Monday, December 23, 2013

Tj O'Connor's "Dying to Know"

As an international security consultant and former government agent, Tj O'Connor has conducted security consulting, investigations, and anti-terrorism operations around the world. Today, he provides independent security consulting to government agencies and private businesses.

Here O'Connor dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, Dying to Know:
Unlike many writers I’m sure, I’ve never contemplated Dying To Know as a movie. Maybe it’s because this is the book I never thought I’d write and never thought would be published. But that all happened, so now, I see… Dying to Know—The Movie!

Dying to Know is about Oliver Tucker, a homicide cop murdered in his own home. Tuck returns as a dead detective to help his brilliant and beautiful wife, Professor Angel Tucker, solve his murder. Yes, Tuck’s dead and back home. But, unlike other novels with ghost characters, this is not a ghost story. It’s a murder case with a paranormal twist. Tuck’s predicament—he’s dead—is a means to find his killer, not the story. In Dying to Know, Tuck searches for his killer among a litany of suspects, beginning with Angel and his partner, Bear Braddock—were they involved? And there’s Poor Nic, a retired NY mobster who isn’t completely retired and is involved in Tuck’s last case. Add in Lucca Tuscani, a NY hit man stalking Winchester, and the always-present-at-the-wrong-time Ernie Stuart and André Cartier—both aged professors from Angel’s university. There are a few others mind you, but I have limited space.

My amazing agent, Kimberley Cameron, has likened this story to The Thin Man meets Topper (from the 40s) and Patrick Swayze’s Ghost meets Castle (Nathan Fillion). I think she’s dead-on (pardon the pun).

So for the key roles, let’s try…
Tuck—Nathan Fillion
Angel—Rebecca Romijn
Bear—Joe Manganiello
Poor Nic—James Caan
Ernie Stuart—William H. Macy
Doc—Sam Elliott
Lucca Tuscani—Steve Buscemi
André Cartier—Jean Reno
This cast is a stew of big screen stars and television aficionados. But, their characters fit my characters. Nathan Fillion is a part-action, part-smartass character in every role I’ve seen him in—he’s fun and daring and is Tuck. Rebecca Romijn is a beautiful woman who can pull off smart and sexy and still be tough as nails. Joe Manganiello’s bulk and daring always seems to hide something quieter that fits Bear’s persona perfectly. William H. Macy is very diverse and his often dry wit and humor, added with some eyeglasses and a PhD, could capture Ernie’s stuffy brilliance and underhanded scheming well. Sam Elliott has a smooth delivery and a twinkle in his eye with many characters. Doc, a crusty, long-dead old surgeon appears to help Tuck find his killer and learn the ropes. Sam has that “I told you so” spirit and a keen wit that would capture Doc exactly as I see him. Who else but James Caan could be Poor Nic—retired NY mobster with an affinity for beautiful women, dangerous shenanigans, and still be likable and fun with a gun? Steve Buscemi is the picture image of Lucca Tuscani, the NY hit man who arrives in Winchester to stir up trouble. Steve’s tough and leathery character in Boardwalk Empire is Lucca throughout. Last is Jean Reno as André Cartier. André is Angel’s uncle and a Smithsonian professor who dotes over her while constantly pointing the finger at everyone nearby. Jean Reno can pull off the intellectual, hard-polished and often stubborn character I wrote as André. And if it comes to being the killer, Jean has the chops for that, too.

Perhaps Dying to Know will never see the screen or television. Perhaps it will die a slow death on the shelves (sorry did it again), or perhaps it’ll open the doors for my third career. But no matter, Dying to Know would be a killer show with this cast.
Visit Tj O’Connor's website, blog, and Facebook page.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Tj O’Connor & Toby, Mosby, and Maggie Mae.

--Marshal Zeringue