Friday, December 16, 2011

Caragh O'Brien's "Birthmarked"

Since earning a master’s in writing at Johns Hopkins University, Caragh O'Brien has been a high school teacher, a published author of romance novels, and now a novelist for teens. Her first young adult novel, Birthmarked, was a Junior Library Guild Selection, a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, and on the ALA Amelia Bloomer list.

Here she shares some thoughts on adapting Birthmarked for the big screen:
I’m often asked if Birthmarked will be a movie, but the chances of it being picked up are so slim that it’s like imagining the book being chosen by an astronaut to take along to the moon. I’ve been perfectly happy knowing it exists exclusively as a novel.

That said, I’ll take a wild stab at one name. I like the imagination, humor, and sensitivity of Drew Barrymore’s work with Ever After, 50 First Dates, and Whip It, and I have this secret feeling that if she were the producer, she’d understand Gaia Stone and do a wonderful job with the project.

I’d be curious to see what a costume designer would do with the clothes and hats, and it would be fun to see sets that could capture both the primitive life outside the wall and the wealthier society within.

For actors, I’d like the teenage roles to be played by actors who are truly the right ages and not older. I’d prefer they be incredibly good actors, but also unknown, so we can watch them without superimposing our impressions of previous rolls upon them. Getting someone with the right eyes for Leon would be tricky.

Most important, I would wish for the film to be made by happy, driven people who work impossibly hard and love what they do. That’s what I imagine for Birthmarked as a film.
Learn more about the book and author at Caragh O'Brien's website.

--Marshal Zeringue