Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Naked Earl and The Pirate Queen

Today is The Naked Earl's official release date!! It's also "Tempting Tuesday" when we're supposed to talk about what we're reading.


Can I tempt you into reading a little Naked nobility?? (Nudge, nudge; wink, wink.)

Ahem. Pardon me.

About reading. I just got home from New York City and our fabulous PASIC conference. Instead of digging into my bag of books while I rode the train back to D.C., I proofread some summer swim league guidance and then leafed through the playbill for The Pirate Queen, the musical many PASIC members attended Friday night.

I really enjoyed The Pirate Queen. It's set in late 16th century England and Ireland. There's a lot of Irish dancing and singing, cool set changes...well, D.C. isn't the sticks, but the last play I saw was a high school production. Good, I'm sure, but not quite Broadway quality. So I was dazzled--but another part of my brain was running parallel to the play's story, wondering about the actors, who they were, how they felt pretending to be someone else.

Sunday on the train I studied the cast pictures and "Who's Who." I had worried about the young boy in the musical, how he could be up so late, how he could go to school and get his homework done. I was happy to see that there were actually two boys playing the role on alternating days. But still, what would it be like to be nine years old and working with adults? How would that experience change you? And then I saw one of the dancers had graduated from my alma mater and worked at a public relations firm. What did her co-workers think of her other career? And another cast member added a dedication to his children, but not his wife. Was he divorced?

So, is it the writer in me or do normal people do this, too? Am I just weird? (Okay, maybe you'd better not answer that!)

Anyone else wonder about the actors behind the characters?


jackietoo said...

I'm not a writer so maybe I'm just nosy but I do the "I wonder why?" and the "What if?" thing a lot.

I will confess, too, that if I find out something about an actor that tees me off, then I probably won't watch them any more.

Christie Craig said...


First I think your book sounds delightful. Second, yes, I do wonder about the actors behind the characters. I'm usually trying to figure out how they tapped into that character -- if they ever bonded with the character and if that bonding happened due to some common emotional link that happens in the story and happened in the actor's life. I guess I do that with books, too. Wonder if the author used a certain theme or premise for a reason.

I know I see reasons behind my own themes. Scary, isn't it?


Sally MacKenzie said...

Interesting point about actors' off-stage behavior, Jackietoo. I think I agree with you, though it seems like we should be able to separate the actor from the character he/she portrays. Hmm. One thing novelists don't have to worry about! Our characters live only in readers' minds--they don't have a physical persona. And on sort of the flip side, you often hear about actors feeling trapped in a role--William Shatner will always be Captain Kirk, for example.

I wonder if that happens more with TV or movie actors, though. I couldn't see far enough in the theater to really make that bond with the stage actors.

And thanks, Christie! I hope lots and lots of people find the Earl delightful!! About actors bonding with their characters--I figure actors can tap into some similar emotions, like I do when writing. For example, if I write a scene where the heroine is trapped by the villain in a dark garden, I can remember what it felt like some time when I was afraid and then explore and amplify that feeling.

I often find what I think is a theme after the book is done and I'm revising. In the Earl I discovered lots of characters were thinking about having children. One needed to, one couldn't, one wondered if she could bear not to, one had come to terms with her childlessness. I wasn't concious of exploring that when I wrote the book, and I'm not sure what it means. I'm not childless--I have four sons--but they ARE growing up and leaving home. Maybe I was influenced by my impending empy nestdom? Hmm. I think that's a little too deep for me, LOL!

Susan Vaughan said...


I loved The Pirate Queen too, especially the dancing and the powerful music. It was so a chick story, with two strong female characters. Now I want to know more about Grace O'Malley.

Sally MacKenzie said...

Me, too, Susan!