Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chris Marie Green's "Only the Good Die Young"

Chris Marie Green is the author of Only the Good Die Young, the first book in the Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series from Penguin/Roc, which features a fun-loving spirit from the ’80s. She also wrote the urban fantasy Vampire Babylon series from Ace Books as well as The She Code, a “geek lit”/chick lit/new adult hybrid with comic book art work by Billy Martinez of Neko Press Comics.

Here Green dreamcasts an adaptation of Only the Good Die Young:
Only the Good Die Young is about a ghost, Jensen Murphy, who has been caught in a time loop where she’s been experiencing her death over and over again. Unfortunately, since Jensen was murdered, and her death was violent, she’s blocked out the identity of the maniac who ended her life. Enter Amanda Lee Minter, a psychic/medium who pulls her out of this time loop for a good purpose—to help solve a modern killing. In fact, Amanda Lee hopes that Jensen will be able to haunt a confession out of the man who may or may not be guilty, and then they can start solving Jensen’s crime…

When I created Jensen, I had a definite template for her character since I wanted to bring back the crazy grittiness of my favorite ’80s slasher movies. So I used one of the best “final girls” ever—Ginny Field from Friday the 13th, Part II. She was played by a young Amy Steel, who had strawberry blond hair and a down-to-earth, girl-next-door vibe. Today, I think someone like Jane Levy from TV’s Suburgatory could capture Jensen’s essence (if she lightened her hair.

The role of Amanda Lee Minter is key, and I think a makeup-aged Michelle Fairley would be so very ideal. (Yes, I am a huge Game of Thrones fan!) The murder plot casting would be important, too. The main suspect, Gavin Edgett, is a brooding, cryptic man who fascinates Jensen, and he would’ve been perfect for a young Russell Crowe, especially in his L.A. Confidential days. Mark Wahlberg might be really interesting here nowadays. Gavin’s much younger adopted sister, Wendy, would be good for a fifteen-year-old spunky unknown Chinese actress to shine in—the same goes for her adopted Mexican brother, Noah. Their sister Farah would be great for a sultry beauty like Minka Kelly. (Hey, if I could put every Friday Night Lights cast member in this, I would.)

The ghosts would be a dream to cast—everyone from eternally drunk Petty Officer Randy Randall from the 1940’s (Rory Culkin!), to his contemporary, African-American war factory worker Louis (Lennie James) to Twyla, another ghost from the ’80s who is half Cyndi Lauper and half Cure fan—literally (major dream casting—Anna Kendrick). There’s also a spirit called “fake Dean.” Since he’s a maddening cypher to Jensen as he tries to lure her to an alternate part of Boo World called the Star Place, I can’t go into detail about his character, but he sure isn’t human. Yet he is very tempting, adapting the guise of Jensen’s first love on the earthly plane. He was a surfer, a sexy smart guy who left Jensen behind to go to college across the country before she died. I imagined Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam in the part since he is pretty much sex on wheels, in my humble opinion.
Visit Chris Marie Green's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Chris Marie Green.

The Page 69 Test: Only the Good Die Young.

--Marshal Zeringue