Monday, January 16, 2017

Lawrence Millman's "At the End of the World"

Lawrence Millman has written sixteen books, including Last Places, A Kayak Full of Ghosts, An Evening Among Headhunters, Lost in the Arctic, and — most recently — At the End of the World: A True Story of Murder in the Arctic.

Here Millman shares his take on not thinking about adapting At the End of the World for the big screen:
At the End of the World documents a series of murders in the name of religion not in San Bernardino, California, or Orlando, Florida, but in the Belcher Islands, a remote archipelago in Canada’s Hudson Bay. Likewise, those murders took place not yesterday but in the winter of 1941. At the time, the local Inuit in these islands had virtually no contact with the outside world.

So there I was, describing the following scene to a friend: An Inuit woman named Mina had decided Jesus would soon be kayaking down from the sky, and that (in her words) “We must go out onto the ice to meet our Savior.” Whereupon she dog whipped a number of people onto the ice in -20’F temperatures, all the while shouting, “Come, Jesus, come!” Suddenly she announced: “Naked we must greet our Savior!” And then she began tearing off the clothes of the other Inuit, including her own elderly mother. In the end, six people froze to death.

My friend exclaimed: “Wow! This would make a great movie!” I hadn’t thought of my book as a movie. I thought of it as, well, a book. So my response was, “Why a movie? Why not a book or even a lecture?” I answered my own query as follows: “Because it requires less thought to watch a movie than to read a book or listen to a lecture, and facility has become the ultimate goal of our species. To quote French philosopher Michel de Montagne, ‘Virtue rejects facility to be her companion. She requires a craggy, rough, and thorny way…’”

By the way, Jesus did not come kayaking down from the sky on that cold March day in 1941, and I still think books are better than movies.
Visit Lawrence Millman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 13, 2017

Sibel Hodge's "Untouchable"

Sibel Hodge's books include the #1 bestselling Look Behind You.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her 2016 novel, Untouchable:
When I'm writing a novel I always see the scenes playing out in my head like a movie so I visualise my characters easily, and I often picture actors/actresses. Untouchable is told by three different narrators: Jamie, Maya, and Mitchell, each with their own demons to deal with.

For Jamie, I'd choose Jamie Dornan. Ideally, he'd look as he did in The Fall, just without the serial killer bits! My Jamie has had a heartbreaking past to deal with, which slowly comes to light as the story unfolds. But I think Jamie Dornan would be bring a vulnerability and intensity to the part.

When Jamie is suddenly found hanged, his girlfriend Maya is certain he'd never take his own life and investigates the weeks leading up to his death, while still dealing with her raw grief. I picture Emilia Clarke because she is just so full of expression that would add a real depth and empathy to Maya and her plight for the truth.

Mitchell is the vigilante who helps Maya find the answers she's looking for. He's ex special forces. Broody, intense, wracked with guilt over past experiences, with a clear idea of right and wrong. I definitely see Tom Hardy in this role. He's an amazingly talented actor and would perfectly portray the hidden layers to Mitchell's darker side, and how his own inner damage affects his life. And he'd do all that while looking absolutely gorgeous!

I have two directors in mind. One is Oliver Stone. He's produced some amazing films, and I think he'd like to tackle some of the controversial issues in Untouchable. The other would be Ridley Scott, who also has some fantastic films under his belt and I know would do an amazing job!
Visit Sibel Hodge's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tony Healey's "Hope's Peak"

Tony Healey is the bestselling author of the Far From Home series. He has written alongside such award-winning authors as Alan Dean Foster and Harlan Ellison.

Healey is currently working on book two of his Harper & Lane series, of which Hope’s Peak is the first installment. He lives with his wife and four daughters in Sussex, England.

Here Healey dreamcasts an adaptation of Hope's Peak:
When I was writing Hope's Peak, I only had one actress in mind for the main character of Jane Harper. Anna Torv really wowed me in Fringe, playing Olivia Dunham. She has swagger, and confidence, but is really able to portray true emotion, and is a joy to watch.

