Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her novel, Little Gale Gumbo:
I have to believe there isn’t a writer out there who hasn’t cast her or his novel at some point along the way—whether in the earliest draft or in the final product. Although my story takes place over 30-plus years, I’ve only cast the adult roles (but would love to hear if anyone has any suggestions for the younger versions of the characters.)Learn more about the book and author at Erika Marks's website and blog.
For the role of Camille, the Creole woman who leaves New Orleans with her teenage daughters and opens a café in coastal Maine, I would cast Thandie Newton. Not only is she a beauty, but I imagine her conveying Camille’s warmth and calm, her passion and sensuality, as well as her determination to do what she needs to do to care for her daughters and make their new life on the island.
Camille’s daughters are complete opposites in every way, but are absolutely devoted to one another. Older sister Dahlia, who is fiercely independent and outspoken but also comfortable with her sexuality, strongly resembles her mother, Camille; I think either Paula Patton or Halle Berry would be wonderful. For emotionally-fragile younger sister Josie, who looks like her father Charles, I think Amy Adams would be great in the role.
In terms of the male characters: for the role of single-father Ben, I see Matt Damon embodying that quiet confidence, that lack of ego, as well as that clear sense of being a protector. I think Aaron Eckhart would be a good choice for his son Matthew—sensitive and easy-going but moody enough to adequately express his conflicted feelings for the two sisters.
Jack, Dahlia’s long-time love, is a warm, stand-up guy but also sexy; Eric Bana or Josh Brolin come immediately to mind. Josie’s husband Wayne is very much the boy-next-door, someone like Jason Segel.
For Charles, there’s no question I think Michael Fassbender would nail it. He’s handsome and charming, but able to turn that charm on a dime into something much more dangerous.