Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sharon Potts's "Someone’s Watching"

Sharon Potts worked as a CPA, business executive, and entrepreneur before turning to a career of murder and becoming a crime fiction writer. Potts’s Miami-based thrillers are about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Her debut novel, In Their Blood, won top honors in the Mystery/Suspense category of the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Awards. Her latest thriller, Someone's Watching was called "shiver-rich" by Publishers Weekly, and “stunningly well-handled” by Booklist.

Following the success of In Their Blood, here is Potts’s unusual take on the casting of Someone’s Watching:
Alfred Hitchcock Returns

I: Mr. Hitchcock, we’re so pleased to have you back. It’s the scuttlebutt around town that you’re casting for your latest project, Sharon Potts’s thriller, Someone’s Watching.

AH: Good evening. Excuse my deadpan expression, but there are days I feel as though I’m returning from the dead.

I: Under the circumstances, you look remarkably well, Mr. Hitchcock.

AH: Thank you. And the rumors are indeed true. Someone’s Watching is an irresistible follow-up to my last success with Potts’s psychological suspense thriller, In Their Blood.

I: Is Someone Watching a sequel to In Their Blood?

AH: Not in the traditional sense. Both stories are set in a bi-polar Miami that’s both paradise and hell, and involve ordinary people trying to make sense of catastrophic events in their lives. Many of the characters are the same, including youthful hero Jeremy Stroeb, but this time his love interest, Robbie Ivy, a businesswoman-turned-bartender, takes center stage. When Robbie learns that her high-school-age half-sister has descended into the bowels of the decadent South Beach scene, Robbie is at first reluctant to get involved with this girl whose existence she hadn’t even known about. Then her sister’s friend is found dead and Robbie is drawn into searching for a cold-blooded killer in the hottest South Beach hotspots.

I: Is there something in particular that attracted you to Someone’s Watching?

AH: Indeed. Even in the far reaches of the cosmos where I reside, I keep myself informed. Publishers Weekly called Someone’s Watching “shiver-rich,” certainly a term I like to associate with my films. And Booklist wrote of Potts excelling in camouflaging plots twists. If that doesn’t bode well for a Hitchcock movie, then bury me.

I: Whom are you considering for the key roles in the film?

AH: Robbie is smart, determined and independent, but at the same time, wounded. Her eighteen-year-old half-sister Kate, who looks a lot like Robbie, is sweet and naïve, until she’s swept into the underworld of prostitution and becomes known as Angel. I’m considering Natalie Portman for both roles. Natalie is an extremely versatile actress who can pull on her youthful naivety from Where the Heart Is, then ratchet up the intensity, as she does so well in The Black Swan.

I: Any other names you can share with us?

AH: Coming from the hereafter (and before) as I do affords certain casting advantages. I am considering Tippi Hedren as she was in The Birds, for the role of Gina Fieldstone, the remote, scarred politician’s wife who befriends Robbie. And I can see Anthony Perkins, showing the complexity and ambiguity he displayed in Psycho, in the role of Puck, the lonely guy who frequents the bar where Robbie works.

I: Final words, Mr. Hitchcock?

AH: Nothing’s final where I come from. But I’m negotiating with The Devil to film several of the South Beach sequences down in his neck of the universe. The scenes, particularly those set in the club ‘Burn,’ get pretty hot.
Learn more about the book and author at Sharon Potts' website.

My Book, The Movie: In Their Blood.

--Marshal Zeringue