Monday, September 24, 2018

Kathleen J. McInnis's "The Heart of War," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Heart of War: Misadventures in the Pentagon by Kathleen J. McInnis.

The entry begins:
It’s funny. While my career in U.S. national security requires me to write a lot, it’s always analytic pieces that I’ve had to put together. So when I started writing The Heart of War: Misadventures in the Pentagon – my first real work of fiction – I didn’t have a clue where to start.

I decided to take a cue from my buddy Mike Flanagan, who’s a writer and director of horror movies, and compiled a book of actor’s headshots to give myself a clear sense of what the characters look like. But, because I’m an analyst by training, my version of was enormously elaborate: each page had an image of an actor that fit the bill, along with notes on their character, bios, and even Myers-Briggs personality types.

Yet as I went through rewrite after rewrite (after rewrite!), the story changed significantly, and so did the characters. And it turns out, they had opinions about what they looked like, and were very insistent that I go back and get that right. As it happens, they also told me to stuff my Myers-Briggs character notes and just listen to them tell their story. So when I sent the final manuscript to the publisher, the characters looked and felt very different to the beginning of the writing process five years ago.

Dr. Heather Reilly, the story’s protagonist, is a strong and intelligent woman but with some profound pain at the center of her being. She is brave, but at times naïve. And she’s in an environment where...[read on]
Visit Kathleen J. McInnis's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Heart of War.

--Marshal Zeringue