The books are better, but…

Lest you think this is just an excuse for posting another gratuitous Sean Bean pic, let me tell you I have been thinking about what Susan Wilbanks said last week, about the Sharpe books being better than the films. I’m about half-way through the series now and for the most part, I agree. But I’m also finding there’s a synergy between the books and films, at least in my mind, that helps them both.

For this series, I broke my usual rule of reading the book first, so Sean Bean easily became my image of Sharpe. In the books he is dark-haired and there’s the confusion about where in England he hailed from, but I’ve managed to get over those issues. Now when I read the books, I hear Bean’s voice and see his face. Yeah, it doesn’t hurt the reading experience at all. : )

In cases where I have read a book before seeing the film, sometimes the actors still manage to take the place of my first mental images of the characters. When I’ve read subsequent installments of Harry Potter, I now see and hear the voices of the cast from previous films. Also not a bad thing.

Lots of authors (many of us here, I think) use this sort of effect in a similar way, using actors as inspiration for their characters’ appearance and sometimes for aspects of their personality as well.

Right now I’m “using” John Corbett and Laura Linney, picking up a few traits from their roles in Northern Exposure and Love, Actually. For my hero, I found this image. He’s got that bold, embracing-life sort of feel I want for my balloonist. Laura Linney’s character, on the other hand, is sensitive, caring and bound by a sense of responsibility. Clever contrast, huh?

Anyway… as a reader or a writer, do you find this sort of synergy happening between books and films?


About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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