Character Matters

By Allison Brennan

In light of Alex’s post regarding Hollywood’s choice of actors to play Jack Reacher, I changed my planned topic (a boring look at the proliferation of social media) to talking about character.

In fiction, characters who resonate with readers have staying power. This may mean a series character — Reacher, Jane Rizzoli, Eve Dallas, Myron Bolitar, Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller, Joe Pike, Lou Boldt, Tess Monaghan, D.D. Scott — or a stand alone like … well, because I’m writing this off the cuff, I can’t think of a stand-alone fiction hero off the top of my head. (That also might be because it’s 12:50 a.m. on Sunday morning and I still have 2,000 or so words to write to finish this short story that has turned into a novella.) 

There are heroes (Harry Potter) and villains (Lord Voldemort) and anti-heroes (Snape) who resonate because we see ourselves in all of them.

A great hero has flaws. A great villain has strengths. Just like real people.

The power of character has never been made more clear to me than in the outpouring of public criticism over the actor playing Jack Reacher. To me, this isn’t about the strengths or weaknesses of Tom Cruise–it’s about the creation of a hero who people have connected with so strongly that they are emphatic about who should — and should not — portray him on the big screen.

My daughter is a huge reader, preferring fantasy and dark paranormal. She devoured THE HUNGER GAMES and, other than her annoyance that a blonde–dying her hair dark–was picked to portray Katniss, “sees” Katniss in the shots she’s seen of actress Jennifer Lawrence. Yet, she feels strongly that Peeta and Gale have been miscast and that her VISION of the two would have the actors (Josh Hutcherson-Peeta; Liam Hemsworth-Gale) reverse roles. When we were at RT in Los Angeles, the decisions had just been announced, and our roomie Lori Armstrong and my daughter Kelly ranted over the choices for Peeta and Gale.

Multiply THE HUNGER GAMES three books by five (coming on 15 Reacher books) and you have the depth of passion for the character of Jack Reacher.

To me, this passion is amazing. To pull in such a diverse audience across the world who are not only gripped by the stories, but powered by the hero, is rare and wonderful.

I’ve read all of Tess Gerritsen’s books. I’m such a huge fan, that a good friend of mine found her six original Harlequin Intrigues at a garage sale and bought them for me. I don’t generally read category romance, but when I love an author I’ll read everything they write. I so enjoy the Rizzoli & Isles books, that I read each release the week it comes out. I’ll admit, I wasn’t thrilled with the casting choice for Maura Isles because 1) she doesn’t look the part (Maura has short, chic dark hair) and 2) she doesn’t act the part (Maura doesn’t talk as much in the books, and is not as clueless about interpersonal relationships, except of course not recognizing that Anthony Sansone is … ok, I digress.) But the actress is growing on me.

Jane Rizzoli, however, I felt was perfectly cast. She was exactly how I pictured Jane, except maybe with a little more confidence. 

But for me, it’s about character. The Rizzoli & Isles television series has a different feel than the books. It took me a full season to separate the voices, and now I can enjoy them both for what they are. I don’t picture Sasha Alexander as Maura Isles when I’m reading, but because Angie Harmon was far closer in looks and personality, I do picture her. And I love both the characters (except of course when Maura was seeing Daniel Brophy, but we can all hope that she’s seen the light–fully.)

Okay, I’m sort of picking on Tess 🙂

Character matters. When we read characters who resonate with us, who make us want to be brave, who make as fearful, who bring out the best–or the worst–of our personalities, we have engaged with the story on an intimate level. We’re part of the story, not distant observers. And talented storytellers like Tess and Lee Child have given us those characters we can believe … believe in so strongly that we care not only how they are portrayed in film and television, but by whom.

But character is a two-way street. How we communicate our feelings shows our own character. The internet, and social media’s quick snippets of 140 characters, or 260 characters, or thousand word blogs, all give us a forum for voicing our opinions. And as a staunch defender of the first amendment, I’m glad so many people not only have an opinion, but a forum to share that opinion.

How we share our views shows our true character–it shows how we truly are, when no one is looking.

The Internet has create a world of anonymity even when it’s not truly anonymous. It’s so easy to voice our opinions instantly … but sometimes, even when we’re right or just think we are … maybe it’s better if we choose to remain silent. Or edit our opinion so it’s neither cruel nor personal nor a veiled threat.

Because character matters — in fiction, and in real life.

Who’s your favorite character and why? Who’s shown great character in real life?

34 thoughts on “Character Matters

  1. Reine

    Allison, you are right about the amazing character loyalty being a great testament to Lee Child's creation, Reacher. I found myself disturbed by many of the hateful, vicious comments aimed at people who were making decisions about an artistic/business venture. Agreed, we have the right to speak, but these seemed exceedingly strong with a somewhat odd personal attachment and investment in a fictional character.

    Having said that, my current favorite character is Severus Snape, because he is willing to play the villain, to allow others to think the worst of him, in order to be able to defeat the present and coming evil.

    In real life one of the people I hold in highest esteem for his character is Judge Thomas E. Fairchild of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, who was a voice of reason during the McCarthy era and tried to unseat him against great opposition for forty years. I first became aware of him when he vacated the convictions of the Chicago Seven. Then over the years I came to know him personally and admired his conviction to do what was right while upholding the law. He was true to his calling and served the court as a senior judge until his death four years ago at the age of 94.

  2. Sarah W

    I have fun casting books and have occasionally had my doubts about studio choices, but honestly, acting — good acting — is far more than looks.the physical.

    And sometimes odd choices are fun: heck, I enjoyed Whoopie Goldberg as Bernie Rhodenbarr (and Bobcat Goldthwait as Carl, though the the character he played was nothing like Carolyn, except for a few trappings). While Ms. Goldberg's character had a Berniesque center,she riffed around the role (as she does) and made it hers.

    To misquote Sir Ian McKellan, the book is the book and the film is the film — most of the time.

    I love far too many fictional characters to name a favorite, but of them, Sherlock Holmes and Watson are probably the ones who have been cast and recast most often over the years, with varying success. Much of the character elements, physical and otherwise, seem to have ossified over nearly a century of scripts, and some of the characterizations from the original stories have been lost.

    That's probably why I'm enjoying Martin Freeman's turn as Watson in the BBC show and also Jude Law's performance in the latest Hollywood interpretation. It's refreshing to watch a Watson who is more than a bumbling, walrus-mustachioed foil – his status as a combat veteran who isn't a mental slouch has been reestablished.

    As for someone who has shown real-life character, Chad Pregracke of Living Lands & Waters comes to mind. I can think of one or two characters who might play him, but his story would be difficult to fictionalize — he simply saw an environmental need and has quietly got on with it.

  3. PK the Bookeemonster

    Another casting choice that people didn't like was the actress who played Barbara Havers in Elizabeth George's Lynley Mysteries on PBS. She was too pretty, too thin, too well socially adjusted, etc. She (and the actor playing Lynley for that matter) weren't what I had pictured but eventually it worked for me if I kept them as a parallel universe from each other.

    Not involving actors but another character who changed for me similar to Snape is Darth Vader. (Won't even go into casting on that one) But my perspective changed about him when more was revealed about his character. In episodes IV, V and VI, he is evil personified. But by episode III, he became a young man who grew up with personal demons and then was used and manipulated by the Emperor. I can't watch episode IV now without that in the back of my mind.

  4. David Corbett

    "One can acquire everything in solitude—except character." –Stendhal

    "All drama is conflict. Without conflict there is no action; without action there is no character; without character there is no story." –Syd Field

    We do not know ourselves by ourselves. A woman I once knew, who ironically suffered a severe nervous breakdown, shared this insight with me long ago, and it's one of the key insights of my life.