For the serial killer, Lester Simmons, I always pictured Tom Noonan. Mr. Noonan is frightening enough anyway. He has such presence as an actor. With a little prosthetic trickery, he'd make a perfect Lester.

I pictured Samira Wiley as the broken, gifted Ida. She was so fantastic in Orange Is The New Black. Watching her, you can see so much going on beneath the surface. So many layers to her performance. I think she would find a lot to work with in the role of Ida.
Visit Tony Healey's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 9, 2017

Kathleen Rooney's "Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk"

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She teaches English and Creative Writing at DePaul University and is the author of eight books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including the novel O, Democracy! (Fifth Star Press, 2014) and the novel in poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012). With Eric Plattner, she is the co-editor of René Magritte: Selected Writings (University of Minnesota Press, 2016 and Alma Books, 2016). A winner of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry magazine, her reviews and criticism have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times Magazine, The Rumpus, The Nation, the Poetry Foundation website and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay.

Here Rooney dreamcasts an adaptation of her second novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk:
Two words for my ideal actor to play the lead: Ellen Burstyn. Lillian, my protagonist, is an 85-year-old woman who was once the highest paid female advertising copywriter in America in the 1920s and 1930s. Burstyn is a stunning performer who is now 83 years old and who is sadly on the record as saying that she can’t make a living in Hollywood any longer because the industry is so focused on young male audiences who they think want to see action films. “'Young boy jumps out of a window, goes through an explosion and is saved by a dragon, or something,” as she put it in an interview.

The movie version of Lillian would have parts for all different sorts of people, young and old, but would need a gifted and powerful older female actor to play the main character in the 1984 sections and Burstyn could carry it off beautifully.
Learn more about the book and author at Kathleen Rooney's website.

The Page 99 Test: Live Nude Girl.

The Page 99 Test: For You, for You I Am Trilling These Songs.

My Book, The Movie: For You, for You I Am Trilling These Songs.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 6, 2017

Elizabeth Heiter's "Stalked"

Critically acclaimed and award-winning author Elizabeth Heiter likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and translated into eight languages; they've also been shortlisted for the Daphne Du Maurier award, the National Readers' Choice award and the Booksellers' Best award and won the RT Reviewers' Choice award.

When high school student Haley Cooke goes missing from inside her high school, leaving behind a note foretelling her own death, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is called in to unravel the case, in Stalked, the fourth book in The Profiler series. Everyone in the girl’s life seems to be hiding secrets, from her step-father to her boyfriend to her best friend. The deeper Evelyn digs, the more she realizes that uncovering Haley’s fate could be the death of Evelyn herself.

If Stalked were made into a movie, Heiter's dream cast would be:
FBI profiler Evelyn Baine: All her life, Evelyn has relied almost entirely on herself. But when she was twelve, she made the bold choice not to keep a secret – and that choice saved her life. Now, she’s desperately trying to figure out which secret in missing teenager Haley Cooke’s life caused her to go missing without a trace. The perfect actress to play my strong, determined heroine is Thandie Newton (and she happens to look very similar to the way I imagine Evelyn!).

FBI agent Kyle “Mac” McKenzie: Once part of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, a bullet wound took him out of the tactical world and put him back into life as a regular Special Agent. He’s still trying to adjust to the change and give his all to his very first case – a possible human trafficking ring at the college where Haley Cooke’s older boyfriend also attends. I picture a younger High Jackman playing Mac. As a former HRT agent, he’s like Wolverine from X-Men (but instead of metal claws, he’s used to carrying an FBI-issued sub-machine gun).

Police detective Sophia Lopez: Working for a small police department, this case is one of Sophia’s biggest, and she’s gotten close to all of the players, especially Haley’s mom, who visits the station every day for an update. Sophia is desperate to be able to give Haley’s mom good news, so she calls in a profiler to help with the case, but that doesn’t mean she’s about to sit on the sidelines. I imagine her to look a bit like Eva Mendez, with some of the same spunk and attitude of the characters she often plays on film.

Worried mother Linda Varner: The mother of missing teenager Haley Cooke, Linda Varner will do anything to bring her daughter home, even quit her job so she can spend more hours each day getting attention for her daughter’s case. Not even her ex-husband’s statements to police and the media – that Haley ran away to escape abuse – will stop Linda from exhausting every option to find Haley, no matter the cost. I picture a slightly younger Rita Wilson as Haley’s mom, with that quiet determination.
Visit Elizabeth Heiter's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Jeremy K. Brown & Christopher Mari's "Ocean of Storms"

Jeremy K. Brown has authored several biographies for young readers, including books on Stevie Wonder and Ursula K. Le Guin. He has also contributed articles to numerous magazines and newspapers, including special issues for TV Guide and the Discovery Channel, and recently edited a collector’s issue on Pink Floyd for Newsweek. Brown published his first novel, Calling Off Christmas, in 2011 and is currently at work on another novel. He lives in New York with his wife and sons.

Brown's new book, with Christopher Mari, is Ocean of Storms. Here Brown dreamcasts an adaptation of the novel:
When writing Ocean of Storms, Chris and I couldn’t help but think cinematically. From the worldwide devastation that opens the book to the incredible discoveries on (and beneath) the Moon’s surface, we were always imagining the visual impact each scene would have. So, naturally, we also imagined certain actors bringing our characters to life. Here’s what we came up with. So, if Christopher Nolan, Roland Emmerich or Duncan Jones, if you’re reading this, we’ve done the work for you!

Alan Donovan
Played By: Chris Pratt

Donovan needs to be played by the kind of actor who can blend scientific know-how with charisma and attitude. From training Raptors to cruising the galaxy with his fellow Guardians, Pratt has proved that, even in the most fantastical environs, he can keep his feet on the ground.

Elias Zell
Played By: Sean Connery

When we were writing the book, the only person we had in mind was Sean Connery. Specifically the Connery of the 80s and early 90s when he was playing either the wise mentor (The Untouchables) or eccentric adventurers (Medicine Man). Sadly, Connery is retired and unable to be lured back to acting. Gerard Butler or Daniel Craig could do wonders with the role, but in our minds, it will always be Connery’s to lose.

Anthony Benevisto
Played By: Frank Sinatra

We’ve racked our brains trying to think of who could embody Benny’s wit, sarcasm and hotheadedness as perfectly as Frank did in From Here to Eternity and The Manchurian Candidate. If you want to know whose voice we heard when writing Benny’s dialogue, Pvt. Angelo Maggio was it!

Played By: Channing Tatum

Moose is a noble, honorable character who’s not afraid to make the sacrifice play for his teammates if the mission calls for it. Plus, he’s able to trade barbs with Benny, giving as good as he gets. Who else but C Tates could bring all that to life onscreen and make it look easy?

Played By: Michael C. Jordan

Jordan has had an incredible and diverse career, from Friday Night Lights to Fruitvale Station to sparring with Stallone in Creed. We have no doubt he could bring everything he’s poured into those roles and a whole lot more in bringing Wilson to life.

Played By: Zhang Ziyi

Zhang is one of China’s most bankable actresses and has proven that she can hold her own in dramatic fare (Memoirs of a Geisha) and hard-hitting action (Hero, House of Flying Daggers). Soong is a strong, fearless scientist who remains unintimidated by her brash teammates and unfazed by the events that unfold around her. Zhang undoubtedly would take those qualities and make them shine.

Cal Walker
Played By: Arnold Schwarzenegger

As kids growing up in the 80s, we believed Arnold could do no wrong. We waited for every one of his films with the kind of anticipation usually reserved for Christmas morning. So, with that in mind, having Arnold in the movie adaptation of Ocean of Storms would feel something like kismet. Besides, he could easily convey Walker’s sense of menace and gravitas, bringing all the heft and weight he carried as the Governator to the role. And, with Walker’s interest in genetic perfection, who better than Mr. Olympia to make it all that much more believable?
Learn more about Ocean of Storms at the publisher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christine Husom's "Frosty the Dead Man"

Christine Husom is the national bestselling author of the Snow Globe Shop Mystery series, as well as the Winnebago County Mysteries, also set in central Minnesota. She served with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and trained with the St. Paul Police Department, where she gained firsthand knowledge of law enforcement procedures.

