Monday, July 16, 2018

Derek Milman's "Scream All Night"

Derek Milman has worked as a playwright, screenwriter, film school teacher, DJ, and underground humor magazine publisher. A classically trained actor, he has performed on stages across the country and appeared in numerous TV shows, commercials, and films.

Here Milman dreamcasts an adaptation of his newly released first novel, Scream All Night:
So this is actually something happening with Scream All Night, and I can't discuss specifics just yet, but I write without ever seeing faces or actors. And I'm grateful for that, so I can focus on their inner lives. That said, I did see a film called Hereditary with some friends, and everyone agreed the boy in that movie, played by Alex Wolff, would be a great Dario; he has the right intensity and the brooding dark looks, and the right edge to his humor and his speech. The same could be said of Timotheé Chalamet, after we all saw Call Me By Your Name--but everyone immediately wanted this kid to play the lead in the adaptation of their YA novel, so it seemed silly to even entertain such notions. Hayley is Irish Catholic in SAN, but there was a wonderful actress I saw in this Netflix coming-of-age flick called Alex Strangelove and if Hayley were Jewish she could totally be played by Madeline Weinstein, who had the right energy and intelligence. I can't go near Oren, that one's too hard. Weirdly, I always thought there could be a fun little casting coup and Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn could play Franklin, The Fixer, which was one face I did see, for some mysterious reason. Because Jack Nicholson is my favorite screen actor of all time, I'd kill to see him play Lucien (he's nearly the same age!) with a slight Romanian accent--I mean who wouldn't want to see that!
Visit Derek Milman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sibel Hodge's "Into the Darkness"

Sibel Hodge is the author of the number-one bestsellers Look Behind You, Untouchable and Duplicity. Her books have sold over a million copies in the UK, USA, Australia, France, Canada and Germany.

Here Hodge dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, Into the Darkness:
When I'm writing a novel I see the scene playing out in my head exactly like a movie so I always have a visual of my characters. Of course, I'd love every book of mine to star the fantastic Tom Hardy if they were ever made into films, and for Into the Darkness, I think he would play an amazing Mitchell, ex-SAS operative who is searching for his missing goddaughter. He may be a little young for the role, though, so as a second I'd choose Ray Winston. It's a gritty British thriller so they would both be perfect.

For Mitchell's opposite, Detective Sergeant Carter, who is a maverick and someone very disillusioned with the police force, I'd choose Gerard Butler. He's kick-ass enough to follow his own hunches and disregard the political correctness and not toe the official party line of his bosses.

For Toni, Mitchell's missing goddaughter I'd choose Emma Watson. Although in real life she's a little older Toni, I think her wonderful acting in the fabulous Harry Potter films would be spot on.
Visit Sibel Hodge's website.

My Book, The Movie: Untouchable.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sheena Kamal's "It All Falls Down"

Sheena Kamal was born in the Caribbean and immigrated to Canada as a child. She holds an HBA in political science from the University of Toronto, and was awarded a TD Canada Trust scholarship for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness.

The Lost Ones/Eyes Like Mine is her debut novel. The sequel It All Falls Down has just been released.

Prior to writing novels, Kamal worked as a crime and investigative journalism researcher for the film and television industry--among other rather unsavoury professions.

Here Kamal shares some thoughts on casting the lead roles in an adaptation of It All Falls Down:
I don't write to actors, but sometimes it's fun to let my mind wander in that direction. Every now and then I get asked who I would cast as my main character, Nora Watts. The truth is, I don't know who could play Nora. I would absolutely love for an intrepid producer to take a chance on an indigenous actor for this part--and there are a few names that kick around in my mind--but it can be tough when you write a character of mixed-heritage.

The other important characters are much easier. I'd love to see Nora's love interest, Jon Brazuca, played by Vancouver actor Ryan Reynolds. Deadpool fame aside, he was in a fantastic movie called Buried where it was just him in a coffin for 90-minutes. He did great work in that film and I can absolutely see him as Nora's mercurial ex-sponsor, a man with mysterious motives.

