Downtime: What Our Favorite Lit Characters Do Behind the Scenes​​​​​​​

Posted by J. B. Kish

[source: Stills From Films]

Ever since The Lord of the Rings extended DVDs delivered hours of behind the scenes footage, we’ve been obsessed with learning more about what our favorite actors do to pass time on set. Bungee jumping, drinking, exploring New Zealand—and that was just during The Fellowship! Film stars aren’t the only ones that have fun, though. It can take years for an author to complete a book. That’s a lot of downtime. So we reached out to some famous literary characters to learn more about what they did while waiting for the final pages of their story to be penned.


[source: Stills From Films]

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Arthur Dent: "What did I do? Mucked about, mostly. I recall a lot of drinking with Ford Prefect in the early days. We showed up to set drunk most of the time. Or at least I think we were drunk. There’s really no way of telling. Working on that story had a way of making you question things…it was like bathing your synapses in alcohol and refined sugar."


[source: Collider]

Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins

Rachel Watson: “Oh, Jesus! I spent months stuck on that train. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Do you know how frustrating it is to be stuck on a commuter rail while an author works through plot holes and misdirects? I suffered, really I did: hot, smelly food. Every type of breakdancing. That one person who just stares at you—literally, just slack-jawed and staring for eight stops. Don’t get me started on the drunk couple that reaches second base before the doors even close."


[source: Indie Wire]

IT, Stephen King

Pennywise / Bob Gray: "What a fun question! Let’s see. I volunteered down at the local shelter, actually, feeding the homeless. Mondays and Thursdays I would perform at the local children’s hospital in Derry. And I had Sundays off, of course. That was my agreement with King when I signed with him. Sundays are for family and barbecues.” 

Henry Bowers: “I practiced stabbing.” 

Beverly Marsh: “I started a small company in my garage and hired some of the boys to work for me. We repaired bicycles at first. Then we built our own line of cruisers. I called the company January Embers. It sold for close to a quarter million in 1960."


[source: The Book Smugglers]

All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders

Patricia: “All I remember is that we could never agree on where to eat.”

Laurence: “That’s because you never wanted to go anywhere."

Patricia: “I don’t see why we always had to go out to eat. Why not just stay in and cook? It's good for the soul.” 

Laurence: “Well maybe I'd want to stay in more if you ever used any of the equipment I bought you! You never used the sous vide immersion circulator, or the personal bartender cocktail mixer, not even the digital sniffer that detects food freshness!”


Laurence: “My nose? Are you kidding me?”

Patricia: “Ugh. Whatever.”

Laurence: “Whatever."


[source: io9]

A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

Duny: “I literally spent all my free time memorizing lines. Seriously. You try remembering words like “Kargs” or “Ogion” or “Osskil” or "Gont."


[source: Fort Worth Weekly]

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline

Wade Watts: “I didn't have any free time. I was too busy actually solving Halliday’s riddles, unlike certain people in certain film adaptations of my story. For example, Joust? Played that, beat that. Dungeons of Daggorath? Cakewalk. WarGames? I knew every single line! And what did that poser in the movie have to do? Drive a car? Run around a hotel? Play Adventure—one single video game?! That’s ridiculous. There’s no way the real Halliday would have made it that easy. No freakin’ way.”

J. B. Kish

J. B. Kish

J. B. Kish grew up in the American Southwest and spent most of his childhood concocting strange stories with spooky monsters. Now, he lives in the Pacific Northwest and has begun publishing those childhood nightmares for others. He is the author of two novels, including the paranormal thriller A Wall for Teeth and Stingers, which takes place in both Arizona and Oregon. He has the same birthday as Captain Kathryn Janeway, which is a thing he takes very seriously. Probably too seriously.