Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles's "Headlong"

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles was born and educated in London and had a variety of jobs in the commercial world before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed Bill Slider mysteries and the historical Morland Dynasty series. She lives in London, is married with three children and enjoys music, wine, gardening, horses and the English countryside.

Here Harrod-Eagles dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, Headlong:
I didn’t have anyone in mind for Bill when I wrote my first Bill Slider mystery, Orchestrated Death. He entered my head fully formed as soon as I started writing, and I instantly knew everything about him, what he looked like, his back story, what he liked and disliked. I have no idea where he came from, and he didn’t look like anyone I knew, on screen or off screen.

Once the first book was published, people started asking me who I would see as playing him – it seems to be a topic of perennial interest – so I had to give it some thought. I saw him as slightly stocky in build, of middling height, fair but not blonde, and with great charm, though not classical good looks. At that time, I thought Michael Kitchen would make a good Slider. I’ve always been susceptible to voices, and I liked his slight edginess of tone. And Michael Jayston, when he was young, had the right sort of sidelong smile and exuded the right warmth. Slider is a man you instantly like and trust, and Michael Jayston as Peter Guillam in the TV series of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy conveyed that sort of patient firmness and reliability.

Among present actors, Johnny Flynn has the sexy edge to his voice, and in Vanity Fair I thought it was interesting how he brought a tough edge to the otherwise blanket niceness of Dobbin. Tom Bateman, an actor I admire greatly, would make a super Atherton; and perhaps he and Johnny Flynn would like to work together again…?

For Joanna, Carey Mulligan or Romola Garai could both fit the bill – someone not classically beautiful but attractive, with a slightly quirky sort of face, and a look of intelligence and humour about them. Going back a bit, a young Helen Mirren would have fit the bill. My daughter says I think of her as Joanna because I resembled her when I was young; but I have to say, I was never that good-looking!
Visit Cynthia Harrod-Eagles's website.

--Marshal Zeringue