Thursday, October 11, 2018

Laird Hunt's "In the House in the Dark of the Woods"

Laird Hunt's novels include Neverhome, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice selection, an IndieNext selection, winner of the Grand Prix de Litterature Americaine and The Bridge prize, and a finalist for the Prix Femina Etranger.

Here Hunt dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, In the House in the Dark of the Woods:
There is a scene in David Lynch’s Inland Empire in which one of Laura Dern’s characters (she plays two) comes running around a dark curve in slow motion. As she is approaching the camera everything suddenly speeds up and — wearing an expression that seems forged from rage, terror and a just the slightest vermouth splash of bewilderment — Dern seems to leap toward the lens as if she were going to devour it and us and maybe the world entire. This scene and many others make me think Dern would float easily through the horror-lit New England woods in my novel, either as the central protagonist, Goody, or as one of the older women she finds in that dark place: a wolf-cape wearing piece of seriously complicated work called Captain Jane.

If Dern were unavailable, or, better, to keep Dern company, I might dream-cast Chloë Sevigny in one of those roles, or as the character Eliza, the current occupant of the titular house in the woods, who keeps her darkness somewhat under control until the novel’s final pages. The Sevigny of Lizzie Borden is what I have in mind here. Someone who knows her way around a kiss and an axe.
Visit Laird Hunt's Facebook page and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Neverhome.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Matthew Farrell's "What Have You Done"

Matthew Farrell lives just outside of New York City in the Hudson Valley with his wife and two daughters.

About his new thriller, What Have You Done, from the publisher:
When a mutilated body is found hanging in a seedy motel in Philadelphia, forensics specialist Liam Dwyer assumes the crime scene will be business as usual. Instead, the victim turns out to be a woman he’d had an affair with before breaking it off to save his marriage. But there’s a bigger problem: Liam has no memory of where he was or what he did on the night of the murder.

Panicked, Liam turns to his brother, Sean, a homicide detective. Sean has his back, but incriminating evidence keeps piling up. From fingerprints to DNA, everything points to Liam, who must race against time and his department to uncover the truth—even if that truth is his own guilt. Yet as he digs deeper, dark secrets come to light, and Liam begins to suspect the killer might actually be Sean…

When the smoke clears in this harrowing family drama, who will be left standing?
Here Farrell('s sister-in-law) dreamcasts an adaptation of the novel:
People always ask me who I want to play my characters in movies, but I don't see my characters as anything other than the characters I've lived with in my head for a year, so this is always a very difficult question.

My sister-in-law suggested Ryan Gosling and Ryan Phillippe, so I'll go with that. I think they'd do a nice job with the Dwyer brothers.
Visit Matthew Farrell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Dana Chamblee Carpenter's "Book of the Just"

Dana Chamblee Carpenter is the author of Book of the Just, the third novel in The Bohemian Trilogy. The first book in the series, Bohemian Gospel, won the 2014 Killer Nashville Claymore Award. Publishers Weekly called it “a deliciously creepy debut.”

Her second book, The Devil’s Bible, won the 2017 Silver Falchion Award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Horror Thriller and Best Novel Overall. Publishers Weekly said: “Mouse is both strong and vulnerable, constantly struggling with the dark legacy of her father, her own powers, and her efforts to be a good person. This exciting, poignant novel continues the strong opening in Bohemian Gospel and leaves room for more in Mouse’s fascinating world.”

Here Carpenter dreamcasts an adaptation of Book of the Just:
I’m very much a visual writer, playing scenes out in my head as if I were seeing them on screen, but, oddly enough, I’ve only ever mentally cast two characters in my novels until now. From the moment she introduced me to him at the end of Bohemian Gospel, Mouse’s dad has always been Robert Downey, Jr. in my head. Sardonic, smart, and suave—though he can become vicious at the turn of a dime.

And, without giving any spoilers, there’s a character we meet near the end of Book of the Just who came to me emphatically as Tom Hardy (you’ll see why this is especially interesting when you read the book). Playing with that casting actually helped me develop nuances in the character. What a wicked joy it would be to see these guys actually take on the characters someday! (She says with a wistful and all-too-realistic sigh.)

I’ve tried to cast Mouse countless times. But she’s so real for me, as tangible and fleshed out as my best friend. I don’t get to see Beth every day anymore, but I know the shape of her face, the shade of her eyes, the lilt of her accent. It’s the same for Mouse. I simply see her as . . . her. So I think we’ll need to look for an unknown when we cast for the movie or series. True to every step I’ve taken with Mouse, I know it will be a journey of discovery.

