Saturday, January 30, 2010

Alexandra Diaz's "Of All the Stupid Things"

Alexandra Diaz grew up in a bilingual Spanish/English-speaking family in various parts of the US and now spends her time between Bath, England, Santa Fe, NM, and the rest of the world. She graduated magna cum laude with a BA in English and Communications from Lake Forest College and then went on to be awarded an MA by the prestigious Writing for Young People course at England's Bath Spa University.

Here she shares some casting ideas about a big screen adaptation of her new novel, Of All the Stupid Things:
While writing my YA novel, Of All the Stupid Things, I always saw the character’s actions and expressions as if it was a fuzzy film. I know the individual’s physical characteristics, but with the exception of Tara, I didn’t have an actual picture in my head that adequately represented the characters.

Because of that, it was interesting and fun to go through my mental library of actors I had seen in films who might work to represent the characters from my book. Despite their blurry faces, they feel like real people. I can’t assure these actors are the best people for the task, but this is my fantasy movie world and the result of the assignment amused me nonetheless.

I once saw a teenage girl playing soccer, her short blond hair in a ponytail. As soon as I saw her I thought, that’s Tara! So from then on every time I visualized Tara, it was with this girl’s face. Ideally I would like that soccer girl to play Tara, but if I have to go with an actor, Keira Knightley in Bend it Like Beckham would work. She is, however, nothing like I envisioned Tara to look like.

Even though Pinkie’s ethnicity is technically Italian, I think America Ferrera would do the role well. Ferrera is a beautiful full-figured woman and that is a must for anyone playing Pinkie. I only wish there were more actors like her in Hollywood.

I thought Whitney Blaire would be difficult because she is much more than a pretty rich kid so I wanted an actor who could reflect that. Take away the leather, and Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer immediately came to mind. Eliza Dushku has a presence that is more than just a pretty face.

As for Brent, I think it goes without saying that a young Johnny Depp with shoulder length hair would do the role perfectly. He’s sexy and suave and it’s easy to see why Tara would be with him even if he had messed around with others.

Riley is a hard one to cast, or at least I can’t think of anyone that is just right. I’m going with a younger Lucy Liu at the moment. Although I never mention it, Riley could be Chinese. At least I always got the feeling she wasn’t “white.”

While David is not a heartthrob, he has his boyish cuteness and innocence. Joshua Jackson when he first played Charlie in The Mighty Ducks had that, complete with the bowl haircut.

Add all this up with the directing talents of Gurinder Chadha, and we’d have an amusing film. Don’t know if it would work (even if we could make the cast younger), but it would be fun nonetheless. And that’s all that matters!
Learn more about the book and author at Alexandra Diaz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Julie Hyzy's White House Chef mysteries

Julie Hyzy's White House Chef mysteries include Eggsecutive Orders (January 2010), Hail to the Chef (December 2008), and State of the Onion (January 2008).

Here she shares her idea on who might play her characters in a big screen adaptation of the novels:
Wherever I go, readers ask when my White House Chef books will be turned into a movie. My answer is always “Soon, I hope!” but so far Hollywood hasn’t come calling. But when it does, I know there won’t be any difficulty casting it. Readers always ask me who I would choose if I had the final say. Although I know I would definitely not have the final say if my WHChef books ever made it to the big screen, the question is so much fun that I can’t resist participating.

First of all, a little intro: The White House Chef Mysteries feature Olivia (Ollie) Paras who feeds the First Family and saves the world in her spare time See, Hollywood? I already have my tagline!

In the opening scene of State of the Onion, Ollie is returning to the White House with a commemorative frying pan meant to be a gift for Henry, her boss who’s retiring. Just as she makes it through security at the front gate, she spies a man running across the north lawn. Secret Service agents are in hot pursuit and snipers on the roof are taking aim. When the intruder manages to dodge the agents, he veers in Ollie’s direction. She does what any red-blooded American would do in that situation: She conks him in the head with the frying pan. That act of bravery (which angers the Secret Service to no end) thrusts Ollie into the midst of an international conspiracy and gets her “noticed” by an assassin known as The Chameleon.

In order to get this movie up and running, I first need to cast Ollie. She’s petite (very short) and dark haired. From the start I’ve envisioned America Ferrera in the lead role. Not only does she have a great name for a White House-based story, she’s got a great sense of humor and a lot of pluck. Personally, I think she’s perfect. For Ollie’s boyfriend, Tom Mackenzie, I see Mark Salling. You probably know Mark from Glee -- he plays Puck. The actor is a bit older than his high-school age character. He's 27. Mind you, as a Secret Service agent, he’d have to lose that Mohawk!

Our villain, The Chameleon, would be best portrayed by Paul Bettany. That actor is amazing in every role he inhabits, whether it’s Geoffrey Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale, or the albino in The Da Vinci Code. Granted, he may be a bit too tall for this role, but this is my dream cast, so he’s in.

I see Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Riker) as Henry, the retiring chef, Ann Morgan Guilbert (Millie from The Dick Van Dyke Show) as nosy neighbor Mrs. Wentworth, and Daniel Davis (Niles from The Nanny) as persnickety Peter Everett Sargeant, III. I can’t have a White House without a Commander in Chief, so I’d bring Bruce Greenwood and JoBeth Williams on board as President and Mrs. Campbell. Rounding out the kitchen staff would be Ellen Page as Cyan (she would have to dye her hair red), and David Hyde Pierce as Bucky.

I can see it already. And as I envision all these great actors in their new roles, I can’t wait to write the next book. But even as I do, I still wait for “The Call.” With this eclectic mix of stars, I know audiences would flock to see the film. Are you listening, Hollywood?
Learn more about the author and her work at Julie Hyzy's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eileen Cook's "Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood"

Eileen Cook’s first book, a romantic comedy titled Unpredictable, was released in February 2008. Her next book, a young adult novel, What Would Emma Do, was released in December 2008. Her latest, Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, came out at the end of 2009.

Here she shares some thoughts on a dream cast for an adaptation of Getting Revenge:
I’ve been asked before who I would like to star in a movie based on my book and I stink at it. I come up with one name and then change my mind and then spend hours on IMDb trying to figure out a better plan B. I base my problem on casting my movie/book on three issues:
1. As I write, I don’t have specific actors in mind. I suspect this is because the characters are unformed when I start the project. I am one of those people who writes my way into a story.

2. When I think of teen movies I get stuck in the movies I knew growing up so I end up wanting to cast Molly Ringwald, who has to be in her 40’s now and likely isn’t doing a lot of teen revenge movies.

3. I start thinking of actors I would like to meet rather than who would be good for a particular role/character. For example, I want to meet Colin Firth. The fact that there is not role for him in the movie just makes me want to tack an additional chapter onto the book so I can make it work.
These issues make me think I should leave the casting to the professionals and stick to the writing and hope they at least invite me to the swanky parties.

However, I do have a love of classic movies and since you didn’t say the actors had to be living, I’m going to go that route. The main character in Getting Revenge is Helen. She should be smart, with a lot of moxie, so the role will go to a young Katherine Hepburn. Lauren, the villain of my book, needs to be the school elite. gorgeous, but with a touch of cruelty. For this role I’m going to choose a high school version of Bette Davis. The love interest of the book is easy. Christopher has that easy charm and a sense of humor. He has a killer half smile that melts your knees. A teenage Cary Grant should do perfectly!

I’d love to hear who readers of the book think should be in the movie.
Watch the Getting Revenge trailer, and learn more about the author and her books at Eileen Cook’s website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 18, 2010

Joyce and Jim Lavene's "Ghastly Glass"

Joyce and Jim Lavene are really two people who write together, not just one disguising herself with two names. They live in North Carolina (southern USA) with their family that is too terrified to eat dinner at their home because they kill people for a living (sometimes with poison).

Here they play casting director for a film adaptation of their Renaissance Faire Mystery series:
Ghastly Glass is the second book in our Renaissance Faire Mystery series (Wicked Weaves is the first). The stories revolve around an associate history professor from South Carolina whose passion is visiting the Ren Faire in Myrtle Beach (no, there isn’t really one at the old Air Force base). She happens upon murder mysteries while indulging her passion and working on her doctorate in Renaissance crafts.

We have to admit that, yes; we do see Jessie Morton, our Renaissance Faire sleuth, as a younger Meg Ryan. She’s got that flyaway hair and can be a little useless though she always ends up doing the right thing in the end. She’s pretty and smart though she can be a little thick sometimes. We see her as a normal type person who gets caught up in weird things that happen.

Really, He-Man (cartoon, not Dolph Lundgren) would be the perfect Chase Manhattan (named by his rich parents for their favorite financial institution). He’s kind, considerate, large, strong, just, gorgeous and sexy. He’s the bailiff for Renaissance Faire Village and Marketplace. He’s actually a constable and has some police training but mostly he uses stocks and squishy vegetables to administer justice to bad guys. He’s Jessie’s boyfriend and a perfect foil for her.

Other characters we consciously placed in the series are André the Giant from The Princess Bride (might be hard to get him now). He plays the Grim Reaper in Ghastly Glass (which is set at Halloween). We liked him so much that we put him in the next book, Deadly Daggers, too. Great character!

We’d love to see Stiller and Meara (20 years ago) play King Harold and Queen Olivia at the Village. And Tim (the toolman) Allen would be great right now as the Village glass smith.

As far as producers/directors, we don’t know much about them but we know movies we enjoy that would be like filming one of the Renaissance Faire books – The Princess Bride (Mandy Patinkin would be a fantastic Black Knight), Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (We’re sure we could find somewhere to put Kevin and Mary Elizabeth), January Man, and Night at the Museum. Maybe we could get all of these talented people to work together!

So that’s our summary of how we think you could make Ghastly Glass into a movie. It could be filmed at any Ren Faire in the world, though we’d prefer England, if possible. We think it would be fairly low budget since storybook characters, animals and monks come pretty cheap these days. If anyone is interested in the project, please contact our agent who is always hoping we’ll make some money for her one day.
View the Ghastly Glass trailer, and learn more about the authors and their work at Joyce and Jim Lavene's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Erica Spindler's "Breakneck"

Erica Spindler is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen novels, including Last Known Victim, Copycat, Killer Takes All, See Jane Die, Dead Run and Bone Cold.

Here she shares some casting ideas about a big screen adaptation of 2009's Breakneck:
Breakneck, starring Meryl Streep as Detective Kitt Lundgren and Sandra Bullock as Detective M.C. Riggio- partners on the hunt for a killer more heartless and elusive than any monster they have faced before.

Portraying strong women with delicate balance and humanity, these actors’ toughness and vulnerability are equally believable. While I’m writing, I do form pictures of the characters in my mind, but those images are also of my own creation, blank identities that are shaped as the story develops. These two are nearly exact profiles of what I pictured.

MC is strapped with plenty of the emotional drama in Breakneck, and Sandra Bullock is brilliant for the role. Her strength is palpable, yet hints at a raw nerve just below the surface. MC’s partner, Kitt, has earned her wisdom through mistakes, her tenacity by losing everything and building it back again with sheer will. With her soft yet formidable presence, Meryl Streep is a great match.

As the body count rises, one kill hits MC close to home. Her young cousin Sam Mariano (Shia LaBeouf- love his youthful charm and earnest sincerity) decides to enlist himself as a junior sleuth in the investigation . While Sam is able to persuade the jittery Zoe- spooked by the recent killings targeting coeds like herself- into offering some insight into the case, the two may be more of a liability than any help. Hayden Panettiere could certainly deliver the stubbornness of spirit that Zoe puts on the table.

At the heart of this fast-paced thriller is the relationship between two headstrong women as they struggle to balance their dual roles, to learn to trust, and to walk the fine line between upholding the law — and taking it into their own hands. As M.C.’s life is ripped at the seams and Kitt fights to rebuild her marriage, a murderer is on the verge of striking again.

Unfortunately, I don’t have enough pull in Hollywood to have booked these actors for Breakneck’s video trailer (view at ). But you can read the smash hit before it ever goes on screen -- Breakneck is available for order now and in stores February 2nd.
Read an excerpt from Breakneck, and learn more about the book and author at Erica Spindler's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Deborah Shlian & Linda Reid's "Dead Air"

Deborah Shlian is a physician, medical consultant, and author of numerous non-fiction articles and books as well as three published paperbacks - one romance and two psychological thrillers. Linda Reid is a physician, medical manager as well as author of nonfiction and now fiction. She also has worked in TV and radio, bringing an authenticity to Sammy Greene, the main character of their new novel, Dead Air.

