Friday, March 27, 2009

Reader Questions

I had an incredibly lazy morning. I slept pretty late and then because I was comfortable and realized I had no urgent reason to get up, I let myself lie around a while. Reason # 4,677 why I love this job. I felt like I earned the rest, given that I wrote more than 2,000 words yesterday and had a grueling (but fun) ballet class last night. I'm starting to really get into this new book, and I reached the first major turning point yesterday. Today should be a good working day, as it's very dark and cloudy and the weather is getting colder.

Which means tonight will be lovely for TV watching. I should get to finally see the entirety of the Battlestar Galactica finale, and then they're showing one of those Stargate made-for-DVD movies that followed the series. I like the Stargate stuff enough to watch it on TV, but not enough to buy a DVD of something I hadn't seen, so it's nice that they're putting it on TV now. As of noon, my cable on-screen guide was showing BSG at 6-8 (Central) and the Stargate movie at 8-10, so I don't know if they're trimming BSG or if those last 12 minutes are spilling over unannounced again.

I've been getting a lot of reader questions, and a lot of the same ones keep popping up, so I'll make a go of answering them here, so everyone can see them all at once (since getting through all my e-mail is taking a very long time, sorry!).

The main one I'm being asked lately is how I see my characters, and especially who I want to see playing them in the movie (if the movie gets made). That's kind of a delicate topic. When I initially started writing the first book, I did mentally "cast" a couple of the roles. Then for other roles I've later come across people who seemed to perfectly fit my mental images of those characters. But I'm hesitant to say who those people are, especially now that a possible film is actually in development. I don't want to be on record as having named anyone because I don't want anyone to claim that whoever does get cast is wrong, based on what I've said. I also don't want to put any preconceived notions into anyone's head because I want the characters to be for you the way you imagine them when you read the books, if that makes sense. And based on the casting suggestions people send me in e-mail, it does seem like everyone has their own ideas of what these characters are like.

Then there's the fact that even for the roles I've mentally cast, the characters took on lives of their own once I really got going, and I now see the characters in my head, not those actors. The characters may bear a passing resemblance to those actors, but they are no longer played in my head by those people. In a couple of cases, I've even found myself re-casting, as the characters have taken on a slightly different shape and I've come across someone even better.

The fact that a movie is in the earliest development stages (which still doesn't mean it will be made, but it does have an IMDB listing) makes me even more leery of getting into casting. I generally dislike movies based on books I've read just because it takes me a while to get past my mental images from reading the books so that I can accept the actual images from the movies. I imagine it will be ten times more difficult when it's a movie based on a book I wrote. It would be even worse if I'd really thought about actors I want in it, and if those actors weren't cast. Because I'm no bestseller, I will have absolutely zero say in what goes into the movie, unless the screenwriter or producers are kind enough to even want to chat with me about it, and even then I doubt I'd get any kind of casting input, since a lot of the casting decisions will involve finding actors who can attract an audience rather than finding actors who fit the precise physical descriptions given in the book. So, it's kind of an emotional self-defense on my part to try very hard not to think about it so I won't be too attached to anything before I see what happens on the screen.

I have been asked how I picture Sam the gargoyle. Sam is based on a little gargoyle figurine I bought at the National Cathedral in Washington about a year and a half before I even got the idea for the story. I just fell in love with him, so when I started thinking about the idea, I knew it would have to have a gargoyle in it, and this would be the one. I suppose I could take a picture and post it, but that would require going downstairs, so it's not gonna happen. Basically, he's like a miniature dragon but with a gargoyle face.

Aha! Found him on the cathedral web site:

Any other questions?

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