Tag Archive | Try a Little Tenderness

Try a Little Tenderness is here!

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I may have a small addiction to Jason Momoa. I started watching him because of Stargate Atlantis and proceeded to hunt down everything he’s ever been in. Well, almost. Baywatch Hawaii I couldn’t take, but I did watch North Shore (the series, not the movie. Jason isn’t in the movie.) Anyway, because of this obsession, I binge through Stargate, starting with SG-1 and carrying through the end of Atlantis about once every 18 months. And since I have seen the shows so many times, I have started watching the actors in the background. In one such scene, early in Jason’s tenure, he was in the background of a shot, staring into space. Pretty sure “Turkey In the Straw” was playing in his head because the conference table was doing more acting than he was. In a much later episode, Jewel Staite has a scene with David Hewlett. Jewel has only a few lines and most of her acting comes through the way she’s shifting her eyes. You read that right, shifting her eyes. She’s so good that I knew what she—or rather Dr. Keller—was thinking and all Jewel Staite was doing was moving her eyes. A lot of that particular binge session was taken up with watching Jewel Staite practice her craft. Which led me to wonder, what happens when a really good actor ends up opposite a really bad actor?

And what if that really good actor needs the really bad actor to save her part?

Thus began the three-week marathon in which I wrote Try a Little Tenderness.

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Ryan’s shirt

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Mick and Gale stood on either side of him watching the flames consume the shirt. The next afternoon (after he’d been given the shirt) he’d gotten the call to try out for Space Odyssey and thought it was his big break, but it was just another reminder that he was only useful for his body and unlovable.

“Sorry, buddy.” Gale clasped his shoulder.

“Yeah, sorry.” Mick gripped Ryan’s other shoulders. “Just try to think of her as a client. Do your job and you get paid.”

 

I felt so bad for Ryan in this scene. He’s such a sweet guy and I don’t think he ever wore the shirt (it’s a D&G gray with white pinstripes). This scene really displays the characters of the three guys. Ryan trying to escape his past, Gale being a supportive friend, and Mick offering advice.

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Downton Abbey

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“I was thinking about Downton Abbey.”

When he thought she loved him he’d been kind of excited about the show even though it looked super boring. Now it was going to really test his patience. Maybe she’d be finished with him before he had to watch all six seasons.

“I’m thinking it might not be your cup of tea.”

“My what?”

“I was thinking you might not like it as much as I do, so I thought instead we could try this show I heard about called Vikings. Do you know it?”

“No.”

“It’s a History Channel show and according to what I was reading online, it’s pretty accurate and there’s lots of battle scenes with swords and horses. I thought we might both enjoy that. Together.”

Ryan opened his eyes. She wasn’t going to make him watch a show about people in funny clothes with accents because she thought he might not like it. Instead she’d found a show she thought he might like. That didn’t fit with the pattern he was used to. “So you don’t want to watch Downton Abbey?”

 

This makes me laugh every time. I love Downton. I also love Vikings. With that in mind, one must admit that both shows involve people in funny clothes with accents. I also love the fact that Taylor is willing to watch this show. It is so not her style. I imagine that she spends every battle scene with her hands over her eyes, and the blood eagle scene? She might have left the room.

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Lem Sharrod

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“She’s working with Lem Sharrod.” Taylor took another drink and notched down the speed on her treadmill to an easy jog.

“Not doing well.” Livia slowed her pace too.

“Addy?”

“Show.”

Taylor frowned at the numbers ticking away on the dashboard. She’d been so focused on what was happening with her own show that she hadn’t been following anything else. If anything did happen to her part, she was going to need to know who was up, who was down, and who to avoid altogether. “Why?”

“Studio’s not happy. Expected more science fiction, less Wild, Wild West. Steampunk is D E A D.”

 

Lem Sharrod may or may not have been based on Jos Whedon and the show may or may not have been based on Firefly. The mythical show was actually born years earlier when I started writing Addy’s story (which I have yet to finish. Bad writer, bad, bad.) As I was writing this I had to make something up that was more than a Firefly rip-off so I embroidered. That way lies danger. Now I want somebody to make this Wild, Wild West in turn of the century New York with spies. (This trend got much worse when I was writing Tender Is the Night and had to come up with lots of television plots.)

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Alan and Angie

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She pointed across the yard to where her husband Alan was tossing his daughter into the air. “His press now shows him to be a happy family man, which he is, but eight years ago he wrapped his Porsche around a utility pole during a car chase and he was so high at the time it took four officers to take him down. Nobody talks about it anymore.”

“I don’t remember that,” Ryan said.

“It was all over the news,” Gale said. “I remember.”

“Do you remember Logan Callahan and Suzette Bazian’s sex video?” Angie asked. “Because Suzi is married to Brian Ellis and Logan is around here someplace because Touchstone management handles them now, too.”

 

Alan and Angie’s story is in Send Me an Angel. Suzi and Brian’s (and Logan’s) story is in Let Me Be the One. One of the lovely things about writing a series is getting to revisit old friends and see how they’re doing after I put them through so much torment in their books.

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Tampon Commercial

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“This is Ryan Asher. He’s a series regular with me.”

“Lucky you.” Addison looked him over like she was buying him. “I won’t keep you, but it is so nice to see you.”

“Yes, we should get together.” Taylor’s toothy smile looked like a snarl from this angle.

“We should. Nice meeting you.” Addison walked away like she was staring in a tampon commercial.

 

So one day in Seoul, I was in a cab headed to Coex Mall and I happened to glance out the window. There was a woman walking down the street in a floaty skirt kicking her heels up joyously and the first thing that popped into my mind was that she looked like she thought she was filming a tampon commercial. That image has stuck with me all these years until it found a home in this book. Addison actually is that awful, but she’ll get her comeuppance. (As soon as I finish that book.)

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Super Women

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“I like the fact that your character on Space Odyssey is realistic,” a second woman said. “She’s not a big breasted blond with three advanced degrees who’s also a sniper and a fighter pilot.”

 

To be fair, I like Samantha Carter (the character played by Amada Tapping on Stargate SG-1.) However. She intimidates me by breathing. She blond and blue eyed. She holds a doctorate in astrophysicis. She’s a marksman (decorated.) She’s also a fighter pilot. By the end of Atlantis she held the rank of colonel. She perfect! It’s intimidating! I’ve also seen interviews with Amanda Tapping and she’s the bubbly antithesis of her character. So when I was coming up with the character Taylor played, I wanted her to be a character I would enjoy watching, but also the antithesis of Taylor. Where Taylor is hypersensitive to other people’s moods, her character is socially clueless and where Taylor knows she’s missing out on relationships, her character doesn’t realise there’s anything to miss. I’ve imagined a few episodes of their show, but I haven’t written them down.

 

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