    Character, in both life and fiction, is not forged in solitude. It is formed in engagement, when something held dear is at stake, at risk. The characters we love seem to shimmer in a kind of noble stasis in our minds, but this state of reverence was created by watching them DO THINGS. Especially things we respect or envy, if not exactly emulate. The took great risks for honorable ends.

    My favorite heroes are the muckabouts or lost souls, the despised or mocked outsiders who rise to an act of selfless courage. A character like Hiller in BELLMAN & TRUE (I'll write about it this Wednesday). Gal Dove in SEXY BEAST. It's why I feel little for many of the heroes named here today — except Severus.

    Real life hero: my father. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. I have inherited his dogged persistence and decency. People tended to misjudge him; in particular, they underestimated his pride. I've also inherited my mother's "passionate intensity." It's not always a great fit. (Exhibit A: their marriage.) But I digress…

  5. judy wirzberger

    While I read Alex’s post, my thoughts were of James Bond, and the series of actors who portrayed him. I thought it remarkable that the character was so strong, the movie goers followed Bond in his many personifications.

    Albert Finney was never Hercule Poirot, however, David Suchet has seized the character and made it his own. So, Allison, I’m so pleased with your post that sat in a different section of the theater to look at characters and their portrayers. I agree with you on Rizzoli. What a refreshing addition to entertainment. (thanks, Tess).

    I’m beginning to see heroes in shadow places. Those who do small things each day—those who smile a greeting, offer help before being asked, and make me feel better just fr having been in their presence a moment.

    My personal hero is a friend of twenty years, who though paralyzed by a robber, accepted his situation within 48 hours, bought a racehorse from his hospital bed, and has never once complained about his situation, even when he had to spend 8 months on his back completely, bedridden because of an unhealed sore. He was an inspiration for every veteran in the hospital.

  6. Allison Brennan

    Reine, I'm totally with you on Snape! That he kept his secret so long and allowed people to think the worst of him shows that he was willing to do the right thing even to the sacrifice of his reputation and his life. A very intriguing character, one of the most complex I've seen lately.

    In the movies, I really love THE DEPARTED because every villain has a good spot, and every good guy has a villainous streak. I thought all the actors were terrific. I wasn't a huge Matt Damon fan, but I really thought he played that role of a corrupt cop beautiful, and that he could change on a dime showed both his psychopathy and his acting skill. And that movie also elevated Leonardo di Caprio in my mind. I HATED The Titanic, and thus didn't like Leo, but The Departed changed that for me. He couldn't tell anyone he was undercover, everyone thought he was dirty, and he had to let people believe that so he could do his job. A lot like Snape.

    PK, agreed about Anakin Skywalker, even though I didn't love epis I, II, III. (Too many story conflicts with the original trilogy) But I do like seeing how Anakin became Darth Vader.

    David, that Stendal quote was running through my head, but I couldn't remember it or who said it and it was too late to dig it up 🙂

  7. Rob Browne

    I, personally, don't get the rage over the Tom Cruise decision. Tom Cruise bought the Reacher books obviously because he recognized something in the character that he felt he could portray, and I think people make a mistake judging the end product before they, you know, actually SEE it.

    I'm amazed at how protective people can be of the characters they love. I think that's a wonderful thing. But to get to the point where you're insulting others because they disagree is, to my mind, taking it a bit too far.

    Coming from a Hollywood background, I can tell you that it's impossible to make casting decisions that will please everyone. And it's also extremely difficult to get actors with any box office clout to sign on to a movie. If you think Hollywood is going to go with an unknown to play the part of a character that most people in the moviegoing audience are unfamiliar with, then you don't understand Hollywood.

    One of my favorite character's is Parker, created by Donald Westlake, aka Richard Stark. Over the years, he has been played by the following actors: Lee Marvin, Michel Constantin, Robert Duvall, Jim Brown, Peter Coyote, Mel Gibson, Jason Statham, and even a woman—Anna Karina.

    Each of these actors brings a different interpretation of Parker. The books have quite a die-hard following, yet I don't see Parker fans raging over casting.

