Sunday, June 29, 2014

Barbara J. Taylor's "Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night"

Barbara J. Taylor was born and raised in Scranton, PA, and teaches English in the Pocono Mountain School District. She has a master’s degree in creative writing from Wilkes University. She still resides in the “Electric City,” two blocks away from where she grew up.

Here Taylor dreamcasts an adaptation of Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, her first novel:
Interestingly enough, when I think about a movie version of Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, it’s always to cast the character of Grief, Grace’s alter ego who has haunted her since childhood. While writing the book, I pictured John Malkovich, but not because I was thinking about my novel as a film. Back in the late 80s, I saw Malkovich in a play in London called Burn This, written by Lanford Wilson. Malkovich played Pale, the foul-mouthed, coke-snorting brother of Robbie, a gay dancer who had recently been killed in a boating accident. At first glance, there was nothing appealing about Malkovich’s character with his angry disposition, long greasy hair, and lumbering movements. He’d been dropped into a world where he didn’t belong, one with the grace and sensitivity of artists, yet somehow, Malkovich’s presence on stage was electric. The attraction between Pale and a dancer named Anna became not only possible but necessary. Years later, I may have had to Google a few details about the play to jog my memory for this piece, but that relationship between Pale and Anna—unlikely, inevitable, combustible—stayed with me and inspired the character of Grief.

That said, I’ve recently added George Clooney and Liam Neeson to the list of who I’d like to see as Grief, but that’s probably less about the character and more about my celebrity crushes.
Learn more about Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, and follow Barbara J. Taylor on Twitter.

Writers Read: Barbara J. Taylor.

--Marshal Zeringue