Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Brandi Lynn Ryder's "In Malice, Quite Close"

Brandi Lynn Ryder lives in the heart of Napa Valley.

In Malice, Quite Close, her first novel, is now out from Viking.

Here she explains why it's difficult for her to cast an adaptation of the novel:
So, who would you cast in the movie? Oddly enough, this is probably the question I’m asked more than any other. Perhaps, it’s not that odd… We are a visual culture, after all. Like everyone, I love the movies (though I tend to favor films made long before I was born), and I’m great at casting other people’s books. Why is it that I find it impossible to cast my own?

It’s not that I don’t think it would make a great movie: art, obsession and murder are the fodder of my favorite films. And I even think of writing in a very visual way, as painting with words... I see scenes play out before me like theater: my characters walk and talk in finely detailed rooms; I see the views through their windows, hear their voices in my head, smell their perfume and cologne and what they’re having for dinner. My job, as I see it, is just to type as fast as I can once they do something interesting!

But the truth is, I don’t see Johnny Depp or Julia Roberts (as wonderful as they are), or even my beloved Jeremy Irons or Jonathan Rhys Meyers (though these are closer) in these scenes, I see the characters themselves. One of the early options for cover art had a young woman pictured on the cover, and though it was artfully done, my editors and I all had the same reaction. “But that’s not Gisele!”

I find it tremendously exciting to think of readers picturing my characters as vividly as I do and, of course, very differently. Even my characters have an opinion on the subject. At one point, Tristan, who is French, likens himself to Yves Montand. (Though really, in my opinion, not so much...) With my first novel just appearing on shelves, this is one of the pleasures I anticipate most. It is, I think, the triumph of a conceptual art over others. Readers become the co-creators of an author’s world.

And the art of any great actor is to inhabit a role and make it their own. Should I be fortunate enough to see In Malice, Quite Close translated to the big screen, I am sure to find myself sitting in the audience rapt, as flesh and blood beings embody my characters and play out their stories in their own unique way. I sincerely hope I do have this pleasure, as I’ve already promised casting rights to my sister… And naturally, if I happen to bump into my Tristan Mourault or Robin Dresden on a busy street corner, I’d absolutely accost the poor soul and insist they play the role, (whether they act or not!)

And for all of this, I just hope for an understanding director and offer my apologies in advance.
Learn more about the book and author at Brandi Lynn Ryder's website.

Writers Read: Brandi Lynn Ryder.

The Page 69 Test: In Malice, Quite Close.

--Marshal Zeringue