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