Thursday, October 4, 2018

Dana Chamblee Carpenter's "Book of the Just"

Dana Chamblee Carpenter is the author of Book of the Just, the third novel in The Bohemian Trilogy. The first book in the series, Bohemian Gospel, won the 2014 Killer Nashville Claymore Award. Publishers Weekly called it “a deliciously creepy debut.”

Her second book, The Devil’s Bible, won the 2017 Silver Falchion Award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Horror Thriller and Best Novel Overall. Publishers Weekly said: “Mouse is both strong and vulnerable, constantly struggling with the dark legacy of her father, her own powers, and her efforts to be a good person. This exciting, poignant novel continues the strong opening in Bohemian Gospel and leaves room for more in Mouse’s fascinating world.”

Here Carpenter dreamcasts an adaptation of Book of the Just:
I’m very much a visual writer, playing scenes out in my head as if I were seeing them on screen, but, oddly enough, I’ve only ever mentally cast two characters in my novels until now. From the moment she introduced me to him at the end of Bohemian Gospel, Mouse’s dad has always been Robert Downey, Jr. in my head. Sardonic, smart, and suave—though he can become vicious at the turn of a dime.

And, without giving any spoilers, there’s a character we meet near the end of Book of the Just who came to me emphatically as Tom Hardy (you’ll see why this is especially interesting when you read the book). Playing with that casting actually helped me develop nuances in the character. What a wicked joy it would be to see these guys actually take on the characters someday! (She says with a wistful and all-too-realistic sigh.)

I’ve tried to cast Mouse countless times. But she’s so real for me, as tangible and fleshed out as my best friend. I don’t get to see Beth every day anymore, but I know the shape of her face, the shade of her eyes, the lilt of her accent. It’s the same for Mouse. I simply see her as . . . her. So I think we’ll need to look for an unknown when we cast for the movie or series. True to every step I’ve taken with Mouse, I know it will be a journey of discovery.

Mouse’s lover, Angelo, needs to be international, a little arrogant but kind, a thinker, and someone who’s eager to believe. Tom Hiddleston or maybe Tom Hughes could pull it off—just the right amount of posh but with some tattered edges.

And Owen Wilson would offer a perfect mix of charming bad-boy, dandy with a heavy dose of ambition that defines Jack Gray. He’s willing to do anything to get what he wants, but he’ll do it with a wink and a smile.

Book of the Just offers a pair of villains who are a little too decadently “live out loud,” but who also have a deep, calculated darkness that drives them to do the unthinkable. I hadn’t thought about it until now, but I would love to see Vincent D’Onofrio as the Reverend and Reese Witherspoon (a little twisted) as Kitty.

Maybe the daydreaming we do here will work like floating wish paper, carrying our dreams out into the universe to have them handed back to us in manifest reality. If we wish it so...
Visit Dana Chamblee Carpenter's website.

--Marshal Zeringue