Monday, May 21, 2012

Ann Pearlman's "A Gift for My Sister"

Ann Pearlman is a writer of both fiction, and non-fiction books and has been passionate about writing since eighth grade. Getting Free: Women and Psychotherapy was written with two colleagues and used as both a consciousness-raising book in the woman’s movement as well as college textbook.  Keep the Home Fires Burning: How to Have an Affair With Your Spouse, garnered the attention of the Oprah Winfrey Show and many other TV talk shows. Her memoir, Infidelity, was nominated for National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and made into a Lifetime movie by Lionsgate. Inside the Crips, with a foreword by Ice T, took readers into the life of a Crip gang member and the California Prison system. The Christmas Cookie Club became an international bestseller, spawning cookie exchanges and donations to charity.

Here Pearlman shares some suggestions for casting an adaptation of her new novel, A Gift for My Sister:
I don’t think of movie stars when I envision my characters. My characters exist so fully in my mind no real person could match my imagination. Yet, Lionsgate turned one of my books, Infidelity, into a Lifetime movie and the people they chose fit the movie they created. I had not imagined that Kim Delaney who I loved on NYPD Blue would play the lead and that Kyle Secor, who became the President’s husband on Commander and Chief, would be her husband. Cristian de La Fuente was the ‘other man’. I loved being on the set and watching my book morph into a project that grew from the creativity and imaginations of cast and crew. When a book is made into a movie, it becomes the producer, director, and cast, and scriptwriter’s collaborative art project.

A Gift For My Sister would make a fabulous movie. There’s the psychological tension between the characters, with settings as rich as rap concerts, and an entire trip across America. Each actor will bring something new to the character that cannot match my image. Here are some ideas for the characters in A Gift for My Sister.

Michelle Williams for Sky because she reveals huge amounts of emotion in small gestures. She can portray a cautious, yet internally anxious and angry, character.

Katharine McPhee for Tara because she can sing, act, and has an edge. She can do impetuous, loving and self-sacrificing.

T.I. for Aaron/Special Intent because he looks and raps a bit as I imagine Aaron. And he has experience in front of a camera.

Kathy Bates for Allie, the friend who helps them on their journey across the country, because she can be wise, loving, yet tough, bridging those characteristics effortlessly.

Alfre Woodward for Sissy (Aaron’s mom) because of her welcoming warmth.

It’s exciting to see words I’ve written spoken by actors and I would love to be on the set when they do the rap concerts.
Learn more about the book and author at Ann Pearlman's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: A Gift for My Sister.

Writers Read: Ann Pearlman.

--Marshal Zeringue