Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Roberta Gately's "Lipstick in Afghanistan"

A nurse, humanitarian aid worker, and writer, Roberta Gately has served in third-world war zones ranging from Africa to Afghanistan. She has written extensively on the subject of refugees for the Journal of Emergency Nursing, as well as a series of articles for the BBC Worlds News Online. She speaks regularly on the plight of the world's refugees and displaced.

Booklist called her new novel Lipstick in Afghanistan an “[a]bsorbing debut… In this utterly engrossing read, Gately vividly evokes the beauty and tragedy of Afghanistan.”

Here she shares some ideas for principal cast and director of an adaptation of the novel:
Ahh – isn’t this every writer’s dream question? I confess that when I was writing Lipstick in Afghanistan, the story played out in my mind much like a movie, and I actually wrote one character, Major Doyle, known as “Chief” to his men, with George Clooney in mind. I know – I imagine a host of writers choose Clooney as their lead. But for me, the image of Clooney, his mannerisms and speech, actually helped me to develop this character and though his role is small, it’s vital to the story. It is the Chief who guides the soldiers and ultimately, their actions.

For the other characters, I admit I’ve started the casting process in my daydreams. For Elsa, my young American nurse, I see Ashley Greene or Vanessa Hudgens in the role. Each brings the necessary physical appearance and the trace of vulnerability that envelops Elsa. Vanessa, with her dark hair and flashing eyes, would also be a perfect Parween, my feisty Afghan heroine.

For Mike, Elsa’s love interest, Zac Efron would be a good fit, especially if Vanessa Hudgens plays Elsa. For Dave, Mike’s best friend, Ryan Phillippe would be perfect.

And finally, my choice for director – as long as I’m reaching for the stars – Clint Eastwood of course!

So – those are my daydreams. Hollywood – are you there?
Read an excerpt from Lipstick in Afghanistan, and learn more about the book and author at Roberta Gately's website and blog.

Writers Read: Roberta Gately.

The Page 69 Test: Lipstick in Afghanistan.

--Marshal Zeringue