Monday, January 20, 2014

The Story Behind the Story

by Kate Collins

If you haven't seen "Saving Mr. Banks," I highly recommend it. The movie details the difficulty Walt Disney had convincing P.L. Travers to let him turn her book into a film. Emma Thompson is excellent in the role of the author and demonstrates how possessive we writers become of our characters. But what was most fascinating to me was learning who Mary Poppins was based on and why P.L. wrote about her. (Hint: it's about her childhood).

The movie got me to thinking about other classic as well as popular books and wondering why those authors chose the characters they did. How did Margaret Mitchell come up with the character of Scarlett O'Hara? Was Rhett Butler based on anyone she knew?  How about Suzanne Collins with Katniss? Who did Ian Fleming base James Bond on and why did he chose to write about a super spy?

I wish I had an equally fascinating story for my sleuth, Abby Knight, but honestly, she sprang fully formed into my mind one day. I had a vision of a 5'2" feisty, busty, 26 year-old redhead with a passion for flowers and justice, and a hatred of bullies. And yes, I do have a passion for flowers and justice, and a hatred of bullies, but trust me, 26, busty, and redheaded I am not. Feisty? Okay, I am that. Ask my friends what happens when I meet a bully.

If you could interview a famous author about a character in her or his book, who would you choose and why?


Jeannie D. said...

If I could go back in time, I would interview John Steinbeck. Although, he was famous for the "Grapes of Wrath", I was fascinated by his book "Travels with Charley". I would love to hear what made him make the journey and maybe even hear more adventures that wasn't included in the book.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks for a great post, Kate. Saving Mr. Banks is on my to see list. And I read Mary Poppins as a child, before the movie.

As for your question, I always wonder if "Chet the Dog" is real, but that's just silly.




Kate Collins said...

I've never heard of "Travels with Charley." I'll have to check it out.

Aurian said...

I would interview my favourite author Bertrice Small about my favourite heroine, Skye O'Malley. I would love to know if she really lived in that time, and like that. She survived 5 husbands and Queen Elizabeth and hat lots of children and grandchildren. She was a hellion and traveled the world on her own ships.

Sue said...

Great pictures Kate!!! Love the clock! I had the 11th on my calendar...sorry I missed your signing...will order right now! Sue