Tuesday, October 13, 2015

One Downside of a Long Writing Career

I had a conversation with my oldest daughter the other day that made me look at my world in a whole new--and not entirely pleasant--way. We were talking about re-releasing the very first mystery series I ever wrote, the Fred Vickery mysteries. When I wrote those books, I created Fred as a mixture of my dad, who was in his 70s at the time, my maternal grandfather, who had passed away years before, my next-door neighbor, Fred, and me.

When I pictured Fred, I saw him as an elderly man, at least a full generation older than me. I based his speech patterns on those I'd heard my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents use. Fred was elderly. No doubt about it. If I imagined the books being made into a movie or a TV series, I pictured actors of the day taking the role of Fred -- Andy Griffith, maybe. The older Andy, not the younger Andy of Mayberry version. Andy in his 70s, just like Fred.

Even though I created Fred in 1992, which means in the real world he would have aged a good 20 years, in my mind he was still Andy-Griffith-in-Matlock-esque.

But the other day my daughter said something that blew me right out of the water. "Ooh!" she said. "If they made a movie now, Kurt Russell could play Fred."

Excuse me!?! What??? Kurt Russell?  No! No way!

To begin with, Kurt is my number one go-to hot guy. Kurt is not old enough to play Fred in a movie. Kurt is Wyatt Earp in Tombstone tough (and have I mentioned hot?) Kurt isn't 70-ish and slowing down. Kurt is timeless.

When I wrote my very first published romance, Call Me Mom, the hero, Kurt Morgan, was based on Kurt. Kurt was Kurt. Kurt still is Kurt. When I reworked Call Me Mom to be republished as Picture Perfect by Harlequin Heartwarming, Kurt was still ... Kurt.

But, as my mother always says, "If wishes were fishes, we'd all have a fry." I can't change reality just by refusing to acknowledge or even accept it. The fact is, I've aged. Kurt has aged. And the hot guy who was the hero in my very first romance novel probably could now play the septuagenarian in my very first mystery novel. I'm still not okay with it, but I'm not okay with a lot of things that show up in my world--like the fact that I'm not 30 anymore.

But I'll tell you one thing--if and when I write more books in the Fred Vickery series, I'm going to be looking at good old Fred in a whole new light!


stanalei said...

It isn't just a long writing career downside, Sherry. It's happens to me just getting older.

Sherry Lewis said...

Yeah, sadly it's touching every aspect of my life. But that Kurt Russell comment really turned my world upside-down :::sigh:::