Here the authors share some casting ideas for a big screen adaptation of Dead Air:
If you live in Los Angeles, otherwise known as Hollywood, you quickly learn that everyone, from your dentist to your auto mechanic, has a screenplay ready and dreams of a star-studded, red carpet, IMAX theater launch. So, when in Rome…

When we wrote Dead Air, chosen as the Best Thriller/Adventure by USA Book News this year, we chose a fast-paced, action-filled, cinematic style that would give readers a “movie-in-their-heads” experience. Five foot tall, Yiddish spouting, red-haired investigative radio reporter Sammy Greene hunts down the killers of her college classmates and beloved professors at ultra-conservative Ivy League Ellsford University in New England. Like a gefilte fish out of water, Sammy quickly finds herself out of her depths and in mortal danger. The cast of potential villains is broad and diverse, and includes a rabble-rousing evangelist, a spurious senator, a confrontational police chief, and a distinguished researcher. Who among them is trying to make sure Sammy signs off the air for good?

Dead Air introduces readers to Sammy Greene, a gutsy, spunky spitfire raised in Brooklyn by her Bubbe Rose. Young redhead Hallie Hirsh would be a natural to play Sammy Greene, radiating enthusiasm, determination and maturity. She won kudos for her portrayal of Rachel Greene on ER. And, in between acting gigs, she is a college student at UCLA!

For Sammy’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, medical student Reed Wyndham, handsome Jensen Ackles of Dark Angel, Dawson’s Creek, and Smallville would be a perfect fit. Smart, sexy, and sophisticated, he could step into Reed’s hard-working and dedicated shoes.

Faculty curmudgeon Barton Conrad would be a wonderful drop-in role for Russell Crowe, comfortably hirsute in his State of Play middle age, as Professor Conrad drowns his demons in cheap liquor and—an ill-aimed revolver.

In contrast, Dean Jeffries, the smooth as silk senior administrator, would capture George Clooney in an updated version of his Ocean’s Thirteen persona—a masterful, and charming manipulator, and possibly more.

Aaron Eckhart’s portrayal of Professor Osborne need not be quite as smooth, but the Professor of Psychology does have a way with words—and people—that Eckhart has mastered in films like Thank You for Smoking and The Dark Knight.

Pharmaceutical Magnate and CEO of the Nitshi Corporation Yoshi Ishida would be an excellent venue for Japanese-American actor George Takei, who would bring authenticity and gravitas to the role of Ellsford University’s partner and benefactor.

And grateful for the opportunity to use the state of the art research facility at the neighboring Nitshi Institute would be renowned and respected physician Dr. Palmer, whose white coat would grace the experienced shoulders of Hugh Laurie, a kindler, gentler, Dr. House.

Bombastic evangelist Taft is an agent of the Lord, and Ewan McGregor could portray both his passion and charm, as well as the hidden undercurrents of his political and financial ambitions.

Finally, Campus Police Chief Gus Pappajohn, who “was retired” from Boston PD after his heroic uncovering of a dirty internal operation, has dragged his world-weary bones to the bucolic Ellsford campus—or so he believes. Mandy Patinkin, superb as an FBI agent in Criminal Minds, would capture Gus’ internal conflicts and external gruffness with practiced expertise.

We hope that someday we can join you in enjoying the movie version of Dead Air at your local multiplex. In the meantime, please make a bowl of popcorn and curl up with our visually stimulating print version, recently published by Oceanview Publishing and available at Barnes and Noble and, and buckle up for a thrilling, page-turning, action-packed roller coaster ride.
View trailers and learn more about the book and authors at the official Dead Air website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tracy Richardson's "Indian Summer"

Tracy Richardson lives in the suburbs of Indianapolis with her family and a Jack Russell terrier named Ernie.

Here she shares some ideas for casting a film based on her novel, Indian Summer:
I wonder if every author imagines their book as a movie? When I write, I see the characters as fully formed people interacting in a very real world. I know the color of their hair and how they dress and what they would eat for lunch. That could partly be because I often use bits and pieces of real people and places to create my characters and settings. I usually combine several aspects of different people into a character, so no one is entirely based on a real person. The scenes begin in my imagination, but in some ways, the characters create the action themselves as the story evolves. It‘s exciting for me to see the book unfolding, almost like watching a movie.

