Category Archives: Blog
Funny how you find influences where you least expect them.
I watched a childhood favorite this week: the movie “Them!” from 1954. (James Whitmore, James Arness, Fess Parker, Edmund Gwen.) It’s the one about an atomic experiment in New Mexico creating giant ants. You remember it, even if you’ve never seen it.
I love a lot of those 1950s science fiction films. They’re great fun.
But I noticed that this one, like many, begin with someone saying, “Say, this is mysterious. I know a scientist nearby. Perhaps he can help.”
Which is almost exactly how I introduce protagonist Tommy Tomzak in 2010’s CRASHERS.
I hadn’t realized until this week that I borrowed that shtick.
(Note: Watching the film, I also saw an uncredited, one-scene cameo with a tall, lanky kid and thought, Damn, that Leonard Nimoy. Turns out I was right. He was about 22 or so. But as soon as I heard the voice: boom.)
It’s great to read new books and to discover new authors. But every now and then, it’s nice to return to a classic.
I’m reading John Le Carre’s THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, circa 1963. I first read this novel when I was about 20. It’s outstanding. It hasn’t aged one bit.
So, if you’re a writer: there’s a good exercise. Read a first great novel by someone whose works you admire, then his or her latest novel. Can you find the ways the story structure and character development have changed? Are there lessons to be learned?
Just a thought.
I gotta get back to my book. Can’t wait to see how it ends.