Question & Answer Day!

QASo I get asked a lot of questions over Twitter, Facebook & Email — usually I dash off a response and that’s that. But I got the idea the other day to save up some of them and answer them here on the blog. To protect the innocent, I’m not listing the names of those who asked the question. If it’s yours, you’ll certainly recognize it. So — let’s begin!

Who would you cast in a new Shadow movie?

Wow. That’s actually a pretty hard question since I never do well with these casting things. I’m one of those folks who hear other people’s cast lists and go “oh, yeah!” or “no way!” but I can never think of actors beforehand. For The Shadow, it would have to be somebody who can both be suave & handsome as Lamont Cranston but also believably brilliant and cold as The Shadow. It’s inevitable that Margo Lane would be a major character in the film, so I’d want someone pretty but capable as I’d like to see her treated as a strong agent/ally of The Shadow. Since the movie studios would want stars young enough to base a franchise around, how about: Michael Fassbender as The Shadow, Summer Glau as Margo Lane and Ryan Gosling as Harry Vincent? That’s a a trio of good-looking folks who have the charisma to carry off the roles, I think. Or not. Hell, ask me again tomorrow and you’d get three completely different answers.

Where do you get off attacking the Pulp Factory Awards?

Well, I don’t think that I did. I pointed out some actual facts about the Awards the other day. I think the mailing list is a great way of giving writers a way to interact with each other. Airship 27, which is linked to the awards but not entirely the same thing, is a quality publishing company. My opinions and viewpoints don’t always have to please everyone — sorry if you or anyone else took offense. This is my blog, though, and I share my viewpoints here. Don’t like’ em, you don’t have to read ’em.

Do you ever get tired of writing The Rook or Lazarus Gray?

Sure! Anyone who writes any kind of series gets tired of the characters and settings eventually. Doesn’t mean you can’t step away and come back to them later. I would definitely say that my main attentions have been focused on other characters than The Rook in the past few years but I did write “The Killing Games” last year and had fun with it. I also recently wrote an animation script for The Rook and enjoyed that. So it’s not like I’m never writing Max Davies again — heck, I he appears in Gravedigger, too! But I try to follow my muse when possible. So with regards to getting weary of the same series, it happens. You have to find ways to keep it fresh for you and for the readers. Comes with the territory since there are great things about writing series and also some drawbacks.

What’s your least favorite Shadow story by Walter Gibson and why?

That’s another hard one for a couple of reasons – 1) I generally like Gibson’s writing a lot and 2) If I really dislike a story, I tend to just move on and forget about it while remembering my favorites. But, since you asked, let me wrack this tortured mind of mine and come up with: The Shadow Returns. This is actually the 326th novel and was written in the 1960s as part of the Belmont line. It was the only one of that series written by Walter Gibson and actually has his name on the cover rather than Maxwell Grant. It’s not hideous by most writer’s standards but it’s just… it’s just boring. I’m also not a huge fan of The Yellow Band (8/15/37). The Yellow Band features a lot of Kent Allard, which I generally like, but it’s set in Miami and the plot just never grabbed me. I remember getting quite bored in the middle and having to really push through.

Would you be willing to give up control of your characters in order to get them made into a movie or tv series?

Well, if you mean give over authority as to how they’re portrayed, yes, I probably would. I’d love to have a say in it but I’d love to see Lazarus Gray on tv, even if they took some liberties. I would always want to retain control over their print incarnations.

Do you listen to music when you write?

Almost always. I like to write to up-tempo music. Makes my fingers dance across the keyboard 🙂 I was listening to “Rumour Has It” by Adele while writing Lazarus Gray this morning.

Hope you enjoyed this Q & A session, guys. If it proves popular, we might do it again sometime!

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