Sunday, May 15, 2016

Jeff Wheeler's "The Queen's Poisoner"

Jeff Wheeler's best-known fiction includes the Legends of Muirwood & Covenant of Muirwood trilogies, The Whispers from Mirrowen trilogy, and a graphic novel, The Lost Abbey.

Here Wheeler dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel The Queen's Poisoner, book one in The Kingfountain Series:
The story behind The Queen’s Poisoner has been stewing in my brain for years. The challenge for me was writing from the point of view of an eight year-old boy and making it accessible to adults as well. I believed that an eight year-old could pull off the role after re-watching M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense. Unfortunately, the actor Haley Joel Osment isn’t the right age anymore, but it would need to be a kid like him, one with the right mix of vulnerability and thoughtfulness that really made that performance so memorable. I’ll also never forget what he did in the movie AI: Artificial Intelligence as well. The main character in my book, Owen Kiskaddon, was actually based on my youngest son, even down to the patch of white in his hair. So while I was writing the scenes, I had some source material to work with.

That being said, however, I did have an actor in mind as I developed the role of Owen’s nemesis, the brutal ruler of Kingfountain, King Severn. I’ve been impressed with the work of Richard Armitage since I first saw him in my favorite BBC miniseries North & South. I saw him next in the campy re-make of Robin Hood and he was probably my favorite character in that series as the vengeful and ambitious Guy of Gisborne. I was thrilled to learn that he was cast as Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s re-make of The Hobbit movies. The man can play brooding, angry characters! I’d read on-line somewhere that he was a fan of Richard III and had always longed to play that role in Shakespeare’s play. It so happens that the inspiration for the setting of The Queen’s Poisoner was the War of the Roses with an alternate history where the usurper defeated his enemy in battle instead of losing it. If Hollywood ever decides to make a movie out of this series, you know who I’ll be insisting plays my conflicted antagonist King Severn.
Visit Jeff Wheeler's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Queen's Poisoner.

Writers Read: Jeff Wheeler.

--Marshal Zeringue