Monday , September 26 2022

The fascinating life of author Deborah Harkness


She is a beautiful witch who is not aware of the unusual power she possesses; he is inexplicably attracted (of course) to a vampire who inexplicably attracts her, and together they think to find an ancient manuscript and save the "world of creatures" hidden in a desperate view of the rest of us.

Let's hurry, we go again – at least that's what the temptation is to think about already Detection of witches, which launches SKI's new SoHo2 channel tomorrow night, is a cut above your average love-vampire supernatural historical romance.

That is, believe it or not, reduce it with a good dose of realism.

Perhaps because the writer of the book on which the television series based is sincerely knows his things. Armed with three university degrees and subjects studied at Oakford University, Deborah Harkness is a respected academic who thoroughly investigated the history of alchemy, magic, occultity, and science.

Before she wrote Detection of witches, the first of All Souls's Trilogy, its previous publications included the study of John Dee, mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and adviser to Queen Elizabeth I and the book on the influence of Elizabeth London on the "social foundations of the scientific revolution."

This means that a Fulbright scientist is really sitting in Oxford's Bodleian Library for real research. No wonder Oxford – and Bodleian – seem so authentic and appealing Detection of witches& # 39; s Gentle and Eternal Scenes.

When she is not, as he does now, traveling the world by promoting her books or serving as an executive producer on a television series, you will find Harkness at the University of Southern California at a bachelor's thesis Introduction to Historical Methods.

But life was not the same since 2011 Detection of witches became an international bestseller. Then she was an academician who, thanks to the number of blockbusters about spells, magic and vampires, decided to turn to the question of whether she could write.

By Deborah Harkness.
By Deborah Harkness.

After all, Harkness had folders and cabinets full of drawing materials, so it was easier to come up with a story for a character who (a spoiler warning) is traveling backwards and get details of what they find when they arrive there.

The story begins with the visit of American historian Diana Teresa to Oxford before an unexpected event occurs through a vicious manuscript, the mysterious Ashmole 782. Suddenly surrounded by other witches, demons and vampires, especially the 1500-year-old French blood Prince Matthews Goode ) who want a book. The problem disappeared again.

"Historically, these types of characters are monsters on which we are projecting the fears of the moment, they are characters that allow us to think about the problems of difference," says Harkness to their constant appeal. "Both of us are fascinated by people who are different, but we are also afraid of people who are different and that is the dynamics that has always been part of their story."

And, she added, we are all slightly attached to supernatural and the possibility that witches and demons can exist.

Film rights on Detection of witches quickly burst, but equally fast, it became obvious that the complex story would not be condensed into a 90-minute movie. These rights have disappeared; Harkness wrote two other books, then BBC Jane Tranter called to talk about the book as a television series. Harkness liked that Tranter, executive vice president of the BBC's Worldvide program and production in Los Angeles, adapted Charles Dickens's books to TV.

"I thought," well, if she can do Charles Dickens, she can do mine! ""

Harkness has become an executive producer for a series of eight, but says that this does not mean she had great control over the adaptation.

"I do not even have control over my hair," she laughs, down the line from the hotel room in London. "So no, I did not have much control over things like casting, but I was part of a collaborative team that was a great party for someone who normally works alone.

"It was incredible for me to show myself on the screen and see my imaginary friends up there, and then I had to sit in a hotel room, like a normal man, and actually watch an episode because it just happened on television. It really hit me this magical . "

Is it a magical team that Harkness launches the fourth book, Time's Convert, at the same time Detection of witches Is it shown on the positive reviews, solid ratings and nominations for prestigious national television awards in the UK in January?

Time & # 39; s Convert & # 39; Deborah Harkness (Hachette, $ 35)
Time & # 39; s Convert & # 39; Deborah Harkness (Hachette, $ 35)

She agrees that she could not have planned her better, but she says it is pure awareness. Time's Convert sticks with some of the characters from the trilogy All Souls; in this case Marcus Vhitmore, son of Matt Clermont, and his girlfriend Phoebe Tailor who decides to join him in eternal blood. As Phoebe intertwines, Marcus remembers his own trip to see him fighting in the American Revolutionary War, visiting France during his revolution and spending time in Neville Orleans.

For Harkness, that means being a student again; The Enlightenment – its revolutions and the movement towards democracy – is not its domain at all.

"But I like to figure out the characters, exploring them and forming them, so it seemed like an obvious next step to borrowing more into Mark and Fibo's life, but the challenge was that the 18th-century world was very different and I wanted to put it down in a way that was in keeping with the way of writing about the 16th century.

"I also have colleagues who specialize in the 18th century and I wanted to continue walking along my high-rise office door."

They did not spend the whole past in their life, would not you like to visit? That's definitely not.

"Life was very, very difficult and everyone thought they would return, they would live in a comfortable home with enough food, but the reality is that most people did not live such a life," says Harkness. "I came to take certain things for the freedom of movement and my right to occupy space in a room as a woman. It would not have been possible as a woman with many opinions, and that would have been a difficult position to occupy then."

Detection of witches launches SKH's SoHo2 on Wednesday, November 7 at 20:30; episodes will also be available on NEON. Time's Convert (Hachette, $ 35) is now out.

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