Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sara Grant's "Dark Parties"

Sara Grant was born and raised in Washington, Indiana, a small town in the Midwestern United States. She graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, with degrees in journalism and psychology, and later she earned a master’s degree in creative and life writing Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Grant is senior commissioning editor for Working Partners, a London-based company creating series fiction for children. She has worked on ten different series and edited more than 75 books.

Here she shares some suggestions about who should star in an adaptation of Dark Parties, her first young adult novel:
It wouldn’t be easy to make Dark Parties into a movie. Dark Parties is set in a society that has closed itself off under an electrified dome for hundreds of years. Its citizens are growing to look more and more alike. They don’t look identical but have a family resemblance. Neva, my main character, explains it like this: “I see myself around every corner — every minute — like living in a maze of mirrors.”

For that reason, I didn’t really picture the actors who might play the leading roles. When I’m developing a story, I sometimes have a notebook with pictures for each of my main characters. I didn’t do this with Dark Parties. I focused more on the identity marks that the characters create for themselves. Neva has a snowflake tattoo in the valley between her stomach and hip. Neva’s best friend Sanna carves an ‘S’ on her cheek. One character always wears red, pointy-toed boots.

Having said that...it is nice to dream of a red carpet walk...

My first casting call would be to Kevin Spacey. I’d offer him the role of Neva’s dad. I would like to say it’s solely based on the fact that he’s an award-winning actor and has the capacity to play the subtleties in Dr. George Adams, but the truth is he’s my favorite actor and I would love to have the chance to sit down and talk to him artist to artist. Okay, it’s more like actor to near-stalker fan.

I’d give my leading lady to Emma Watson. She has the edgy, strength that Neva needs. And after all the testosterone of the Harry Potter series, Emma needs a kick a** leading role.

For Braydon, I wanted someone lesser known, an actor whose mystery off-camera could match Braydon’s mystery on. We’d have to travel a few years back to a time when Jonathan Rhys Meyers had long hair. Then he’d be the perfect Braydon with a mysterious, bold, sexy vibe.

I love a little bit o’ the Glee. I think Cory Allan Monteith could play a convincing Ethan. He’s the boy next door but I think he could add the creepy edge that Ethan needs later in the story.

I found Sanna the hardest to cast. I want someone who could play Sanna’s enthusiasm and heart. She’s got to be loveable but able to play some really tough and emotional scenes. I finally selected Abigail Breslin. Probably the primary reason is because I loved her in Little Miss Sunshine. But she’d be about the right age and is a stunning actress.

So Hollywood, whaddya say? Anyone out there want to make my Oscar wishes come true?
Learn more about the book and author at Sara Grant's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue