Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Joyce and Jim Lavene's "A Spirited Gift"

Joyce and Jim Lavene are a married writing couple who live in North Carolina with their family. They get help from their cat, Quincy, and their big puppy, Rudi, who they rescued in 2010. They have been writing together since 1994 and published since 1999. Last year marked their 52nd book in print. They enjoy writing mysteries but are at home with fantasy, romance and non-fiction. The couple both work for their small, hometown newspaper, The Weekly Post.

Here Joyce Lavene reports on the film adaptation of A Spirited Gift, their latest Missing Pieces Mystery:
I can see the cast and crew walking up the red carpet now with dozens of reporters asking questions. It was tough choosing who would be in the movie since dozens of really famous movie stars were begging to be a part of the production. Fortunately, the producers let me make that decision since I know best.

For the lead role of psychic mayor Dae O’Donnell, Natalie Portman was my top choice. She’s a little thinner than Dae but she gained a few pounds for the role and she was fine.

For her love interest and psychic handler, ex-FBI agent Kevin Brickman could only be played by Robert Downey, Jr. He may not be a perfect match for Kevin, but I don’t care because I get to meet him and stare at him while he’s working. Love that man! He loves A Spirited Gift and makes room in his busy schedule to play the part.

I see Jennifer Hudson playing Shayla Lily, Dae’s friend and psychic cohort from New Orleans. She’d be perfect advising Dae and helping her try to talk to her dead mother.

Ed Asner is the only one who could play Dae’s grandfather, the retired sheriff of Dare County. He’s tough but kind. He knows what should be done and makes excuses for Dae not doing it. Plus I hear he makes some mean flapjacks in real life, which he does a lot in the Missing Pieces Mysteries.

And who’s that getting out of the limo to make his way up the red carpet? The only person who could possibly play the ghost of pirate Rafe Masterson, scourge of Duck – Johnny Depp. We had to add a few extra scars to that handsome face but he loved playing the part. He has such a large – cutlass. I think he liked peeking in at Dae when he was invisible. And he did that last parting scene so well, it made me cry.

I’ve heard that the movie has pre-sold a million tickets for the opening weekend. It’s very exciting. It was actually filmed in Duck, North Carolina where the book is set. We had a great time down there with everyone at Duck’s Cottage (they provided great coffee for the whole production every day). I’ve heard they plan to make movies of the first two books, A Timely Vision and A Touch of Gold too.

Hope Robert Downey, Jr. can clear some space for those too!
Learn more about the authors and their work at Joyce and Jim Lavene's website.

--Marshal Zeringue