Thursday, August 18, 2011

Steve Brewer's "Calabama"

Steve Brewer is the author of more than 20 books, including the recent crime novels The Big Wink, Calabama and Firepower.

His first novel, Lonely Street, recently was made into a Hollywood comedy starring Robert Patrick, Jay Mohr and Joe Mantegna.

Here Brewer shares his choice for the lead in an adaptation of Calabama:
When I heard Ryan Gosling was starring in the film of James Sallis' great crime novel, Drive, I thought: "Well, hell. I wanted him for my movie."

Gosling, who was so brilliant in Stay, Blue Valentine and Lars and the Real Girl, would be perfect to play Eric Newlin, the callow slacker in my latest novel, Calabama.

Calabama is a hillbilly noir set in the wilds of far Northern California. Eric, a transplant from the Midwest, lives in the sun-baked city of Redding, where he works for his father-in-law. Eric hates his job, and his wife is shrew. He drinks too much, smokes pot, sneaks away from his responsibilities to go fishing -- anything to feel that he's not completely stuck in a rut, that his life isn't owned by others.

One night, as he's leaving a bar, a speeding Corvette flies right over Eric's head. The driver is killed, but Eric doesn't suffer a scratch. He decides this is an omen: His life is about to change. And he's correct. It goes right down the toilet. Soon, he's spiraled so far that he gets mixed up with the local crimelord, Rydell Vance, in a kidnapping scheme that's bound to go wrong.

Rydell Vance is one of my favorite creations. A fearless, treacherous villain with a two-toned mustache. I'm thinking James Brolin, with his squinty eyes, would be perfect for that role. Can you picture Brolin and Gosling, two such different physical types, facing off in a big, violent showdown? I think it would be great.

Somebody please get the message to Ryan Gosling for me. Soon as you're done with Drive, we've got a project for you. It's called Calabama.
Learn more about the book and author at Steve Brewer's blog.

My Book, The Movie: Lonely Street.

--Marshal Zeringue