Monday, June 24, 2013

Simon Toyne's "The Tower"

Simon Toyne has worked in British television for twenty years. He was the writer, director, and producer for several award-winning shows, one of which won a BAFTA. He lives in England with his wife and family.

Sanctus, the first book of Toyne's Sanctus trilogy, has been published in over 50 countries and translated into 28 languages. In the UK it was the biggest selling debut thriller of 2011. The Key, book two of the trilogy, sold twice as many copies as Sanctus in the same period. The Tower, the third volume of the trilogy, is now out in the US.

Here Toyne dreamcasts an adaptation of The Tower:
I read somewhere that the act of fantasy casting the movie of your own book is known as ‘casturbation’ – so I guess this is as good a moment as any to confess that I casturbate - a lot. I come from a TV background and find that visualising everything really helps me write. As a result I spend probably far too long drawing up character documents littered with images of people to help me get a handle on what they look like.

In The Tower a high level FBI investigation runs through the book and the two agents, Shepherd and Franklin, are like black and white, coming from two entirely different perspectives so I cast them in my mind as different physical types to help visualise that division. Shepherd is younger, more cerebral, uncertain of himself, wiry and intense and I always imagined Sam Rockwell playing him with the same kind of off-kilter intelligence he brings to most things, but particularly Moon. His older partner is physically more imposing and more comfortable with himself. He’s from the south so has an old style courtesy about him and slow charm. I imagined Phillip Seymour Hoffman nailing it, but then I can imagine him nailing most things. I also liked the blonde and dark haired contrast these two actors brought to the picture.

Returning characters from the first two books include Liv Adamsen, who is an investigative journalist from New Jersey who I still refer to as my Jodie Foster character in that she is resourceful, vulnerable but also very brave. When I ‘cast’ Sanctus I said I saw her as Emily Blunt with blonde hair and that hasn’t really changed, although I think Natalie Portman would also be very interesting (with blonde hair, of course).

Last time out I said the hero, Gabriel - ex-US special forces superman – could be played by either Jake Gyllenhaal or a young John Cusack, circa Grosse Pointe Blank. Since then I’ve seen Jake in Source Code and think he’s now edged it. Besides, John Cusack is even older now – but then aren’t we all?
Learn more about the book and author at Simon Toyne's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Tower.

Writers Read: Simon Toyne.

--Marshal Zeringue