I have this Theory. And while it may not be as earth-shaking as String Theory, or evolution, or even the Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things [thank you Douglas Adams], I think it's spot on the money.
I call it Imagination Theory, and here's how it goes:
People who love reading have more developed imaginations than people who don't.
Is it reading that contributes to development of the imagination or just superior imagination that leads to the joy of reading?
We're treading too close to the Nature/Nurture argument now, so I'm not even going there... all I know is, while I LOVE my over-developed, out-of-control imagination, sometimes it can be a pain in the butt.
Like when I just want to veg out and watch television...
As a child, I spent hours and hours alone with my Barbie dolls making up the most wonderful story lines... and since I was an only child, that ability to happily play alone was pretty nifty!
I grew up thinking my hyper-drive imagination was absolutely normal. Couldn't everyone transport themselves into a whole new world with nothing more than a couple of dolls or a book straight off the shelf at the library? Didn't everyone get lost in a story of their own making when they closed their eyes to wait for sleep each night?
No, everyone didn't. But I didn't notice that until I got older and, for the most part, I considered mine to be a gift.
Granted, that big-time imagination could occasionally be a bit inconvenient as a child. It's amazing what creatures you can imagine are lurking in the dust bunny filled recesses under your bed in the middle of a long, dark night! And behind that closet door? *shudder* We won't even discuss that awful place!
But nowhere has my imagination led to more disappointment than in the area of books turned into movies/television shows.
My realization hit home while watching the new HBO series, True Blood, based on the wonderful Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire books by Charlaine Harris.
Now, don't get me wrong... the series is good. [ Although, if they'd left out some of the sex, it might have been more comfortable to watch -- we won't even go into how fast my teenage son left the room that first week! He said he was SO not into seeing "that stuff" in the company of his Mom!!! ]
The problem is... I really love those books. And like with all books I read and enjoy, I've already SEEN the characters on the big screen in my mind. No matter how good the casting, how well executed the screenwriting and directing, how fantastic the actors' performance, it just doesn't match my internal version.
And that's always disappointing.
This isn't the first time the whole book-to-video thing has been a problem for me. I remember having the same issue many years ago with Romancing the Stone by Catherine Lanigan. I'd read the book first and when I heard they were making it into a movie, I was so excited. I could hardly wait for the movie to come out.
What a let-down! My apologies to Michael Douglas, but he was NOT Jack. Well, not the same Jack I'd already seen...in my imagination. I enjoy the movie now. I've watched it tons of times over the years. But that first time...
In spite of the occasional disappointment, I wouldn't trade my hyper-imagination for anything. It allows me to escape into my own world of Faeries and time travel and hunky Highlanders every time I sit down to write...to see them and hear them as if they were up there on the big screen for my viewing pleasure!
I'd love to share my world with all of you... so here's the deal: I'm giving away a copy of each of my first two books - Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband and Highland Guardian. We'll pick two of the people who leave comments and you'll each get one!
So, tell me... what about you? Has your imagination ever messed up your enjoyment of something you'd looked forward to seeing?
Melissa Mayhue is the award winning author of the Daughters of the Glen series from Pocket Books.
Stop by her website for a visit and a chat ~ http://www.MelissaMayhue.com
The fourth book in the series, A Highlander of Her Own, is due in stores on January 27, 2009.
A Highlander of Her Own
Coming 2009TEXAS, PRESENT DAY. Ellie Denton’s world has spiraled out of control. A strange new birthmark, animals talking to her, and her mother’s ex-husband laying claim to the family ranch have her thinking life can’t get more complicated. But Ellie doesn’t know the birthmark’s connection to her Faerie ancestors. Complicated takes on a whole new meaning with her innocent wish to find her true love.
SCOTLAND, 1304. Caden MacAlister has more trouble than he can handle. With his brother held for ransom and the laird missing, the last thing he needs is another problem. But the Fae have other plans.
A mysterious woman shows up in his stables, sent by Faerie Magic to find her true love. Fighting his attraction, Caden insists she’s meant for one of his brothers. With his history, he has no desire for a woman in his life—especially a woman sent by the Fae.
Only the magic of the Fae can determine whether Ellie will find a Highlander of her own...