If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Edith Maxwell (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for pre-order.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Dances with Words


Last weekend I had the most wonderful getaway – and I barely left town to do it.
A friend and I went to Washington, D. C.’s National Gallery of Art to see Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music, an exhibit of artifacts from the influential dance company. The exhibit was a greatest hits collection of twentieth century art: Picasso designed sets for the company, Coco Chanel designed costumes, Igor Stravinsky wrote music, George Balanchine choreographed ballets.

Serge Diaghilev, the company director, was the genius who brought these cutting edge innovators together to spark the creation of new works that have delighted and challenged audiences for decades.
The highlight of the day was a performance by four dancers from two top Russian companies: the Mariinsky and the Bolshoi. The dancing, music, choreography, and costumes came together to create worlds that one could only enter through the imagination. These works from the early 20th century still have the power to enthrall a modern audience.
The dance director spoke – in Russian, with an energetic and quick-witted translator – and said something that I’ve been mulling for days.
A ballet, he said, is a work of art. But unlike a painting, it is not a work that is frozen in time and can be put, complete and unchanging, on a wall. It is a different work of art, an adaptation, every time it is performed.
His words made me think about novels, and the act of reading. Writers create a world, populate it with characters, events, themes. We think a story is finished when we type The End on a manuscript page.
But each reader encounters this world, and in a way, makes it his or her own, adapting it into a personal version "seen" in the mind, like a film. So often we say, “The movie isn’t as good as the book.” The reason is usually that in our minds the characters look different from the actors the director has chosen, or the setting differs from the one we constructed from the description the writer has penned.

For example, many viewers love the new incarnation of Sherlock Holmes played by Benedict Cumberbatch on the PBS Sherlock series. Others feel that Jeremy Brett came closest to the original vision of Conan Doyle. Some are apprehensive about the casting of Nathaniel Parker, star of the Inspector Lynley television series, as Armand Gamache, the main character of Louise Penny’s Three Pines series in the upcoming CBC adaptation, despite Penny’s backing.


Have you seen a movie adaptation of a novel that was as good, or better, than the book? And if you're here for the dancing, here is a link to the When Art Danced with Music exhibit.

14 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

What a wonderful cast of innovators the ballet company pulled together. I’ll bet each fed off the other, as artists often do.

I had not thought of it that way, but you are correct that each reader’s experience with a book is different, and the story they read is different from the one I wrote or the one the next person will read.


~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I agree with you Shari. One aspect of books that I like is the ability of the reader to make it her own. There are very few movies that I prefer to books because my vision is often quite different than Hollywood's version. That being said, I thought The Help one of the best movies I've seen.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Jim and EB -
Maybe that's partly why book discussion groups are fun - we all read the same story but experience it in such different ways.
Funny you mentioned The Help E.B. - my book club read the book and then saw the movie - and spent the rest of the evening disagreeing over the casting, setting, etc. - some of us loved and some hated the director's choices. Its' fun to play Compare the Book and the Movie.

Shari Randall said...

Oops, it's!

Gloria Alden said...

What a wonderful evening that must have been, Shari. You're lucky to live where you can attend something like that.

I rarely see a movie after reading the book where I think it favorably compares to the book at all. Our book club - most of them - went to see The Help, too, and didn't agree with the casting - not that the acting wasn't excellent, it was just not how any of us pictured several important characters. That was true with The Secret Life of Bees, too. But then there's Gregory Peck, who will forever be Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird in my mind, and probably for most people.

Kara Cerise said...

The art and dance exhibit sounds wonderful, Shari.

You made an excellent point that readers visualize and personalize a story. I’ve found that reading a scary book or screenplay is more frightening than watching a movie. Our imaginations can be very powerful.

Shari Randall said...

You're right, Gloria, Gregory Peck was absolutely perfect as Atticus Finch.
Kara - I stay away from the scary stuff, in general! Overactive imagination!

LD Masterson said...

I can't think of a really good adaptation but I do wonder what Doyle would think of the new TV show Elementary - which has Holmes as a recovering addict in modern day NYC and Dr. Watson played by Lucy Liu.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Shari, working with theater, I've discovered that each performance can give a different perspective on the play. Similarly, what an actor thinks about a character he is portraying may be very different from what the playwright envisioned. For one of our Christmas plays, an actor told me the whole back story for her character that she had made up for herself. It was fascinating and not at all what I had imagined in writing the part!

Shari Randall said...

LD - I've wondered that myself! What a shock for him to see Watson played by a woman - but I think Lucy Liu does a great job with the part, and it works.

Shari Randall said...

Paula, that must have been a surprise - did you like the backstory? Made me think about fanfiction, and what authors must think when fans take the author's carefully crafted character into shall we say, unexpected, scenarios and situations.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

It's true that artistic work is not a static thing. Even as writers, we change and edit our own work. It becomes something different than we first imagined it would be, taking on a distinct life of its own.

Paula Gail Benson said...

I agree, Jacqueline. And, Shari, I was tremendously proud of that actor and her back story!

Sarah Henning said...

I've read all the "Dexter" books and I think the TV show does a really good job of staying true to the books while changing the storyline just enough to keep even the book lovers like me guessing.