Friday, September 18, 2015

D. E. Ireland's "Move Your Blooming Corpse"

Writing under the pen name D.E. Ireland, longtime friends and award winning authors Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta teamed up in 2013 to create a series based on George Bernard Shaw’s celebrated characters Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins. The first book in the series, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly, was a 2014 Agatha Award finalist for Best Historical Mystery.

Here the authors dreamcast an adaptation of their new novel, Move Your Blooming Corpse:
Lights! Camera! Action! It’s time to cast Move Your Blooming Corpse, the second book in our Edwardian mystery series. We are quite lucky because our books are based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, which later inspired the musical My Fair Lady. Since a number of people have taken on the roles of our main characters both onstage and onscreen, we already have a pool of actors to choose from. Photos of those we decide to cast as our characters are pinned onto our secret Pinterest board. This helps us “see” them while we’re writing a scene.

When it comes to our continuing troupe of characters – drawn from Shaw’s play and the musical – we can’t do better than the stars of the 1964 film My Fair Lady: Rex Harrison’s incomparable Henry Higgins and Audrey Hepburn’s charming Eliza Doolittle. We also wanted that movie’s Wilfred Hyde White to play our Colonel Pickering and Stanley Holloway to portray Eliza’s irrepressible father Alfred.

Unlike the 1964 film, our love-struck Freddy Eynsford Hill is played by Dan Stevens, otherwise known as Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey. The lovely star of The Princess Bride, Robin Wright, has been cast as his teenaged sister Clara, with Miranda Richardson taking on the role of their mother. For Professor Higgins’s mother, we decided upon the elegant yet formidable Helen Mirren. As for the intrepid Scotland Yard inspector Jack Shaw and his suffragette sweetheart Sybil Chase, the actors Colin Farrell (from Saving Mr. Banks) and Ruth Wilson (also in the same film and currently starring on The Affair) seemed an ideal choice. And wouldn’t Tilda Swinton look and sound marvelous as Alfred’s blowsy, red-headed wife, Rose Cleary Doolittle!

For the suspects and victims of Move Your Blooming Corpse, we pictured Stockard Channing as the adventurous Duchess of Carbrey, and Uma Thurman as the flighty, blond, and gorgeous Gaiety Girl Diana Price. The moody tea merchant Jonathon Turnbull is played by suavely sinister Jonathan Rhys Meyers, with Laura Carmichael (aka Lady Edith Crawley on Downton Abbey) as his long suffering wife. Fans of Homeland will be amused to learn we’ve picked the star of that show, Damien Lewis, to play the charming, but often drunk, Lord Saxton. And we couldn’t resist seeing a young Winona Ryder as his haughty wife Lady Hortense Saxton, known to her friends as Lady Tansy.

Since one half of our writing team is a huge Game of Thrones fan (FYI, it’s Sharon), we chose Kit Harrington (Jon Snow on GOT) to embody the dashing jockey Bomber Brody. And Trekkies might be amused to learn we cast Patrick Stewart, the former Captain Picard, as our gentleman gardener Sir Walter Fairweather. Because Meg loved Hugh Laurie as a bumbling henchman in 101 Dalmatians, the versatile actor was selected to play stockbroker – and cuckolded husband – Gordon Longhurst. Finally, we would hand over the directing reins to Oscar winner Ang Lee, who directed the marvelous Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet.

So there you have it, a great ‘cast’ of characters for Move Your Blooming Corpse. Have a galloping good read!
Learn more about the book and author at D. E. Ireland's website.

The Page 69 Test: Wouldn't It Be Deadly.

--Marshal Zeringue