Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stay Tuned...In Your Mind

When I was young, I watched a lot of TV. I learned so much: how to say “cerrado” from Sesame Street, how to fix family crises in less than thirty minutes and how to solve crimes wearing a bikini. Hey, it was the 1970s.

Maybe it’s because I was an only child for most of those years, but I spent a lot of time thinking about the characters I discovered on TV and in books. I wondered what they did in life beyond the scope of one show or a few classics. Did Nancy Drew grow up to be Nancy Grace? Is Encyclopedia Brown a dot-com millionaire recluse? Did Jack Tripper ever achieve his dreams, or is he now managing an Olive Garden and spending way too much time at night on Internet poker sites? Did Bruce Banner find a cure for his Hulkiness and go into the fashion business designing rip-proof distressed jeans?

When I’m stressed out from the freelance life of interviews and deadlines, my mind floats off to all those characters and what they might be doing now. Some people meditate, I create whole new worlds for Bigfoot and the Six Million Dollar Man to continue the passionate friendship frowned upon by so many small-minded people.

Overactive imagination. Just one of the perks of being a writer.

Are there characters you still think about long after the book or show is over?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Don't Call It A Comeback. Okay, Go Ahead.

Once upon a time, you read the classics, enjoyed them and moved on to other things. They stayed put, without Hemingway seeking a new business in shoes or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle primping for his close-up. Now, classic writers are having a mid-death crisis. Maybe they’re looking for a little something to spice up eternity, like Jane Austen and her new career in zombies, or maybe they’re fulfilling a goal like Harry Houdini finally coming back from the dead to co-star in a new steampunk movie with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Even Edgar Allan Poe is getting in on the action, with a new movie starring John Cusack and his own television detective series. Right now his agent is probably talking to Austen’s, setting up a guest shot on Law and Order: Nevermore.

I bet if the Ghost Hunters set up around Shakespeare’s grave, they wouldn’t hear moaning or even dialogue from MacBeth. They would hear, “What I really want to do is direct.”

What would be your ideal re-vamp on a classic author or character?

Photo credit: Chelsea Daniele, via Flickr