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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Overcoming a bias against reading


“I know that for every reader who has lost the habit or can't find the time, there are people who've never enjoyed reading and question the value of literature, either as entertainment or education, or believe that a love of books, and of fiction in particular, is sentimental or frivolous.” – David Nicholls 
 
Nicholls, born in England on this day in 1966, is primarily a screenwriter (his latest, Bridget Jones’ Baby is on the screen right now), but he didn’t start out to be one.  Instead, he was going to be an actor, and he was quite successful at it for many years. After studying acting at both Bristol University in England and at the American Musical and Drama Academy in New York, he was in both movies and television productions for most of 10 years.  But, he had the gnawing feeling that he really was intended to put down the words that other actors were going to say, and thus he graduated into writing, particularly for the screen.
Not that screenwriting is his only forte’.  Nicholls has had             
good success with his fiction, too, including a number of novels.  One of his best is The Understudy, which puts us – the readers – squarely into the heart of what it’s like to be an actor in modern-day films.  And, with a protagonist named Stephen McQueen, how can you go wrong?  He also has won awards and a movie contract for One Day (starring Anne Hathaway), and a UK Author of the Year Award for Us (in 2014).

“I think I became a writer because I used to write letters to my friends, and I used to love writing them,” he said.   “I loved the idea that you can put marks on a page and send it off, and two days later, someone laughs somewhere else in the world.”



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