Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vicki Lane's "Elizabeth Goodweather" books

Vicki Lane is the author of three "Elizabeth Goodweather" novels with a fourth on the way in the coming year.

Here she runs the novels through the "My Book, The Movie" exercise:
Who could play the leading roles in a movie made from my book? Who might direct?

Jeez, Marshal asks the hardest questions.

Okay, I’m thinking a trilogy with my first three books and I’ll ask the Coen Bros. to direct simply because a.) I adore them and b.) if they can do a movie around a pregnant sheriff from a small town in Minnesota, a fifty-something Appalachian widow with a law enforcement significant other ought not to be too much of a stretch for those boys.

There are only two of my characters in the current three books that I’ve actually visualized as looking like actors. Phillip Hawkins, the burly, balding ex-detective friend/love interest of my protagonist Elizabeth Goodweather, is described as looking “like Danny DeVito, but tall.”

The other is Aidan, a performance artist in Art’s Blood, of whom an onlooker drools, “that blond boy ... quite delicious. Just like that gorgeous elf in the Lord of the Rings films.” That, of course, would be Orlando Bloom.

But I think Maggie Smith could do justice to Lily Gordon, the aristocratic dowager with a secret in Art’s Blood and Anne Hathaway (Becoming Jane) looks just right for Rosemary, Elizabeth’s older daughter who takes a major role in Old Wounds.

And that was as far as I could go. So I turned to my friend Gretchen who lives in Hollywood and knows about this stuff. Her (abridged) list for Signs in the Blood is below with my comments in italics.

Elizabeth: needs to be tall and not beautiful – handsome would be nearer the mark. And she’s in her fifties and looks it. Though this may never happen in Hollywood.

Penelope Ann Miller (perfect look, nice voice)

Vanessa Redgrave (needs no explanation)

Susan Sarandon (empathetic; great-looking)

Little Sylvie: an Appalachian Botticelli

Dakota Fanning (right age, right look, freakishly believable in every part she plays)

Amanda Bynes (might get the young people into the movie theater)

Laurel: very tall, red dreadlocks

Maggie Gyllenhaal (great, offbeat look; could enhance the character's humorous side)

Milla Jovovich (can look believable when she's not covered in make-up, plus she'd also look great with dreadlocks)

Hawkins: since Danny DeVito’s too short, we have to look elsewhere

Jeff Daniels (affability also makes him instantly suspicious)

Robert Patrick (a face that practically screams, "I've got secrets!")

Don Johnson (stunt casting!)

Sam Neill (will make it easy to cast Elizabeth because every gal in town will want to co-star with him)

Dennis Quaid (looks right for the part and needs work

Robert Duvall (dream on)

Ed Harris (Robert Duvall, only younger)

James Garner (probably too old, but audience would root for him)

Treat Williams (looks right for the part; good actor)

Gene Hackman (probably too old, but he'd be great just because he's Gene Hackman)

Bruce Greenwood (my personal frontrunner; great-looking, believable, perfect)

Creepy but Sexy Snake Preacher: old bedroom eyes

Keith Carradine (too perfect to explain)

Jon Voight (an ugly, intense guy with buckets of sexual charisma) hey! Harice the preacher’s meant to be handsome!

Mark Harmon (has played Ted Bundy)

Lance Henriksen (great-looking, but believable as a pushy mountain preacher)

Creepy but Creepy Daughter-Raping Preacher: tall, thin, intense pale eyes

William Forsythe (gives me the willies just thinking about it)

Harry Dean Stanton (too easy)

Randy Quaid (looks crazy; can really convey evil when he wants to)

David Carradine (already extremely creepy; can squint like nobody's business)

Bill Nighy (take away that British accent and he would look right at home screwing his daughter and hearing voices)

Thanks, Gretchen....
Read more about the "Elizabeth Goodweather" books at Vicki Lane's website and her blog.

The Page 69 Test: Art's Blood.

--Marshal Zeringue