Friday, July 18, 2014

Susan Slater's "Rollover"

Susan Slater's books include the Ben Pecos Indian series and the Dan Mahoney mysteries.

Here Slater shares some ideas for casting an adaptation of Rollover, the second Dan Mahoney novel:
I almost hate to even tackle this question it brings up such ugly memories ... and here’s the story. About four years ago I wrote a women’s fiction novel, 0 to 60. It was optioned by Hollywood three weeks out of publication. Wow! I just knew I was on the fast-track to fame. I’ve learned later that Forrest Gump was optioned for seven years before becoming a movie and that one can grow old(er) and gray(er) waiting—but this is hindsight talking.

I was so excited I decided to write the screenplay myself—I’d be ready when the big offers came in. I couldn’t keep Susan Sarandon out of my head when writing the novel and the screenplay really turned out to be, I thought, a perfect acting vehicle for her. I only needed to make those all-important contacts with producers and I would be on my way.

Santa Fe, New Mexico has a screenwriters workshop once a year and brings in fifteen or so producers that can be privately “pitched” for an extra twenty-five dollars each. Great! Exactly what I was looking for. I bought over two hundred dollars worth of “pitch-time” and lined up in the hotel hallways waiting my turn with the rest of the wannabes.

My first “pitch” was to the producer of the movie, Miss Potter. The first question she asked was whom did I see in the lead. I proudly said, “Susan Sarandon.” With a derisive laugh she tossed the screenplay onto the table and said, “Susan Sarandon hasn’t carried a movie in fifteen years, why would you think she could do so now?” And then she yelled out, “Next.” So this last month when my agent was called by a Hollywood movie broker inquiring whether the movie/TV rights were still available for my newest mystery, Rollover, I laughed.

But then I started thinking . . . if the writer doesn’t have someone in mind, and he/she just lets someone who doesn’t really know the story take over—that’s giving up a lot of control. Not that it wouldn’t be lost anyway but I’d like to think I have a say. So, here goes:

If the Dan Mahoney series were purchased for TV, it would remind the viewer of Castle—lots of quirky characters, family members and good deductive detective work. Not a cozy but definitely not a thriller! As a movie? It gets tougher. Sandra Bullock would have to play Elaine. That’s the only given. Someone to play Dan is a bit more challenging. Christopher Meloni? John Stamos? Either would be good choices. But it would probably be easier to cast Simon, the Rottweiler.
Learn more about Rollover at the publisher's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Susan Slater & Toby and Tess.

The Page 69 Test: Rollover.

--Marshal Zeringue