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Submitted by visitors to this website

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.

Posted by Afjal

June 9th 2011

More of an enquiry than a question, but hope the reply is one that I'm hoping to hear as it would be great news. I'm a big fan of your 'The Wind On Fire" trilogy, and have been ever since I read them a few years ago now. I wish to read them again, but hard copies isn't one that would be suitable right now, especially as I read at night most of the time, as that's the only time I get time to read, and consequently I use my phone to read books as there's light from my phone, and plus I like to take advantage of the fact that technology allows us to do so now. I was therefore wondering whether an ebook version of the trilogy is due to be released, and if so, then a possible date I could look forward to perhaps? Thank You! Afjal.

William Nicholson responded:

There will be ebooks of my trilogies - the details are still being negotiated, apparently - and I'm told this means it will be some months before they're available. But it will happen.

Posted by Alexandra Stephens

June 7th 2011

I am currently reading - and thoroughly enjoying - The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life, and look forward to reading the sequel in due course. As someone with numerous connections to Downside, I cannot help but wonder if the rector of Edenbridge is based on Dom Martin Salmon (RIP) ???

William Nicholson responded:

No, no connection at all; though in a strange way I think you can trace many of the philosophical and moral themes back to my Downside influences. Not orthodox Catholic any more, needless to say, but that pursuit of truth and that puzzle over the nature of goodness - very Downside. I hope you enjoy the second book. There's a third on the way.