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Uploaded:2019-01-22
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In which John discusses the incredible cast of the Let It Snow Netflix movie, which is based on a book written by MAUREEN JOHNSON, LAUREN MYRACLE, and me.

Maureen's new novel The Vanishing Stair came out TODAY: https://www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com/

Lauren Myracle's books are also great: http://www.laurenmyracle.com/


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(0:00) Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday. Great news! "Netflix Casts Starry Ensemble for Adaptation of John Green's 'Let It Snow'"

(0:05) It's true, sort of. It's definitely a starry ensemble.

(0:08) Kiernan Shipka from chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Shameik Moore from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

(0:13) Mitchell Hope, Odeya Rush, Anna Akana, Joan freakin' Cusack!

(0:17) I could not agree more with Vulture's assessment that this is "a Very Charming Cast for Netflix's John Green adaptation 'Let It Snow'."

(0:24) And I share the sense of anticipation expressed in the headline "Netflix is Bringing This John Green Novel To Life And We Can't Wait."

(0:29) There is a problem though, which is that this John Green novel is not a John Green novel.

(0:35) So back in 2007 and 2008 my friends Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson and I wrote a book together called "Let It Snow."

(0:41) We each wrote one romance story, set at nearly the same time in the same town in North Carolina during a blizzard.

(0:47) And then we work together to interconnect the stories in little ways so that each story would be kind of a window into the others.

(0:52) We had so much fun writing this book and I really hope that you can feel the joy when you read it.

(0:57) But the point is it is exactly as much Lauren and Maureen's book as it is mine.

(1:02) Quick side note to emphasize how excited I am about the casting and how amazing this whole thing is. Like when Lauren and Maureen and I wrote this book

(1:09) I had this like secret hope that it would one day be turned into a movie, but that hope was so unrealistic and ludicrous that I was embarrassed about it.

(1:17) And now we're here and the director Luke Snellin is a wonderful guy and the script is incredible

(1:21) like it made me cry with laughter, but also you know how sometimes you cry because something is just so sweet and lovely and aww!

(1:29) Yes that! But right, I get why this is happening in the press about the movie-

(1:33) Lauren and Maureen are both successful and acclaimed authors, but my name probably gets more clicks. And I get that it is hard to write a headline that contains the names of three separate authors and also several actors.

(1:43) But I think this kind of thing can become a self-fulfilling prophecy-

(1:45) like my name is in those headlines because I am better known but I am better known in part because my name is in those headlines.

(1:53) I feel like maybe the better way to handle this would be for instance

(1:55) "Netflix's YA Christmas Movie 'Let It Snow' Has a Chillingly Good Cast Led By Kiernan Shipka."

(2:00)
which also gets points for the chilling puns, but in the end of that headline might get fewer clicks because it isn't packed with names optimized for search engines.

(2:08) Now I realize this is not the world's biggest deal and might, in fact, be the world's smallest deal, but it's a personal experience of a broader phenomenon that concerns me which is that clickability is more important than accuracy.

(2:20) Those of us who make stuff online want algorithms to pick our stuff and so we are incentivized to tell you whatever truth will hold and capture your attention because that's what the algorithms want to do.

(2:32) This isn't quite the same thing as being untrustworthy or spreading misinformation

(2:35) like, John Green's 'Let It Snow' really is coming to Netflix with an amazing cast-

(2:40) It's just that Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson's 'Let It Snow' are too.

(2:44) And so you end up seeing, at least in the headlines, stories that are true while also being distorted. You end up seeing A truth that will grab your attention which is never quite THE truth.

(2:55) Of course this isn't new- like when I was a kid, the 11 o'clock news would always start with something like "Is this factory poisoning children? More after the break."

(3:02) And it doesn't mean the websites I read or the local news I watch are inherently evil or anything

(3:07) I just think understanding what media wants from you helps you to understand what they're providing to you.

(3:13) I know it often feels like as readers and viewers, we have no control over the huge forces that are shaping information flow

(3:20) but I actually think if we pay careful attention to the information we ingest, we do end up changing the way information works, at least for ourselves.

(3:30) So yeah, I can't wait for Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson and John Green's 'Let It Snow' to be a movie!

(3:34) Hank, I will see you on Friday.