The other person I cast in my imagination sometimes is Nora's mentor, Seb Crow. He could easily be played by Adam Beach or Mahershala Ali. I also love to imagine Manal Issa, John Cho and Bryan Cranston as just a few of my villains. Strange that it's easier to cast my villains than my hero. I'm sure there's something more to that...
Visit Sheena Kamal's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Lost Ones.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Rob Hart's "Potter's Field"

Rob Hart is the author of the Ash McKenna series which wraps up this month with Potter’s Field. Other entries include: New Yorked, which was nominated for an Anthony Award for Best First Novel, as well as City of Rose, South Village, and The Woman from Prague. He also co-wrote Scott Free with James Patterson.

Here Hart dreamcasts the lead in an adaptation of the series:
Swear to truth, I have never really considered who would play Ash. I’m going to say Adam Driver. He looks like he can hold his own in a brawl, and I think he’s a fantastic, interesting actor. He can find that balance between stoicism and heart and vulnerability that I think is important to Ash. He’s a little old for it—he’s in his mid-30s and Ash is in his mid-20s, but that’s not a deal breaker for me.

Or, if you want to make things interesting, race-flip it and cast Lakeith Stanfield. I’m not precious about Ash being a white guy. And Stanfield is just excellent in everything he does.

I have no real thoughts on directors, though I think it would make a better television show. Each book is set in a different location—New York (New Yorked), Portland (City of Rose), hippie commune in Georgia (South Village), Prague and Krakow (The Woman from Prague), and then finally, Staten Island (Potter’s Field). I think you could get a good season of eight episodes out of each book.
Visit Rob Hart's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Jeff Love's "The Black Circle"

Jeff Love is Research Professor of German and Russian at Clemson University. He is the author of The Overcoming of History in “War and Peace” (2004), editor of Heidegger in Russia and Eastern Europe (2017), and translator of Kojève’s Atheism, among other works.

Here Love shares some ideas about adapting his new book, The Black Circle: A Life of Alexandre Kojeve, for the screen:
Despite the title, my book is more about Kojève's thought than his life. Yet, I must admit that Kojève had quite an interesting life with some cinematic qualities. Born in Moscow in 1902, he fled Russia in 1920 (after being arrested by the secret police and other adventures) to Germany where he studied philosophy, oriental religions, Chinese and Tibetan and experienced the volatile life of Berlin. He moved to Paris in 1926 living off an inheritance enhanced by astute investments (he made a considerable sum from La vache qui rit). After he exhausted his inheritance in 1931, he tried to obtain an academic position and finally was given his famed seminar on Hegel at the École de Hautes Études in Paris that lasted six years (1933-1939) and had a vast influence on French culture in the post-war period. Among his students were Raymond Aron, Georges Bataille, Henry Corbin, Jacques Lacan, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Raymond Queneau. During the war he fled Paris and may have worked for various intelligence agencies as a supporter of the French resistance. After the war he became a major, if largely hidden, figure in the French government wielding considerable influence, all the while maintaining that he was an orthodox Stalinist (who at the same time admired supporters of Hitler, like Carl Schmitt). He played an important role in GATT and in the founding of the European Union. He died on June 4, 1968 while giving a speech in Brussels.

Leonardo DiCaprio could play Kojève, and Martin Scorsese could be the director.
Learn more about The Black Circle at the Columbia University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 6, 2018

Alex White's "A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe"

Alex White was born and raised in the American south. He takes photos, writes music, and spends hours on YouTube watching other people blacksmith. He values challenging and subversive writing, but he’ll settle for a good time.

White lives in the shadow of Huntsville, Alabama’s rockets with his wife, son, two dogs and a cat named Grim. Favored pastimes include Legos and racecars. He takes his whiskey neat and his espresso black.

Here the author dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe:
I am sad/happy to say that A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe would cost many millions of dollars to produce as a film. Sad, because that makes it a difficult prospect. Happy, because that means I'd probably get a ton of money for the rights, and become a nerd legend.

