Monday, September 10, 2018

Margaret Mizushima’s "Burning Ridge"

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, featuring Deputy Mattie Cobb, her canine partner Robo, and veterinarian Cole Walker. Her books—including Killing Trail, Stalking Ground, Hunting Hour, and new release Burning Ridge—have garnered a Reader’s Favorite gold medal, a TopShelf Indie Book Award nomination, and have been listed as finalists in the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, the Colorado Book Awards, the International Book Awards, and the Silver Falchion Awards. Mizushima serves on the board for the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and she lives on a small farm in Colorado where she and her veterinarian husband raised two daughters and a multitude of animals.

Here Mizushima dreamcasts an adaptation of Burning Ridge:
This is fun! And who doesn’t dream that their book will be made into a movie someday?

Prior to writing the first book in my mystery series, I created a storyboard with pictures literally ripped from the pages of magazines. I included landscapes to help develop the fictional setting of Timber Creek, Colorado; photos of the animals that live in that habitat; and yes, pictures of celebrities whose features and characteristics could inspire creation of my protagonists. I’m happy to share those visions here today.

Deputy Mattie Cobb, the first K-9 handler in the Timber Creek County Sheriff’s Department. Mattie won this honor by beating her male counterparts in a cross-country foot race. She’s fit, beautiful, and of half-Hispanic ancestry. I would cast Jessica Alba in her role. I’ve been in love with Jessica as an actress since I first saw her years ago in the television series, Dark Angel. She’s athletic, gorgeous, and would lend the right ethnicity to Mattie Cobb’s character.

Veterinarian Cole Walker. Cole’s wife left him and his two daughters prior to the beginning of the series, and ever since he’s been on a fast track, learning to be a single parent while he keeps up with his busy vet practice. He’s ruggedly handsome with dark features, gentle and kind with people and animals, and has an air of a modern-day western cowboy about him. I chose Christian Bale for this role, and when Christian later appeared in the movie Hostiles (2017), I couldn’t have been more pleased. My dream of this actor appearing in a western role had come true!

And we must talk about Robo, Mattie’s K-9 partner and the first patrol dog to join the Timber Creek Sheriff’s Department. Robo is a German shepherd trained in patrol and narcotics detection, but Mattie has enhanced his skillset with extra tools such as evidence detection and matching an object to human in a scent lineup (see Hunting Hour, book three in the series). My friend, a retired K-9 trainer and handler, once had a partner named Robo who inspired the development of this character. Robo is black with tan markings, he’s strong and brave, and he and Mattie are a match made in heaven. I haven’t seen a dog like him in a movie role, and my friend’s partner died of old age years ago, so this role is open for auditions. Maybe one of my husband’s veterinary clients could step forward with a dog that could play Robo.
Visit Margaret Mizushima's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Margaret Mizushima & Hannah, Bertie, Lily and Tess.

--Marshal Zeringue