Sunday, November 15, 2020

Kristin Fields's "A Frenzy of Sparks"

Kristin Fields grew up in Queens, which she likes to think of as a small town next to a big city. She studied writing at Hofstra University, where she was awarded the Eugene Schneider Award for Short Fiction. After college, Fields found herself working on a historic farm, as a high school English teacher, designing museum education programs, and is currently leading an initiative to bring gardens to public schools in New York City, where she lives with her husband.

Here Fields dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, A Frenzy of Sparks:
A Frenzy of Sparks is a coming of age story set in 1965, Queens, just as drugs enter a tight-knit community. Gia is thirteen years old. She loves nature and the bay near her house. If she could, she would spend all day in her boat and doesn’t understand why she isn’t allowed to take it out alone like her slightly older brother can. She is beginning to understand that the world has a different set of rules for men than it does for women, and isn’t particularly excited about becoming a young lady.

I am the absolute worst when it comes to remembering the names of actors/actresses and usually describe them to other people as “that guy who was in that show we watched on Netflix (maybe?) when we lived in Brooklyn and used to order pizza from the place on the corner on Wednesday nights,” which wouldn’t serve us very well here.

Since I would be terrible at casting and directing this, here’s the dream team who can:

Forrest Gump’s director, Robert Zemeckis, because he did a beautiful job portraying the historical events of the 60s and 70s in Forrest Gump, many of which also feature in A Frenzy of Sparks.

He also directed Cast Away, which was on my list of movies that I’d want A Frenzy of Sparks to take after, because they both have suspenseful scenes set in nature, where the main character has to navigate the challenges of the natural world all alone.

Requiem for a Dream’s director, Darren Aronofsky, is also invited because Requiem has a grittiness to it that some of the scenes in A Frenzy of Sparks also share.

The Godfather’s director, Francis Ford Coppola, is invited because Frenzy is about an Italian American family, and also, because there are some elements of organized crime in a changing neighborhood.

But ultimately, I would want a female director who really understands what it’s like to grow up and challenge everything that’s holding her back. And I would want the main character, Gia, to be played by a debut actress, because throughout A Frenzy of Sparks, Gia is waiting for her break – her chance to prove she’s worth more than her family thinks, and willing to do whatever she has to to prove it. As her brother, Leo, becomes addicted to drugs and her family unravels, she will do whatever it takes to keep them together.

So, Hollywood, A Frenzy of Sparks is ready when you are.
Visit Kristin Fields's website.

--Marshal Zeringue