My book has two powerful female leads: Nilah Brio, the queen of the race track and Boots Elsworth, a salty con artist.

For Nilah Brio, I'd pick Zendaya or Zazie Beetz, because both of them could easily represent the posh coldness and razor sharp with Nilah can deliver. Nilah is young at the start of the book, 18 or 19, highly-competitive and mean as hell. She's close to claiming the Driver's Crown in the Pan-Galactic Racing Federation, and her monomaniacal focus is the only thing that can deliver such a victory. We'd need an actor with a lot of intensity.

For Boots Elsworth, I'd like to see Robin Wright. After House of Cards and Wonder Woman, I'm completely convinced that she could pull off the anger and disillusionment so central to Boots's character. Boots is a war vet, from a losing side, and she's lost everything important to her. In response, she's turned to a life of swindling, drinking and general malaise.

Despite the fact that these characters both start the book as... well... assholes, they learn and grow together, becoming whole people again. There's a lot of subtlety required for these performances, which is why I only want the best actors for those roles. That, and it's going to be a blockbuster film, so the leads had better be big names!
Visit Alex White's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Gale Massey's "The Girl from Blind River"

Gale Massey lives in St. Petersburg, FL. Her stories have appeared in the Tampa Bay Times, Walking the Edge, Sabal, Seven Hills Press, and other journals. She has been the recipient of scholarships and fellowships at The Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Writers in Paradise, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Here Massey dreamcasts an adaptation of The Girl From Blind River, her debut novel:
While I wrote The Girl from Blind River I had Jennifer Lawrence in mind to play Jamie. I loved her in Winter’s Bone which is one of my most cherished reading and film viewing experiences, and visualizing her as Ree Dolly helped sustain me in the development of Jamie’s character. Today’s choice though Jamie would be Nadia Alexander of Seven Seconds. She has the depth to play Jamie’s interior life against her external circumstances.

I always saw Jamie’s Uncle Loyal as being played by an aged Heath Ledger (think Enos Delmar in Brokeback Mountain).

My choice for Detective Garcia would be Jeremy Renner. I love his face and the way he portrays such angst.

Sandra Bullock would make an excellent Phoebe Elders.

It would be interesting to see what James Dean would do with the role of Toby. No one did angry young man as well as Dean.

And as for Judge Keating, I don’t even know. Maybe Tom Hardy?
Visit Gale Massey's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 2, 2018

Christopher Ruocchio's "Empire of Silence"

Christopher Ruocchio is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where a penchant for self-destructive decision-making caused him to pursue a bachelor’s in English Rhetoric with a minor in Classics. An avid student of history, philosophy, and religion, Ruocchio has been writing since he was eight years old and sold his first book —Empire of Silence— at twenty-two.

Here the author dreamcasts an adaptation of Empire of Silence:
Fan casting is one of my favorite hobbies, so here goes:

For my hero, Hadrian Marlowe, I’d cast Harry Lloyd, perhaps most familiar to folks as Viserys Targaryen, Daenerys’s awful brother, from the first season of Game of Thrones. Even when he was playing someone as dreadful as Viserys, Lloyd managed to evoke pity from me, and I was blown away by his performance. He’s able to pull off charisma and sneering aristocratic hauteur at the same time, and he has this lovely Machiavellian quality to him that really speaks to the essence of who Hadrian is to me, and I think he deserves a crack at playing a good guy.

The xeno-archaeologist Valka Onderra might be played by Sylvia Hoeks, who played Luv in Blade Runner 2049. There was a real complexity to her performance—outward coldness masking deeper emotions only guessed at—that reminded me very much of Valka. She was also really quite scary in Blade Runner, and Valka is not unintimidating, she’s someone the technophobic Imperium thinks of as a witch, and she leans on that impression to great effect.

