Today BelleBooks is taking part in the blog tour for This is not Forgiveness by Celia Rees.
I have a special guest post by Celia where she talking about the film that inspired This is not Forgiveness,
so without further ado..over to Celia!
Every book begins with an idea and ideas can come from anywhere: books, pictures, places, newspapers, conversations. This idea came from Francois Truffaut’s iconic New Wave film, Jules et Jim. I’ve always loved the film, the story of two boys and a girl. It is actually set before and after the First World War but the characters and the focus on the relationship between the three of them makes it seem timeless.The boys are old friends and they both fall in love Kate, played by the captivating Jean Moreau. She is an extraordinary girl, unconventional, a free spirit who won’t be owned by either of them. Over time their lives are meshed together and no matter how hard they try, they cannot escape each other until Kate finds a way of releasing them. While I was watching the film, I suddenly thought, ‘You could up date this. Make it now.’
So that is how it started, but books quickly warp away from their initial starting point. At first, the two boys are friends, like they are in the film. They are in the 6th Form and a new girl comes to the school. She is not like anyone that they have ever met before and they both fall in love with her but when I started to write it like that, the boys as friends didn’t work, so I decided to make them brothers instead. One younger, the other older. Both involved with the same girl, but the younger one doesn’t know. To differentiate them further, I made the older brother a soldier and this really opened the story out.
I decided that the younger brother, Jamie, would be the main narrator but I wanted the other two to have their own voices. This would re-enforce their different identities, their different agendas. I knew that this would be a book for older readers who should be able to follow a book written in different voices with different narrative points of view.
In the film, the Jeanne Moreau character is capricious and enigmatic. To translate her into a modern context, my character had to be attractive and charismatic, but different, intriguing, slightly mysterious perhaps, but definitely not everybody’s cup of tea and difficult to get to know. To point up her difference, I decided to give her an interest in radical politics. She’s anti war. Anti everything. At the time, that seemed pretty ‘out there’. Young people interested in radical politics? Very ’Sixties. Then, suddenly it was all kicking off with students marching through London and people smashing windows, fighting with police, attacking the heir to the throne’s car. I found myself writing and re-writing as events unfolded. I had my characters and the connections between the three of them; the web of cause and effect that would mesh them together; the element of risk and danger that would give my story the explosive emotional power it needed if I was do any kind of justice to the film that inspired it.
Heres is Jules et Jim:
Doesn't it sound really good? I want to find it on dvd now!
Stop by the rest of the blogs taking part in this tour!