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Posted by Michael Horvich

June 25th 2011

Besides being an an avid reader of many of your books, I am an aspiring writer myself in the area of Memoirs. I currently have completed a manuscript entitled GYROSCOPE: An Alzheimer's Love Story which I am trying to get published. My same-sex life partner of over 35 years was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease approximately eight years ago. While "heavy,” my story is also positive, uplifting, and full of love with the strong message that others involved with this insidious disease are not alone. Also, I have found no other story on the market that deals with GLBTQ issues and Alzheimer's caregiving although the GLBTQ is really secondary to the story. I would love to quote one of your passages in my story and am requesting permissio. The passage spoke to me with such strength and in the context of my story will speak, I know, will do so to others as well. I eagerly await your reply. Fondly, Michael Horvich People never know about other people’s lives. You have to live it to know it. -Shadowlands. (The story of C.S. Lewis) William Nicholson. P. 36 & 98.

William Nicholson responded:

You have my full permission to use whatever passages from Shadowlands you want. Your book sounds extraordinary, and original. All the best with it, and with the reality behind it, with which you continue to live.

Posted by Maja Petrovic

June 22nd 2011

Dear Mr. Nicholson, my name is Maja Petrovic and I work for ZKM, Center for Art and Media, in Karlsruhe, Germany. From July 15th to 17th ZKM is organising a conference called Molecular Esthetics and has invited scientists and artists from all over the world to participate. We would also like to screen Life Story/Race for the Double Helix, as part of the conference. Would it be possible for ZKM to get the screening licence for the film? If yes, where could we get it and what would the licence fee be? ZKM would also like to buy the DVD with the film. Where can it be found? If you don´t have any information concearning my questions, could you please connect me with somebody who might have them? Thank you in advance for your answer. Kind regards, Maja Petrovic

William Nicholson responded:

The rights are held by the BBC, and as far as I know they've never been able to clear all rights for commercial use. I don't believe an official DVD exists. If the screening is for non-profit purposes, I can't see that anyone would object. Based on earlier queries of this kind, you won't find anyone at the BBC who can deal with this, I'm afraid. My suggestion would be, go ahead and show it, but be clear that you're not charging money to those who see it. William Nicholson

Posted by Peter Chandler

June 20th 2011

Hello Mr Nicholson. I am writing to you because I am about to embark on directing an amateur production of Map of the Heart in London, and was wondering a: if you had any advice and b: to let you know that if you would like to come along we would be delighted to have you! We would not use your presence for publicity purposes or put you under any sort of obligations, I merely offer the invite in the spirit of appreciation for your work and to let you know that we will take the job of putting your work on stage seriously and with care. Thank you for your time.

William Nicholson responded:

Delighted you're doing the play. Let me know when and where. I don't have advice, only encouragement.

Posted by Rhys

June 16th 2011

Hi Mr Nicholson, Apparantly you'll be on scripting duties again for a film adaptation of the musical version of Les Miserables. Is this true? And how will you go about adapting it; will you try and keep some of the dialogue or will you do a complete rewrite? I look forward to seeing your efforts (assuming the project goes forward and you are actually on scripting duties!)

William Nicholson responded:

I have been working on the screenplay for Les Miserables, yes. Since the whole idea is to make it close to the musical, with all the songs, it won't of course be a radical rewrite. However, I have been able to develop the story and enhance the characters, in what is already a very powerful piece. Still a long way to go, and many other talents will be at work on the project before it's done.

Posted by Susan

June 15th 2011

Dear Mr. Nicholson, I am trying to verify the source of the quote “We read to know we are not alone,” which I’d like to attribute properly. It is widely attributed to C.S. Lewis, but I have searched his writings that have been digitized and have not been able to find it, and none of the quotes gives a source. It appears that it’s a line that Lewis speaks in your script for Shadowlands. Can you tell me the source of the quote? Does it come from one of Lewis’s letters, or perhaps from a book or speech that I haven’t been able to access? Or did you originate the line for Lewis’s character in the film? It also seems possible, in the film, that Lewis is quoting someone else; is that the case? What is the origin of the quote? It’s a wonderful line, whoever wrote it.

William Nicholson responded:

The line is written by me; as are all the lines in 'Shadowlands', both play and film. I wrote this particular line as part of a subplot added to the film version. I'm quite sure Lewis would have endorsed it, but it is also, of course, my own deepest conviction.

Posted by Lucy

June 13th 2011

I am studying A-Level Film Studies at college. Last week we watched a documentary called 'The Hollywood Machine' in which you spoke about your script for The Gladiator, I found it really interesting! I am - and have been for a few years - very interested in a career as a screenwriter for feature films. Can you tell me some ways of possibly succeeding in the industry? Also, do you believe it is completely neccessary and important to go to University and study Film further to get a degree? Will this be a benefit for me when trying to find work in the industry? Or could I rely on finding work with many production companies, working my way up the ladder and gaining contacts etc? Because I'm feeling quite negative towards University at the moment and I'm also hoping to travel after my A-Levels. I just don't want to make any decisions I might regret! Any advice you have would be much appreciated!

William Nicholson responded:

My own view is that it isn't necessary to have a degree to get work as a screenwriter. However, it's a hard thing to achieve. Most people I know have got in by working for production companies, at first in lowly positions, then as script readers, and so on up; which gives the double benefit of teaching you what works and doesn't in scripts, and getting you contacts. Such jobs are themselves hard to get, of course. It does rather come down to talent and persistence. You get good as a screenwriter by watching a lot of films, writing a lot of screenplays, getting a lot of criticism, and getting better. Some uni courses will help you at this, but they won't at all guarantee you entry to the business. Most writers when starting out reckon on doing a day job to pay the bills (and give insight into the world of others, that you need to be a writer). Once you're submitting screenplays to film companies, they neither know nor care if you've got a degree. It all comes down to the quality of the work.