Here Husom shares some ideas for casting an adaptation of the latest Snow Globe Shop mystery, Frosty the Dead Man:
Authors go about creating characters in many different ways. My basic process is figuring out their names, ages, family and friends, educational backgrounds, hobbies, interests, clothing preferences and so on. Their physical descriptions, and the way their voices sound, come to me as I work through their traits and interests. I form a mental image of each of them, and envision and hear them speak when I write.

In the Snow Globe Shop Mysteries, Camryn Brooks has returned to her small hometown of Brooks Landing, Minnesota after getting fired from her position as a Director of Legislative Affairs in Washington D.C. She’s independent and spunky, and feels like a fish out of water working in her parents’ Curio Finds shop after living for many years in big cities. On the other hand, she loves being close to family and friends again.

Cami’s one fun claim to fame is she can transform herself into a believable-looking Marilyn Monroe for costume parties. Her friend, Pinky Nelson, runs Brew Ha-Ha, a coffee shop adjoining Curio Finds. Pinky is tall and lanky and provides comic relief at the oddest moments. Their other best friend, Erin Vinkerman, is a teacher who’s dedicated to her students and friends. Erin is a petite Vietnamese American who was adopted as a baby by a Minnesota couple.

Assistant police chief, Clinton Lonsbury is Cami’s tall, dark, very attractive, and equally irritating (to her) love interest. Their other good friend, police officer Mark Weston is another good-looking, strapping man who takes his job, and sometimes himself, a little too seriously. All five are in their late thirties.

Although I envision the Brooks Landing characters a certain way, I know there are many actors who could bring them to life, and make them believable on the screen. I had the privilege of meeting Alison Sweeney this past spring in Hollywood, and know she’d easily make a great Camryn Brooks. I’d love to cast her in the role.

Because of time constraints with my two careers, I’m not as in-tune with contemporary actors as I used to be. So I had to rely on some research, and this the cast I came up with. I hope my readers agree!

Camryn Brooks, Alison Sweeney
Clint Lonsbury, Orlando Bloom
Pinky Nelson, Jennifer Wilson
Erin Vinkerman, Devon Aoki
Mark Weston, Chris Evans

There are many other characters in Brooks Landing—family members, bad guys, victims, suspects, other strange ones—that would be equally fun to cast, and I’d be thrilled if that opportunity arises!
Visit Christine Husom's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Iced Princess.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ellie Alexander's "Fudge and Jury"

Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Here Alexander shares her idea for the perfect creative force to adapt her new novel, Fudge and Jury, for the big screen:
The Bakeshop Mystery Series was originally pitched as the Gilmore Girls with murder. In my dream world the movie would be produced and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of the Gilmore Girls. I know that Sherman-Palladino would perfectly capture the setting. The Bakeshop Mysteries take place in the real town of Ashland, Oregon home to the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Ashland is tucked into the southernmost corner of the state in the Siskiyou Mountains near the border with California. It’s a thriving community of artists, playwrights, musicians, and outdoor adventure lovers. The downtown plaza is designed to resemble an old-English village with Elizabethan architecture and whimsical shops and restaurants that give a nod to Shakespeare like Oberon’s Tavern, complete with costumed staff and live minstrel music. The small hamlet transforms when the theater is in full swing during the summer months. Visitors from all over the globe descend on Ashland’s quaint streets to catch a showing of Shakespeare under the stars.

Sherman-Palladino excels at blending the charm and quirks of life in a small town with a touch of depth and darkness. Her productions are heartwarming with quick-witted dialog and rich characters, but also have an underlying seriousness in tone. While light-hearted and funny the stories that she produces highlight real struggles, challenging mother-daughter relationships, family dynamics, and the hierarchy of small-town politics. I want Sherman-Palladino’s magic touch to bring the Bakeshop Mysteries to life!
Visit Ellie Alexander's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 26, 2016

Molly MacRae's "Plaid and Plagiarism"

Molly MacRae spent twenty years in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Upper East Tennessee, where she managed The Book Place, an independent bookstore; may it rest in peace. Before the lure of books hooked her, she was curator of the history museum in Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town.

