Monday, May 23, 2016

Larry D. Sweazy's "See Also Deception"

Larry D. Sweazy's novels include A Thousand Falling Crows, Escape from Hangtown, See Also Murder: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery, Vengeance at Sundown, The Gila Wars, The Coyote Tracker, The Devil's Bones, The Cougar's Prey, The Badger's Revenge, The Scorpion Trail, and The Rattlesnake Season. He won the WWA (Western Writers of America) Spur award for Best Short Fiction in 2005 and for Best Paperback Original in 2013. He also won the 2011 and 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction for books the Josiah Wolfe series. He was nominated for a Derringer award in 2007 (for the short story "See Also Murder"), and was a finalist in the Best Books of Indiana literary competition in 2010. Sweazy was awarded the Best Books in Indiana in 2011 for The Scorpion Trail. And in 2013, he received the inaugural Elmer Kelton Fiction Book of the Year for The Coyote Tracker, presented by the AWA (Academy of Western Artists). Sweazy has published over sixty nonfiction articles and short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine; The Adventure of the Missing Detective: And 25 of the Year's Finest Crime and Mystery Stories!; Boys' Life; Hardboiled; Amazon Shorts, and several other publications and anthologies.

Here Sweazy dreamcasts his new Marjorie Trumaine Mystery, See Also Deception:
I think the demands of character are deep with Marjorie Trumaine. The role would require an actress to be vulnerable and strong, wise and afraid, sad without being maudlin, and fearless when it came to going after the truth. It would be a nuanced role, a lead in a movie—everything revolves around her—which in today’s Hollywood is an unfortunate rarity (a female lead role). Reese Witherspoon comes to mind as a candidate to play Marjorie. I think she could get the North Dakota accent, and after her portrayal of Cheryl Strayed in Wild, I’m certain she could reach the emotional depths that playing Marjorie would require. Her spunk was evident from the beginning in Man in the Moon, and that attribute is also a necessary ingredient to bring Marjorie to life. Can she carry a movie? Absolutely.

Hank is another central character, and hugely important. I’ve been seeing Tom Hiddleston a lot lately, and I can imagine his face as Hank’s. Gaunt, but wise, trapped in a body that is useless to him. It’d be all about the face, the emotion, the frustration of not being able to help Marjorie. A minimal physical role that offers a huge acting challenge.

Betty Walsh is another integral character in this novel. She’s young, just out of high school, smart, ambitious, and eager to explore the world around her. She’s not quite a woman, but hardly a little girl, so this offers an actress another complex role. I liked Vanessa Hudgens’ portrayal of Rizzo in Grease Live, recently. I think she showed a wide range of emotion. She could play Betty and bring something interesting to the part.

In all mysteries, nothing is really what it seems, and I think these roles would be complex, challenging, and hopefully fun for the actor to play. I like the look of this cast, but there’s one more role that would need to be filled, and that’s the land. North Dakota, the wide open prairie, the loneliness and danger of it, would have to be portrayed just as accurately as all of the main characters in the book. Care would need to be taken how it is portrayed, and if this were my movie, I’d be just as concerned about land as I was Marjorie and the rest of the cast.

I never put an actor’s face to a character when I’m writing. I don’t think in movie terms at all. For most writers movies and books are apples and oranges, two different things, and in movies, writers have little control, if any, so it’s rare to do an exercise like this. It’s always fun to put a face with a name.
Learn more about the book and author at Larry D. Sweazy's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Larry D. Sweazy & Brodi and Sunny (April 2013).

The Page 69 Test: See Also Deception.

Writers Read: Larry D. Sweazy.

--Marshal Zeringue