Sunday, August 31, 2008

Don Bruns' "Stuff Dreams Are Made Of"

Don Bruns is the author of three Caribbean mysteries, Stuff To Die For, and its sequel, Stuff Dreams Are Made Of.

Here he names his ideal cast and director should Stuff Dreams Are Made Of be adapted for the big screen:
When Stuff To Die For was released in 2007, we shot a 2 minute trailer using young actors from Miami. They were excellent, and if I were to make the movie for the new book, Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, I'd probably recast those characters. (You can see the movie at my site and at You Tube) However, there are two young actors who would be perfect for the roles of James Lessor and Skip Moore. Chace Crawford would be the perfect James, a brash, give a damn kind of 24 year old who is always getting his friend in trouble. Chace can be seen as a series regular in Gossip Girl on the CW channel.

James' best friend and partner in trouble is Skip Moore. I liken the character to Emile Hirsch, who played in Into The Wild and Speed Racer. Skip is more contemplative and takes a measured response to situations. He still gets into a lot of trouble.

For director I'd beg Eric Weinstein, who is a director/producer for Entourage, the great HBO series.

Stuff To Die For received numerous reviews suggesting it's cinematic possibilities. Library Journal said "This quirkily engaging mystery is a buddy novel as funny as the movie Dumb and Dumber." ( Was that a compliment?) And another review referred to the characters as related to the two characters from the movie Clerks.

Stuff Dreams Are Made Of pits our two heroes against a gang of misfits and a get-rich-quick revival preacher in Miami. It's safe to say that 'all hell breaks loose.'

Having a book made into a movie is every author's dream. Stuff To Die For won Foreward Magazine's Best Mystery/Thriller for 2007, so who knows. Maybe Eric will see it and say..."I've got to make this movie."
Read reviews of Stuff Dreams Are Made Of and visit Don Bruns' website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kim Green's "Live a Little"

Kim Green is the author of Is That a Moose In Your Pocket?, Paging Aphrodite, and Live a Little.

Should Live a Little be adapted for the big screen, here are the author's choices for director and cast:
I've been told my books are filmic – and not just by my mother – so some small, delusional part of me is thrilled to state my casting preferences here. (I suspect that "filmic" in this case means "not dense." Whatever – I'll take it.)

There are several options as to who will direct. If the gods smile on me, Nicole Holofcener will put down whatever deceptively straightforward script she's into and take the helm of Live a Little: The Movie. Nora Ephron would also thrill. And if Wes Anderson or Michael Patrick King want to chat, here's my phone number…. I couldn't go wrong with Drew Barrymore producing (though I might get a different director).

Who to play my heroine, abrasive, lying, fortysomething artist cum disgruntled housewife Raquel Rose? Goldie Hawn in a dark wig…or Geena Davis. If Jane Kaczmarek can make the jump to the big screen, yes. Still not fully satisfied with my picks here. Actually, first choice: Catherine Keener.

In the neglectful, paunchy, TV-watching, occasionally nasty husband category, I'd have to nominate Bill Pullman. Ungrateful teenagers: Lindsay Lohan if she's currently sober; Blake Lively otherwise. And Adam Brody as the soccer star son who may or may not be gay. Surfer dude-lover character: Jared Leto, Gael García Bernal or Keith Urban in a crossover cameo. Best friend Sue to be played by Toni Collette. Wait a minute…scratch that—Toni should try out for Raquel. Love Toni. Back to best friend: Rachel Griffiths or Marissa Jaret Winokur.

Raquel's old Jewish mother: Estelle Getty. Raquel's old, health nut, Jewish stepfather: Eliott Gould if he can drop 40 pounds or Ben Kingsley cast against type. Raquel's do-no-wrong shiksa-looking sister Laurie has got to be Bonnie Hunt, Kim Cattrall or Michelle Pfeiffer in a pinch. Gorgeous, pedigreed college boyfriend who got away and became brother-in-law: Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan or Jack Wagner. Horrid, pushy PTA lady: Bette Midler—yowza!

I think that does it. Wow, I feel better already.
Read an excerpt from Live a Little, and learn more about the book and author at Kim Green's blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kelli Stanley's "Nox Dormienda"

Kelli Stanley is the author of Nox Dormienda: A Long Night for Sleeping.

Here she develops some ideas about the cast and director should her novel be adapted for the big screen:
First, I’d like to thank Marshal for inviting me … My Book, My Movie is a terrific blog, and provides a much needed outlet for frustrated writers who love to fantasize about film adaptations!

Meanwhile, back at the keyboard …

I dabbled in screenplays in the 90s, back when I owned a comic book store. I acquired an LA agent (not a great one, but a nice person); realized that I’d actually have to move to LA if I wanted to pursue this seriously; and returned to school for my M.A. in Classics.

No offense to LA—I love the place. But I already had a home in San Francisco, and the idea of compromise and more compromise was fast becoming less and less appealing as a career choice.

Flash forward a few years (you can visualize the spinning newspapers, if you’d like) … inspired by Chandler, the Noir City film festival and the idea of using my degree for something, I wrote a mystery-thriller while in grad school, and after the normal period of ups and downs and hand-wringing, it’s just been published. It’s a new hybrid genre I call Roman Noir: historical setting (Roman Britain, 83 AD) meets the firecracker pace and snappy-bitter dialogue of the hardboiled golden age.

So now, finally, thanks to Marshal … I can return to my would-be mogul days, and dream of my cast … and because I’m a classic film fan (and a Gemini), I have two: Late ‘40s Nox Dormienda and contemporary Nox Dormienda (because where there’s a book out, there’s hope!)

TCM Version (circa 1946)

Arcturus … a doctor and a romantic cynic, torn between two worlds and a double heritage … half-Roman, half-native, fitting in nowhere. Mid thirties, tall for the era (thanks to his Celtic mother), ruggedly good-looking. William Holden or Robert Mitchum.

Gwyna … the drop-dead beautiful widow who walks into the office (in this case, a triclinium) and who may be as much trouble as she looks. Early to mid twenties. A breath-taking blonde in the book. I’d choose Rita Hayworth and make Gwyna a red head. Grace Kelly is too young in ‘46, Lana Turner not refined enough.

On the altar of an underground temple, a butchered corpse is discovered … a now-dead spy for the Emperor … and Gwyna’s fiancé. Arcturus has one week to unravel who murdered him and why before civil war erupts between Britannia and Rome.

Fortunately, he has help in the form of a loyal freedman (former slave) named Bilicho. His best friend, a little older, craggy but appealing. I’m thinking Pat O’Brien, or maybe (against type) Charles McGraw.

Directed by: Fred Zinnemann, Billy Wilder, or John Huston.

OK … and now for the modern version, coming to a movie palace or TV screen near you (hey – it’s a fantasy, right?).

Arcturus: Clive Owen (who is starring as Marlowe in a new Frank Miller adaptation of a Chandler short story). I’d also be very happy with Russell Crowe or Daniel Craig (who wouldn’t?!).

Gwyna: If only Michelle Pfeiffer were younger … as it is, another non-blonde: Angelina Jolie (we can dye her hair) … or possibly, Keira Knightly. Neither have the delicacy that I’d like, though. Aw, let’s just search until we find someone who looks like Grace Kelly or Rita Hayworth!

Bilicho: Graham McTavish … a sexy kind of Bilicho (it’s 2008, we can do this!).

Directed by: Me! (OK, I’ll settle for Curtis Hanson).
Learn more about the novel and author at Kelli Stanley's website and her blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jennifer Rardin's "Bitten to Death"

Jennifer Rardin is the author of Bitten to Death and three previous novels in the Jaz Parks Series.

