Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sejal Badani's "The Storyteller’s Secret"

A former attorney, Sejal Badani left the law to pursue writing full time. She was an ABC/Disney Writing Fellowship and CBS Writing Fellowship Finalist. When not writing, she loves reading, biking along the ocean, traveling and trying to teach her teacup Morkie not to hide socks under the bed (so far she has been completely unsuccessful). Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, and Ed Sheeran are always playing in the background.

Here Badani dreamcasts an adaptation of her latest novel, The Storyteller’s Secret:
I started my career by writing two screenplays that won numerous awards. I love the imagery mixed with dialogue that define films. They bring the story to life while allowing you to lose yourself within the dialogue. When I transitioned from screenplays to novels I found that when I wrote I would imagine the story playing out like a reel in my head. I can see the setting, hear the dialogue and feel the air surrounding all of it. Given my love of movies, I have to admit I have often imagined both my novels, Trail of Broken Wings and The Storyteller’s Secret, on the big screen.

The Storyteller’s Secret is set at an intersection of different cultures which creates an exciting opportunity to bring a diverse field of actors/actresses and sites. I have to admit I’m not as familiar with the Bollywood market and wouldn’t be able to specifically identify by name which actress would play the roles of Amisha, Jaya and Lena. However here is what I would hope each one would bring to the set:

Amisha is a character that comes alive on the page. Multiple readers have commented that they feel as if they are experiencing her story as they read it. She is alive with a vibrancy that almost hums. Her eyes twinkle as she weaves her tale and her face lights up with a smile in her every interaction. And when she loves? Whether it be her children, her friend Ravi or her true love (I won’t give away any spoilers) – she does it with her soul. Her character’s inner beauty transcends her outer one.

Lena’s natural beauty – a blend of her English father and Indian mother – is obvious but she holds back, afraid of what it means. She has paid dearly in her life for her heritage. As a result she is quiet, unsure. She watches rather than partaking. She hopes instead of dreaming.

Jaya is a New York journalist. She is broken from her miscarriages and the dissolution of her marriage. On a journey of discovery, she learns that the inner strength of her grandmother and mother courses through her bloodline and that, in following their hearts’ paths, she discovers herself.

If I had just one wish for the movie then reader favorite Ravi would be played by the sublime Ben Kingsley. I don’t think there are any words that I could write to do Mr. Kingsley’s art justice so I will simply say it would be an honor and dream come true to have him be a part of the story.

For the British officer Stephen I can imagine the up and coming actor Joe Alwyn. Stephen’s character is a young man who understands the gravity of his situation as a lieutenant in British-occupied India. Throughout the novel, Stephen finds a delicate balance between his role and his feelings for Amisha as she searches for herself.
Visit Sejal Badani's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Sejal Badani & Skyler.

--Marshal Zeringue