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Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Anthony

September 26th 2014

Do you have any unproduced screenplays, and if so, would you ever consider allowing lesser know filmmakers to option your work?

William Nicholson responded:

I have many unproduced screenplays, but alas, they're all owned by the studios or production companies who commissioned and paid for them. Some of my best work is sitting gathering dust on Hollywood shelves. The owners of such scripts are usually willing to sell them on (it's called 'turnaround'), but they require a price that covers all the costs, plus interest, they've incurred on the project; which in effect means it's not worth it.

Posted by Dina Davis

September 19th 2014

I'm very much enjoying your novel, 'Reckless'.I loe your writing style, and the way your charactes are so bwliwvable. My question is: how far can one safely go in straddling the gap between history and fiction? Or, is there one? I'm finishing the last draft of a 'fictional biography'. It's called 'Capriccio' and is about the life of Assia Gutmann Wevill, the third in the triangle with Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. I've kept the real names of the protagonists, and fictionalised known events, as well as introducing some minor characters of my own. It's been a labour of love, and a long gestation, but a story which I feel deserves to be told from a new viewpoint. So, will I get away with it, do you think? Regards,Dina.

William Nicholson responded:

A sensitive area that needs very careful handling. As you may know I write fiction with real people in it a great deal, and have done since 'Shadowlands' dramatised the love life of C.S.Lewis. My own view is that it's okay to do this so long as: a) you stick to the truth as far as it's known; and b) where you invent to fill the gaps, you treat the real people generously. Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham saw 'Shadowlands' and said to me, 'You've made most of it up, but it's the truest account of my parents I've seen.' This is an apparent paradox, but I think what he meant was that I'd touched an essential truth while creating fictional details. My own way of staying on the straight and narrow is to imagine the real person leaning over my shoulder as I write, and reading every word. There's a further issue you need to raise with yourself: what exactly is it you're writing? Is it fiction with some historical figures in walk-on roles, or are the historical figures the main characters? If the latter, why haven't you gone for an orthodox biography? We need some guidance to know what you've researched and what you've made up. I suppose in the end it's all about the signals you give. If you're writing a fantasy in which real people appear, tell me so. If you're trading on the reality of real people, make sure I can trust you to be meticulous with the facts. Maybe write a note that explains your method, and where you've gone for your information. It may interest you to read my next novel, out in the spring, called in the UK 'The Lovers of Amherst' and in the US 'Amherst' which does exactly this with the world of Emily Dickinson in the 1880s.

Posted by Isabelle Myhill

September 19th 2014

Dear Mr. Nicholson, In 1981 you produced a documentary for the 'Everyman' series, entitled 'The Dervish Way'. I was a member of the Sufi group which was the subject of that programme and I would like to have a copy of the documentary. Can you help? Regards. Isabelle Myhill

William Nicholson responded:

I wish I could. The Everyman series of documentaries belongs to the BBC, and as things are they've never made them - or most of the amazing work of past television - available. I don't have copies myself. There is talk of the BBC opening up their archive. Until that day comes I think your only hope is finding someone who made a recording; though not many had video recorders back then.

Posted by Chris Bradford

September 17th 2014

Dear William and Virginia, It was a real pleasure meeting you both last night. As I mentioned The Wind Singer was one of the books I read (and truly enjoyed) in preparation to write my own young adult series, Young Samurai. It was very interesting to hear your gems of knowledge on novelwriting and screenwriting. Very helpful as I continue to seek opportunities for both Young Samurai and Bodyguard in the film and TV worlds. (A TV series based on Young Samurai twice reached the higher echelons of Peter Fincham at ITV, so I have hope). I do hope our paths cross again soon. All the best, Chris Bradford

William Nicholson responded:

A pleasure to meet you too. All the best with your own projects. While they wait to be turned into TV or film at least it means your readers can imagine them each in their own way.

Posted by Naomi

September 11th 2014

Hello Mr Nicholson! I'm an illustrator/animator about to go into my third year of university. Over the summer I re-read The Wind on Fire trilogy (after not having touched it since childhood) and fell in love with it again. My art is very driven by character and narrative, and your books have really set my imagination off in ways no stories have done before. I love finding characters that I can get to know through drawing them a lot, and the personalities of your protagonists are so multi-faceted and interesting I have already spent many happy hours drawing them. I was wondering if I could get the permission from yourself and your publisher (but I thought I would come to you first) to make some moving illustrations for your stories for my final major project at university. I wouldn't profit or gain financially from this project and of course would give you full credit for the story and characters. Thank you so much for reading, and also for writing such brilliant stories.

William Nicholson responded:

By all means go ahead. As you're not selling the results, please feel free to use my work for your final project. I'd be very curious to see the results.

Posted by Rita Tanburn

September 11th 2014

Dear Mr Nicholson, Ever since I saw "The March" on television in 1990, I have been trying to track down a video or DVD of the film. I thought it was a brilliant and far-sighted piece. I told everyone I knew about it but as with all one-offs at that time many, many people I knew had simply missed it. I wanted everybody to see it , to understand what was likely to happen if we didn't do something to help the people who would be most affected by our approach to the environment in our comfortable set up in the West. I was sure it would be shown again, and as technology advanced i was sure that a copy of the movie would turn up one day in video or dvd form and it never did. I was a relatively young reporter then, now I am retired and pretty much an old lady, and still no sign of this movie. I found some excerpts on youtube , but NEVER the whole thing. Your are my last hope to find out what actually happened to this movie, which is more relevant now than it ever was and why there is no sign of what must be one of the most important and relevant British movies ever made. If there is any way of getting hold of a copy I would love to see this film again and share it with friends and colleagues who missed it the first time round - it left a profound impression on me... Kind regards, Rita Tanburn

William Nicholson responded:

The BBC must have a copy - I don't - but because The March was made with money from many European broadcasters (it was made for One World week) it seems never to have been possible to clear the rights and make it commercially available. It's very frustrating. Your comments prompt me to have another go at unearthing it. Thank you.