Friday, June 8, 2018

Jenna Blum's "The Lost Family"

Jenna Blum is the New York Times and number one international bestselling author of the novels Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers. She was also voted one of the favorite contemporary women writers by readers.

Here Blum dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Lost Family:
When I’m writing a novel, I often play “the casting game,” choosing the actors who will play them in the movie version. Psychologists would call this “positive ideation”—what writer doesn’t want her book made into a movie?—and it’s a great way to get through writer’s block.

For my first novel, Those Who Save Us, which is about a German woman who becomes the mistress of an SS officer to save herself and her little daughter during the war, I was so adamant that the Nazi be played by Alec Baldwin that I developed a little bit of an Alec….obsession. Friends called me while I was writing to say, Hunt For Red October is on TV!” I had photos of Alec in my writing notebook. I even stalked, ahem, went to meet him when he had a signing at Borders in downtown Boston for a book he’d just put out about dads’ right during divorce. The result of this meeting got written up in the Boston Globe.

For my third novel, The Lost Family, I played a similar game. The hero, Peter, is a movie-star handsome fellow who’s emotionally locked down by trauma, so I thought Jon Hamm (with a blond dye job) would be a good fit. June, Peter’s supermodel wife, could be Charlize Theron. And their daughter, Elsbeth, whose starring role in the novel takes place in the 80s, when she’s 15….who would play Elsbeth?

This is the most fun part of the casting game: when readers join in. If you’ve read The Lost Family, who would be your pick for Elsbeth? Julian? (I want to put James Franco in a time machine and de-age him 20 years for Julian.) Please write in and let me know! And thanks for reading.
Visit Jenna Blum's website.

--Marshal Zeringue