Sunday, July 6, 2014

Laura Lane McNeal's "Dollbaby"

Laura Lane McNeal grew up in New Orleans, where she lives today with her husband and two sons. She graduated from Southern Methodist University. She also has an MBA from Tulane and ran her own marketing consulting firm in New Orleans.

Here McNeal dreamcasts an adaptation of Dollbaby, her debut novel:
This is a great question to ponder! If Dollbaby is made into a movie, which several people have suggested would be a great follow-up to the book, it’ll be interesting to come back at a later date and re-read what I’ve posted here.

When I was writing the book, I focused on the characters as fictional characters, so I don’t have any preconceived notions as to who might play the characters in a movie. There was, however, one scene in Dollbaby that felt similar to one in a movie, and that is where Norwood is speaking to Graham after Balfour’s death, when Fannie suffers a nervous breakdown and is taken away for an unknown period of time. As Graham is looking into his father’s eyes as Norwood speaks, it reminds me of the scene in To Kill a Mockingbird where Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) is speaking to Scout on the front steps of their house, trying to explain why certain folks are taunting Atticus for defending a black man in court.

I’ve gotten some feedback on Twitter concerning casting for the movie. One person felt Della Reese would have made a great Queenie, and another suggested Kerry Washington might make a great Dollbaby. If the book is made into as a movie, it will be interesting to see how the director might handle the different time periods involved, especially for Fannie, who we see evolve from the age of sixteen to sixty, and Ibby, who enters the story as an impressionable pre-teen that the readers watch grow into a young adult.
Visit Laura Lane McNeal's website.

--Marshal Zeringue