So now that Falling for Shock has been out for a few days – and doing wondrously on the Amazon charts (THANK YOU!), I bet some of you are wondering just who The Shock is. Well, if you read through the book and read the author’s note, I credit not one of the men who played the part of Superman, but ALL. Actually, I started out including only the living Supermans: Dean Cain, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill. But as edits went on, I was able to include one more, George Reeves, as the legendary actor, George Brewer, who had once played the Shock in the fifties, just like George Reeves played Superman in the 1950s. And of course I couldn’t forget Christopher Reeve – the man that brought Superman into my generation.
Back when I was a little girl, I thought that my father was secretly Clark Kent because he and Christopher Reeve looked quite similar. At least I thought so, others disagree, but it doesn’t matter. It only matters what I thought. Anyhow, Christopher’s Superman started the fascination and it wasn’t until I was older-college age, that I realized through Dean Cain’s Lois and Clark, The New Adventures of Superman that Superman is gorgeous! Oh and responsible, gentlemanly, proper, and has a sensitive yet authoritative, stern soul. He was a perfect boyfriend material.
I followed along with all the rest of Supermans to come as the years went on and Lois and Clark was no longer on the air. Dean had moved on to acting, writing and directing other works and Smallville came next. Young Tom Welling kept the Superman canon alive though, by giving a new generation Clark Kent’s backstory set in Smallville, Kansas, quintessential small town America. Then a new movie Superman came to the silver screen, Brandon Routh in Superman Returns. I wasn’t a big fan of this one, but only because I felt Brandon didn’t make Superman his own, he more or less acted like Christopher Reeve and no one could be Christopher Reeve except for Christopher, who unfortunately had past away by that time. One very cool thing that Brandon did do, which was unlike Dean Cain’s brown-eyed Superman, was disguise his eye color and keep to the comics where Superman always had blue eyes.
Oh, but then came Henry Cavill in Man of Steel. Henry dedicated his role of Clark Kent and Superman to being the most honest, most emotional Superman there was. He went through rigorous training to achieve the amazing Superman physique, changed his Isle of Jersey accent to American, and even lived far away from his family, tapping into a sense of loneliness in order to bring out the desolation Clark/Kal-El felt living on Earth knowing he was different. It was actually Henry’s Superman and time while shooting in Plano, IL that inspired me the most. The cast and crew took over the tiny, midwestern town for the time they spent shooting there and integrated themselves into real feel of living in a Smallville-like place.
I had visited Plano last summer and there were so many little nooks and crannies – alleyways and such, where my writer’s mind went a little crazy. While I was driving home I happened to wonder what would a superhero actor do if they happened upon a crime in progress? And little by little, as I have mentioned before, the story evolved. From there, my son and I created a new comic book character and The Shock was born. We have some pretty cute rough sketches and descriptions of all the Shock’s enemies, friends, and family, because they had to come first, before a romantic novel could even be planned. And once the Shock was set, then the story of Oliver Hannel and Layla Brooks could emerge.
So now you know the ins and outs of how the Shock and Superman are connected and which Superman had what part! In list style for you.
George Reeves = George Brewer, the actor who Oliver Hannel meets as a young and poor bartender and gives him the best advice and help a stranger could give a budding actor.
Christopher Reeve = my own personal inspiration. Without him none of this story would ever come to be.
Dean Cain = Dean Clemens, the seasoned director of The Shock.
Tom Welling = His work on Smallville gave me the quintessential feel for small town America. And I gave his last name to Ira Welling, friend and co-star to Oliver Hannel.
Brandon Routh = Oliver has his brown eyes and needs to change them to blue contacts, just like Brandon while playing the Shock.
Henry Cavill = Henry is Oliver’s background, the British actor playing the part of a superhero. His work on Man of Steel inspired a lot of the work Oliver did for The Shock.