Question #20, 9/25/18
“If you were to meet your character Walt Longmire in the flesh, what would you ask him?”
-Carrie La Seur
Interesting question. I spend so much time in Walt’s head, writing the novels in first-person I’m not quite sure what I’d ask him… I know all the facts, so I guess I’d ask him more questions about how he feels about things like his life, his job, his relationships with all the other characters. I guess that’s where the real mysteries of the Sheriff lie, in his heart.
Walt is guarded, even in what he thinks, so I guess it would be interesting to try and draw him out on those subjects. I know he’s not completely satisfied with the career he’s chosen, or the path his life has taken whether he chose it or not. I’ve always wondered if he wouldn’t have been happier as a professor of literature, a librarian, the owner of a book store… Or possibly a writer? He’s got a poetic soul, but I think he hides it pretty well. There are characters in the novels who know that about him, usually the female characters—simply because they don’t miss much.
I don’t think there’s ever been a female character that Walt hasn’t fallen in love with in some way or another. I guess he’s naive that way, but he’s passionate and that poetry in his soul finds beauty wherever he looks.
I’d like to ask him about the future, what his hopes and dreams are and how much is he willing to sacrifice to achieve them.
If the boot were on the other foot, it might be interesting, too… In reversing the question, I sometimes wonder what he’d ask me? Likely to take it easy on him for a novel or two and let him heal up. I’m sure he’d enjoy a book where he stays in the office and takes naps, plays chess with Lucian, takes walks with Dog or sits in front of the fire with Vic—but I’m not so sure that would make a good novel.
Something like that happened during the filming of the fifth season of Longmire. I was down on-set talking with Lou Diamond Phillips when he took me over and introduced me to venerable actor Graham Greene. Lou reached out and touched Greene’s elbow, “Graham, I’d like you to meet our creator.”
Without missing a beat, Greene turned and gave me the eye before smiling, “I’ve got a lot of questions for you…”