egerton has written for Fox, Disney, and Warner Brothers, and HBO. He’s written several novels including The Book of Harold the Illegitimate Son of God and Hollow, which was named one of the Best Books of 2017 by NPR. Egerton is also one of the comics behind the Alamo Drafthouse’s Master Pancake Theater.


May 16 2024
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT
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Online via Zoom