Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ali Brandon's "Double Booked for Death"

Ali Brandon is the pseudonym for Diane A.S. Stuckart, who is the critically acclaimed author of historical romance and short fiction, as well as the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. The first in Brandon’s new Black Cat Bookshop mystery series, Double Booked for Death, hit the shelves December 6, 2011.

Here she writes about the actors she'd like to see in an adaptation of Double Booked for Death:
Ah, yes, every writer’s secret dream…to have his or her book turned into a movie. And, in that most perfect world, we writers get to cast our own stories. (Of course, we’ve already written the award-winning screenplay with no pesky directorial interference.) But choosing is harder than it looks, and so I gave much thought to whom I envision bringing to life my new Black Cat Bookshop Mystery, Double Booked for Death.

My red-haired protagonist, Darla Pettistone, was actually based on one of my nieces; however, Lauren Ambrose of Six Feet Under fame would be great in the role. She’s just about the right age and has that same wide-eyed look as Darla…all she needs to do is darken her hair to true auburn.

In my story, I’ve already described Darla’s bookstore manager, retired professor James T. James, as having a voice reminiscent of James Earl Jones. Even though the actor is older than my 60-something James, I’ve adored him ever since I first saw him in a really awful 1970s movie called Swashbuckler. And so, Mr. Jones, you win the role, hands down.

Darla’s best friend, the ex-cop Jacqueline “Jake” Martelli, is easy. From the start, I’ve envisioned her as a Xena-esque figure to complement Darla’s more innocent “Gabrielle” personality (though without the pesky subtext, as Darla once says). So Lucy Lawless with her Xena, Warrior Princess black hair and a great spiral perm gets this role.

Another important character is Mary Ann Plinski, owner—with her brother—of Bygone Days Antiques, the shop next door to Darla’s bookstore. The feisty septuagenarian was actually a tribute to my own Aunt Mary Ann. I don’t think she’d object to another of my favorite stars, Helen Mirren, aging herself a bit to take on the role.

Finally, it’s time for the most important casting choice…that of Hamlet the cat. Sadly, the real life Hamlet on which my literary version is based has long since passed on. Given that, I suggest an unknown for the role. Hamlet should be played by a bold and clever shelter cat who will rocket to fame once the movie is released and bring needed attention to the plight of homeless felines everywhere.
Learn more about the book and author at the official Ali Brandon--AKA Diane A.S. Stuckart--website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Diane Stuckart & Ranger, Delta, Oliver and Paprika.

--Marshal Zeringue