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Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Spotlight: Elysa Hendricks


Every author gets asked the question, where do you get your ideas? The question puzzles me because my mind has always been filled with imaginary people clamoring to have their stories told.

I love people, the flesh and blood kind that populate my “real” life and those that live only in my mind and on the pages of a book. But sometimes when “real” people get too much to deal with I’ll retreat into a world I created, thinking, often mistakenly, that my fictional characters will be easier to control and direct.

One of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes is "A World of His Own." In this delightful little tale, Gregory West, played by Keenan Wynn, is a playwright who can make anything appear – or disappear – just by describing it. He also learns quickly that fictional people can be just as much trouble as the real kind.

Still, as a child I thought this would be a lovely talent to have. I thought if I worked hard and long enough I might learn how to bring my imaginary playmates to life. My winged, telepathic white stallion would have been first.

Fortunately for the world I never buried myself so deep in my fictional world that I was able to acquire the skill or magic to do so. But somehow Brandon Alexander Davis, author of a successful series of sword and sorcery novels has. The result, a scantily clad, sword wielding, angry-eyed warrior woman appears in his study.

For years, to avoid the messy aspects of dealing with real people, Brandon retreated into his fictional world. The words he put on paper provided him with a comfortable living, but no life. Now he’s decided it’s time to move on, to kill off the heroine of his books, to create a real life for himself. Just one problem. Serilda d’Lar. She’s one of those difficult characters I mentioned.

When she sprang to life in my mind, she demanded in no uncertain terms that I tell her story, that I solve her dilemma, that I return her to her world. But since she isn’t really my creation, I quickly and thankfully turned her back over to her creator, Brandon, to deal with. Unfortunately the man refused to believe that fictional characters can come to life. Still, he was more than willing to deal with what he considered the “real” woman Serilda appeared to be, but he wouldn’t even consider the possibility that he created her.

Of course, his thinking she’s nothing more than a crazy fan didn’t stop him from being attracted to her or wanting her to become a permanent part of his life.


booklover0226 said...

I recall seeing that particular Twilight Zone episode.

One of my favorite ones (though I can't recall its title) is the one which shows a man all alone in the world. He was going to read all of these books but his glasses broke; the lenses were crushed.

After seeing that, I thought, "that could be be but at least I would be able to read. The words would be a little blurry but I would still be able to read." HAHA

Tracey D

Elysa said...

I think that episode is called "All The Time in The World." I'll have to check. Hubby has the whole series on DVD along with The Outer Limits and a couple dozen other classic and not so classic TV shows. He doesn't care to read, but he loves movies and TV.

Over the years I've gotten a LOT of inspiration from Twilight Zone.

My previous book STAR CRASH was loosely based on a combination of Planet of the Apes and another Twilight Zone episode called "People Are Alike All Over" with Roddy McDowell. I like to call STAR CRASH my Planet of the Apes meets Star Trek book. :-)


Unknown said...

That's actually called "Time Enough at Last. Give her credit. She tries.

Elysa said...

Vern is my TV-aholic hubby and a big Show Off! :-) I knew I should have checked with him first before I mentioned the title. He knows them all. :-)


Dena said...

I remember that episode too. Your take on it in your book sounds interesting.