My two days with Winter…

It’s difficult to describe to you where Winter came from.  All I know is that I had several story ideas that sort of merged into one.  I can tell that certainly God had a hand in it, because the separate ideas were incompatible at first.

Writing Winter changed my life.  It’s this book that made me get serious about writing, and the story I wanted to invest learning to get my writing craft perfect with.  And it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten emotionally attached to a character.  To me, she’s more than just a character… she’s almost like this ink and paper daughter.  And I’m so blessed that my lovely wife understands this strange relationship with a fictitious character and has accepted her as part of the family.  Winter has been with us for over three years now.

Several months ago I decided to film a book trailer, even though there were no publishing prospects.  I thought that maybe if I pulled it off, it could help generate interest.  I started asking around, trying to get a feel of how difficult it would be to cast.  A classmate of mine suggested her sister might do well for the main role.  So we began to discuss the possibilities.  We made it official and I moved on to other production needs.

January 3rd we started filming.  I had not met Mary in person before.  I had seen some photos of her, but they were photos of Mary.  The person who walked out the door to meet me… was Winter.

I was stunned at first, but was quickly able to put that aside.  This was Mary.  She talked like Mary and acted like Mary.  It didn’t matter how much she looked like Winter… she wasn’t.  Right?

We spent two days together filming, and Mary became progressively more convincing.  She perfected the brooding face and the dagger eyes.  More than one cast member got creeped out by her stares and sharp looks.  It was surreal to see it from behind the camera, but even more so to walk with her down the sidewalk.  But it was Mary… not Winter… I think.

By the end of the second day, they were almost one person.  I tried real hard not to call her Winter, though I almost did several times.

The third day we did voice over audio recording.  My wife and I hosted Mary and her sisters for breakfast.  And this was truly Mary.  Gone were the black clothes and makeup.  Gone was the straight black hair.  Winter had left, and Mary jokingly reintroduced herself.

And you know what I realized?  I never took my picture with Winter.  Oh we got plenty of pictures and video, just no picture with me and her.  Now Winter was gone.  That’s ok.  I’m not too upset about that.  I just spent two days with her, and how many authors get to do that?

Now, it’s the day after wrapping, Mary has gone home.  I’m trying to make some sense emotionally of what just happened.  It’s somewhat overwhelming.  I encountered a talented young actress that was able to bring Winter to life for two days.  Though I said goodbye to Mary, I didn’t get to say goodbye to Winter.  And I certainly don’t feel like I thanked Mary enough for what she did.

© Newsome Creative, 2011. Mary Rochelle Unsworth, as Winter.

Dear Mary,

Words cannot fully express how overwhelmed I am that you brought Winter to life.  I am forever grateful that you gave me the gift to walk with and talk with someone I though may only exist in my head and on paper.  Now Winter has a face.  Winter is real.  Thank you so very much.  I promise to never call you Winter and I promise always to think of you as Mary… an actress with brown hair and brown eyes who doesn’t really like to wear black.  But as I remember those first two days of filming, it will be in my memory that I spent two days with Winter.  And to meet in person a beloved character from their book, is something most writers can only dream of.  You gave that to me.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.


About Keven Newsome

Keven Newsome is an musician, theologian, and a bit of a nerd. He enjoys a variety of musical genres, from Christian rock to movie soundtracks to KPop. A former band director, he plays about a dozen instruments, given a couple of weeks to practice up. His theological work has included a book on multi-generational ministry and a thesis on the theology of communicating with the dead. As for his nerd-card, he enjoys the fandoms of The Legend of Zelda, Doctor Who, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Lord of the Rings. With a music degree from William Carey University and a theology degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Keven actively serves in ministry as both pastor and worship leader.

18 comments on “My two days with Winter…

  1. Way too cool, Keven.

  2. I’m so glad you were able to do this. It was a fun…albeit exhausting…experience! I love you very, very much! And very sorry I never snapped a pick of you with Winter…I am ashamed. 😉

  3. Wow. That’s way too cool. What author doesn’t want to meet their characters? 🙂

  4. My dearest Keven,

    I am just overwhelmed with joy for you, good things will always come your way my friend, I just feel it in my bones.

  5. So cool, Keven! Really looking forward to this trailer now! 😀

  6. It really was a surreal experience, I really hate I didn’t get further ahead in the book and get a chance to find out more about my character, Xaphan, and his “relationship” with Winter. I had a blast and hopefully I can bring more people with me next time.

  7. Very moving and I too share in the joy you experienced seeing your Winter in the flesh. Wonderful.


  8. Love this Kevin! Can’t wait to see the finished project!!

  9. Very nice, Iguana. Should I ever “meet” one of my characters, I suspect it would be one who would kill me on sight.

  10. I was literally blown away reading this. I should be the one thanking you, especially considering how precious Winter is to you. Thank you for allowing me, an outsider, to pretend to be Winter. Thank you for letting me explore her in an entire new way. Thank you for letting me walk in her shoes for those two days.
    I’ve been going through character withdrawal (I had an actual ache in my chest on the drive home), and had to fight the urge to call you up and suggest that we should film a few more scenes.

    You have not said goodbye to Winter, and I have not either. So sometime in the future, I’m sure the two of you will meet again.

    • No… there’s no saying goodbye to her yet. Even today, I’ve got to help her make some difficult decisions in the next book. And I’m already brain storming how I can pull off the next trailer… which will need to be more ambitious than this one.

      You’ll most certainly get the call!

  11. That’s awesome, Keven! Wow. I am so looking forward to this trailer, and I hope you are able to do as many of those as you want for each book. Congratulations to both you and Mary for bringing Winter to life in such a real way! 😀

  12. […] recently blogged about spending 2 days with Winter.  In reality, we’ve lived with Winter as part of our […]

  13. […] in the cracks of Christmas break, I did some exciting things… shot a small film project, drove through a blizzard (well, a south Mississippi blizzard anyway), and finished my third […]

  14. […] decided to keep it quiet. You see, I had already made plans to film a promo trailer at the end of December. I thought it would be great if we could make the official announcement WITH […]

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