Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rebecca Cantrell’s "The World Beneath"

Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel mystery/thriller novels have won the Bruce Alexander and Macavity awards and been nominated for the Barry and RT Reviewers Choice awards; her critically-acclaimed cell phone novel, iDrakula, was nominated for the APPY award and listed on Booklist’s Top 10 Horror Fiction for Youth.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The World Beneath:
The World Beneath is set in the tunnels underneath New York City and follows Joe Tesla, a direct descendant of famous scientist Nikola Tesla, after he is struck by agoraphobia and can no longer go outside.

Who would want to come down and play in Joe Tesla’s world? Let’s run through the top characters.

Joe Tesla. First off, there’s Joe himself. Joe made his millions creating facial-recognition software, so he’s smart, and he didn’t spend a lot of time outside before this happened to him so he’s pale. But he spent his childhood working in a circus, so he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve. He’s also funny. Smart, funny, intense, quirky? How about Joseph Gordon-Levitt?

Vivian Torres. If Joe’s the brains, she’s the brawn. She is also very smart in her own right, luckily for Joe. She grew up on the mean streets of New York, went into the Army, and was recently released from on a dishonorable discharge. She’s been hired as Joe’s bodyguard, and in future books she’ll be his eyes and ears aboveground. Who is beautiful, a step ahead strategically, and can kick your butt? Michelle Rodriguez.

Celeste Gallo. Not so long ago, she stole Joe’s heart. But she wasn’t ready to settle down. She’s a carefree artist from a wealthy family—funny, charming, and talented. Unfortunately, she is struck by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is gradually becoming paralyzed. She can’t leave her house, and Joe can’t leave his. This might solve some of their commitment problems, even if it creates others. The actress playing her must be expressive, brilliant, and a force to be reckoned with even if she can’t move a muscle. For me, that’s Bryce Dallas Howard.

Ozan Saddiq. He’s a bad guy, but he’s very good at it. Like Vivian, he served in the US military. Unlike Vivian, he got an honorable discharge. He likes killing, and he’s well paid for it. His only close friend is his brother Erol, who has Downs Syndrome, for whom Ozan has assumed all expenses since their parents died. Unlike most killers, he’s not a giant bruiser. He’s deceptively slight and polite—until he’s close enough to slip the knife between your ribs. Who could get anyone to lower their guard? Omid Abtahi.

Edison. Edison is Joe’s best friend. He’s a psychiatric service dog. He’s part yellow Lab, part golden retriever, and part furry ball of wonder. Of all the characters, he’s the one I’d want to take home with me.

I’d love to hear your casting suggestions! (maybe for a psychiatric service cat for the next book?)
Learn more about the book and author at Rebecca Cantrell's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Rebecca Cantrell (July 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue