How I Discovered 1675 in 1971

From Susan/Miranda:

One of the questions that people love to ask writers (and most writers hate to answer) is “Where do you get your ideas?” While some of us prefer the snappy smart-ass reply – “Why, I get mine at the Idea Store!” –– the truth is often so murky and roundabout that it’s almost impossible to give. But sometimes the answer is so clear and precise that it could come with a date stamp.

Such is the case with my next book, DUCHESS, to be released early in August. My first foray into fictionalized biography, DUCHESS is the story of Sarah Churchill, first Duchess of Marlborough. Recently I received an email from my publicist at NAL, requesting that I answer several background questions about the book to help her generate publicity about it. The first question was, of course, a variation of the old favorite: When did you first become interested in Sarah Churchill?

And I knew at once: 1971. The very first BBC series shown in America as part of PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre was a multi-part saga set in 17th century England called “The First Churchills”, staring Susan Hampshire and John Neville. I was in high school, and though I was already branded a history nerd, I’d never heard of any Churchill beyond Sir Winston, and all I knew of King Charles II and his bawdy Restoration court had come via a well-thumbed copy of “Forever Amber.” But with millions of other viewers, I was instantly drawn into the lives of the beautiful, ambitious Sarah and her dashing soldier John as they contrived to rise from penniless beginnings to the very highest places in the English court and army –– the most powerful and wealthiest couple of their time. For the majority of “First Churchills” fans, the series was a fascinating way to pass Sunday night. For me, it was the germ of a novel I wouldn’t realize I’d write for another thirty-four years.

I began to think of other movies or television shows that helped shape my impressions of the past that still influence me today. I don’t mean actual research, but more the romantic sweep of history that sank so deeply into my impressionable teen-aged bones that it remains with me now.

First and foremost, of course, would be Franco Zefferelli’s 1968 version of “Romeo and Juliet.” The overture alone is enough to reduce a whole generation of long-grown women to shuddering sighs (and apparently remains popular enough that the DVD is #351 on Amazon, with nearly two hundred comments!) In those days of limited movie distribution, my friends and I skipped school and took the bus into Manhattan to the Paris movie theatre on 57th Street, the one place where it seemed always to be playing (and why, I ask you, do I still remember THAT?) and where we’d weep in the dark and savor the gorgeously romantic past of Zefferelli’s Renaissance. Leonard Whiting in dark blue velvet wasn’t so bad, either.

Victorian England had already hooked its marcasite claws into me through Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy, and “Far From the Madding Crowd” in 1967 carried me off to Wessex with Julie Christie and her perfect Mod-girl straight bangs and sulky mouth. As Bathsheba Everdene, she was wooed by three heroes –– Alan Bates, Terrence Stamp, and Peter Finch –– which, when you’re struggling to achieve the notice of churlish high school boys, struck me as glorious excess. I’ve never forgotten the wide, melancholy vistas of Hardy-country, Terrence Stamp’s flopping black hair and beautiful army uniform, and Julie’s skirts billowing in the wind.

The 1970 version of D.H. Lawrence’s “Women in Love” was an eye-opener of another kind. Alan Bates again, plus Oliver Reed. Yes, Glenda Jackson won the Oscar, but all I remember was those two men eating figs in a lascivious way that simultaneously embarrassed and fascinated my adolescent self. This wasn’t “Romeo and Juliet” love; this was something else entirely from health class filmstrips, something dark and sensuous and very, very grown-up. Terence Stamp, Oliver Reed, Alan Bates –– are they the reasons that so many of the heroes I’ve written have been Englishmen with dark hair and blue eyes?

There were many more period movies that left their mark on me –– Tom Jones, Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Barry Lyndon –– movies that remain much more vivid in my memory than any of their newer counterparts can ever be. I don’t seem to have the patience for movies now. I see too many historical inaccuracies, inconsistencies in characters, weaknesses in plot development, all the curse of habitual self-editing. Sadly, that innocence of blissful ignorance can’t be regained, any more than I could squeeze into a pair of Landlubber or Britannia jeans from the same vintage.

I don’t buy the DVD’s of my old favorites, either. Just as it’s better not to discover that the old boyfriend is now bald and belting his Dockers south of the equator, I’d rather leave Juliet and Bathsheba in the hazy, flattering glow of the their past, and mine.

And, like Sarah Churchill, I never know how or when they’ll rise up from my memory and into my writing.

Now it’s your turn: what movies influence you back in what was once called “the formative years”? When you write or read, who do you unconsciously cast as your characters? Is Clark Gable your phantom bad-boy, or Brad Pitt? Time to ‘fess up!

90 thoughts on “How I Discovered 1675 in 1971”


  1. To reveal my, uh… strange tastes, or not to reveal…
    A movie that stands out in my memory as liberating is DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, starring Madonna, Aidan Quinn and Roseann Arquette. Roseann shucking her cheatin’ hubby for the painfully romantic chinese food delivery boy seemed my cup of tea at the time. Who am I kidding, it still is. Though my husband is a darling, really.
    My subconscious heros… Oh G-d! Steven Tyler. It’s true!!! I digged on Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall, but only in Legends of the Fall. That hair was dreamy.
    My heroes are definitely figments of my imagination, but they are never overly muscular. They are long and lanky.

    Reply

  2. To reveal my, uh… strange tastes, or not to reveal…
    A movie that stands out in my memory as liberating is DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, starring Madonna, Aidan Quinn and Roseann Arquette. Roseann shucking her cheatin’ hubby for the painfully romantic chinese food delivery boy seemed my cup of tea at the time. Who am I kidding, it still is. Though my husband is a darling, really.
    My subconscious heros… Oh G-d! Steven Tyler. It’s true!!! I digged on Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall, but only in Legends of the Fall. That hair was dreamy.
    My heroes are definitely figments of my imagination, but they are never overly muscular. They are long and lanky.

    Reply

  3. To reveal my, uh… strange tastes, or not to reveal…
    A movie that stands out in my memory as liberating is DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, starring Madonna, Aidan Quinn and Roseann Arquette. Roseann shucking her cheatin’ hubby for the painfully romantic chinese food delivery boy seemed my cup of tea at the time. Who am I kidding, it still is. Though my husband is a darling, really.
    My subconscious heros… Oh G-d! Steven Tyler. It’s true!!! I digged on Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall, but only in Legends of the Fall. That hair was dreamy.
    My heroes are definitely figments of my imagination, but they are never overly muscular. They are long and lanky.

    Reply
  4. Susan/Miranda, the favourite influential films you mentioned are on my list as well. But I watch them again, frequently.
    Other historical films I enjoy include Tess (another Hardy adaptation), Anne of the Thousand Days, Twelfth Night (the Edwarian version with Imogen Stubbs/Toby Stephens), and a fairly recent discovery, The Emperor’s New Clothes (about a post-Waterloo Napoleon).
    I re-watch my favourites compulsively, and often…
    I’m terribly fond of Far from the Madding Crowd (despite Julie’s bangs!), a powerful early influence. About a year ago I was wandering about Kensington, and on rounding a corner ran smack into Terence Stamp. Yes, he’s aged and grey, but still totally Sergeant Troy–with those same sexy, piercing eyes! Took my breath away.
    As I’ve expressed before, I’m looking forward to Duchess very much indeed.

    Reply
  5. Susan/Miranda, the favourite influential films you mentioned are on my list as well. But I watch them again, frequently.
    Other historical films I enjoy include Tess (another Hardy adaptation), Anne of the Thousand Days, Twelfth Night (the Edwarian version with Imogen Stubbs/Toby Stephens), and a fairly recent discovery, The Emperor’s New Clothes (about a post-Waterloo Napoleon).
    I re-watch my favourites compulsively, and often…
    I’m terribly fond of Far from the Madding Crowd (despite Julie’s bangs!), a powerful early influence. About a year ago I was wandering about Kensington, and on rounding a corner ran smack into Terence Stamp. Yes, he’s aged and grey, but still totally Sergeant Troy–with those same sexy, piercing eyes! Took my breath away.
    As I’ve expressed before, I’m looking forward to Duchess very much indeed.

    Reply
  6. Susan/Miranda, the favourite influential films you mentioned are on my list as well. But I watch them again, frequently.
    Other historical films I enjoy include Tess (another Hardy adaptation), Anne of the Thousand Days, Twelfth Night (the Edwarian version with Imogen Stubbs/Toby Stephens), and a fairly recent discovery, The Emperor’s New Clothes (about a post-Waterloo Napoleon).
    I re-watch my favourites compulsively, and often…
    I’m terribly fond of Far from the Madding Crowd (despite Julie’s bangs!), a powerful early influence. About a year ago I was wandering about Kensington, and on rounding a corner ran smack into Terence Stamp. Yes, he’s aged and grey, but still totally Sergeant Troy–with those same sexy, piercing eyes! Took my breath away.
    As I’ve expressed before, I’m looking forward to Duchess very much indeed.

    Reply
  7. Will I ever show my age with this one! Gone With the Wind was a major influence in shaping my image of the romantic hero. I was born well after the original release, although it is one of the first movies I can remember my mother talking about. But before the days of DVDs or even VCRs, Hollywood re-released films. I don’t know how many times they re-released Gone With the Wind, but I think I saw it every time. I even took two busloads of sixteen-year-olds to see it in downtown Atlanta the first year I taught. I will never understand how Scarlett could have yearned for Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) when Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) was available. Sigh!

    Reply
  8. Will I ever show my age with this one! Gone With the Wind was a major influence in shaping my image of the romantic hero. I was born well after the original release, although it is one of the first movies I can remember my mother talking about. But before the days of DVDs or even VCRs, Hollywood re-released films. I don’t know how many times they re-released Gone With the Wind, but I think I saw it every time. I even took two busloads of sixteen-year-olds to see it in downtown Atlanta the first year I taught. I will never understand how Scarlett could have yearned for Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) when Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) was available. Sigh!

    Reply
  9. Will I ever show my age with this one! Gone With the Wind was a major influence in shaping my image of the romantic hero. I was born well after the original release, although it is one of the first movies I can remember my mother talking about. But before the days of DVDs or even VCRs, Hollywood re-released films. I don’t know how many times they re-released Gone With the Wind, but I think I saw it every time. I even took two busloads of sixteen-year-olds to see it in downtown Atlanta the first year I taught. I will never understand how Scarlett could have yearned for Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) when Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) was available. Sigh!

    Reply
  10. Oooh, fun post/topic. I like see what others like.
    But here’s mine in no order.
    Richard C. in Slipper and the Rose (saw this at Radio City Music Hall as a tadpole)
    The Nutcracker. Again, very sexy if you’re about 5.
    Peter Frampton (he wore pink satin pants!), Rod Stewart (Yes, I’ll admit I liked his body and I found him sexy) and just about any and all British rock stars.
    Nicholas “what happened to him” Rowe in Young Shelock Holmes.
    Rufus Sewell — dreamy!
    What’s his name in Room with a View.
    Then all kinds of comedians no sane woman would find sexy like Rik Mayall, Steve Coogan, Steve Martin before plastic surgery, all the Marx Brothers… and I’ll stop before I really embarrass myself. : D

    Reply
  11. Oooh, fun post/topic. I like see what others like.
    But here’s mine in no order.
    Richard C. in Slipper and the Rose (saw this at Radio City Music Hall as a tadpole)
    The Nutcracker. Again, very sexy if you’re about 5.
    Peter Frampton (he wore pink satin pants!), Rod Stewart (Yes, I’ll admit I liked his body and I found him sexy) and just about any and all British rock stars.
    Nicholas “what happened to him” Rowe in Young Shelock Holmes.
    Rufus Sewell — dreamy!
    What’s his name in Room with a View.
    Then all kinds of comedians no sane woman would find sexy like Rik Mayall, Steve Coogan, Steve Martin before plastic surgery, all the Marx Brothers… and I’ll stop before I really embarrass myself. : D

    Reply
  12. Oooh, fun post/topic. I like see what others like.
    But here’s mine in no order.
    Richard C. in Slipper and the Rose (saw this at Radio City Music Hall as a tadpole)
    The Nutcracker. Again, very sexy if you’re about 5.
    Peter Frampton (he wore pink satin pants!), Rod Stewart (Yes, I’ll admit I liked his body and I found him sexy) and just about any and all British rock stars.
    Nicholas “what happened to him” Rowe in Young Shelock Holmes.
    Rufus Sewell — dreamy!
    What’s his name in Room with a View.
    Then all kinds of comedians no sane woman would find sexy like Rik Mayall, Steve Coogan, Steve Martin before plastic surgery, all the Marx Brothers… and I’ll stop before I really embarrass myself. : D

    Reply
  13. Who could forget Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans? He was the perfect alpha male hero to me. He found the woman he wanted and then he was utterly focused on her to the risk of life, limb and sanity. Sigh.
    Other movies that have earned a place in my psyche include The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Lawrence of Arabia (oh, Peter O’Toole and Omar Shariff – so hard to decide who was prettier) and How to Steal a Million (Peter O’Toole again).

    Reply
  14. Who could forget Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans? He was the perfect alpha male hero to me. He found the woman he wanted and then he was utterly focused on her to the risk of life, limb and sanity. Sigh.
    Other movies that have earned a place in my psyche include The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Lawrence of Arabia (oh, Peter O’Toole and Omar Shariff – so hard to decide who was prettier) and How to Steal a Million (Peter O’Toole again).

    Reply
  15. Who could forget Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans? He was the perfect alpha male hero to me. He found the woman he wanted and then he was utterly focused on her to the risk of life, limb and sanity. Sigh.
    Other movies that have earned a place in my psyche include The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Lawrence of Arabia (oh, Peter O’Toole and Omar Shariff – so hard to decide who was prettier) and How to Steal a Million (Peter O’Toole again).

    Reply
  16. Oh, how I wish I could figure out how to post photos in the text — we could have a great hero-gallery here, ranging from Clark Gable to Daniel Day-Lewis. (And a pretty good band as well, with Rod Stewart and Steven Tyler.)
    It’s interesting how it’s one often a single role that qualifies — Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall, Daniel Day-Lewis in Last of the Mohicans. I remember those specifically, too. ::sigh::
    Susie, I loved Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck, but that’s about it. A one-handed baker in his undershirt? Who knows why, but it worked. 🙂
    Margaret, you make an excellent case for travelling abroad if it means you get to run into Terrence Stamp on a London street.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  17. Oh, how I wish I could figure out how to post photos in the text — we could have a great hero-gallery here, ranging from Clark Gable to Daniel Day-Lewis. (And a pretty good band as well, with Rod Stewart and Steven Tyler.)
    It’s interesting how it’s one often a single role that qualifies — Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall, Daniel Day-Lewis in Last of the Mohicans. I remember those specifically, too. ::sigh::
    Susie, I loved Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck, but that’s about it. A one-handed baker in his undershirt? Who knows why, but it worked. 🙂
    Margaret, you make an excellent case for travelling abroad if it means you get to run into Terrence Stamp on a London street.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  18. Oh, how I wish I could figure out how to post photos in the text — we could have a great hero-gallery here, ranging from Clark Gable to Daniel Day-Lewis. (And a pretty good band as well, with Rod Stewart and Steven Tyler.)
    It’s interesting how it’s one often a single role that qualifies — Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall, Daniel Day-Lewis in Last of the Mohicans. I remember those specifically, too. ::sigh::
    Susie, I loved Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck, but that’s about it. A one-handed baker in his undershirt? Who knows why, but it worked. 🙂
    Margaret, you make an excellent case for travelling abroad if it means you get to run into Terrence Stamp on a London street.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  19. Great topic, Miranda!
    I know I’ll be ‘dating’ myself with this confession, too. But the actor I remember as a teenager most was Tyrone Power.He made many swashbuckling movies (like CAPTAIN FROM CASTILLE), and he had the most romantic burning black eyes. Just give me chills to think of him now!
    Ida

    Reply
  20. Great topic, Miranda!
    I know I’ll be ‘dating’ myself with this confession, too. But the actor I remember as a teenager most was Tyrone Power.He made many swashbuckling movies (like CAPTAIN FROM CASTILLE), and he had the most romantic burning black eyes. Just give me chills to think of him now!
    Ida

    Reply
  21. Great topic, Miranda!
    I know I’ll be ‘dating’ myself with this confession, too. But the actor I remember as a teenager most was Tyrone Power.He made many swashbuckling movies (like CAPTAIN FROM CASTILLE), and he had the most romantic burning black eyes. Just give me chills to think of him now!
    Ida

    Reply
  22. I really need to see The Last of the Mohicans–I’ve had two critique partners tell me the hero of my most recent manuscript reminded them of Daniel Day-Lewis’s character, and that that’s a Very Good Thing.
    My first movie crush was Harrison Ford as Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back, and my 4th-grader self thought the Han-Leia plot was the most romantic thing EVER. I was surprised upon seeing it again years later how little space it actually takes up, because to my childhood self that’s what the movie was ABOUT.
    I’d never thought of TESB/Han-Leia as having any influence whatsoever on my writing…but I just finished a manuscript with a strong military-adventure plot and a highborn heroine and common hero. Heh.
    But on the whole I’m more influenced by TV than movies, with the Joss Whedon shows–Buffy, Angel, and Firefly–the ones that have impacted me the most. When I’m in doubt about what to do with my plot, I sometimes even ask myself What Would Joss Do? And some of my favorite hero models are from the Jossverse–James Marsters as Spike, Alexis Denisof as Wesley, and Nathan Fillion as Mal in particular.
    I also like Russell Crowe in Gladiator, Sean Bean in just about anything but especially Sharpe, Indiana Jones-era Harrison Ford, Christopher Eccleston (I have a big crush on his Ninth Doctor), Karl Urban (Eomer in LOTR)…and Alton Brown of Food TV fame! One of these days I’m going to write an Alton-style Regency hero…

    Reply
  23. I really need to see The Last of the Mohicans–I’ve had two critique partners tell me the hero of my most recent manuscript reminded them of Daniel Day-Lewis’s character, and that that’s a Very Good Thing.
    My first movie crush was Harrison Ford as Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back, and my 4th-grader self thought the Han-Leia plot was the most romantic thing EVER. I was surprised upon seeing it again years later how little space it actually takes up, because to my childhood self that’s what the movie was ABOUT.
    I’d never thought of TESB/Han-Leia as having any influence whatsoever on my writing…but I just finished a manuscript with a strong military-adventure plot and a highborn heroine and common hero. Heh.
    But on the whole I’m more influenced by TV than movies, with the Joss Whedon shows–Buffy, Angel, and Firefly–the ones that have impacted me the most. When I’m in doubt about what to do with my plot, I sometimes even ask myself What Would Joss Do? And some of my favorite hero models are from the Jossverse–James Marsters as Spike, Alexis Denisof as Wesley, and Nathan Fillion as Mal in particular.
    I also like Russell Crowe in Gladiator, Sean Bean in just about anything but especially Sharpe, Indiana Jones-era Harrison Ford, Christopher Eccleston (I have a big crush on his Ninth Doctor), Karl Urban (Eomer in LOTR)…and Alton Brown of Food TV fame! One of these days I’m going to write an Alton-style Regency hero…

    Reply
  24. I really need to see The Last of the Mohicans–I’ve had two critique partners tell me the hero of my most recent manuscript reminded them of Daniel Day-Lewis’s character, and that that’s a Very Good Thing.
    My first movie crush was Harrison Ford as Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back, and my 4th-grader self thought the Han-Leia plot was the most romantic thing EVER. I was surprised upon seeing it again years later how little space it actually takes up, because to my childhood self that’s what the movie was ABOUT.
    I’d never thought of TESB/Han-Leia as having any influence whatsoever on my writing…but I just finished a manuscript with a strong military-adventure plot and a highborn heroine and common hero. Heh.
    But on the whole I’m more influenced by TV than movies, with the Joss Whedon shows–Buffy, Angel, and Firefly–the ones that have impacted me the most. When I’m in doubt about what to do with my plot, I sometimes even ask myself What Would Joss Do? And some of my favorite hero models are from the Jossverse–James Marsters as Spike, Alexis Denisof as Wesley, and Nathan Fillion as Mal in particular.
    I also like Russell Crowe in Gladiator, Sean Bean in just about anything but especially Sharpe, Indiana Jones-era Harrison Ford, Christopher Eccleston (I have a big crush on his Ninth Doctor), Karl Urban (Eomer in LOTR)…and Alton Brown of Food TV fame! One of these days I’m going to write an Alton-style Regency hero…

    Reply
  25. Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby–I just have to add that one. He was beautiful! The Great Gatsby was like Dr. Zhivago for me in that the setting imprinted itself on my mind as memorably as did the characters.

    Reply
  26. Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby–I just have to add that one. He was beautiful! The Great Gatsby was like Dr. Zhivago for me in that the setting imprinted itself on my mind as memorably as did the characters.

    Reply
  27. Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby–I just have to add that one. He was beautiful! The Great Gatsby was like Dr. Zhivago for me in that the setting imprinted itself on my mind as memorably as did the characters.

    Reply
  28. Alton Brown?
    I admit to digging on Rod Stewart too… still. And my husband resembled (past tense) Peter Frampton. Check him out on my website. Last picture under Personal Photos (he’s to the far right of the stage). SEXY! No, I was not a groupie. I met him respectably enough at my sister’s moving party.

    Reply
  29. Alton Brown?
    I admit to digging on Rod Stewart too… still. And my husband resembled (past tense) Peter Frampton. Check him out on my website. Last picture under Personal Photos (he’s to the far right of the stage). SEXY! No, I was not a groupie. I met him respectably enough at my sister’s moving party.

    Reply
  30. Alton Brown?
    I admit to digging on Rod Stewart too… still. And my husband resembled (past tense) Peter Frampton. Check him out on my website. Last picture under Personal Photos (he’s to the far right of the stage). SEXY! No, I was not a groupie. I met him respectably enough at my sister’s moving party.

    Reply
  31. Alton Brown?
    I don’t know if that’s a “Who is he?” or a “Susan, you’re crazy to be attracted to him” question, but if the former, he’s the host of Good Eats on the Food Network, and is a total geeky-sexy type.
    My critique partners are always coming up with their own casting ideas for my stories, and they’re never REMOTELY what I have in mind. It’s usually some popular actor I happen to find actively unattractive–e.g. Mel Gibson or Brad Pitt–and then I wonder how my description got so badly awry that anyone could imagine HIM as my beautiful hero! Does that happen to anyone else?

    Reply
  32. Alton Brown?
    I don’t know if that’s a “Who is he?” or a “Susan, you’re crazy to be attracted to him” question, but if the former, he’s the host of Good Eats on the Food Network, and is a total geeky-sexy type.
    My critique partners are always coming up with their own casting ideas for my stories, and they’re never REMOTELY what I have in mind. It’s usually some popular actor I happen to find actively unattractive–e.g. Mel Gibson or Brad Pitt–and then I wonder how my description got so badly awry that anyone could imagine HIM as my beautiful hero! Does that happen to anyone else?

    Reply
  33. Alton Brown?
    I don’t know if that’s a “Who is he?” or a “Susan, you’re crazy to be attracted to him” question, but if the former, he’s the host of Good Eats on the Food Network, and is a total geeky-sexy type.
    My critique partners are always coming up with their own casting ideas for my stories, and they’re never REMOTELY what I have in mind. It’s usually some popular actor I happen to find actively unattractive–e.g. Mel Gibson or Brad Pitt–and then I wonder how my description got so badly awry that anyone could imagine HIM as my beautiful hero! Does that happen to anyone else?

    Reply
  34. It was the latter. I know who he is. He’s on my tv right now. He just bought lard to make a lemon merange pie with. He dressed as a cowboy to make chili. He chased a crab around his kitchen.
    I dig on that guy who was selling hot sauce on Emeril. Who was that… ah yes, Steve Perry from Aerosmith I have a thing for skinny rocker bad boys.

    Reply
  35. It was the latter. I know who he is. He’s on my tv right now. He just bought lard to make a lemon merange pie with. He dressed as a cowboy to make chili. He chased a crab around his kitchen.
    I dig on that guy who was selling hot sauce on Emeril. Who was that… ah yes, Steve Perry from Aerosmith I have a thing for skinny rocker bad boys.

    Reply
  36. It was the latter. I know who he is. He’s on my tv right now. He just bought lard to make a lemon merange pie with. He dressed as a cowboy to make chili. He chased a crab around his kitchen.
    I dig on that guy who was selling hot sauce on Emeril. Who was that… ah yes, Steve Perry from Aerosmith I have a thing for skinny rocker bad boys.

    Reply
  37. Terrific topic, even if my memory is so bad I couldn’t tell you the name of a single movie star if my life depended on it. Which is very fortunate because I can now watch all the historical movies and not catch the history glitches because I’d have to look them up to see if I remembered it correctly.
    The movies that stay with me are the musicals, probably because I’ll willingly watch them over and over again on TV. And I’m making a liar of myself. I can even remember who starred in some of them, Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain and Robert Preston in Music Man and everyone from there forward, all watched on TV for the first time. I ate them up and my very first movie experience was probably Julie Andrews in Sound of Music. I danced out of the theater.
    Maybe I’m in the wrong profession…but I can’t sing a note and have two left feet. Sigh. My fantasy, I guess.

    Reply
  38. Terrific topic, even if my memory is so bad I couldn’t tell you the name of a single movie star if my life depended on it. Which is very fortunate because I can now watch all the historical movies and not catch the history glitches because I’d have to look them up to see if I remembered it correctly.
    The movies that stay with me are the musicals, probably because I’ll willingly watch them over and over again on TV. And I’m making a liar of myself. I can even remember who starred in some of them, Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain and Robert Preston in Music Man and everyone from there forward, all watched on TV for the first time. I ate them up and my very first movie experience was probably Julie Andrews in Sound of Music. I danced out of the theater.
    Maybe I’m in the wrong profession…but I can’t sing a note and have two left feet. Sigh. My fantasy, I guess.

    Reply
  39. Terrific topic, even if my memory is so bad I couldn’t tell you the name of a single movie star if my life depended on it. Which is very fortunate because I can now watch all the historical movies and not catch the history glitches because I’d have to look them up to see if I remembered it correctly.
    The movies that stay with me are the musicals, probably because I’ll willingly watch them over and over again on TV. And I’m making a liar of myself. I can even remember who starred in some of them, Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain and Robert Preston in Music Man and everyone from there forward, all watched on TV for the first time. I ate them up and my very first movie experience was probably Julie Andrews in Sound of Music. I danced out of the theater.
    Maybe I’m in the wrong profession…but I can’t sing a note and have two left feet. Sigh. My fantasy, I guess.

    Reply
  40. Susan Wilbanks wrote: “then I wonder how my description got so badly awry that anyone could imagine HIM as my beautiful hero! Does that happen to anyone else?”
    All the time. You could write “He had golden blond hair and the warm brown eyes and the most charming smile I’d ever seen on a man”, and it would apply equally to the aforementioned Rod Stewart, Robert Redford, Gene Kelly, even Alton Brown.
    That’s what’s so much fun about words. Every reader reads the same ones, but somehow magically makes them fit both your story, and their imagination. It’s pretty cool.
    Except, of course, when you find out exactly what the artist who’s doing your cover considers “the most charming smile…..”
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  41. Susan Wilbanks wrote: “then I wonder how my description got so badly awry that anyone could imagine HIM as my beautiful hero! Does that happen to anyone else?”
    All the time. You could write “He had golden blond hair and the warm brown eyes and the most charming smile I’d ever seen on a man”, and it would apply equally to the aforementioned Rod Stewart, Robert Redford, Gene Kelly, even Alton Brown.
    That’s what’s so much fun about words. Every reader reads the same ones, but somehow magically makes them fit both your story, and their imagination. It’s pretty cool.
    Except, of course, when you find out exactly what the artist who’s doing your cover considers “the most charming smile…..”
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  42. Susan Wilbanks wrote: “then I wonder how my description got so badly awry that anyone could imagine HIM as my beautiful hero! Does that happen to anyone else?”
    All the time. You could write “He had golden blond hair and the warm brown eyes and the most charming smile I’d ever seen on a man”, and it would apply equally to the aforementioned Rod Stewart, Robert Redford, Gene Kelly, even Alton Brown.
    That’s what’s so much fun about words. Every reader reads the same ones, but somehow magically makes them fit both your story, and their imagination. It’s pretty cool.
    Except, of course, when you find out exactly what the artist who’s doing your cover considers “the most charming smile…..”
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  43. Ah, got it, Cathy. So many of my girlfriends share the Alton love that I think of it as a perfectly normal celebrity crush to have. Of course, I’m all about the geeky boys, when I’m not crushing on the Sharpes, Han Solos, and Indiana Joneses of the big and small screen–I’m also crazy about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
    And I know it’s cool that the same description conjures different pictures in each reader’s mind. I’d just like it if my CP’s would just *once* name an actor I find attractive! Of course, I did once have the opposite experience. I commented that the girl who played Susan in the recent Narnia movie looked like a younger version of my heroine, only to have a CP say the actress wasn’t pretty enough!

    Reply
  44. Ah, got it, Cathy. So many of my girlfriends share the Alton love that I think of it as a perfectly normal celebrity crush to have. Of course, I’m all about the geeky boys, when I’m not crushing on the Sharpes, Han Solos, and Indiana Joneses of the big and small screen–I’m also crazy about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
    And I know it’s cool that the same description conjures different pictures in each reader’s mind. I’d just like it if my CP’s would just *once* name an actor I find attractive! Of course, I did once have the opposite experience. I commented that the girl who played Susan in the recent Narnia movie looked like a younger version of my heroine, only to have a CP say the actress wasn’t pretty enough!

    Reply
  45. Ah, got it, Cathy. So many of my girlfriends share the Alton love that I think of it as a perfectly normal celebrity crush to have. Of course, I’m all about the geeky boys, when I’m not crushing on the Sharpes, Han Solos, and Indiana Joneses of the big and small screen–I’m also crazy about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
    And I know it’s cool that the same description conjures different pictures in each reader’s mind. I’d just like it if my CP’s would just *once* name an actor I find attractive! Of course, I did once have the opposite experience. I commented that the girl who played Susan in the recent Narnia movie looked like a younger version of my heroine, only to have a CP say the actress wasn’t pretty enough!

    Reply
  46. Susan, if you go to The Lunatic Cafe for Romance Readers and join the original Yahoo! Groups version, you’ll have access to the Eye Candy folders with a lot of these guys (they’re the waitstaff at the Cafe).
    My three favorite films of all time also count as historicals in some fashion: THE COURT JESTER with Danny Kaye, MY FAIR LADY, and HENRY V (both Olivier and Branagh versions).
    To the gorgeous hero list I add Olivier as Mr. Darcy; Hugh Jackman in the title role in VAN HELSING; Leslie Howard in PIMPERNEL SMITH (as well as in THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL–AND as Ashley Wilkes, so there!)
    Interestingly enough, in the current blog on HE WROTE, SHE WROTE we are talking about actors, and some of the guys you here are hot for they wouldn’t touch with an eleven-foot Lithuanian.
    Oh–I forgot Ronald Colman in TALE OF TWO CITIES.
    Did I mention I’m old? I’d better move along before the Tigress comes along and starts drooling over Richard Burton yet again…

    Reply
  47. Susan, if you go to The Lunatic Cafe for Romance Readers and join the original Yahoo! Groups version, you’ll have access to the Eye Candy folders with a lot of these guys (they’re the waitstaff at the Cafe).
    My three favorite films of all time also count as historicals in some fashion: THE COURT JESTER with Danny Kaye, MY FAIR LADY, and HENRY V (both Olivier and Branagh versions).
    To the gorgeous hero list I add Olivier as Mr. Darcy; Hugh Jackman in the title role in VAN HELSING; Leslie Howard in PIMPERNEL SMITH (as well as in THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL–AND as Ashley Wilkes, so there!)
    Interestingly enough, in the current blog on HE WROTE, SHE WROTE we are talking about actors, and some of the guys you here are hot for they wouldn’t touch with an eleven-foot Lithuanian.
    Oh–I forgot Ronald Colman in TALE OF TWO CITIES.
    Did I mention I’m old? I’d better move along before the Tigress comes along and starts drooling over Richard Burton yet again…

    Reply
  48. Susan, if you go to The Lunatic Cafe for Romance Readers and join the original Yahoo! Groups version, you’ll have access to the Eye Candy folders with a lot of these guys (they’re the waitstaff at the Cafe).
    My three favorite films of all time also count as historicals in some fashion: THE COURT JESTER with Danny Kaye, MY FAIR LADY, and HENRY V (both Olivier and Branagh versions).
    To the gorgeous hero list I add Olivier as Mr. Darcy; Hugh Jackman in the title role in VAN HELSING; Leslie Howard in PIMPERNEL SMITH (as well as in THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL–AND as Ashley Wilkes, so there!)
    Interestingly enough, in the current blog on HE WROTE, SHE WROTE we are talking about actors, and some of the guys you here are hot for they wouldn’t touch with an eleven-foot Lithuanian.
    Oh–I forgot Ronald Colman in TALE OF TWO CITIES.
    Did I mention I’m old? I’d better move along before the Tigress comes along and starts drooling over Richard Burton yet again…

    Reply
  49. I Have very strange taste.it’s dark anti-hero heros only for me. In early adololescene –Charles Asnovor in shoot the piano player. Then Tom Conti (Has anyone seen american dreamer, where he plays a romance writer?)Al Pachino, Finnes in Shakespear in Love. The most conventional I get is Pierce Brosnan, not in Bond, but in Remmington Steele.– films that had an influence on my sense of place or time– I think the early Sherlock Holmes movies with scenes of carriages in London moving through the fog.–maybe the early Robin Hood movies too. –no no that was the TV program.(it was an influence, but I will venture to say not the least bit accurate) On the other hand ,there were many films where the sense of time and place were so wrong– , and I always had a sense of it being wrong. (musicals were especially bad in this way) i think contemporary films do a better job of getting setting right. Shakespear in Love and the new Pride and prejudice, – What do those of you who have done research think about those two films?
    Merry

    Reply
  50. I Have very strange taste.it’s dark anti-hero heros only for me. In early adololescene –Charles Asnovor in shoot the piano player. Then Tom Conti (Has anyone seen american dreamer, where he plays a romance writer?)Al Pachino, Finnes in Shakespear in Love. The most conventional I get is Pierce Brosnan, not in Bond, but in Remmington Steele.– films that had an influence on my sense of place or time– I think the early Sherlock Holmes movies with scenes of carriages in London moving through the fog.–maybe the early Robin Hood movies too. –no no that was the TV program.(it was an influence, but I will venture to say not the least bit accurate) On the other hand ,there were many films where the sense of time and place were so wrong– , and I always had a sense of it being wrong. (musicals were especially bad in this way) i think contemporary films do a better job of getting setting right. Shakespear in Love and the new Pride and prejudice, – What do those of you who have done research think about those two films?
    Merry

    Reply
  51. I Have very strange taste.it’s dark anti-hero heros only for me. In early adololescene –Charles Asnovor in shoot the piano player. Then Tom Conti (Has anyone seen american dreamer, where he plays a romance writer?)Al Pachino, Finnes in Shakespear in Love. The most conventional I get is Pierce Brosnan, not in Bond, but in Remmington Steele.– films that had an influence on my sense of place or time– I think the early Sherlock Holmes movies with scenes of carriages in London moving through the fog.–maybe the early Robin Hood movies too. –no no that was the TV program.(it was an influence, but I will venture to say not the least bit accurate) On the other hand ,there were many films where the sense of time and place were so wrong– , and I always had a sense of it being wrong. (musicals were especially bad in this way) i think contemporary films do a better job of getting setting right. Shakespear in Love and the new Pride and prejudice, – What do those of you who have done research think about those two films?
    Merry

    Reply
  52. I too loved Daniel Day Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans! I have it on video and watch it repeatedly. For some reason I have started a tradition of watching it Christmas Eve, late at night, after my kids are asleep. Heaven…
    I also love Viggo Mortensen, but way before the Lord of the Rings got popular. I swooned with “GI Jane”. He was the mean drill instructer and since I was a former Air Force chick, it struck a cord and who doesn’t love a man in uniform! I have that one on dvd also. Hugh Jackman is also a favorite. I loved him in X-Men and have been a fan ever since. The strong silent type, I am swooning again…
    I think I did see “American Dreamer” with JoBeth Williams. It was a good film. I haven’t seen it in years.

    Reply
  53. I too loved Daniel Day Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans! I have it on video and watch it repeatedly. For some reason I have started a tradition of watching it Christmas Eve, late at night, after my kids are asleep. Heaven…
    I also love Viggo Mortensen, but way before the Lord of the Rings got popular. I swooned with “GI Jane”. He was the mean drill instructer and since I was a former Air Force chick, it struck a cord and who doesn’t love a man in uniform! I have that one on dvd also. Hugh Jackman is also a favorite. I loved him in X-Men and have been a fan ever since. The strong silent type, I am swooning again…
    I think I did see “American Dreamer” with JoBeth Williams. It was a good film. I haven’t seen it in years.

    Reply
  54. I too loved Daniel Day Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans! I have it on video and watch it repeatedly. For some reason I have started a tradition of watching it Christmas Eve, late at night, after my kids are asleep. Heaven…
    I also love Viggo Mortensen, but way before the Lord of the Rings got popular. I swooned with “GI Jane”. He was the mean drill instructer and since I was a former Air Force chick, it struck a cord and who doesn’t love a man in uniform! I have that one on dvd also. Hugh Jackman is also a favorite. I loved him in X-Men and have been a fan ever since. The strong silent type, I am swooning again…
    I think I did see “American Dreamer” with JoBeth Williams. It was a good film. I haven’t seen it in years.

    Reply
  55. Susan/Miranda, a great post, one on which we can comment endlessly.
    I’ve always been insomniac and used to sit up with my mother (a night owl) and watch the Late Show–all those old movies. So I discovered Humphrey Bogart and Fred Astair and Errol Flynn (one of the most beautiful men who ever lived, IMO). And Bette Davis and Ava Gardner (one of the most beautiful women who ever lived, IMO). But since I’ve always loved movies, the influences are ongoing, and it’s hard to pinpoint which, specifically, influenced what. But some favorites: George Clooney in OUT OF SIGHT. Nicholas Cage in MOONSTRUCK and RAISING ARIZONA. Pierce Brosnan in anything. I loved Rufus Sewell in MIDDLEMARCH, and loved him again in COLD COMFORT FARM and DANGEROUS BEAUTY. But my most constant love is Alan Rickman. The best thing in ROBIN HOOD. So poignant in SENSE & SENSIBILITY. Oh, and what about TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY? Every movie I’ve ever seen him in, in short. His is the deep voice of my Carsington men.

    Reply
  56. Susan/Miranda, a great post, one on which we can comment endlessly.
    I’ve always been insomniac and used to sit up with my mother (a night owl) and watch the Late Show–all those old movies. So I discovered Humphrey Bogart and Fred Astair and Errol Flynn (one of the most beautiful men who ever lived, IMO). And Bette Davis and Ava Gardner (one of the most beautiful women who ever lived, IMO). But since I’ve always loved movies, the influences are ongoing, and it’s hard to pinpoint which, specifically, influenced what. But some favorites: George Clooney in OUT OF SIGHT. Nicholas Cage in MOONSTRUCK and RAISING ARIZONA. Pierce Brosnan in anything. I loved Rufus Sewell in MIDDLEMARCH, and loved him again in COLD COMFORT FARM and DANGEROUS BEAUTY. But my most constant love is Alan Rickman. The best thing in ROBIN HOOD. So poignant in SENSE & SENSIBILITY. Oh, and what about TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY? Every movie I’ve ever seen him in, in short. His is the deep voice of my Carsington men.

    Reply
  57. Susan/Miranda, a great post, one on which we can comment endlessly.
    I’ve always been insomniac and used to sit up with my mother (a night owl) and watch the Late Show–all those old movies. So I discovered Humphrey Bogart and Fred Astair and Errol Flynn (one of the most beautiful men who ever lived, IMO). And Bette Davis and Ava Gardner (one of the most beautiful women who ever lived, IMO). But since I’ve always loved movies, the influences are ongoing, and it’s hard to pinpoint which, specifically, influenced what. But some favorites: George Clooney in OUT OF SIGHT. Nicholas Cage in MOONSTRUCK and RAISING ARIZONA. Pierce Brosnan in anything. I loved Rufus Sewell in MIDDLEMARCH, and loved him again in COLD COMFORT FARM and DANGEROUS BEAUTY. But my most constant love is Alan Rickman. The best thing in ROBIN HOOD. So poignant in SENSE & SENSIBILITY. Oh, and what about TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY? Every movie I’ve ever seen him in, in short. His is the deep voice of my Carsington men.

    Reply
  58. Oh, Loretta, yesssss! Alan Rickman. That voice. I fell in love with him in the very first Die Hard movie. He was chilling as the coldblooded mastermind of a band of bad guys. I understand that movie launched his career.
    Like you, I love movies. And since Susan Miranda asked who we casted as our characters when we write, I have to say that Val Kilmer (those lips!) is my vision for one of my tall, blond heroes. I loved Kilmer in Willow.
    Sean Connery’s eyebrows and charm belong to one of my dark-haired brooding heroes.
    My current hero is the first non-alpha hero I’ve ever written. He’s a pushover, and I have to keep slapping myself every time I indavertently give him alpha traits. My role model for him is Mr. Rogers. Without the sweater.
    And believe it or not, John Goodman is the role model for the hero in one of my short stories. The hero is a big bear of a man who wears corsets and is going bald. And he’s a likeable guy, thank you very much.
    I wrote that story in seething outrage after a snooty guy in my advanced writing class (he wrote “literature” and I was the only romance writer) made a sneering comment about how heroes in romances are always unrealistically gorgeous, and why didn’t anybody write about a fat, balding hero. So I did. When the class critiqued it, I was happy to see that their unanimously favorable comments wiped the smirk off his face, because even the teacher (who hates romances) liked it.
    And the best revenge? Mr. Literature was forced to admit he liked it too. (evil grin)
    Sherrie
    http://www.holmesedit.com

    Reply
  59. Oh, Loretta, yesssss! Alan Rickman. That voice. I fell in love with him in the very first Die Hard movie. He was chilling as the coldblooded mastermind of a band of bad guys. I understand that movie launched his career.
    Like you, I love movies. And since Susan Miranda asked who we casted as our characters when we write, I have to say that Val Kilmer (those lips!) is my vision for one of my tall, blond heroes. I loved Kilmer in Willow.
    Sean Connery’s eyebrows and charm belong to one of my dark-haired brooding heroes.
    My current hero is the first non-alpha hero I’ve ever written. He’s a pushover, and I have to keep slapping myself every time I indavertently give him alpha traits. My role model for him is Mr. Rogers. Without the sweater.
    And believe it or not, John Goodman is the role model for the hero in one of my short stories. The hero is a big bear of a man who wears corsets and is going bald. And he’s a likeable guy, thank you very much.
    I wrote that story in seething outrage after a snooty guy in my advanced writing class (he wrote “literature” and I was the only romance writer) made a sneering comment about how heroes in romances are always unrealistically gorgeous, and why didn’t anybody write about a fat, balding hero. So I did. When the class critiqued it, I was happy to see that their unanimously favorable comments wiped the smirk off his face, because even the teacher (who hates romances) liked it.
    And the best revenge? Mr. Literature was forced to admit he liked it too. (evil grin)
    Sherrie
    http://www.holmesedit.com

    Reply
  60. Oh, Loretta, yesssss! Alan Rickman. That voice. I fell in love with him in the very first Die Hard movie. He was chilling as the coldblooded mastermind of a band of bad guys. I understand that movie launched his career.
    Like you, I love movies. And since Susan Miranda asked who we casted as our characters when we write, I have to say that Val Kilmer (those lips!) is my vision for one of my tall, blond heroes. I loved Kilmer in Willow.
    Sean Connery’s eyebrows and charm belong to one of my dark-haired brooding heroes.
    My current hero is the first non-alpha hero I’ve ever written. He’s a pushover, and I have to keep slapping myself every time I indavertently give him alpha traits. My role model for him is Mr. Rogers. Without the sweater.
    And believe it or not, John Goodman is the role model for the hero in one of my short stories. The hero is a big bear of a man who wears corsets and is going bald. And he’s a likeable guy, thank you very much.
    I wrote that story in seething outrage after a snooty guy in my advanced writing class (he wrote “literature” and I was the only romance writer) made a sneering comment about how heroes in romances are always unrealistically gorgeous, and why didn’t anybody write about a fat, balding hero. So I did. When the class critiqued it, I was happy to see that their unanimously favorable comments wiped the smirk off his face, because even the teacher (who hates romances) liked it.
    And the best revenge? Mr. Literature was forced to admit he liked it too. (evil grin)
    Sherrie
    http://www.holmesedit.com

    Reply
  61. Oh, Alan Rickman! Yes! I was lucky enough to see him play the original Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons on stage. He just purred those wonderful lines and it’s the first time I’ve genuinely believed the “he moved across the room like a hungry panther on the prowl” line. Sigh. Great topic!

    Reply
  62. Oh, Alan Rickman! Yes! I was lucky enough to see him play the original Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons on stage. He just purred those wonderful lines and it’s the first time I’ve genuinely believed the “he moved across the room like a hungry panther on the prowl” line. Sigh. Great topic!

    Reply
  63. Oh, Alan Rickman! Yes! I was lucky enough to see him play the original Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons on stage. He just purred those wonderful lines and it’s the first time I’ve genuinely believed the “he moved across the room like a hungry panther on the prowl” line. Sigh. Great topic!

    Reply
  64. Oh my… I know I am a bit late to the party but as I read the comments I kept thinking back to ‘who’… like some of you most of my guys are movies watched on TV…
    William Powell in any Nick & Nora film;
    Rock Hudson – not a great actor but a gorgeous guy;
    James Garner- Maverick, Sunset, Murphy’s Romance – no matter the age, he exudes both cockiness & tenderness;
    Clark Gable – It Happened One Night;
    Kevin Kline – French Kiss, where he clutches the back of Meg’s dress as he is kissing her? my heart goes pitter-patter;
    Tom Conti, David Straithern, Alan Rickman are all great as non-traditional leading men – each has a little something extra special but NO ONE has mentioned Dennis Quaid in the Big Easy – definitely makes your (alright MY) heart go pitter-patter…

    Reply
  65. Oh my… I know I am a bit late to the party but as I read the comments I kept thinking back to ‘who’… like some of you most of my guys are movies watched on TV…
    William Powell in any Nick & Nora film;
    Rock Hudson – not a great actor but a gorgeous guy;
    James Garner- Maverick, Sunset, Murphy’s Romance – no matter the age, he exudes both cockiness & tenderness;
    Clark Gable – It Happened One Night;
    Kevin Kline – French Kiss, where he clutches the back of Meg’s dress as he is kissing her? my heart goes pitter-patter;
    Tom Conti, David Straithern, Alan Rickman are all great as non-traditional leading men – each has a little something extra special but NO ONE has mentioned Dennis Quaid in the Big Easy – definitely makes your (alright MY) heart go pitter-patter…

    Reply
  66. Oh my… I know I am a bit late to the party but as I read the comments I kept thinking back to ‘who’… like some of you most of my guys are movies watched on TV…
    William Powell in any Nick & Nora film;
    Rock Hudson – not a great actor but a gorgeous guy;
    James Garner- Maverick, Sunset, Murphy’s Romance – no matter the age, he exudes both cockiness & tenderness;
    Clark Gable – It Happened One Night;
    Kevin Kline – French Kiss, where he clutches the back of Meg’s dress as he is kissing her? my heart goes pitter-patter;
    Tom Conti, David Straithern, Alan Rickman are all great as non-traditional leading men – each has a little something extra special but NO ONE has mentioned Dennis Quaid in the Big Easy – definitely makes your (alright MY) heart go pitter-patter…

    Reply
  67. Hah, how could I forget Alan Rickman? It’s all in his voice…..
    The same for William Powell, esp. if I get to be Myrna Loy. You have to love a man who’s not afraid to get goofy. I fully intend to come back in my next life as Nora Charles. (Though I might have to make sure that Asta comes back as a cat.)
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  68. Hah, how could I forget Alan Rickman? It’s all in his voice…..
    The same for William Powell, esp. if I get to be Myrna Loy. You have to love a man who’s not afraid to get goofy. I fully intend to come back in my next life as Nora Charles. (Though I might have to make sure that Asta comes back as a cat.)
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  69. Hah, how could I forget Alan Rickman? It’s all in his voice…..
    The same for William Powell, esp. if I get to be Myrna Loy. You have to love a man who’s not afraid to get goofy. I fully intend to come back in my next life as Nora Charles. (Though I might have to make sure that Asta comes back as a cat.)
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  70. Speaking of cats and history, Susan, check this out from our local news:
    Northern AZ Cat Tests Positive for Plague
    (06.28.06) — A cat in the northern Arizona community of Winona has tested positive for bubonic plague. The Coconino County Health Department says fleas collected from prairie dog burrows about two miles away from the home where the cat lives also tested positive for plague. Winona is about 12 miles east of Flagstaff, along I-40. The area is the only location in Coconino County where plague has been confirmed this year, although officials believe the disease may be more widespread. There have been no human plague cases reported in Arizona in 2006. Plague is curable with antibiotics if diagnosed and treated early.
    At last, something authentically medieval that you can do in the US–contract the Black Death!

    Reply
  71. Speaking of cats and history, Susan, check this out from our local news:
    Northern AZ Cat Tests Positive for Plague
    (06.28.06) — A cat in the northern Arizona community of Winona has tested positive for bubonic plague. The Coconino County Health Department says fleas collected from prairie dog burrows about two miles away from the home where the cat lives also tested positive for plague. Winona is about 12 miles east of Flagstaff, along I-40. The area is the only location in Coconino County where plague has been confirmed this year, although officials believe the disease may be more widespread. There have been no human plague cases reported in Arizona in 2006. Plague is curable with antibiotics if diagnosed and treated early.
    At last, something authentically medieval that you can do in the US–contract the Black Death!

    Reply
  72. Speaking of cats and history, Susan, check this out from our local news:
    Northern AZ Cat Tests Positive for Plague
    (06.28.06) — A cat in the northern Arizona community of Winona has tested positive for bubonic plague. The Coconino County Health Department says fleas collected from prairie dog burrows about two miles away from the home where the cat lives also tested positive for plague. Winona is about 12 miles east of Flagstaff, along I-40. The area is the only location in Coconino County where plague has been confirmed this year, although officials believe the disease may be more widespread. There have been no human plague cases reported in Arizona in 2006. Plague is curable with antibiotics if diagnosed and treated early.
    At last, something authentically medieval that you can do in the US–contract the Black Death!

    Reply
  73. Susan, Miranda, I love Nick & Nora Charles. They make a good model for a non-goopy romantic couple. You reminded me that my notions of how to write a romance novel owe a great deal to the screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s that I learned to love so much. How brilliantly they used to write dialogue for movies, back in a time when average people wanted to sit back and listen to characters talk, wisecrack, say profound things. Back in the day when the country’s top novelists wrote screenplays for Hollywood. How about the dialogue for CASABLANCA, for instance? Or BRINGING UP BABY? Or THE BIG SLEEP? Or THE PHILADELPHA STORY? Even the musicals had good writing and lots and lots of terrific dialogue.

    Reply
  74. Susan, Miranda, I love Nick & Nora Charles. They make a good model for a non-goopy romantic couple. You reminded me that my notions of how to write a romance novel owe a great deal to the screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s that I learned to love so much. How brilliantly they used to write dialogue for movies, back in a time when average people wanted to sit back and listen to characters talk, wisecrack, say profound things. Back in the day when the country’s top novelists wrote screenplays for Hollywood. How about the dialogue for CASABLANCA, for instance? Or BRINGING UP BABY? Or THE BIG SLEEP? Or THE PHILADELPHA STORY? Even the musicals had good writing and lots and lots of terrific dialogue.

    Reply
  75. Susan, Miranda, I love Nick & Nora Charles. They make a good model for a non-goopy romantic couple. You reminded me that my notions of how to write a romance novel owe a great deal to the screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s that I learned to love so much. How brilliantly they used to write dialogue for movies, back in a time when average people wanted to sit back and listen to characters talk, wisecrack, say profound things. Back in the day when the country’s top novelists wrote screenplays for Hollywood. How about the dialogue for CASABLANCA, for instance? Or BRINGING UP BABY? Or THE BIG SLEEP? Or THE PHILADELPHA STORY? Even the musicals had good writing and lots and lots of terrific dialogue.

    Reply
  76. Loretta, synchronicity strikes again! We’re talking about exactly the same movies on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog! We’ve decided our favorite heroine is Katharine Hepburn in THE AFRICAN QUEEN.

    Reply
  77. Loretta, synchronicity strikes again! We’re talking about exactly the same movies on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog! We’ve decided our favorite heroine is Katharine Hepburn in THE AFRICAN QUEEN.

    Reply
  78. Loretta, synchronicity strikes again! We’re talking about exactly the same movies on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog! We’ve decided our favorite heroine is Katharine Hepburn in THE AFRICAN QUEEN.

    Reply
  79. I love the banter in the Nick and Nora movies, and in a lot of other movies from the same time. The wise-cracking is, IMHO, the best kind of flirtation, much more than mere soulful glances can ever be. (And your books come mighty close to this, Loretta, which is one reason I’m such a Fan!)
    I also like the way that in these older movies, the men and women manage to be friends as well as romantic partners, a connection that seems so often lacking in modern movie couples. There’s heat, they’re hot, and that’s it.
    I like the Hepburn-Tracy movies, too, for the same reason. However, in a previous career-life, I had one awful weekend having to cater to the whims of Kate the Great. She was fabulous when out before her public, but so demanding and unpleasant to us mere underlings that I could never watch her movies in the same way again.
    Though I still like ol’ Spencer. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  80. I love the banter in the Nick and Nora movies, and in a lot of other movies from the same time. The wise-cracking is, IMHO, the best kind of flirtation, much more than mere soulful glances can ever be. (And your books come mighty close to this, Loretta, which is one reason I’m such a Fan!)
    I also like the way that in these older movies, the men and women manage to be friends as well as romantic partners, a connection that seems so often lacking in modern movie couples. There’s heat, they’re hot, and that’s it.
    I like the Hepburn-Tracy movies, too, for the same reason. However, in a previous career-life, I had one awful weekend having to cater to the whims of Kate the Great. She was fabulous when out before her public, but so demanding and unpleasant to us mere underlings that I could never watch her movies in the same way again.
    Though I still like ol’ Spencer. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  81. I love the banter in the Nick and Nora movies, and in a lot of other movies from the same time. The wise-cracking is, IMHO, the best kind of flirtation, much more than mere soulful glances can ever be. (And your books come mighty close to this, Loretta, which is one reason I’m such a Fan!)
    I also like the way that in these older movies, the men and women manage to be friends as well as romantic partners, a connection that seems so often lacking in modern movie couples. There’s heat, they’re hot, and that’s it.
    I like the Hepburn-Tracy movies, too, for the same reason. However, in a previous career-life, I had one awful weekend having to cater to the whims of Kate the Great. She was fabulous when out before her public, but so demanding and unpleasant to us mere underlings that I could never watch her movies in the same way again.
    Though I still like ol’ Spencer. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  82. I’m swooning as I read all your posts! Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Connery, etc.
    I must add Ralph Fiennes (think English Patient, though he was even sexy as a paunchy bad guy in Schindler’s List) and Liam Neeson.
    I think my real formative movies were of the TV variety. The Thorn Birds is at the top of that list. Then when I was fifteen they made a really horrible TV movie version of my favorite Barbara Cartland that they called The Lady and the Highwayman (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097707/), starring a very young and ridiculous looking Hugh Grant. Even at fifteen I knew it was bad, but I still swooned over the story!

    Reply
  83. I’m swooning as I read all your posts! Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Connery, etc.
    I must add Ralph Fiennes (think English Patient, though he was even sexy as a paunchy bad guy in Schindler’s List) and Liam Neeson.
    I think my real formative movies were of the TV variety. The Thorn Birds is at the top of that list. Then when I was fifteen they made a really horrible TV movie version of my favorite Barbara Cartland that they called The Lady and the Highwayman (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097707/), starring a very young and ridiculous looking Hugh Grant. Even at fifteen I knew it was bad, but I still swooned over the story!

    Reply
  84. I’m swooning as I read all your posts! Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Connery, etc.
    I must add Ralph Fiennes (think English Patient, though he was even sexy as a paunchy bad guy in Schindler’s List) and Liam Neeson.
    I think my real formative movies were of the TV variety. The Thorn Birds is at the top of that list. Then when I was fifteen they made a really horrible TV movie version of my favorite Barbara Cartland that they called The Lady and the Highwayman (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097707/), starring a very young and ridiculous looking Hugh Grant. Even at fifteen I knew it was bad, but I still swooned over the story!

    Reply
  85. Sara–You know, your mention of the Highwayman reminded me of an even earlier TV show. This must have been in the 60’s (yes, I was a mere infant, haha) on the Walt Disney show on Sunday night — “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh”, starring Patrick McGoohan as a Robin-Hood-ish country minister in 18th century England. Lots of riding around in the dark, flapping capes and swords — I thought it was all pretty exciting. Something about those highwaymen –!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  86. Sara–You know, your mention of the Highwayman reminded me of an even earlier TV show. This must have been in the 60’s (yes, I was a mere infant, haha) on the Walt Disney show on Sunday night — “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh”, starring Patrick McGoohan as a Robin-Hood-ish country minister in 18th century England. Lots of riding around in the dark, flapping capes and swords — I thought it was all pretty exciting. Something about those highwaymen –!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  87. Sara–You know, your mention of the Highwayman reminded me of an even earlier TV show. This must have been in the 60’s (yes, I was a mere infant, haha) on the Walt Disney show on Sunday night — “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh”, starring Patrick McGoohan as a Robin-Hood-ish country minister in 18th century England. Lots of riding around in the dark, flapping capes and swords — I thought it was all pretty exciting. Something about those highwaymen –!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply

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