Some bits and pieces of historical novel fare.
It's finally been revealed who will be playing Mary Boleyn (opposite Natalie Portman as Anne, and Eric Bana as Henry VIII) in the upcoming film version of The Other Boleyn Girl. I think Scarlett Johansson's a decent choice; what think you? But I'm puzzled by the choice of Rue McClanahan to play Lady Jane Rochford... that'll make for quite an age difference between Anne and her sister-in-law, who were relatively of the same age in "real life," and it makes me wonder what other changes will be made to Gregory's novel for the film (and to history, for that matter).
A link to this story has been passed around the web so many times over the past several days that nearly everyone's probably seen it, but what the heck: here's USA Today's profile of Kathleen McGowan, in which she reveals she's the descendant of a secret marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the subject of her upcoming novel The Expected One. I read it a few months ago in ARC, and while it's a creatively told story overall, it does take quite a while to hit its stride, and I don't think critical reception will be favorable. On the other hand, with a backstory like this, people will be talking about it widely anyway, if not reading it. The author photo in the article isn't flattering at all, incidentally. She signed my ARC at BEA in June, and she's more attractive than the photo makes her out to look.
And in her online newsletter, Jennifer Donnelly writes about her upcoming novel The Winter Rose, sequel to The Tea Rose (an Irish-American romantic saga that came out 2 or so years ago, and which I really enjoyed). Looking forward to the new one. I found it listed on Amazon UK, with a November 2006 publication date, and Donnelly mentions that it'll be appearing from Hyperion in the US next spring.