Saturday, March 17, 2012

Jim DeFelice’s "The Helios Conspiracy"

Jim DeFelice’s new book, The Helios Conspiracy, received a starred review from Kirkus, who called it a “complete success with its appealing investigator, rapid-fire dialogue and convincing storytelling.”

He is the co-author of American Sniper, the New York Times number one best-seller.

Here the author explains how he and his wife are and have always been in complete accord about the actor to play the lead in a big-screen adaptation of The Helios Conspiracy:
One Saturday night not too long ago, I sat down to watch a movie at home with Debra, my (unpaid) editorial advisor, occasional editor, and wife. The movie was The Lincoln Lawyer, which we had somehow missed when it was first released.

The movie stars Matthew McConaughey as an aggressive criminal defense attorney, whose good clients include the local branch of Hells Angels and others of similar repute. (Highly recommended, by the way.)

We were maybe five minutes into the movie when we looked at each other.

“He’s perfect,” said Debra. “He’s absolutely your character. He could play him.”

“You’re right,” I said. I’d noticed the similarity, too. Even though the movie was based on another book – Michael Connelly’s, of the same name as the movie – it was as if the movie had channeled my creation, changing the surrounding and plot, yet somehow nailing the character perfectly. Physically, stylistically – it was him.

“I can’t believe how perfect he is,” added my wife.

“Yes,” I agreed.” “Even the character he’s playing – it’s eerie. Except of course that he’s a lawyer, and my character is –”

“That doesn’t matter. He has everything – the style, the wisecracks, the sideways smirk, the grace.”

“You have to have your agent send the book to his agent,” said Debra.

“First thing in the morning. You really think he’s perfect?”

“It’s as if I’m watching your book.”

“Yeah, you’re right. He might be just a hair old –”

“Old? No way.” My wife was adamant, then thoughtful. “Do you think he smokes?”


“You’d have to have him smoking in the movie.”

“What book are you talking about?” I asked.

“Helios [The Helios Conspiracy, just published by Tor/Forge]. As Andy Fisher.” The main character in the book, Fisher is a wise-cracking and roguish FBI agent.

“Oh,” I said.

“Matthew McConaughey would be the perfect Fisher... That is the book and character you were thinking of, isn’t it?”

Long pause. I suppose I should mention that writers and editors, paid or otherwise, have complicated relationships.

“Well?” she asked. “Were you thinking about Fisher?”

“Of course, that’s what I was thinking,” I said, grabbing for a beer. “He’d be perfect.”

And he would be.
Learn more about the book and author at Jim DeFelice's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Leopards Kill.

Writers Read: Jim DeFelice.

The Page 69 Test: The Helios Conspiracy.

--Marshal Zeringue