Lastly, for Hadrian’s tutor, Tor Gibson, I can’t think of anyone better than the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi. He walked the line between stern gravitas and smiling grandfather really well in his time on Doctor Who, and I think he’s perfect. He doesn’t appear in the book very much, but his appearances are vitally important to Hadrian’s development as a hero, and to see him grill Hadrian in the best Socratic tradition would be a joy.

Here are some others, rapid fire: In a perfect world, I’d cast Mads Mikkelsen as Hadrian’s father, the stoic and iron-willed Lord Alistair; with Nonso Anosie as Count Balian of Emesh; Kevin McKidd as the old soldier-turned-gladiator Pallino; and maybe Miguel Silvestre for Sir Olorin. And of course, the Legion commander Raine Smythe could be none other than Ripley herself, Sigourney Weaver.

I could go on about this for pages and pages, but let’s call that a day!
Follow Christopher Ruocchio on Twitter.

Writers Read: Christopher Ruocchio.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Susan Mallery's "When We Found Home"

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. She's best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Mallery is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Mallery lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her latest novel, When We Found Home:
I don't usually picture actors when I'm writing but sometimes, especially with a large cast, it helps. In When We Found Home, Delaney, for me, looks like a young Dana Delaney. I love her. There's something really vulnerable about her as an actress that creates immediate empathy. In the book, Delaney lost her fiancé a year ago, and she's dealing with the loss and with guilt about the second thoughts she had been having before he died.

I see Malcolm as Chris Pine. What I love about him for the role is that he can so beautifully handle both drama and humor. There's a lot of humor in the book.

Santiago is Jesse Metcalfe and Callie is Jennette McCurdy. As the book starts, Callie doesn't feel very worthy of love. She went to prison for a youthful mistake, and she still feels the weight of that when she moves in with the family she never knew. So when her brother's best friend falls for her almost instantly, she has a hard time believing that his feelings are real.

Keira is a young actress named Mira Silverman. Keira's 12 years old, but because she's wise beyond her years, the adults in her life forget how young she is until something happens to remind them that she's just a child. Rallying for Keira is what will help them transition from strangers into family. It's a really beautiful journey that will warm your heart.
Visit Susan Mallery's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Mary Carter Bishop's "Don't You Ever"

A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, Mary Carter Bishop was on the Philadelphia Inquirer team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of nuclear leaks at Three Mile Island. Her Roanoke Times & World-News series on poisonings and fraud by exterminators and other pesticide users won a George Polk Award and was a Pulitzer finalist.

Bishop's new book, Don't You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son, is
a moving and beautifully rendered memoir about the half-brother she didn’t know existed that hauntingly explores family, class, secrets, and fate.

Applying for a passport as an adult, Mary Carter Bishop made a shocking discovery. She had a secret half-brother. Her mother, a farm manager’s wife on a country estate, told Mary Carter the abandoned boy was a youthful "mistake" from an encounter with a married man. There’d been a home for unwed mothers; foster parents; an orphanage.

Nine years later, Mary Carter tracked Ronnie down at the barbershop where he worked, and found a near-broken man—someone kind, and happy to meet her, but someone also deeply and irreversibly damaged by a life of neglect and abuse at the hands of an uncaring system.
Here Bishop dreamacasts one of the lead roles in an adaptation of Don't You Ever:
I’ve long imagined Daniel Day-Lewis as Ronnie, but didn’t Day-Lewis annouce after Phantom Thread that he wouldn’t take any more roles? (I hope I imagined that.) The thing is, as a young man Ronnie developed acromegaly, a rare hormonal disorder. Over decades it slowly deformed his face, dramatically enlarging his brow bone, nose, tongue, lips and jaws. It separated his teeth and wrecked organs throughout his body. I don’t recall Day-Lewis ever relying on appliances and extreme makeup, but I can’t see how they could be avoided with Ronnie’s portrayal. His hands and feet never quit growing after he developed the benign pituitary tumor that eventually brought him down. After he died, in his bedroom I found a forlorn mound of size fourteens and other large shoes.
Learn more about Don't You Ever.

--Marshal Zeringue