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Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Joyce W

January 1st 2014

Elsewhere you state that Firelight was a failure. Why do you consider it so? I first saw the film on TV years ago and really liked it. I finally found a DVD copy recently and have watched it several times in order to fold back the layers of the story and why certain elements were inconclusive. The characters are realistic and role each plays in the story seem perfectly logical to me. It is a lovely movie and I am very satisfied at the conclusion when the main characters are free to build a life together. The cinematography is beautiful, the musical score is wonderful and the writing and directing seemed to flow with creativity. At times though, I admit that I extrapolate the story and conjure scenarios of an ending for Molly and Lord Clare or Connie and to a lesser extent even John Taylor. It is a good mental exercise for an old lady. My heartiest appreciation for creating this work; please know that it was not a failure to me.

William Nicholson responded:

Not a failure for me either - I remain very proud of it. But I try to face facts and not fool myself, and strictly speaking the film failed, both commercially and critically, when it came out. Happily these days nothing ever dies, so I get the pleasure of your response.

Posted by Alexander

December 28th 2013

Dear Mr. Nicholson, Are you currently searching for a great story to write a screenplay about? I have a romantic, dramatic story and some reliable acquaintances loved it! Let me know what your plans are and keep up the good work! Kind regards, Alexander.

William Nicholson responded:

I have no shortage of ideas, only a shortage of time to write them. Why not write it yourself? There's no magic to it, you just have to put in the hours, accept the criticism, put in more hours… But it's deeply satisfying, writing stories, even if nothing comes of them in the end.

Posted by Damon S

December 19th 2013

I have began learning how to create video games and would like to know if I could create one based on the wind on fire trilogy

William Nicholson responded:

I'm afraid I can't give you the rights to a video game version of The Wind on Fire if you propose to sell your game commercially. If it's just for educational or research purposes, then no problem.

Posted by Cyril Ioutsen

December 12th 2013

Dear Mr Nicholson, First of all, let me express my admiration of your work. I have read almost all of your published novels and plays and there seems to be a kind of simplicity (in the best sense of the word), a lack of unnecessary complication, which is so characteristic of much of purposedly 'high-minded' literature of today. And that gives a feeling of natural purity, making them particularly credible and efficient emotionally. I guess it really takes to be a master to draw all those diverse characters in such life-like a manner. So, thanks a lot. I actually cried at the end of 'Motherland', when Larry found out it was his dad who was buying his pictures, and at Ed's suicide, too, it was all so well written. I wonder (silly question), do you experience all the emotions yourself, when you're writing about them? Second, a bibliographical inquiry. In this Q&A section I have learned about the existence of 'The Seventh Level', your first published book from 1979. Are there any other books you published, which aren't mentioned on this site? Thank you again, and also for your time.

William Nicholson responded:

About experiencing emotions as I write: the answer is yes. I so identify with my characters that I live through their experiences with them, and (a little absurdly perhaps) I do sometimes weep as I write. On other books: there are no more published books by me to be dug up, but there are many unpublished novels - seven, in fact - in my bottom drawer gathering dust. They have great meaning for me, as part of my development, but they're not good enough to be published.

Posted by Andrew S

December 3rd 2013

Dear William, What is the most enjoyable film / screenplay by someone else you have seen this year? (I am looking for film suggestions) Andrew

William Nicholson responded:

I really admired Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. I haven't seen many of the best of the crop yet, so more to come, I'm sure.

Posted by L.G.

December 3rd 2013

I would like to say how impressed I was with your contribution on the 'Today' programme this morning, regarding the (ridiculous) 'Bad Sex Award' nomination. You perfectly highlighted the odd paradox between the constant exposure to sexual images and language all around us, and the secrecy that surrounds any open and meaningful discussion of the subject. It points to a deep hypocrisy within society that benefits no one. I absolutely agree that the novel is the perfect vehicle for exploration of sexual experience, and I very much look forward to reading the novel you referred to, charting one character's sexual experience through different stages of her life. I am fascinated with this aspect, it is such a major, but sadly, hidden, part of our existence. Where does someone experiencing sexual difficulties turn to for help and understanding? Sex/relationship counselling, academic tomes on sexual problems, etc, are not always accessible or available to many. Such resources can be too 'clinical' and not always able to provide an answer. Often, what is most needed is reassurance. In my view, that comes from recognising we are not alone in experiencing the anxiety and emotional pain that often accompanies sexual issues. Uncovering and revealing the varied experiences of others in this important, but often secret, sphere of life is one of the most valuable and helpful things that a novelist can do. I admire your courage and honesty in tackling the issue so openly, and please do not take to heart the ridiculous 'Bad Sex Award' nomination. I don't read much contemporary fiction, but I was drawn to your 'The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life' (hit upon by accident) and am finding it one of the most rewarding, insightful and original books I have read. Thank you for writing with so much perception and honesty. (I was also impressed with Alain de Botton's 'How to Think More About Sex', which is another frank appraisal of the subject, though obviously non-fiction.)

William Nicholson responded:

As you'd expect, I agree with all you say, and I'm grateful to you for saying it. I do understand that sex is only one part of life, and it's only one part of my novels, but isn't it strange that open though our society is, writing about sex should still be greeted with a wagging finger?