As many of you know I created my character Mack in Beneath the Wall after the then 28-year-old Dean Cain from Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-1997), but just recently I also made a more up-to-date version of him in my latest novel, Falling for Shock (now available on Amazon – just click the title). Dean was in my mind as the strict but friendly director of Oliver Hannel’s movie “The Shock”, Mr. Dean Clemens. How could I not give Dean another part, especially when he helped me with some of the research for the book. What can I say, I needed some inside information that wouldn’t normally be known to those outside the Hollywood industry and didn’t know who else to turn to. I was able to ask such questions as what type of wires are used for making a superhero fly? What kind of harness do you use? How many cinches are holding you in safe and sound? What happens when the lead is sick or hurt? Are there private medics on staff? How comfortable or uncomfortable are those spandex suits? Mr. Cain was more than obliging to answer any question I had openly and honestly.
Now, I bet you’re asking how a girl who had been a crazy Lois and Clark fan go from fangirl to friendly professional acquaintance to well-known actor? Well, if you remember last year around this time I was given the opportunity to present Dean with a copy of Beneath the Wall for his personal collection. He was excited and humbled to have been a part of my story and even promised to read it. Since that day last year, he and I have stayed in touch on Twitter and through my work on another Superman’s site, HenryCavill.Org, Dean agreed to a telephone interview to discuss Batman vs. Superman, his appearance on Superman’s 75th birthday celebration on Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men and his current work on VH1’s Hit the Floor.
That interview went amazing and after the fifteen minutes of questions were finished, Dean and I continued to chat about reading, writing and history. It was pretty awesome. For those of you that don’t know too much about Dean’s life, he is a Princeton graduate with a degree in History. Hmm who does that sound like – yep, me! And like me, he didn’t want his History degree for teaching or working in a museum, no, he wanted it so he could write. “I just love being able to tell stories,” Dean said. “It’s a great way to make a living. You can tell stories and you are constantly finding new ways to express yourself and your beliefs or tell stories and maybe affect people’s lives.
“Screen writing is a very different medium clearly than novels. You’re so limited in scope and I try to write them so they read more like a novel than some others do. I like my screenplays to read like a novel and let the director go ahead and figure out what camera pushes he wants to make and things like that.”
Strangely enough, even though I’m not a screenwriter, I could relate. Telling stories everyday IS a wonderful way to make a living, well as long as you don’t get interrupted. “Hell hath no fury when you interrupt a writer,” I quipped.
Dean agreed with me that time and let out a boisterous laugh. “Yeah, people can always tell when I’m writing because when my phone rings and I answer it, I say “’Hello [very clipped and monotone]’. Normally, I’m very upbeat and say ‘Hel-lo,’ but not when I’m writing. Then it’s all business. And the person on the other line says, ‘Oh are you working?’ ‘Yes [he replies again short and agitated],’ then it’s, ‘Good-bye,’ and they hang up on me.”
It was hilarious and somewhat surreal having a conversation with a guy I admired for years, chatting with me like we were old friends. But at the same time I was grateful. He didn’t have to talk to me, didn’t have to acknowledge me at all, but he did. That says volumes about the character of Dean’s being. In the end I thanked him for calling and agreeing to do the interview with me. To which Dean replied, “It’s my complete pleasure, Eryn. And I still have your book and I plan on reading it. It’s sitting on my desk right here. Unfortunately so are about 6 other work related things too.”
“Aww well, anytime you can read it will be great,” I said, but then remembered a little something about my books, that I didn’t tell him about. Sure they are historic and action adventure but first and foremost they are romantic. And where they aren’t Fifty Shades by any means, they are still sexy. Needless to say I felt the need to warn him about the romantic stuff.
Dean laughed at my warning and warned me in return. “I’ve gotta tell you, Eryn, that stuff doesn’t make me too uncomfortable. That may give me more incentive to read it, and reread it and reread it until your phone will be ringing again and you’ll have to tell me to stop calling you!”
Twenty-year-old me deep down inside literally swooned over his statement and I fanned and composed myself enough to say a proper good-bye. In the end, Dean added one final compliment that I will forever hold dear. “I do appreciate anything I had to do with your journey into historical fiction and hero writing. It’s cool as hell.”