    The thing that got to me the most over yesterday's eruption, however, are those who blamed Lee Child for the casting of Cruise and said they'd never read another one of his books.


    These people obviously have no concept of how Hollywood works. The last person in the world who has any control over who's cast in a role is the writer. Especially the writer of the source material. In fact, the only instance I can think of ANY novelist having ANY control over how Hollywood treated her book was JK Rowling. And she only agreed to give Hollywood the rights if she had creative control.

    That's a rare position to be in. And to punish Lee for a casting decision he had absolutely no control over is ridiculous.

    My two cents.

  8. Becky LeJeune

    The character of the actors in question plays a big part in whether or not I can accept them in certain roles. I wish we didn't have so much access into these people's lives (and I'm sure they do as well!). A good actor is a blank slate, able to take on roles and portray a variety of character types (though I admit I'm a fan of certain type-cast folks as well). I was never a Matt Damon fan either, but it was the Bourne series that changed that for me. I can appreciate other roles he's played — like Tom Ripley — as being examples of someone with a wide range. And I haven't heard much about his personal life at all. As for Dicaprio and even Brad Pitt, I prefer some of their less in your face roles — The Beach and 12 Monkeys. Dicaprio was all over the place when I was a teen and I much prefer him these days.

    One of my favorite mystery characters (there are so many) is Kinsey Millhone. I love her. I can't ever picture a movie adaptation — it would be fun, but I almost never picture certain actors in the roles of characters I read. Occasionally someone sticks out, but most of the time I think they are of my own creation. Though I like to see big screen (or even TV) adaptations, I almost never imagine them (which I why I could never be a casting director). Dexter I think is particularly fantastic. Michael C. Hall in that role is perfect.

  9. Becky LeJeune

    Allison, I have to mention we've been watching Justified (finally, and it was your recommendations that pushed us to move it up the queue). My husband never liked Timothy Olyphant (I've been a fan for years) and now he keeps saying Olyphant could play this character and this character and this character… Apparently he's an Olyphant convert thanks to Justified. I have to agree with his choices, he now pictures Olyphant as Pendergast and even Roland (The Gunslinger) though still hates him as Hitman (one of the most terrible movies ever made regardless of who played the character).

  10. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Judy, it's interesting that you bring up James Bond. Coming from theater I just love seeing different actors' interpretations of iconic characters, and would love to see different actors play different Reachers. as they did for the Bond series. A great character is a great character when it CAN be played by different people.

    I just saw the Jayne Eyre with William Hurt. Well, he wasn't Orson Welles, but he had some interesting scenes as Rochester – it added to my understanding of the character. I am looking forward to seeing the latest adaptation, which is supposed to be great.

    Allison, thanks for sharing your daughter's perspective on Hunger Games! I must admit I was immediately drawn to Peeta rather than Gale, with that casting. I expect Jennifer Lawrence is going to be astonishing, can't wait!

  11. Kay

    Excellent post as usual, Allison. I find it interesting so many people resorted to rudeness yesterday. I disagreed with Alex's premise, but I still hope the movie does well so more people are introduced to the Reacher character, and hopefully they'll read the books, too.

    It is a shame most authors don't get to exercise some control over casting. J.K. Rowling (in a league of her own, to be sure) helped with the casting of the main adults in her movies, and the choices were brilliant!

    Another thing I'm sure readers would like would be a place to suggest actors for certain characters in books. Maybe each author could have a forum on his or her website, even if no movie deal is in sight. The people in Hollywood, and the author, might have a starting place for casting discussions that includes the opinions of serious fans. It could help prevent casting disasters. It certainly would be fun for the fans!

    I thought Alex showed an amazing amount of character in her responses to some very offensive comments yesterday. Her patience, willingness to re explain her position, and the way she politely pointed out where people had really crossed the line in the discussion show what a class act she is. I learned a lot from her experience. She was grace under fire.