Trying to imagine who would play the characters in Indian Summer – the movie proved to be difficult. I have such a definite picture in my mind of what the characters are like. The heroine is a twelve year old girl and there aren’t as many well known actresses that age. Then they grow up and become too old for the part. However, I think Elle Fanning, the younger sister of Dakota Fanning, would be a great choice to play Marcie Horton. She’s the right age and she has the kind of pixie look that Marcie has – small features and turned up nose, or ‘snub nose’, as Marcie calls it. Elle is blond and blue-eyed, whereas Marcie has strawberry blond hair and green eyes, but they are both fair and tall. Elle did a wonderful job as a creative girl with obsessive-compulsive disorder in Phoebe in Wonderland. She had a bit of the shy, hesitant quality that Marcie has at the start of the book.

If Jamie Lee Curtis were a bit older, she would be perfect for Mamaw. Her look is perfect; tall and angular, salt and pepper, close-cropped hair, and warm smile. I think she has the depth to play the sage grandmother really well. Two totally different actresses come to mind for Jill Horton, Marcie’s mother. I first thought of Julianne Moore possibly because of the red hair and because I really like her work. I also thought of Mel Harris even though she has dark hair. I identify a little bit with all my characters, but since I’m a mom of a certain age, I think I identify a lot with Mrs. Horton. I want an actress who can show her as a complex person who is not just Marcie’s mom, but an archeologist, wife and woman. I remember Mel from thirtysomething, and think she would bring all that to the role.

Al, Marcie’s elderly neighbor who helps her in her quest to save the forest from development, is a tough one because he’s in his eighties. Sean Connery has the right craggy-featured, balding look and has the talent to play a physically declining but mentally sharp octogenarian. Marcie’s brother Eric, is a few years older, and I always imagined him as a bit of a heart throb. Both Kaitlyn and Sara, Marcie’s friends, have crushes on him. I have to say that I couldn’t come up with a good choice for Eric. Being a casting director is an incredibly difficult job!
Read an excerpt from Indian Summer, and learn more about the book and author at Tracy Richardson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 1, 2010

Jean Johnson's Sons of Destiny series

Jean Johnson's Sons of Destiny series is a romantic tale of magic, superstition, and a love that transcends dimensions. About the novels:
Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day-they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. To avoid tempting their destiny, the brothers are exiled to Nightfall Island, a land where women are strictly forbidden. But, when the youngest of the mage-brothers rescues a woman from another universe, their world is altered forever.
Here Johnson shares some thoughts about an adaptation of the series:
Oh, dear... People have already asked me this question, you know. What would I do if my Sons of Destiny novels were turned into a movie, and who would play what roles? Oh, dear...

My only reply is that, for any of the eight books in the Sons of Destiny series, there is so much plot, smut, comedy, and magic, that the only way to successfully pull it off would be in an Anime mini-series. You can get away with a lot more in an Anime version than you could in live-action, even with today's high quality special effects ... mainly because so much of my books are indeed romantic, even passionate in nature, and a good portion of that passion is quite central to some of their plots. Not to mention it's eight whole books of plot. Each is an individual romance, yes, but they all tie together in a massive overall fantasy plot which is eight books long. So, yeah, an Anime mini-series would be the best way to go.

As for voice actors and art studios ... I haven't gotten that far. Except maybe Patrick Stewart for the role of Consus of Kairides, Councillor of Sea Commerce for the Empire of Katan, a seemingly minor character who keeps cropping up from time to time throughout the series. Alan Rickman has a sexy voice, too, but it'd be hard to find a character for him ... the roll of Rydan, maybe? No? How about Orlando Bloom for one of the voices? Johnny Depp? Antonio Banderas has too sexy of an accent -- yes, it's possible to be too sexy -- though I'd try very hard to find something for him to recite all the same...

Oh, dear...I'll have to give this more thought. Mind if I have some chocolate while I contemplate? A lot of chocolate? This could take quite a while, you realize.

Of course, if you'd like to help, just mosey over to, find the forum boards, and feel free to post your own ideas. I'll just sit here with a mouthful of chocolate and contemplate lots of sexy voices in the meantime...
Visit Jean Johnson's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue