Friday, January 13, 2012

Charlie Price's "Desert Angel"

Charlie Price's novel, The Interrogation of Gabriel James, was hailed as “top-notch” by Kirkus Reviews, “surprising” by Booklist, and “gripping” by BCCB, and won the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery.

Here he shares some suggestions for casting an adaptation of his latest YA novel, Desert Angel:
When I learned about this blog I was surprised to realize I don't think about my characters as movie actors. I usually build them from an early quixotic impression and they grow more distinct as I write. I start with an overall person in mind --- fourteen year-old girl, spiky blond hair, waif-like, tomboy features, etc. and that character gets clearer as she responds to situations page by page.

Though I love movies, usually watch two per week in theaters, and several more on Netflix, I'm sixty-six. My movie conversations go like this: God that guy is good. Greg … uh, no that's not it. Wasn't he in … um, the military movie about time shifts? Oh, come on, you know, he was with what's-her-name in that love story ... and so on. Hardly enlightening, but I know what I like and whom I like, even if the details escape me. Senility has its drawbacks. It turned out to be a Googlean task to decide on the actors but I thoroughly enjoyed the process lumbering along memory lane.

Kirkus gave my new book, Desert Angel, a starred review and called it a "relentless and heart-stopping thriller," so I want charismatic, engaging actors who can keep a tight edge in fast turns.

The story follows Angel’s flight into barren country near the Salton Sea in Southern California as she tries to escape the man that abused her and murdered her mother. When the man, Scotty, finds Angel, he will kill her, too. She may not survive without help from the illegal immigrant community that she encounters as she flees. I have a great deal of respect for the breadth of the Mexican-American community and after living in Michoacan a while ago, it is particularly important to me to portray that community with depth and dignity.

The cast and director:

Angel needs to be gritty, tenacious, and almost terminally self-reliant. – Kristen Stewart (The Runaways)

Scotty, slick and venomous. (the killer) – John Hawkes (Winter's Bone)

Rita, steadfast and perceptive. (the woman that takes Angel into her home) – Rosario Dawson (Unstoppable)

Vincente, a hard-working fun-loving hot-head. (Rita’s husband) – Michael Peña (Tower Heist)

Momo, strong, good-looking, inexperienced but willing to risk. (the boy that tries to help Angel) – Victor Rasuk (Stop-Loss)

Ramon, kind but tough and unflappable. (a leader in the immigrant community) – Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica)

The Director, a person who can blend the combination of edgy thriller and the marvelous, impossible enigma of adolescent girls. – Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight)
Learn more about the book and author at Charlie Price's website.

--Marshal Zeringue