  12. Dao

    As a Sherlock Holmes fan, I was skeptical of Robert Downey, Jr. playing the detective. But after watching the movie, I couldn't think of anybody else to create such a lively version of Holmes. Also, the only James Bond in my heart is Pierce Brosnan's version. I get the Daniel Craig's version of Bond but it's still too weird to see him as Bond. I've talked to other family members and they all have their own Bonds: my dad only accepts Sean Connery while my cousin is fixated on Timothy Dalton.

  13. JD Rhoades

    "The last person in the world who has any control over who's cast in a role is the writer."

    Thus the old joke about the starlet who was so dumb she slept with the writer…

    As for saying they were never going to buy one of Lee's books again…sigh. There is a subset of online "fans" who seem to delight in loudly proclaiming "I'll never read him/her again!" in response to some slight they see as "disrespectful" to the reader. To them, authors aren't artists or creators or even entertainers. They're not people with feelings or bills to pay. They're the help, and the help best not get too uppity.

  14. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Thanks, Kay, that's sweet of you to say. The lashing out took me aback, but I know that's coming from a feeling of helplessness. The truth is, I could have written a post that was exactly the opposite of what I wrote yesterday and I would mean it. But it's better to see the good, or it just breaks your heart.

    Every author would be thrilled to have readers talking about casting in forums as you suggest – it's the most fun to see how readers perceive the characters! I guess what a lot of people don't understand about Hollywood (and it's not a very pretty thing) is that executives and producers DON'T WANT to hear one thing from authors about casting. Lee Child could do a lot of damage to the movie by talking too much about it. It's a diplomatic high wire act.

  15. Rae

    JD said, “To them, authors aren't artists or creators or even entertainers. They're not people with feelings or bills to pay. They're the help, and the help best not get too uppity”.

    I think that’s the biggest bummer of it all: that double edged sword where a character is so resonant that people feel ownership – an indication of success and decent royalties and film options; the other edge of the sword being the complete objectification of the artist, to the point where “fans” feel completely justified in flinging the worst sorts of insults at them – on their own Facebook pages and websites.

    As to fictional characters, my favorites are Jack Reacher, Elvis Cole, and Frodo – not necessarily in that order. What they have in common is determination to complete the impossible quest, against all odds, and with no regard for reward or personal safety.

    Every once in awhile, someone in real life will show great character by taking a public stand for or against something, when taking that stand has probable negative consequences for them. In this era of polarization and negativity and mudslinging, it’s incredibly heartening and refreshing to see.

  16. David Corbett

    Reine: Sorry, I don't know who Krister is (assuming your question was directed at me).

    I'm one of the few humans alive who've largely avoided Harry Potter. But I saw the new and last movie yesterday with a friend. I realize Severus is not a "muckabout" or a despised outsider. He's more a despised insider, but he accepts that hatred because he understands his mission, and he sacrifices his life selflessly. Other than that I admired the visuals and the plot turns, and realize I'd probably prefer the books to the films. So many books, so little time.

  17. tess gerritsen

    Allison, waving back to you!

    I've just gotten home from the UK and am amazed by all the heated talk about Tom Cruise as Reacher. Having just gone through the process of seeing my characters transformed into TV stars, I want to emphasize what Rob said: Unless the author's name is JK Rowling, he has no say in the matter. And a major film (or TV show) just won't get made without name talent signed on. When "Rizzoli & Isles" was in development, I remember asking about perhaps casting unknown actors with merely ordinary looks. "Then it will never get made," I was told..

    People should just lay off Lee Child and be happy that he's finally getting Hollywood attention. And will find more readers because of it.

  18. Allison Brennan

    Rob, your two cents is worth two dollars 🙂 Thanks for contributing!

    Becky, yeah! I'm so glad you love JUSTIFIED. I bought five sets of season one when they were on sale at Target and have been donating them with books for writers conferences. 1) because it's an amazing show with fantastic characters and 2) because it's storytelling at it's best and 3) because Timothy Olyphant and Walter Goggins are fantastic. And the supporting cast is strong, too. I was THRILLED to see both of them, plus Mags, be recognized by being nominated for Emmy awards. I thought the show was slighted because it didn't make an Emmy nomination as best show (yet had FOUR acting noms!) but thrilled TPTB finally recognized the actors behind the characters. Yes, I am a rabid fan girl about Olyphant. I saw him first in DEADWOOD and now the only actor I could see playing Sheriff Nick Thomas from SPEAK NO EVIL is Olyphant. Though I have had no Hollywood interest, maybe someday … (It's a fish out of water story.)

  19. Reine

    Hi David Corbett, yes I was responding to a quote you attributed to Stendahl. I couldn't find the quote, so I was just checking with you on which Stendahl. Krister Stendahl? Sorry I was typing flat on my back, and it doesn't always come out right — with Dragon Dictate or chopstick method. Hahaha!

  20. Reine

    Allison thank you so much for creating the pdf file of your novella LOVE IS MURDER. it was a hugely generous thing for you to do. I am reading it now — fantastic — really, really really fantastic! I am discovering the novella along with your writing!

  21. Alafair Burke

    Great post, as always. Some of my favorite characters are Harry Bosch, Kinsey Milhone, Myron Bolitar, and, yep, Jack Reacher. So far none has been adapted (soon to change, of course) so I haven't had to struggle to adjust to a film depiction that's different from my conception of the characters. Your post did have me thinking about the TV version of Dexter. I now think of TV Dexter as a completely different character from Book Dexter. I've actually come to like TV Dexter a little better, but regardless, nothing about the TV differences changes my ability to read the books and experience that character as the author intended.

  22. Barbie

    It's so funny how the casting of Maura Isles was what got to you because Sasha Alexander, to me, except for the fact that she was a blonde, fit Maura much better with the image in my head than Angie Harmon could ever have fitted Rizzoli. I have to say, I was almost offended when she was cast. Because Rizzoli spent half of the first books jealous of beautiful women (Dr. Cordell) and, to me, she was never beautiful in any way. Then they cast drop dead gorgeous Angie Harmon? I think that was the hardest thing for me to swallow with that show. I could deal with the cheery atmosphere and the new personality of Dr. Isles. But a beautiful Rizzoli? Just… no. There's this woman who works at this restaurant at the mall, and the first time I ever laid eyes on her, maybe four years ago, I told my mom "Mom! That's exactly how I picture Jane Rizzoli." We've been calling her Rizzoli behind her back for years.

    It's funny, though, as much as I love Tess Gerritsen's books, her characters never spoke to me or touched me like that. The only who ever did was Dr. Catherine Cordell from The Surgeon and I'm always disappointed that she never recurred. But I've never felt that connection. You know, that ONE.

    Like I've felt with your Lucy Kincaid. She's spoken to me, with me, maybe sometimes for me, in a way such few characters have. I think when that happens is when I truly fall in love with a character and an author. I mean, you know, Allison, I'd been a fan of your books before. But, believe me, there's Before Lucy (BL) and After Lucy (AL). You've gone to a whole new level to me 🙂 Of character connection, I mean 🙂


    Great follow up to Alex's post from yesterday. You know, Lee Child pointed some of us in this direction to find a very thought-provoking, interesting, brilliant-author driven blog that we can be happy to follow!
    As I am an avid reader with broad tastes, it is hard to pick my favorite character or the one I admire most — there are so many! One of my favorite characters is: "Spenser" – an avid reader himself, also a former boxer, amateur chef and wine connoisseur, a private detective with a ‘personal code of honor’. I love the Robert B. Parker novels and this character. Why? Spenser was funny, witty, sometimes fearless, sometimes not. He loved simple pleasures: food, wine and the love of one woman. He quoted poetry. He was a faithful friend and dogged investigator. I loved the TV series based on the books starring Robert Urich. Urich personified Spenser perfectly and of course, I loved Avery Brooks as "Hawk" too. And still I picture them when I read /re-read the Spenser novels. After the death of the actor, Robert Urich, another “Spenser for Hire” movie was released with Joe Mantegna in the title role (he eventually starred in 3) – I thought that I would NEVER be able to see Mantegna as “Spenser”. But I was wrong. The writing was good. The acting was great; the casting, well done. It worked for me – I still love(d) my Spenser character.

