Monday, July 14, 2014

Susan Spann's "Blade of the Samurai"

Susan Spann is a transactional attorney focusing on publishing law and a former law school professor. She has a deep interest in Asian culture and has studied Mandarin and Japanese. Her hobbies include Asian cooking, fencing, knife and shuriken throwing, traditional archery, martial arts, rock climbing, and horseback riding.

Here Spann dreamcasts an adaptation of her newest novel, Blade of the Samurai:
An actor did inspire one of the major characters in Blade of the Samurai, but ironically it wasn’t my protagonist, ninja detective Hiro Hattori, or his Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo, that my mind “pre-cast.”

I’ve always been a fan of actor Ken Watanabe—most people know him best from his Oscar-nominated role in The Last Samurai, (where he starred opposite Tom Cruise), or for his role as Saito in Inception (2010).

While writing Blade of the Samurai, I envisioned Ken Watanabe in the role of Matsunaga Hisahide, the 16th century daimyo (samurai lord) who walks “onstage” in Blade and plays a significant part in several of the upcoming Shinobi Mystery novels.

Ironically, Matsunaga-san is not a wholly fictitious character (though the novel obviously contains my fictional version of him) – he’s a major historical figure whose actions had a significant impact on Japan in the samurai era. Some histories consider him a hero, while others portray him as a Darth Vader-esque villain hungry to seize control of all Japan. The Shinobi Mysteries offer an actor a chance to play him as a little of both—he’s a powerful, complex character, and I must admit that I wrote him with Ken Watanabe’s masterful acting skills in mind.

I’d be delighted to see the Shinobi Mysteries on film, regardless of which actors end up cast in the various roles. That said, I admit to a secret hope to one day see Ken Watanabe bring my version of Matsunaga Hisahide to life.
Visit Susan Spann's website.

--Marshal Zeringue