Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Nancy K. Wallace's "Among Wolves"

Nancy K. Wallace lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband in a 140-year-old farmhouse. The author of over a dozen children’s books, she works as a Youth Services Librarian and reviews young adult literature for VOYA magazine.

Here Wallace dreamcasts an adaptation of her latest novel, Among Wolves:
It’s a dream come true to imagine your novel as a movie but it’s not an easy job to cast it! Among Wolves is a different kind of fantasy; which might make it easier to produce. This novel resides uneasily somewhere between historical truth and fiction. The only magic it contains is the intrinsic magic of the spoken word and its effect on the human heart. VOYA magazine’s review called Among Wolves “A love letter to the gatherers and protectors of stories and information.”

The setting of Llisé is a country very much like France during the 18th century, where the ruling class is opulently rich and the provincial peasants devastatingly poor. The rich record history and store it away in restricted Archives. The poor have bards who painstaking memorize the stories contained in their oral history and repeat them frequently, so they will never be forgotten.

Devin Roché, an archivist and also the youngest son of the Chancellor of Llisé, hopes to memorize the oral Chronicles from all the provinces and reconcile them with recorded history he has read in The Archives, which tells quite a different story. He is young, idealistic, and privileged. My daughters unanimously cast Freddie Highmore as Devin.

I picked Tom Selleck for the Chancellor’s role. His acting versatility would enable him to go from the affectionate father to the disciplined Chancellor ruling an uneasy empire.

Devin sets out on his 15 month journey to tour the provinces with his best friend Gaspard, who is the perfect foil for Devin’s bookish personality. He’s an alcoholic, a gambler, and a lady’s man. I would cast Ben Barnes in this role. His dark, enigmatic good looks are the way I imagined Gaspard from the moment his character was conceived on paper.

Master Bard Armand Vielle is Devin’s first tutor. Colin Firth just oozes the right personality for this character. Strict to a fault, Armand soon becomes like a beloved professor, the one who pushes his students to the breaking point to make them become the best they can be.

Lastly, I would cast Leonardo DiCaprio, as Comte Jean Chastel. Chastel, an isolated and mysterious man, lives burdened by the Chastel Curse which claims its male members can change into wolves at will. When Devin and Gaspard spend several nights under the roof of his remote chateau they discover more than they bargained for.

There is one important character that I had real difficulty casting. The Chancellor sends Marcus, his own personal bodyguard, with Devin. Marcus towers over his charge, a big man but smart, close-mouthed, and skilled in the art of death. I’m open to suggestion here. I need someone special to bring this role to life!

Nothing would please me more than to see this movie come to the screen!
Visit Nancy K. Wallace's website and follow her on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue