Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Can Show My Face Again!

Dear friends, I confess I have been hiding in shame.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of five months ago, I offered to redesign a couple of author websites for free.  Two lovely strangers from blogland took me up on it.  I completed the first in a couple of weeks.  But the second was a little bit trickier, requiring a simultaneously simpler and more meaningful aesthetic, and a LOT more content and functionality.  It was taking more thought and more time and then... well, life got in the way. Life being primarily in the form of contractual obligations to paying clients, and secondarily in the form of two broken arms.  And while I can declare without qualification that I could not physically have accomplished it sooner (I haven't even completed my own website), I feel so very badly that this lovely, talented, and patient author had to wait until about thirty seconds before her book launch to get her new website.

So, as a favor to me, please go visit D.J. Kirkby's new site, and congratulate her on the publication of her debut novel, Without Alice.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Guilty Pleasure

I just finished reading Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy.  Now I have to admit to you that I am excited about these being made into movies; there is already a deal for the first one, though no details yet.

Frankly, I wish I could work on it, preferably as a costume designer.  If I had the first idea how to land that job, I'd go for it.

Meanwhile, I keep finding myself fantasizing about the costumes, the sets, the music, the composition of shots, and of course the casting.  In fact, one of my favorite daydream-pastimes is producing imaginary movies from my favorite books.  Not many of my favorite books are YA though, and casting this one is a little tougher for me because I don't know too many young actors.  As for the older ones, though, let's get Hugh Laurie for Haymitch, Bill Nighy as Snow, David Allen Greer as Caesar Flickerman, and Jane Lynch as Effie.  I'll probably switch them all up again tomorrow, but you get the drift.

So now back to writing for a second... when you create characters, do you make up their physical appearance from scratch, or do you start with an actual person?  I find myself using actors (usually pretty unknown ones, since my characters can't all be, you know, gorgeous), and then recasting them as my characters - changing their costumes and demeanor and so forth, but drawing on the details of the real person.  Is this cheating?