Guest Blog Wednesdays with… Nicki J Markus

This week on Guest Blog Wednesdays at The Australian Bookshelf we are joined by author, Nicki J Markus. Welcome Nicki!

But the Book was Better: Adaptations and Unrealistic Expectations

Many of us will have felt this way over the years. You go to see the film version of your favourite book and walk out of the cinema filled with disappointment and resentment. Why? Because adaptations rarely seem to live up to our expectations. But are our expectations sometimes unrealistic?

I was thinking about this subject just yesterday. The musical Wicked is currently showing here in Adelaide and I was trying to decide whether or not to see it. I have actually seen the show twice in London and love it, but do I want to go again? This led me to think about the book on which it is based. The show and book differ in a number of ways, but I can enjoy both because I understand the need for the changes. Here is the crucial point though – I saw the show before I read the book.

I think for most people the problems come from reading the book first. When you read you are drawn into the world of the book and, if you are anything like me, you create an image of the characters in your head: how they look, what their voices sound like, what they wear…. Then along comes the adaptation, be it TV, film or stage, and the characters are ‘wrong’. “But in the book Elena is blonde and Stefan has green eyes,” many people complained when the TV version of Vampire Diaries started, for example.

Now, in my opinion the books are nearly always better, but that doesn’t mean I think all adaptations are awful. Some of the French TV versions of books like Les Miserables and Count of Monte Cristo have been excellent and Peter Jackson did a marvellous job with Lord of the Rings even if some die-hard fans were upset over the loss of a few scenes from the books.

Naturally there are also many adaptations that I don’t like, because I feel the casting was wrong or because I think it strays too far from the text. But every time I feel anger bubbling within at the desecration of a beloved story, I try to remind myself that different mediums need to tell the story in different ways and they are never going to please everyone. Sure, I was happy with that choice of actor as that was how I pictured the character, but someone else reading the book might have conceived him in an entirely different way and believe the casting to be a travesty.

Love them or hate them, adaptations are here to stay and as readers we sometimes just need to take a deep breath and remember that even if we hate the film, we can always go back to the book we love and find our pleasure there.

Nicki J Markus was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her fiancé. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist. She launched her writing career in 2010 and has so far had manuscripts accepted for e-book publication by both Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing. To find out more about her and her writing, visit her website/blog:

Her latest release is the second part of her four-part paranormal Time Keepers mini-series. Her books are available from: Amazon, OmniLit, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and Bookstrand.

 Time Keepers – Part 1 – Running Blind

“It seems like any ordinary day as Nick waits for the train, but then a chance encounter with a young woman turns his world upside down. What is it that she is running from and will helping her jeopardise his own secret, making him a target too?”


Time Keepers – Part 2 – The Beast Within

“With Nick’s secret now exposed, he and Ellie must run for their lives, pursued by the Governor and his Time Keepers. Will they be able to stay hidden or is their time nearly up?”

If you would like to feature on Guest Blog Wednesdays at The Australian Bookshelf- whether you are an author, reader, writer, blogger- drop me a line at and tell me a bit about yourself.  Regards, Jayne.


  • I agree with you Nikki. Am in my senior years now so there has been a lot of reading under the bridge. One favourite has always been Alistair Maclean in his earlier years, before he took on a ghost writer. Several of his books, which I know so well, were made into movies and I felt deprived because these movies did not seem to be up to standard to his books. I am well aware that diffeent medias require different adaptations from a book, for how can you portray on film what it felt like to stand there with a colt 45 pointed at your hip and expecting any moment the gun would go off. This is the first few opening pages of When Eight Bells Toll. That is impossible to film or write into a play. The emotion. The gun was held by a dead man. There are many scene pictures in one’s mind from a book and a rude shock awaits when watching the movie or the play. Now I go to see a movie adaptation of a book, ready to enjoy something just a little bit different. Mostly though, the story line is still the same, just different scenes tp what one expects.

  • Thanks Colleen. I actually haven’t read anything by that author – I’ll have to check him out.

    Thanks Jayne for having me on the blog!

  • Thanks Nicki for being a guest on my blog.
    I must say that I do prefer to read the book before the movie and at times am disappointed, thinking ‘that’s not how it is supposed to happen’ at times. Although, I really did enjoy the recent film adaptation of John Marsden’s ‘Tomorrow when the war began,’ i thought that was pretty close to the mark. That film had high expectations to live up to!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: