Recently Richard Armitage spoke about the creative process of acting with PopcornTaxi here. Some of his comments rang true to me because his acting process appears similar to my writing process.
“RA: We were always told, ‘don’t bring the character to you, go to the character’. I always preferred leaving lots of myself outside the room and exploring the world through the eyes and the body and the mind of a different person who is ultimately better than you are. Even if they’re a mass murderer, they’re infinitely more interesting than you are. People talk about The Method, or whatever. I don’t think I’m a Method actor. I have a method but I don’t believe you have to be a mass murderer to play a mass murderer.
“I don’t believe I have to be a dwarf who gets dragon sickness to play Thorin Oakenshield. But I’m fascinated to see what his world looks like or what the world looks like through his eyes.”
I often joke that all my characters are just different versions of myself. But that’s not accurate. They are how my life might be if I were someone else and certain things happened.
What if I were the single parent of quintuplet babies? The Baby Tree
What if my ex-husband came back into my life when I was engaged to someone else? Her Ex Next Door
What if I were pregnant and couldn’t remember ever sleeping with anyone? Forgotten Honeymoon
Like Richard Armitage, I am fascinated by what the world looks like through these characters’ eyes.
Recently some friends read The M-word and I was invited to speak at their book club. One reader said archly, “After reading this, don’t you feel that you know Beverly and her husband a whole lot better?” Everyone laughed. I don’t think they believed me when I said that my husband was NOT Marius.
Granted, there may be bits of my life experience in my writing — I don’t know how to avoid that completely. But ultimately my writing is a creative process based on my imagination and my interpretation of human nature — good and bad. I find the entire process exhilarating.
Which brings me back to Richard Armitage.
The continuation of his earlier statement is this:
“RA: And it does give you courage to do that because you get given a bunch of lines to say that I would never say. It’s liberating. And then you take it off at the end of the day and I slump around the streets with my shoulders hunched, back to boring old me. It’s great!”
It is great.
Posted in books, Quest for Publication, Richard Armitage, Romance, Writing | Tagged acting, beverly farr, creative process, Hobbit, PopcornTaxi, Richard Armitage, romance, Thorin Oakenshield, writing | 3 Comments »
Vance Packard’s book The Hidden Persuaders, about media manipulation in the 1950s, sold more than a million copies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I read Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard years ago, and learned about the subliminal messages created by various advertising techniques. Different colors send different messages to the brain, and that’s true with shapes as well.
We live in a visual world and we all interpret the avalanche of data that surrounds us.
With this in mind, I’ve been updating my book covers and it’s been an interesting process to stare at various versions for hours, debating the merits of image, font, color, etc. I hired a professional cover designer, consulted with friends with degrees in design, and bothered chance acquaintances, asking them, “Which cover is better?” But in the end, I have to go with my gut reaction.
Here’s the new cover to Forgotten Honeymoon, which is only slightly different from the cover before.
And now to get back to the real work: writing the next book. Because although pretty packaging may sell, ultimately there has to be some substance. I’m currently working on a three book series.
And yes, I’m still having fun.
Posted in books, Romance, Writing | Tagged advertising, amnesia, book covers, design, fiction, first love, Hidden Persuaders, romance, Subliminal stimuli, sweet romance, Vance Packard, writing | 1 Comment »
The M-word has also been improved. New cover:
I liked the old cover, but it didn’t tell people at a glance what the story was about. Now, I think they’ll know.
Note: the cover has been updated on Amazon and Smashwords. Barnes and Noble may take a few days, maybe a week. And I’m still learning how to update covers on Goodreads.
And having mentioned those sites, I’ll add that I greatly appreciate any reviews readers wish to make.
Posted in books, Quest for Publication, Romance | Tagged amazon, Amazon Kindle, Amazon.com, arranged marriage, Barnes & Noble, beverly farr, Books, clean romance, fiction, Goodreads, Green Card, love, m word, Marriage of convenience, quick read, romance, Smashwords, sweet romance, True Love, writing | 4 Comments »
Romola Garai is a fine actress and I enjoyed her interpretation of Emma in the recent BBC version.
I had watched it before in ten minute chunks on YouTube, but I must have missed some of the chunks because there were moments that I had not remembered. It was good to watch it slowly over several nights and enjoy the details.
Romola garai in Emma (Photo credit: urizenbl)
Things I found interesting:
Emma was physically awkward (leading with her chin as she walked, smiling too much, side wisps of hair always messy looking). I thought this made sense since she is the richest girl in town with a father that doesn’t correct her. Some of the her dialogue seemed particularly snobbish or selfish, though — so I’m going to have to reread the book (probably listen to Juliet Stevenson read it) and find out how much was Jane Austen and how much was Sandy Welch. (As a note, Sandy Welch wrote the wonderful screenplay for North and South, but she also wrote a screenplay for Jane Eyre that was good but included some scenes/motivations that didn’t match the novel IMHO)
Johnny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightly. He didn’t seem quite old enough to be Mr. Knightly, but I really liked his clothes. And he was suitably grumpy/bossy/opinionated. I liked the scenes that focused on his reactions, especially when he watches Emma and Frank Churchill. These were fun because I already know the story.
I like the fact that Emma’s sister had her large noisy family.
Things that made me wonder:
Emma’s father seemed very sad, rather than just a hypochondriac.
Does this Mr. Knightly really love Emma? And why? Jane Fairfax was nice enough, and Harriet Smith was okay, but neither one of them seemed like real competition. In other versions of Emma, I sense that Mr. Knightly and Emma understand each other and share a sense of humor (especially the version with Gwyneth Paltrow). In this one, they both were so awkward, I wondered if they loved each other because there was no one else suitable around.
But as I’ve said before, I like Jane Austen in almost any version, so I did enjoy this. I didn’t love it, but I’ll watch it again. The dancing scene was fun and the costuming was beautiful.
Posted in books, Jane Austen, Movies, Romance | 2 Comments »
Instead of this:
Ah, I liked the model in this picture. Since my hero’s name is Derek in “Her Ex Next Door”, I’ve enjoyed seeing Derek show up on the covers of OPF (Other People’s Fiction).
Posted in Romance | Leave a Comment »
How did I not know that Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack were married? And apparently they’ve been married 34 years and have two children.
It makes me happy to think that Mrs. Thornton is married to Charles Rider.
Can you imagine what their breakfast conversations are like? They are two interesting, creative people — excellent actors who seem to inhabit their roles. Jeremy Irons was brilliant in a Harold Pinter film called Betrayal that I saw parts of more than 25 years ago, and still remember. I need to see more of Sinead Cusack’s work.
Posted in Movies, North and South | Tagged beverly farr, dinner conversation, Jeremy Irons, Marriage, movies, North and South, Sinead Cusack | 4 Comments »
I’m thinking about Yul Brynner and having a bald hero in one of my books. Not necessarily a bald biker dude, but bald, none-the-less. I have been thinking about the various good-looking bald men I’ve known. Some weren’t technically bald, but they shaved their hair so close that they were almost bald.
Sometimes when a man is bald, you pay more attention to the beauty of his features, particularly his eyes.
There really are a million ways for someone to be beautiful.
(Picture from Amazon.com)
The King and I is a strange movie. Drama more than romance, but with romantic overtones. We don’t really want Anna to end up with the King (wife number 100+) but that mutual respect, meeting of the minds, and frisson of physical attraction is intoxicating.
The music is fun, and the costumes are beautiful. Just once I’d like to twirl around the room in a huge satin dress.
Posted in Romance, Movies | Tagged beauty, beverly farr, hair, romance, the king and I, Yul Brynner | 6 Comments »