I have a new favorite show – Longmire (a new series on A&E). It popped up on Hulu one day, so I checked it out. Wyoming, cowboys, detective work…what’s not to love, right?
In watching the first episode, I saw a familiar face – Katee Sackhoff. Lou Diamond Phillips is also on the show, but he’s not who prompted this post.
Katee plays a main character on Longmire. A few years ago, she portrayed a main character in another TV series I like – Battlestar Galactica. She’s an actor, so she has a lot of credits in her career, but the one that brought this post to fruition is that she made an appearance on The Big Bang Theory as herself, but dressed as her character from Battlestar Galactica.
So, in chronological order: I enjoyed Sackhoff on Battlestar Galactica, then found it amusing when she was on The Big Bang Theory as herself but in her BG character’s uniform, and now I see her as a weekly character on Longmire.
Of course everything comes back to writing for me, so I’ve been thinking about characters I’ve created and what would happen if I picked one out of a story and randomly dropped her in another story. I couldn’t change her name (well, I could, but then the reader wouldn’t recognize her). Would I have to keep her in the same time period? Could she be living in 2012 in one novel and 1760 in another? Would a reader pick up on it? Would it matter?
I just (finally) read The Time Traveler’s Wife and so have time travel on my mind (I love the concept).
I know crossover novels exist, where the author purposely works with another author and their main characters meet over a shared interest of some kind, but I’m going a little deeper here.
Actors take on new roles all the time. Can a character on a written page have the same opportunities?
Do you ever take one of your characters and drop him/her into a totally new story? Has a reader ever noticed?
Since character names aren’t copyrighted, wouldn’t it be fun to do a search on all published works for a character name and see how many novels the character appears in? Then see if any of the character descriptions match?
Lisa J. Jackson sometimes forgets her characters only live on the page and not in the real world. She is a New England region journalist and a year-round chocolate and iced coffee lover. She writes fiction as Lisa Haselton, has an award-winning blog for book reviews and author interviews, and is on the staff of The Writer’s Chatroom. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.