    I also love Kinsey Milhone, Stephanie Plum and of course, Jack Reacher!

    Speaking of Reacher… Alex, whew! What a work out you had yesterday! And a workout for the Lee Child fans, too. I will always love Jack Reacher, as a character. I will love anything Lee Child writes and I will continue to buy/read him, no matter what happens with the film. But, as you suggested, I am praying for a miracle!

    Who do I admire in real-life? There are fewer choices but I would say those people brave enough to voice their opinion with intelligence and without cruelty and sign their names! Also, I admire blood and organ donors because they are heroes. — cjp

  24. Reine

    Hi Judy W, although I don't know your friend I admire him, too.

    Sometimes people think I complain when I am actually fighting for my right to not get those pressure sores that cause people to have to remain in bed — nothing special, just the right wheelchair with weght-shift capability, especially the right not to be scammed out of it when my insurance has already paid for it. Or fighting for access to a library. Or grocery store. Or an accessible breast exam. I believe in fighting for affordable medication.

    I loved Judge Fairchild. He wasn't flashy. He was just a successful WASP attorney who devoted his life to helping sort right from wrong for everyone. He wasn't flashy, but he did big things.

    I accept my disabilities. And I deal with them. I want universal access. Nothing special for me. For everyone.
    Walking is highly overrated.
    Reading a book is not.

  25. Reine

    Daviid, than kou! I think I should be familiar with him. Well I will now. I am only familiar with his condition that I believe to be a misdiagnosis, along with others saddled with it. Now Ill have the pleasure of learning about his writing.

  26. Allison Brennan

    Barbie, thank you so much–I know you've been a fan of Lucy since the beginning, and I so appreciate your thoughtful words about her character resonating with you. I really love writing Lucy and am thrilled to be able to continue her series, because I think she has a lot of stories to tell. I also connected with Catherine Cordell. Though I understand the beauty thing (and definitely Angie Harmon is gorgeous) and Jane is self-conscious and feels she's not pretty enough for Gabriel, personality also makes character, and the way the TV Jane communicates is how I picture Jane communicating and seeing the world. But Maura, not so much. However, the one thing I DO really love about the show that is only now beginning to develop in the books is the friendship between Maura and Jane. I get that TV has to have attractive people, especially in a show with two female leads. … but thanks again for your support of Lucy. 🙂

    CJ–My mom is a HUGE Spenser fan. I've read a couple, but my mom has read them all.

    Alex, DEADWOOD was amazing.

    Reine, I'm so glad you can read the PDF! Thanks 🙂

    Rae — I love Frodo too! My daughter is now reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time (she's 15) and she's talking about the story, brining back great memories of when I read it at about the same age 🙂

  27. Allison Brennan

    Dao, I loved Robert Downey, Jr. as Holmes and I didn't think he'd do it, either. But I'm so looking forward to the second movie! I also really enjoy the BBC series as well. A modern take, which puts another spin on a great character.

    Kay, I agree, Alex took the moral high ground and I greatly respect her for that, and the class she showed.

    Dusty, that's exactly why I felt compelled to write this blog. It's so easy to say nasty things in public when we're anonymous behind our computers or screen names. It makes me sad, because civility should be important. I don't visit snarky blogs or review sites that seem to take pleasure in slamming other people — writers, actors, politicians, etc. When I disagree with someone, I strive to do so civilly and without the nasties getting out. When I was in college, I probably wasn't so diplomatic, but I learned 🙂

  28. Rolex Daytona replica

    I’m beginning to see heroes in shadow places. Those who do small things each day—those who smile a greeting, offer help before being asked, and make me feel better just fr having been in their presence a moment.

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