Sunday, August 14, 2011

Can you describe him?

John DuMond describes my 1930s flyboy character C.J. Stone as "kind of a cross between Indiana Jones and Han Solo."

Bill Crider writes, "I can see Bogart playing Stone in a B&W movie in my mind."

How close are they? C.J. was first inspired by Stephen Collins in Tales of the Gold Monkey, but Harrison Ford was also an influence. As I drafted my first C.J. story, playing in my mind was the Temple of Doom scene where Willie (Kate Capshaw) discovers the pilots are gone and says, "You know how to fly, dontcha?"

To which Indy replies, "No. You?"

Bogart wasn't a direct influence, but I'm too much of a Maltese Falcon fan to say he was no influence.

I can't imagine bumping into my characters on the street. To leave something to readers' imagination, I don't give very detailed physical descriptions. Robert Crais takes a similar approach with Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. He believes, as I do, that readers collaborate with an author to create characters in their minds' eyes. To protect this collaboration, Crais refuses to sell Elvis and Joe to Hollywood.

I wouldn't go that far. If any of my characters make it to movies or TV, I'll look at them as other readers' images, as valid as mine. When you go back and read my work, nothing on the page will point to X Hot Actor.

3 comments:

Kevin Burton Smith said...

Hell, if you got as far as Indiana Jones, you already had Bogart covered.

Scott Parker said...

You had me at Tales of the Gold Monkey. Downloaded it this morning on my Nook. [Checks watch] When is quitting time?

Gerald So said...

Thanks, Scott. Hope you enjoy.