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Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Mark McDevitt

April 22nd 2015

Dear Mr. Nicholson, As a fan of your film work, I wonder if it might be possible to read the screenplay of your wonderful "Shadowlands" movie (The Attenborough one)? Any version of it would be great. I have searched online but so far only came up with a transcript. As both a student and practitioner of the craft, I would love to know how the movie looked on the page. This would be for my own educational / enjoyment purposes only. With thanks,

William Nicholson responded:

I'm afraid it's so long ago - 1993 - that I can't open the file on my computer. I've tried, but it tells me that version of Word is no longer supported. I expect a pro could sort this out for me with a digital crowbar, but on my own I can't do it. Microsoft have no commitment to history.

Posted by Miles Wisbey

April 17th 2015

Dear Mr Nicholson I have received the last 2 books in the trilogy you gave to my dad for me. I want to thank you very much for them as I am enjoying the first book so very much looking forward to reading them next. Miles Wisbey

William Nicholson responded:

I really hope you enjoy them - but if you get bored, just stop. No reading is compulsory. It's either fun or it's dead.

Posted by James Smith

April 14th 2015

Dear Mr Nicholson, This is not really a question more of a praise and all that rubbish I'm sure you get often. I was just curious about one of your books, thats all. My name is James Smith and I'm sorry to say I have only read one of your books (and have watched none of the films you have made). This is not out of disrespect or anything it's just the book I've read of yours (The Wind Singer) is one of my sister's books that I've "borrowed" and if I show a interest in your books she'll figure out I've "borrowed" her book. I've had the book for some time now and she's teared apart the house looking for it so I think it best if I don't bring up your book in front of her. So I just had some issues with The Wind Singer. Is it set in the past, or furture? I don't think there is any mention of electricity or cars, but then again they could be there. And is the landscape bleak, and the old children old because it is set in the furture and some kind of nuclear war happened (or something of the sort) making the place barren and mutatting children into old people? Or is it simply magic? And the old children! How many poor kiddie winks must have been turned in to those things and then they get slaughtered! It is not fair! Bowman gets turned to one and can't help himself from trying to murder his sister so why can't the other children be let of? Mumpo seems slightly immune to their power. Why is that? And I hate at the ending that Mumpo saves the day. I think it would be better if Kestrel was the one to place the sliver voice in the tower. She had some kind of connection with the tower, always coming to it when annoyed and so on. And please make this into a film, I can't (and I have tried) to describe what this would mean to me and countless other fans but I cannot. There are questions I can't ask because it has been rather rude of me to ask so many (I want to know about the mud people, Queen Num, Emperor, and the Chief examiner and so on but.........) But one last question. Does Scooch make a new biscuit? Thank you for reading this letter, please do reply it would mean the world. -James Smith Ps. You know I will buy your books at my own risk, but if I don't reply your know that my sister got to me first ;)

William Nicholson responded:

Do give the book back to your sister - I feel for her. Give me an address and I'll send you a copy free, just for you. Then you'll be able to talk to her about it, which is the best fun. So - when is 'The Wind Singer' set? it's set in no-time, but it's more past than future. No electricity, no cars. The punishment for the old children is basically magic, yes. As for wanting Kestrel to save the day at the end, if you were ever able to read the next two books in their story ('Slaves of the Mastery' and 'Firesong'), you'll find out what Kestrel does at the end, and - no, I won't spoil it. Does Scooch make a new biscuit? I don't know, but I don't see why not.

Posted by Louise

April 3rd 2015

You may have already answered this question- there are so many to read through: as an accomplished screenwriter have you ever thought of adapting you own novels for the screen, and what would be the reasons for doing or not doing so?

William Nicholson responded:

Films only get made when a production company raises the money, so I don't write screenplays unless there's already interest in the project. That hasn't happened with any of my novels. I'm not sure my novels would translate well to film, which may explain the lack of interest.

Posted by Corina Duyn

March 27th 2015

Dear Mr. Nicholson My name is Corina Duyn. I am an artist and writer living in Ireland. I am currently working on a limited edition Artist Book with the title into the light. It consists of a series of loose A5 sheets, which will be gathered in a box. The topic is the experience of living with chronic illness. The personal, emotional, practical and social issues; learning to live well within the given challenges; the beauty and gratitude that can be found as a result of this life change. The reflections are written from my personal experience of seventeen years of living with a debilitating chronic illness. Inspired also by the writing of many others, either living with illness, or simply reflections on life in general. I would like to ask to have the permission to use the following sentence(s) 'We read to know we are not alone.' (Used in the movie Shadowlands). As an artist living with limited funds, any assistance with this project is greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged in the book. Kindest regards, Corina Duyn

William Nicholson responded:

Yes, you have my permission. No charge.

Posted by Robert Wetmore

March 22nd 2015

I just watched Shadowlands. Throughout the movie, I kept exclaiming to my wife, "This is such a well written film. I haven't heard one fake line yet!" Granted, this movie is a tear-jerker movie, but it is masterfully written. I have decided to track down all of the films you have written and watch them over the next few months. Why do you think it is that so few films have good screenplays? Is it like the limited pool of fantastic baseball players--no matter how many expansion clubs are added to the leagues, there still are just so many folks out there with the raw talent necessary to be a star? So often when I watch a well-directed movie, I still feel that the screen-play was canned, safe, cheap, fake, etc. Do you feel that way as well?

William Nicholson responded:

You'll find the films with my name on are very variable. This is because (or so I claim) the writer has no control over the away his work is translated to screen. 'Shadowlands' was rare in that Richard Attenborough shot exactly what I wrote. 'Gladiator' was also rare, because I was there on the set throughout. I'm also proud of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom', and the film I wrote and directed, 'Firelight'. Too often good screenplays get buried in the production process. The canned, safe effect you notice comes from film producers opting for the safe option, the option that has worked before. You can't blame them, films cost a lot of money, and we screenwriters need the producers to keep making money, or we're all out of work. But it is a problem. One way out now, a way I'm taking, is to write for television. That's where the best writing is now to be found.