Here she develops some ideas for a cinematic adaptation of the novels:
The Jaz Parks Series in THX, Surround Smell and Possibly 3D!

“OMG, not another vampire movie!” Okay, that’s not exactly what our Hollywood agent said when we introduced him to the Jaz-gang. But he seemed doubtful. After all, the pile of vampire schlock on video shelves could induce coma-style symptoms in even the most tightly wound insomniac. And I can see why you might feel the same.

But, dudes, you gotta go with me on this one.

First we pull in a kickass director. Somebody who can really do action, because my books are pretty much fueled by adrenalin and PowerBars. So I’m thinking a duo, as in the Wachowski brothers. Why? Ahem. As of August 12, Orbit will have published four books in the Jaz Parks series: Once Bitten, Twice Shy; Another One Bites the Dust; Biting the Bullet and Bitten to Death. Between them we enjoy car chases, attempted assassinations, successful assassinations, roof falls, hand-to-hand combat, gun battles, plus some way cool monsters and their associated gore. I know, I’m doing a little happy dance just thinking of it. You too? Meet me out back later. We’ll Samba.

In addition, all the stories are laced with as much humor as they can hold without becoming a Mel Brooks knockoff. Which is why casting is going to be a challenge. Sure Jet Li can kick your teeth in. But can he make you giggle? I think not. So let’s start with Vayl. He’s our hero. A vamp who’s as thrilling as he is chilling. His portrayer’s gotta be a stud. One to make the girls adjust their lingerie and the guys reach for their poker decks. I’m thinking we should snag Gerard Butler for the role. Need I say more? I didn’t think so.

Our heroine is Jaz Parks. Tough pickings here. We need a sassy young ass-kicker who can reveal both the vulnerability Jaz feels when she recalls the terrible losses she’s experienced, as well as play up the laughs she provokes as she slams through her missions. Most of the time I think our star still hasn’t been discovered. That she’ll appear from a cattle call to blow us all away with her wit and wisdom. But if that doesn’t happen, I’m picking Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter films. Let’s all hope she can pull off a Midwestern accent, yeah?

Debates continue to rage across my website as to who should fill out the rest of the cast. We have Cassandra, the regal psychic who once played oracle to a North African god. My choice? Gina Torres. (Loved her in Firefly.) Bergman, the sci-guy who’d invent a new day of the week if he really needed to work that hard, would probably look good on an actor like Paul Bettany, whose Chaucer had me rolling during A Knight’s Tale. And I’d love to see Christopher Masterson play Cole. I think he could pull off that brash, charming personality, leaving the entire audience loving him while at the same time throwing up their hands in disgust.

Oh, I almost forgot, we gotta get somebody to play me, the grateful author at the premier, who keeps hugging fans of real celebrities and yelling, “Holy crap, I can’t believe they made a movie outta my book!” What would you say to Nathan Lane in drag? I know! Wouldn’t he be perfect? Entertaining, funny and totally unexpected. Just what I like to give my readers. See you at the theater!
Read an excerpt from Bitten to Death, and learn more about the author and her work at Jennifer Rardin's website, MySpace page, and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 8, 2008

Elizabeth McKenzie's "MacGregor Tells the World"

Elizabeth McKenzie's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Pushcart Prize XXV, Other Voices, Threepenny Review, TriQuarterly, and ZYZZYVA. Her stories have been performed at Symphony Space in New York and Stories on Stage in Chicago, and recorded for NPR's "Selected Shorts."

Her book Stop That Girl is "a series of chronological stories that, taken together, uncover the life story of Ann Ransom, a native Californian who moves from childhood to adulthood with poise, intelligence, and humor."

