Monday, January 26, 2015

S. G. Redling's "Ourselves"

S.G. Redling burst onto the scene with Flowertown, a high-octane conspiracy thriller that earned her fans around the globe and was followed by bestsellers including the space adventure Damocles and techno-thrillers The Widow File and Redemption Key. In her latest novel, Ourselves, Redling charts new territory – and puts a fascinating new twist on vampire lore – in telling the story of the Nahan, a human race who live among, but are startlingly different from, “common” humans.

Here Redling dreamcasts an adaptation of Ourselves:
Ourselves is the first book of the Nahan series, about a complex culture of predators hidden in our midst. They’re not cursed or supernatural; they are human in every sense of the word. They’re just different. They’re private and insular and, by their own reckoning, they’re a step above common humans on the evolutionary chain. They also happen to be the creators and manipulators of vampire myths throughout history.

Because they are a race that is biologically isolated, (No half-breeds here, my friends.) they have distinctive physical qualities -- black hair, fair skin, and blue eyes. It sounds simple but that leaves quite a range of looks.

I’ve been casting secondary characters for months. In my mind, the killer Anton Adlai is Christian Kane from Leverage; Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick could be Tomas’ best friend Louis. For the lovely and ambitious Aricelli, I see The Original’s Phoebe Tonkin or Supernatural’s Genevieve Padalecki. (Yeah, I watch a lot of CW.)

The tricky part about looking for actors to play the roles of the main characters, Tomas and Stell, is that they don’t have a traditional dynamic. Tomas is very much the wide-eyed innocent boy, sheltered all his life; Stell is almost feral, dragged up with no guidance. Finding candidates for Tomas is a blast. Want to spend while a fun day? Get on Pinterest and search for blue-eyed actors. (Don’t mind if I do.) Finding someone for Stell is a little trickier. She’s not a waif, not a pixie, not a pouter, not a busty, tank top clad video game sexy ‘badass.’ She’s a slim, quiet, dangerous young woman, described by another character as ‘a blacksnake of a girl.’

Does this mean nobody can play her? Absolutely not! I think many young actresses would enjoy the challenge of climbing into Stell’s head – the world is new to her and, in Ourselves, she’s just coming into her own as a killer. As for Tomas, an actor would have to be able to portray a boy who goes from hiding from reality to a man who sees the world in ways we cannot imagine.

So that’s my book as a movie.

Joss Whedon, if you’re reading this, I’m free for coffee any time.
Visit S.G. Redling's Facebook page and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue