Sunday, March 29, 2015

Skip Horack's "The Other Joseph"

Skip Horack is the author of The Other Joseph, as well as two previous books: the novel The Eden Hunter, which was a 2010 New York Times Editors’ Choice; and the story collection The Southern Cross, winner of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2008 Bakeless Fiction Prize.

Here he shares some thoughts about adapting The Other Joseph for the big screen:
The main character of my novel The Other Joseph is a nine-fingered, 29-year-old, Gulf of Mexico oil rig worker named Roy Joseph, and though I’d of course love to see him brought to life in a movie someday, I can’t claim have had a particular actor in mind while creating him. For one, I don’t suppose there are too many nine-fingered Southern sorts in Hollywood . . . and most twenty-something actors are still playing high school kids on the screen. So there’s that too.

But then—just the other day, actually—someone pointed out certain similarities between the plot of my novel and that of the 1970 Jack Nicholson film Five Easy Pieces. A movie I’d never seen, or somehow even heard of, but which I’m told is: (a) great and (b) opens, like The Other Joseph with its hero working in an oil patch—albeit a California one—and then, as in my fictional narrative as well, follows him on a road trip that ends on the shores of the Pacific.

And though I’m sure most of the similarities between my novel and that movie end there, while I wait to track down a copy of Five Easy Pieces I’ve been enjoying watching the trailer on YouTube. This is Nicholson in his early thirties, looking like an “actual” person, making movies at the beginning of, in my opinion, that most realistic and gritty of film decades. All of which is another way of saying that when I think of inspirations for Roy Joseph I still think mainly of real people.
Visit Skip Horack's website.

--Marshal Zeringue