Reading: The Genuine Article

By Mary Jo

Cat_243_dover_10 Last week we went to Canada for a few days.  The main reason was to speak to the Toronto Romance Writers, but it was a good excuse to go up early and spend a few days enjoying Our Neighbor to the North.  We stayed in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a lovely little historical town on Lake Ontario.  It’s even surrounded by wineries.  <g> 

A good reason for staying there was to see a production at the Shaw Festival, which puts on something like 800 shows a year in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  On our night, the show was High Society, a musical version of the classic play and movie, The Philadelphia Story.  Even without Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart, it’s still a terrific, romantic story, and the Shaw Festival did it proud. 

Ccanadabanner_2 The cast was talented and the sets delightful.  Huge window frames whirled out of the wings to set the scene, then spun around to set another scene.  A closet turned into a flight of steps that Tracy Lord could climb, signing.  Sure, I could rent a DVD of The Philadelphia Story (and I may do just that—it’s been years since I’ve seen the movie), but there is absolutely no substitute for a live performance.

Live performances have a magic that comes from the audience being physically Producers present in the moment.  I’ve loved seeing The Producers and Hair Spray on Broadway, just as I’ve loved hearing a local Celtic music group, Iona, in the basement of a Methodist church.  Live performance can sweep you into a rush shared emotion, a group energy that doesn’t exist at home in front of a TV.  Much of the magic comes from the fact that a performance is ephemeral:  you have to be there to appreciate it. 

Reading has its own kind of magic, and partly that’s because a book demands all of your attention.  It’s hard to mix a cake and read at the same time (though I’ve done my best.)    One can eat and read at that same time—I do that regularly, but the book gets more attention than the food.

Audiobooks are great to pass time in the car during a long drive or while you’re folding laundry or painting a room, but because you’re multi-tasking, the degree of involvement in the story is not as great.  Reading a book demands more of you—and because we put in more, we get more out of it.  We go deeper, and the rewards are great, at least for those of us who are Real Readers.

Pprincesscastlebats Reading in as act of co-creation that occurs when the imagination of the writer meets the imagination of the reader.  A dedicated reader brings her own experiences and emotions to a story.  I’ve had readers tell me they love my descriptions when in fact I’m not a very descriptive writer.  But apparently the few phrases I offer are enough to help readers envision other worlds.  I supply the walls, but they furnish the castle from their own rich imaginations.

This is a major reason why there are fewer historical readers than contemporary readers, I think. It takes more imagination and knowledge to read stories with historical settings than to read the modern world, which we’re all more or less familiar with.  This is even more true of science fiction and fantasy novels, which create worlds that never existed. 

Writing and reading sff requires even more imagination, and the time and energy to exercise it.  (A major part of the epic fantasy audience is adolescent males who have both the imagination and the time to read huge tomes filled with complex world building.)

Whatever kinds of reading a person prefers, the love of books is a great gift.  A lifetime reader has a richly furnished mind, and is never truly alone.  In Jane Georgette_heyer Aiken Hodge’s biography, The Private World of Georgette Heyer, Hodge says that the only fan letter Heyer kept was from a woman who had been held as a political prisoner for 12 years in Romania.  Conditions were harsh and no written material was allowed, but Nora Samuelli had an extremely good memory, and she was able to tell the story of Heyer’s Friday’s Child almost verbatim.  She did, over and over, thereby helping to herself and her fellow prisoners to survive and keep their sanity.  (Ms. Samuelli was eventually released and found refuge in the USA.)

While I’ve never received such a dramatic letter, some of my most rewarding mail is from readers who says something like ‘I was going through a hard time, and your books helped me make it.’  Nothing about this frequently awkward business makes me happier. 

Not that I ever take full credit.  My words may have opened up the door to another world, but it’s the reader’s own imagination and curiosity that takes her through that door. 

Usually I have a book in my purse if there’s any chance I’ll be stuck somewhere with nothing to do.  Early this week, I went in for my annual gyn exam with a lightweight paperback that I could hold over my head and read while waiting for the doctor to come in.  The nurse asked if I always had a book with me.  I said, “Pretty much.”  Doesn’t everyone?

Well, no, not every does read, and these days, with the endless enticements of Readfunkybluemancurledchair the internet, hundreds of channels of television, and the addictive delights of computer gaming, there are probably fewer readers than there used to be.  But chances are that you wouldn’t be visiting WordWenches if you didn’t totally love books.  Specifically, stories.  I enjoy a lot of kinds of writing, but stories are my drug of choice.  When I was a kid and had vague fantasies of being a writer, I always meant, without defining it, that I wanted to write novels. 

A sad thing about writing is that it makes you more critical so it’s not as easy to fall into a book as it was 20 years ago.  But there are still books I can fall utterly in love with.  There are still books I’ll go back to read again and again.   

Life is good. <g>

Marriagespell_2_comp_5 Mary Jo

39 thoughts on “Reading: The Genuine Article”

  1. Mary Jo said… >>”Reading in as act of co-creation that occurs when the imagination of the writer meets the imagination of the reader.”
    Beautifully said, MJ.
    And your point on live performances is so true. While on my honeymoon, my dh and I saw Shenandoah. It was my very first experience with a live performance. I remember being moved to tears, repeatedly. I walked out of the theater completely and utterly emotionally spent. It was an incredible experience.
    About 15 years ago I saw Camelot performed on stage at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater. I wanted to rise up and join King Author’s men.
    Ya know, I haven’t thought about these two experiences in years. Thank you for calling them back to memory.
    Nina

    Reply
  2. Mary Jo said… >>”Reading in as act of co-creation that occurs when the imagination of the writer meets the imagination of the reader.”
    Beautifully said, MJ.
    And your point on live performances is so true. While on my honeymoon, my dh and I saw Shenandoah. It was my very first experience with a live performance. I remember being moved to tears, repeatedly. I walked out of the theater completely and utterly emotionally spent. It was an incredible experience.
    About 15 years ago I saw Camelot performed on stage at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater. I wanted to rise up and join King Author’s men.
    Ya know, I haven’t thought about these two experiences in years. Thank you for calling them back to memory.
    Nina

    Reply
  3. Mary Jo said… >>”Reading in as act of co-creation that occurs when the imagination of the writer meets the imagination of the reader.”
    Beautifully said, MJ.
    And your point on live performances is so true. While on my honeymoon, my dh and I saw Shenandoah. It was my very first experience with a live performance. I remember being moved to tears, repeatedly. I walked out of the theater completely and utterly emotionally spent. It was an incredible experience.
    About 15 years ago I saw Camelot performed on stage at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater. I wanted to rise up and join King Author’s men.
    Ya know, I haven’t thought about these two experiences in years. Thank you for calling them back to memory.
    Nina

    Reply
  4. I’m sorry to be nitpicky but the KATHARINE in “Katharine Hepburn” is spelled with 2 “a”, not 2 “e”. It’s a common mistake that I see everywhere which I find mystifying considering that we are referring to one of the greatest movie stars of all time and a huge cultural icon as well.

    Reply
  5. I’m sorry to be nitpicky but the KATHARINE in “Katharine Hepburn” is spelled with 2 “a”, not 2 “e”. It’s a common mistake that I see everywhere which I find mystifying considering that we are referring to one of the greatest movie stars of all time and a huge cultural icon as well.

    Reply
  6. I’m sorry to be nitpicky but the KATHARINE in “Katharine Hepburn” is spelled with 2 “a”, not 2 “e”. It’s a common mistake that I see everywhere which I find mystifying considering that we are referring to one of the greatest movie stars of all time and a huge cultural icon as well.

    Reply
  7. I’m always vaguely suspicious of people who don’t enjoy reading. My parents and siblings are all big readers, but I’m the most addicted – I always have a book (or two) in my purse, several open face down around my house, an audio book (or two) going at home and in the car, and piles of books waiting to be read. Books are friends and a source of comfort. I visualize the brains of people who don’t read as modern minimalist spaces, stark and uncluttered. Me, on the other hand, my brain is the large Victorian parlor of a middle-aged maiden aunt, complete with a Cabinet of Curiosities in the corner.
    I think what you say about readers building the worlds in their own minds is absolutely true. That’s why converting a book to movie is so dicey. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and the Anne of Green Gables mini-series, are two of the best adaptations I’ve seen, and both took significant departures from the books. There’s been a lot of discussions on covers recently on romance blogs I read – including here – and the comment I’ve seen over and over is, “I don’t like it when the people on the cover don’t match the characters”. But is it possible? If all of us were sketch artists, and drew the image of a character from a book, they would be widely different.
    My 6yo niece has been reading for two years, and she has a book in her hand all the time. Her 4yo sister just learned to read. But both of them carried around books from the time they could pick them up, and the oldest took books to bed like other children do dolls. No matter how tough life gets, they will always be able to connect to the magical.

    Reply
  8. I’m always vaguely suspicious of people who don’t enjoy reading. My parents and siblings are all big readers, but I’m the most addicted – I always have a book (or two) in my purse, several open face down around my house, an audio book (or two) going at home and in the car, and piles of books waiting to be read. Books are friends and a source of comfort. I visualize the brains of people who don’t read as modern minimalist spaces, stark and uncluttered. Me, on the other hand, my brain is the large Victorian parlor of a middle-aged maiden aunt, complete with a Cabinet of Curiosities in the corner.
    I think what you say about readers building the worlds in their own minds is absolutely true. That’s why converting a book to movie is so dicey. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and the Anne of Green Gables mini-series, are two of the best adaptations I’ve seen, and both took significant departures from the books. There’s been a lot of discussions on covers recently on romance blogs I read – including here – and the comment I’ve seen over and over is, “I don’t like it when the people on the cover don’t match the characters”. But is it possible? If all of us were sketch artists, and drew the image of a character from a book, they would be widely different.
    My 6yo niece has been reading for two years, and she has a book in her hand all the time. Her 4yo sister just learned to read. But both of them carried around books from the time they could pick them up, and the oldest took books to bed like other children do dolls. No matter how tough life gets, they will always be able to connect to the magical.

    Reply
  9. I’m always vaguely suspicious of people who don’t enjoy reading. My parents and siblings are all big readers, but I’m the most addicted – I always have a book (or two) in my purse, several open face down around my house, an audio book (or two) going at home and in the car, and piles of books waiting to be read. Books are friends and a source of comfort. I visualize the brains of people who don’t read as modern minimalist spaces, stark and uncluttered. Me, on the other hand, my brain is the large Victorian parlor of a middle-aged maiden aunt, complete with a Cabinet of Curiosities in the corner.
    I think what you say about readers building the worlds in their own minds is absolutely true. That’s why converting a book to movie is so dicey. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and the Anne of Green Gables mini-series, are two of the best adaptations I’ve seen, and both took significant departures from the books. There’s been a lot of discussions on covers recently on romance blogs I read – including here – and the comment I’ve seen over and over is, “I don’t like it when the people on the cover don’t match the characters”. But is it possible? If all of us were sketch artists, and drew the image of a character from a book, they would be widely different.
    My 6yo niece has been reading for two years, and she has a book in her hand all the time. Her 4yo sister just learned to read. But both of them carried around books from the time they could pick them up, and the oldest took books to bed like other children do dolls. No matter how tough life gets, they will always be able to connect to the magical.

    Reply
  10. Mary Jo, your theatre-going experience sounds fab.
    Definitely rent The Phildelphia Story, you know you’ll have fun! I watch it on a regular basis…for me, it’s more delightful with every viewing. Crisp dialogue, superiour casting, great conflict and tension. Topped off with James Stewart as the jaded reporter who wants to write profound novels….

    Reply
  11. Mary Jo, your theatre-going experience sounds fab.
    Definitely rent The Phildelphia Story, you know you’ll have fun! I watch it on a regular basis…for me, it’s more delightful with every viewing. Crisp dialogue, superiour casting, great conflict and tension. Topped off with James Stewart as the jaded reporter who wants to write profound novels….

    Reply
  12. Mary Jo, your theatre-going experience sounds fab.
    Definitely rent The Phildelphia Story, you know you’ll have fun! I watch it on a regular basis…for me, it’s more delightful with every viewing. Crisp dialogue, superiour casting, great conflict and tension. Topped off with James Stewart as the jaded reporter who wants to write profound novels….

    Reply
  13. I have to second Margaret regarding The Philadelphia Story. It’s worth watching and re-watching, not simply for the love story but for the wit and the wonderful supporting cast. Though I do have a little trouble with the anti-feminist message, this happens with countless films, and only reminds me how very much the position of women has changed in only a few generations. In any case, as one who’s also enjoyed High Society, I’d love to see a live performance. Nothing like the energy in a theater, is there?
    My personal fave, though, is Bringing Up Baby. Pure fun.

    Reply
  14. I have to second Margaret regarding The Philadelphia Story. It’s worth watching and re-watching, not simply for the love story but for the wit and the wonderful supporting cast. Though I do have a little trouble with the anti-feminist message, this happens with countless films, and only reminds me how very much the position of women has changed in only a few generations. In any case, as one who’s also enjoyed High Society, I’d love to see a live performance. Nothing like the energy in a theater, is there?
    My personal fave, though, is Bringing Up Baby. Pure fun.

    Reply
  15. I have to second Margaret regarding The Philadelphia Story. It’s worth watching and re-watching, not simply for the love story but for the wit and the wonderful supporting cast. Though I do have a little trouble with the anti-feminist message, this happens with countless films, and only reminds me how very much the position of women has changed in only a few generations. In any case, as one who’s also enjoyed High Society, I’d love to see a live performance. Nothing like the energy in a theater, is there?
    My personal fave, though, is Bringing Up Baby. Pure fun.

    Reply
  16. “I’m always vaguely suspicious of people who don’t enjoy reading.”
    I had to do a double take on this cause I thought for a minute I’d written it. LOL!
    I’m with all the others re The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby. I’d round them out with Holiday (1938) for a perfect box set of Hepburn and Grant.

    Reply
  17. “I’m always vaguely suspicious of people who don’t enjoy reading.”
    I had to do a double take on this cause I thought for a minute I’d written it. LOL!
    I’m with all the others re The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby. I’d round them out with Holiday (1938) for a perfect box set of Hepburn and Grant.

    Reply
  18. “I’m always vaguely suspicious of people who don’t enjoy reading.”
    I had to do a double take on this cause I thought for a minute I’d written it. LOL!
    I’m with all the others re The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby. I’d round them out with Holiday (1938) for a perfect box set of Hepburn and Grant.

    Reply
  19. Jo here. So true, Mary Jo, about a book being a collaboration between the author and the reader. And sometimes what the readers add makes the book somewhat different to the one we thought we wrote. But that’s okay, too. So long as they don’t lambaste us for their input.*g*
    I’m struck by your comment about details, becauee I’m wondering if we’re being a bit stingy with new readers. So many of us (authors and readers) know our worlds — regency, medieval, Scottish highlands etc — that we sketch rather paint details. Are we not giving the new reader enough to build a world in her head?
    Jo

    Reply
  20. Jo here. So true, Mary Jo, about a book being a collaboration between the author and the reader. And sometimes what the readers add makes the book somewhat different to the one we thought we wrote. But that’s okay, too. So long as they don’t lambaste us for their input.*g*
    I’m struck by your comment about details, becauee I’m wondering if we’re being a bit stingy with new readers. So many of us (authors and readers) know our worlds — regency, medieval, Scottish highlands etc — that we sketch rather paint details. Are we not giving the new reader enough to build a world in her head?
    Jo

    Reply
  21. Jo here. So true, Mary Jo, about a book being a collaboration between the author and the reader. And sometimes what the readers add makes the book somewhat different to the one we thought we wrote. But that’s okay, too. So long as they don’t lambaste us for their input.*g*
    I’m struck by your comment about details, becauee I’m wondering if we’re being a bit stingy with new readers. So many of us (authors and readers) know our worlds — regency, medieval, Scottish highlands etc — that we sketch rather paint details. Are we not giving the new reader enough to build a world in her head?
    Jo

    Reply
  22. “Are we not giving the new reader enough to build a world in her head?”
    As a new author I worry about this all the time. My friends who are not big readers of historicals kept suggesting that I explain things more (like what a Hessian boot is), and while I could see their point, I was worried about putting off the core readers by telling them stuff they already knew. I settled for trying to give a physical detail of something if I felt it was important enough to include a period specific term (“the tassel of his Hessian boot lolled to one side” sort of thing).

    Reply
  23. “Are we not giving the new reader enough to build a world in her head?”
    As a new author I worry about this all the time. My friends who are not big readers of historicals kept suggesting that I explain things more (like what a Hessian boot is), and while I could see their point, I was worried about putting off the core readers by telling them stuff they already knew. I settled for trying to give a physical detail of something if I felt it was important enough to include a period specific term (“the tassel of his Hessian boot lolled to one side” sort of thing).

    Reply
  24. “Are we not giving the new reader enough to build a world in her head?”
    As a new author I worry about this all the time. My friends who are not big readers of historicals kept suggesting that I explain things more (like what a Hessian boot is), and while I could see their point, I was worried about putting off the core readers by telling them stuff they already knew. I settled for trying to give a physical detail of something if I felt it was important enough to include a period specific term (“the tassel of his Hessian boot lolled to one side” sort of thing).

    Reply
  25. Oh geeze, you were in T.O? I wish I’d known… Not that I could have met you (you think I’d have had the chance??), but if there was a convention of writers near home, I’m thinking I’d have LOVED to attend or have 1 or 2 or 8 books autographed!!!

    Reply
  26. Oh geeze, you were in T.O? I wish I’d known… Not that I could have met you (you think I’d have had the chance??), but if there was a convention of writers near home, I’m thinking I’d have LOVED to attend or have 1 or 2 or 8 books autographed!!!

    Reply
  27. Oh geeze, you were in T.O? I wish I’d known… Not that I could have met you (you think I’d have had the chance??), but if there was a convention of writers near home, I’m thinking I’d have LOVED to attend or have 1 or 2 or 8 books autographed!!!

    Reply
  28. MJP here:
    Jaclyne, I was in Toronto to speak to a monthly meeting of the Toronto Romance Writers rather than at a conference, so it was really only open to members. But maybe we could have had a cup of latte at the nearby Second Cup if we’d been organized enough to arrange it!
    The detail thing is an interesting question–the kind that has no single answer. That balance between explaining enough for new readers and not over-explaining and boring more experienced readers is fuzzy indeed.
    A lot of the solution is in choosing the -right- details, then using them concisely and elegantly. My old agent’s assistant once told me that she could tell I had a background in graphics because I was good at using the telling detail. I’d like to think that’s true, but honestly, I have no idea. 🙂
    Susannac, you’re right about the difficulty of translating a book to a film because of the impossibility of matching everyone’s mental images. I gather that not many people visualized the hero of THe DaVinci Code with Tom Hanks’ floppy hair. 🙂 But a really good film interpretation can stamp its interpretation on most people’s mind. I loved the look of and casting of Lord of the Rings–and while I’d read the books, I wasn’t so immersed in them that I objected to Viggo Mortensen!
    Inspired, I dug a tape of The Philadelphia Story out of the basement and we’ll watch it later tonight. Must admit that the one time I saw Bringing Up Baby I was disappointed–it seemed more silly than amusing. Whereas TPS has more depth. We’ll see!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  29. MJP here:
    Jaclyne, I was in Toronto to speak to a monthly meeting of the Toronto Romance Writers rather than at a conference, so it was really only open to members. But maybe we could have had a cup of latte at the nearby Second Cup if we’d been organized enough to arrange it!
    The detail thing is an interesting question–the kind that has no single answer. That balance between explaining enough for new readers and not over-explaining and boring more experienced readers is fuzzy indeed.
    A lot of the solution is in choosing the -right- details, then using them concisely and elegantly. My old agent’s assistant once told me that she could tell I had a background in graphics because I was good at using the telling detail. I’d like to think that’s true, but honestly, I have no idea. 🙂
    Susannac, you’re right about the difficulty of translating a book to a film because of the impossibility of matching everyone’s mental images. I gather that not many people visualized the hero of THe DaVinci Code with Tom Hanks’ floppy hair. 🙂 But a really good film interpretation can stamp its interpretation on most people’s mind. I loved the look of and casting of Lord of the Rings–and while I’d read the books, I wasn’t so immersed in them that I objected to Viggo Mortensen!
    Inspired, I dug a tape of The Philadelphia Story out of the basement and we’ll watch it later tonight. Must admit that the one time I saw Bringing Up Baby I was disappointed–it seemed more silly than amusing. Whereas TPS has more depth. We’ll see!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  30. MJP here:
    Jaclyne, I was in Toronto to speak to a monthly meeting of the Toronto Romance Writers rather than at a conference, so it was really only open to members. But maybe we could have had a cup of latte at the nearby Second Cup if we’d been organized enough to arrange it!
    The detail thing is an interesting question–the kind that has no single answer. That balance between explaining enough for new readers and not over-explaining and boring more experienced readers is fuzzy indeed.
    A lot of the solution is in choosing the -right- details, then using them concisely and elegantly. My old agent’s assistant once told me that she could tell I had a background in graphics because I was good at using the telling detail. I’d like to think that’s true, but honestly, I have no idea. 🙂
    Susannac, you’re right about the difficulty of translating a book to a film because of the impossibility of matching everyone’s mental images. I gather that not many people visualized the hero of THe DaVinci Code with Tom Hanks’ floppy hair. 🙂 But a really good film interpretation can stamp its interpretation on most people’s mind. I loved the look of and casting of Lord of the Rings–and while I’d read the books, I wasn’t so immersed in them that I objected to Viggo Mortensen!
    Inspired, I dug a tape of The Philadelphia Story out of the basement and we’ll watch it later tonight. Must admit that the one time I saw Bringing Up Baby I was disappointed–it seemed more silly than amusing. Whereas TPS has more depth. We’ll see!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  31. Re casting: Just think of the Sharpe’s films and books. In the books he’s an enormously tall, dark-haired man. In the films he’s an averaged sized blond. *SHRUG* Did it “ruin” the films for me? No. Did it make me do a double take? Oh, yeah (at least until I fell under the spell that is Sean Bean).

    Reply
  32. Re casting: Just think of the Sharpe’s films and books. In the books he’s an enormously tall, dark-haired man. In the films he’s an averaged sized blond. *SHRUG* Did it “ruin” the films for me? No. Did it make me do a double take? Oh, yeah (at least until I fell under the spell that is Sean Bean).

    Reply
  33. Re casting: Just think of the Sharpe’s films and books. In the books he’s an enormously tall, dark-haired man. In the films he’s an averaged sized blond. *SHRUG* Did it “ruin” the films for me? No. Did it make me do a double take? Oh, yeah (at least until I fell under the spell that is Sean Bean).

    Reply
  34. Speaking of Sharpe and Sean Bean, I’m at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference this weekend, and one of the sessions I attended this afternoon was a Q&A with Bernard Cornwell. A couple of people asked him questions about the film adaptations, what he thought of the casting, etc. He said he’d be insane to disapprove of Sean Bean in the part, given how much his female readership grew after the films came out.
    He added that in the newer books he doesn’t describe Sharpe’s coloring and such as often (knowing that many of his readers are just picturing Sean Bean anyway), and that while he still pictures Sharpe as he originally imagined him, he now hears him with Sean Bean’s voice.
    (If you ever get a chance to hear Bernard Cornwell speak, by all means take advantage of it–he’s hilarious and informative. And as a bonus I got to pick his brain on Wellington biographies for a story idea I recently had.)

    Reply
  35. Speaking of Sharpe and Sean Bean, I’m at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference this weekend, and one of the sessions I attended this afternoon was a Q&A with Bernard Cornwell. A couple of people asked him questions about the film adaptations, what he thought of the casting, etc. He said he’d be insane to disapprove of Sean Bean in the part, given how much his female readership grew after the films came out.
    He added that in the newer books he doesn’t describe Sharpe’s coloring and such as often (knowing that many of his readers are just picturing Sean Bean anyway), and that while he still pictures Sharpe as he originally imagined him, he now hears him with Sean Bean’s voice.
    (If you ever get a chance to hear Bernard Cornwell speak, by all means take advantage of it–he’s hilarious and informative. And as a bonus I got to pick his brain on Wellington biographies for a story idea I recently had.)

    Reply
  36. Speaking of Sharpe and Sean Bean, I’m at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference this weekend, and one of the sessions I attended this afternoon was a Q&A with Bernard Cornwell. A couple of people asked him questions about the film adaptations, what he thought of the casting, etc. He said he’d be insane to disapprove of Sean Bean in the part, given how much his female readership grew after the films came out.
    He added that in the newer books he doesn’t describe Sharpe’s coloring and such as often (knowing that many of his readers are just picturing Sean Bean anyway), and that while he still pictures Sharpe as he originally imagined him, he now hears him with Sean Bean’s voice.
    (If you ever get a chance to hear Bernard Cornwell speak, by all means take advantage of it–he’s hilarious and informative. And as a bonus I got to pick his brain on Wellington biographies for a story idea I recently had.)

    Reply

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