Here she develops some ideas about the director and cast should her debut novel MacGregor Tells the World be adapted for the movies:
It begins with Ang Lee (The Ice Storm, Brokeback Mountain, Sense and Sensibility), who will direct. He has great feeling for the world of the outsider, while allowing a character plenty of dignity. He's great with social comedy too. I think Jemaine Clement would be a perfect Mac, but my distant cousin Bret McKenzie would do just as well. Someone scruffy and funny and poetic. For Carolyn Ware, we need beauty and intelligence and reserve masking fury and shame. Maybe Evan Rachel Wood. (Kate Winslet from the time of Hideous Kinky would've been just right.)

Ang Lee would also nail the comedy of manners to be found in Charles Ware's world of toadies and sycophants, the kind of monstrous conglomerate of ego. For Charles Ware, someone creepy and dissipated like Christopher Walken or John Malkovich or Donald Sutherland would fit the bill. For William Galeotto, a latter day Marlon Brando would've worked, but today I'd be thrilled to have the stage actor Marco Barricelli croaking out those lines from the dark. For Mac's cousin Fran, we're back to The Flight of the Conchords--Kristen Schaal would be the icing on the cake.
Read an excerpt from MacGregor Tells the World, and learn more about the author and her work at Elizabeth McKenzie's website and MySpace page.

The Page 69 Test: MacGregor Tells the World.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Misty Massey's "Mad Kestrel"

Misty Massey is the author of the "rip-roaring pirate romance and mystery," Mad Kestrel.

Here she develops some ideas about the cast should her novel be adapted for the big screen:
I've always been something of a visual reader – the story I read becomes a movie in my imagination. Movies made from books often let me down a little, because the actors look nothing like the characters as I saw them. I've tried to tell Hollywood they need to ask me first, but do you think they listen? Anyway, when I began writing my own books, the same sort of imaginary casting happened. I would see the story as a movie in my head, all the parts played by faces familiar to me. At first, I thought it was just me being lazy, but then I came to know that lots of other writers do it, too. What a relief! Frankly, by the time any movie made from my book comes to fruition, all my choices will probably be too old to fit the parts, but I still have certain people who'd be my first choices.

My novel, Mad Kestrel, is about a young woman with magical ability, a woman who had taken her destiny into her own hands and gone to sea, but who has her own secrets that she'll die to protect. Who could be better than Claudia Black? Kestrel is similar to Black's character of Aeryn Sun in Farscape. Both Kestrel and Aeryn are strong warriors who trust nearly no one, but who want to find happiness and peace. Claudia is also attractive in a nontraditional way. I never wanted to write a story of the hottest chick on the sea, but I didn't want her to necessarily be ugly. Claudia radiates power and confidence, and that was more of the look I saw in Kestrel (even when she wasn't very confident in herself.)

Kestrel's foil and possible love interest, Philip McAvery, was a little tougher. He's secretive and smart, and you can't necessarily believe a word he says. Even when it's true. I wrote him as tall and handsome, with long, honey-colored hair. In the beginning of the book, I saw him as James Marsters, but after the book came out, I realized he'd always been Josh Holloway. Look at the way he smiles when he plays Sawyer on Lost, and you'll see what I mean. (But really, if Josh is busy, I'd be happy for James to play the part!)

Kestrel's enemy, the Danisoban mage Menja Lig, is an older man, white-haired with bright blue eyes. At a casual meeting, one might think he was pleasant and innocuous, because his evil intentions are so well-concealed. For Lig, I wanted Jonathan Pryce. Lig has to function within the strictures of the royal court, so his machinations are subtle, relying on smarts rather than strength.

And for the last enemy, Jaeger, the Eusebian hunter, I liked Kenneth Branagh. Again, like Pryce, he looks harmless, which is exactly the way I wanted Jaeger to appear. It's so much more fun when the bad guy is a surprise, don't you think? I wonder if someone so classically trained would even be interested in being in a pirate movie?

No matter – in my imagination, he jumped at the chance. They all did.
Read an excerpt and watch the video book trailer for Mad Kestrel; learn more about the book and author at Misty Massey's website and journal.

--Marshal Zeringue