I watched an interview with Matthew Reilly the other day on the ABC, and his story about why he started writing was my story about why I started to write. So far, however, we have had slightly different punch-lines for our personal tales, but there is still time left for me to address that.
He and I are of a similar vintage, so we were probably inspired by the same films growing up, and I distinctly remember as a kid thinking I wanted to make movies. Back then I thought to do that I had to be a director, without really understanding what the director did, all I knew was the director was the person who got their Oscar just before the lead actors so that’s what I said I wanted to be.
When I got a bit older I discovered that movies took lots of money and lots of people, and I had influence with neither. Back then most directors were in their 40’s (unbelievably old as far as I was concerned) and I couldn’t wait that long. I started to lose hope.
Then I discovered Lois Duncan.
She was writing books that were exactly like the movies I wanted to make. Her books were filled with special effects, young and exciting characters, and stories unlike everything else that was out there. That was when I discovered that writing books could give me the world that making movies promised.
Ironically now I love books so much more than films. I will always feel more for characters in a book than I will for those in a movie; the textures, tastes and aromas are so much more vivid in a book (directing my imagination) than a movie, so for me it feels like you are more there.
I would still love to see one of my stories turned into a movie, but I understand now that even that isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Your end gets changed, characters get tweaked beyond recognition and sometimes the main reason why you wrote it gets cut from the film.
But before I can even think about that I need to get my stories published. It would be wonderful if others could see my ‘movies’ with their million dollar special effects, exotic locations and amazing character actors, held in the pages of my books.