MacRae lives with her family in Champaign, Illinois, where she connects children with books at the public library.

Here MacRae dreamcasts an adaptation of her latest novel, Plaid and Plagiarism:
I’ve had jobs in bookstores and libraries, and both are great places to work. Not only are you surrounded by books, but there’s the added benefit of being surrounded by interesting people—staff and patrons. And by “interesting” I mean worth studying and putting into my own books. It might be difficult (and possibly unpleasant) to ask some of those real people to drop everything and answer a casting call for a movie, though, so thank goodness there are professionals to call on. Here are my picks for the main characters and director of Plaid and Plagiarism, a mystery set in the village of Inversgail on the west coast of Scotland.

Kathy Bates as Janet Marsh, the retired American librarian who dreamed up the offbeat retirement scheme of buying a bookshop in Scotland. Janet is a planner who loves research and books. Kathy Bates will bring intelligence to the role and the right touch of humor.

Dinah Sheridan (as she was twenty or thirty years ago) as Christine Robertson. Christine is Janet’s best friend and new business partner. She’s a Scot who lived in the States for thirty years and is returning to the village where she grew up. Dinah Sheridan was a deft comic actress who could have pulled off Christine’s Queen Elizabeth look perfectly.

Linda Cardellini as Janet’s daughter Tallie Marsh. Tallie is a burnt-out lawyer and law professor. She sees the bookshop enterprise as a refreshing career change. Linda Cardellini has Tallie’s serious, bookish look.

Sarah Michelle Geller as Summer Jacobs. Summer is the fourth bookshop partner. She’s a college friend of Tallie’s, and a newspaperwoman in an age when print newspapers are struggling. She joins the bookshop venture as way of reinventing herself.

Peter Capaldi as Rab MacGregor. Rab is an odd jobs man who comes and goes, appears and disappears, and is reliably unreliable. If Peter Capaldi has time away from filming Doctor Who, he’d make a great Rab.

David Tennant as Constable Norman Hobbs. Hobbs is long-suffering but not without surprises. David Tennant proved he can be a policeman in Broadchurch and showed he’s capable of surprises as another Doctor Who.

Elaine Claxton as Pamela Lawrie who, with her husband Kenneth, are the former owners of the bookshop. Elaine Claxton is a wonderful actress who also happens to be the narrator of the audio version of the book.

John Hannah as Kenneth Lawrie, Pamela’s husband. John Hannah will give Kenneth the right “everyman” appeal.

Jenny Agutter as the victim, Una Graham. Una is the advice columnist—the agony aunt—for the local paper. She’s spiky-haired, sharp-eyed, and acid-tongued, and someone wants her dead. Jenny Agutter is exactly right for the role.

Nigel Cole, who directed the film Saving Grace and several episodes of Doc Martin, would be a brilliant director for Plaid and Plagiarism, the film.
Visit Molly MacRae's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 23, 2016

Michele Hauf's "A Venetian Vampire"

Award-winning author Michele Hauf has published over 80 novels in historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance, as well as writing action/adventure as Alex Archer and erotica as Michele Renae.

Here Hauf dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, A Venetian Vampire:
I'm a visual writer. I need pictures. In fact, when creating a story I generally start with pictures of faces and the story grows from there. I'm also addicted to Pinterest. This works well for me because there I can create 'boards' for each of my stories and fill it with the images that inspire them.

For A Venetian Vampire the role of the vampire hero Dante D'Arcangelo would go to Rupert Friend. Shave his hair micro-short and dye it black, put him in a tailored Italian suit, pop in some fangs, and he's the guy.

The heroine, another vampire called Kyler Cole, was never embodied by an actress in my mind, but I did find a picture of a woman who is looking down, her long black hair spilling over her shoulders. She's not your typical slender, glamour-babe, and that's what made her perfectly sexy, curvy, and fun Kyler.

Check out the images at my Pinterest page.
Visit Michele Hauf's website.

--Marshal Zeringue