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  • Writer's pictureJ.S. Dewes

Reading Quest » The Phantom of the Opera

🤔 What’s your favorite classic? 📚

Huge thanks to my friend & critique partner @author_t_a_chan for this gorgeous sprayed-edge copy of my favorite classic, The Phantom of the Opera!

I LOVE IT. It’s SO PRETTY. 😍 Go check out Tina’s amazing book shop, Libernation Books!


So, let me TL;DR you a Phantom rant: ⁠

The novel is honestly hilarious, and so so so much better than musical (from a story perspective. I still love the musical, don’t get me wrong. Give me 1880s angst + 1980s rock guitar any day.)⁠

But, as with a lot of adaptations, so much is lost in translation. In the novel, Erik’s a literal (architectural) genius with an incredible backstory (who’s honestly just really tired of everyone’s BS), Christine has *gasp* !!agency!! (though still not a ton), and Raoul is *not* a completely useless lamppost.⁠

Fun Fact: my third novel is actually a sci-fi “retelling” of PotO (called Rubicon! get it? point of no return? 🤗🤣). It’s *so* loosely aligned that I would never pitch it as an actual retelling, but it was definitely the core of my inspiration.⁠

HOWEVER, after talking to my agent, we’ve decided to shelve that project for the time being. It’s just very…dark and gritty and visceral and internal and just doesn't align super well with the trajectory of my current "author brand.” (Which is basically: BIG, epic, character-driven space opera. Which I *LOVE* and couldn’t be more excited about!)⁠

Rest assured, Rubicon will see the light of day eventually if it’s the last thing I do—I sold part of my soul to get that story on the page and it will *not* die on the shelf. It’s simply not the right time, and I’m happy to set it aside and wait. Publishing is nothing if not a trial in patience. 😊😊😊⁠

BONUS — I finally get to read THE LIGHT BRIGADE by Kameron Hurley! It came out shortly after I wrote Rubicon, and it felt like such a close comp that I didn’t want to read it and unduly influence myself. 🤗 I’m REALLY excited to finally get to read it after like, 2 years!⁠

SEE? There’s always a bright side!! ⁠

Okay, way enough optimism for one day! BYE. KEEP YOUR HAND AT THE LEVEL OF YOUR EYES.⁠


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