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Posted by Pamela Young

August 1st 2011

I have become interested in you since reading that you were the writer on the movie "Gladiator" who introduced the theme of the after-life. Is this true? I just watched the movie again and was moved, yet again, by the part about Roman religious practices and their belief in the after-life. Just wanted to know where you learned about this; did you research it, or were you already knowledgeable about it because of personal interest? Also, because I'd like to know more about you as a result of this, I was wondering if you might be willing to share your birth data, i.e., date, place (specific) and TIME of birth, if known - I'm an astrologer and would like to do your chart. Just wondering! anyway, I loved that movie; it moves me to tears every single time I watch it. Thank you!

William Nicholson responded:

Yes, it is true that I added the afterlife theme, along with much else. I am fairly knowledgable about religions, having worked for BBC Religious TV for many years. My birth data, however - well, I'm not a believer in astrology, I'm afraid.

Posted by Sally Stratford

July 30th 2011

Not a Q, but a 'Thank you'! I am the HoD English at Applemore College where you spoke on the 15th July (red head. walked you to your car...) I just wanted to express my appreciation and tell you how much the students (and staff( enjoyed your talk. All the students were enthralled and the word spread like wild fire the next day. Many, many thanks. Kindest regards, Sally

William Nicholson responded:

Delighted it went down well.

Posted by joan graham

July 29th 2011

Hi, I have just started reading Shadowlands. I am writing a play about an American poet who had a very dramatic/traumatic life and left much material in the form of novels, short stories and letters in addition to his poetry. I am nervous about putting words in his mouth! How do you do it? Can you provide some guidance? Thanks so much. Best, Joan

William Nicholson responded:

Don't be nervous. If you've done your research well, you'll be able to think of yourself as your poet and speak as he speaks. Remember, you're not offering a documentary. So long as you make it clear you're inventing, your only duty is to be as truthful as possible. In Shadowlands, not a word was ever spoken by the real CSLewis, but his step-son Douglas called it the most truthful work about his parents he'd ever seen.

Posted by Paul P. Martone

July 28th 2011

Mr. Nicholson, Thank you for your time. I've written a family experience story about a young man that means to do well for the people that he loves, but just keeps "failing" at it. The saga of his life takes him away from his family. Then the seeds of love that he had sewn throughout his life blossom for him when he is an old and lonely man. I have a narrative on a double CD of my story and music that I've written to blend with the story... "WITH MY LIFE". What could I do to move forward with my project? Paul P. Martone

William Nicholson responded:

Not my job, I'm afraid. You should be chasing agents and publishers.

Posted by Sarah

July 26th 2011

For the Les Miserables movie, are the barricades and the revolutionaries going to get screentime? A lot of adaptations of the story tend to cut them out and they're an enormous part of the plot.

William Nicholson responded:

Yes, there'll be a revolution. Just think of all the wonderful songs that happen on the barricades.

Posted by Andrew Rosbury

July 25th 2011

Mr. Nicholson, I'm writing a research article on C.S. Lewis, namely the concept of the unfound door which appears in the Narnia stories but never directly. In my research I came across the Thomas Wolfe novel that has an "unfound door" in its epigraph but does not seem to ever use the concept or image of an unfound door other than indirectly, suggesting that the unfound door were roads not taken. In the case of C.S. Lewis my main argument is that the unfound door is the way into Narnia, which parallels in reality to Jesus Christ being the door to salvation, transformation, eternal life, etc. I've cited the television version of Shadowlands as being the source of where the unfound door is mentioned, but could you share, if possible, where you developed that concept or where in Lewis's writings it emerged from? Any help is most appreciated! Thank you so much.

William Nicholson responded:

I'm afraid it's too long ago for me to remember, but all my ideas for Shadowlands came directly from CSLewis and his works. I'm sure you're right, that Lewis himself would have identified the unfound door with the way to salvation.