Mouse’s lover, Angelo, needs to be international, a little arrogant but kind, a thinker, and someone who’s eager to believe. Tom Hiddleston or maybe Tom Hughes could pull it off—just the right amount of posh but with some tattered edges.

And Owen Wilson would offer a perfect mix of charming bad-boy, dandy with a heavy dose of ambition that defines Jack Gray. He’s willing to do anything to get what he wants, but he’ll do it with a wink and a smile.

Book of the Just offers a pair of villains who are a little too decadently “live out loud,” but who also have a deep, calculated darkness that drives them to do the unthinkable. I hadn’t thought about it until now, but I would love to see Vincent D’Onofrio as the Reverend and Reese Witherspoon (a little twisted) as Kitty.

Maybe the daydreaming we do here will work like floating wish paper, carrying our dreams out into the universe to have them handed back to us in manifest reality. If we wish it so...
Visit Dana Chamblee Carpenter's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Kelly Oliver's "Jackal"

Kelly Oliver is the award winning (and best-selling in Oklahoma) author of The Jessica James Mystery Series. Her debut, Wolf: A Jessica James Mystery, won the Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal for best Thriller/Mystery, was a finalist for the Foreward Magazine award for best mystery. Her second novel, Coyote won a Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery. And, the third, Fox was a finalist for both the Claymore Award and Silver Falchion Award. Jackal just came out.

When she’s not writing novels, Oliver is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

Here Oliver dreamcasts Jackal, A Jessica James Mystery:
I once imagined twenty-something Jessica James, the titular character of the series, played by Jennifer Lawrence or Emma Watson because they both are spunky young heroines. Now, at only 28, somehow Jennifer Lawrence feels too old—maybe because she’s won so many awards and played more mature roles.

So for Jackal, the latest installment in the Jessica James Mystery series, I’m thinking of Saorise Ronan, a fantastic actress who proved her comic chops in Lady Bird, where she was smart-mouthed (like Jessica) but also vulnerable. And in Brooklyn she was self-sufficient, strong and lovely. Hanna is my favorite. She played a genetically engineered badass. Talk about girl power!

I still like Emma Watson because along with being a great actress, she’s a feminist and she has a book club. You gotta like an actress with a book club! Okay, I’m rethinking Jennifer Lawrence too. I just read that she’s dedicated her year off from acting to a grassroots anticorruption campaign. Go JenLaw.

Mackenzie is one of my favorite characters in Jackal (and in the series). She is a dreamer but tough as nails. She goes to Vegas to join Cirque du Soleil and ends up working as an exotic dancer. She is sexy but also sweet. I’m thinking the former Disney star Selena Gomez fits that bill. She’s incredibly charismatic and sexy but also seems like a sweetheart. Like McKenzie, she is gorgeous but could play someone a little naïve.

Leo Spencer is a rookie detective haunted by his past. I’m thinking 13 Reasons Why star (another former Disney kid) Ross Butler would do a great job. He’s cute and sexy and just looks like a nice guy. At the same time, in his acting, he can go deep and dig into the emotional turmoil of a tragic childhood. I’m also impressed that he is committed to changing stereotypes of Asian actors in Hollywood. Hey, Ross, let’s make Jackal into a movie and bust some stereotypes!

Leo’s partner Terrance is a master of disguise and an expert undercover cop. Terrance is hard on the outside but a softie on the inside. Donald Glover, who played the young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and went viral with his latest Childish Gambino video, would be perfect. He’s handsome, smart, and charming. He’s got the quick wit and sexy twinkle in his eyes that could con the best of the bad guys. Better yet, Donald is committed to social justice. Tackling contemporary social issues in entertaining ways is dear to my heart. I think Donald would make a very cool Terrance aka GQ.

As for Mazzi Honey Bunny, McKenzie’s Parti Yorkie purse dog, let’s borrow Jack from Hilary Duff’s menagerie of rescued animals. Hilary fundraises for animal shelters and says animals teach people “responsibility, kindness, and respect.” Hear, hear, Hilary.

Three Millennials, Two Family Mysteries….and One Parti Yorkie.

Wow, with a cast like this, Jackal would be a blockbuster.
Visit Kelly Oliver's website.

My Book, The Movie: Wolf.

--Marshal Zeringue