Saturday, August 17, 2013

Clay Carmichael's "Brother, Brother"

Author-Illustrator Clay Carmichael grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and graduated summa cum laude in Creative Writing from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her books have been translated into many languages, most recently German, Korean and Chinese. She visits schools, libraries and other venues to talk about writing, illustrating, publishing, and the exotic life of the author, and lives with her sculptor-husband Mike Roig and an ever-increasing number of animals in piedmont North Carolina.

Here Carmichael shares some dreamcasting suggestions for an adaptation of her new novel, Brother, Brother:
When asked for entries for the blogs My Book, The Movie and/or Coffee with a Canine, I thought: Brother, Brother has two great dogs, so why not a canine-casting mash-up? In fact, when my editor Nancy Mercado bought the manuscript, she sent me a tongue-in-cheek canine guide to the characters in my book, which I redesigned only slightly to make-believe cast my pretend movie. I also invited galley readers to chime in with casting suggestions on my blog, Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. We had a blast coming up with the perfect actors for the book's ruthless and grasping Southern senator (no shortage of real-life role models around here); intrepid, outspoken, mystery-solving teens (ditto); and strong, smart North Carolina women (ditto again).

Since the actors could be living or dead, and aged-out of the part was okay, there were multitudes of choices and a slew of grade-A alternates/runners-up, which included:

For teen twins Brother/Gabriel: Will Rothhaar, Jonathan Jackson, James Franco, Liam James and Logan Lerman. For their sister, Lucy: Mae Whitman. For Brother’s love-interest, Kit: Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Amber Tamblyn, with several votes each for Emma Watson and Emma Stone. For Brother’s best buddy, Cole: Nick Robinson or Nicholas Hoult. For Cole’s kid brother, Jack: River Alexander.

Several people liked Robert De Niro (Magwitch reprise) as Amos, the strange island hermit, but also Steve Buscemi, Peter O'Toole, or Sam Shepard. For Brother's grandmother, Mem: Ruth Gordon, Helen Mirren, Lily Tomlin or Sally Field. For Senator Grayson’s sister, Mamie: Allison Janney, Emma Thompson (can she do Southern?), Betty White, or Lauren Bacall. And for the scenery-chewing part of Senator himself: Alan Rickman, Gene Hackman, Tom Hanks, Albert Finny, Philip Seymour Hoffman in 20 years, or Sam Waterston.

My co-caster husband argued, wisely I think, that since my book was for a younger audience, the final choices mostly ought to be actors teens might know or at least recognize. The by-a-hair canine-cast winners are represented in the fabulous Nancy Mercado's funky visual format in the graphic at left [click to enlarge].
Learn more about the book and author at Clay Carmichael's website, blog, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue