Monday, December 14, 2020

Tessa Wegert's "The Dead Season"

Tessa Wegert is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Adweek, and The Economist. She grew up in Quebec near the border of Vermont and now lives with her husband and children in a hundred- year-old house in Coastal Connecticut. Wegert writes mysteries set in Upstate New York while studying martial arts and dance, and is the author of the Shana Merchant series, beginning with Death in the Family.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Dead Season:
I don’t typically pin photos of actors on my wall or picture celebrities while writing, but with The Dead Season, the sequel to Death in the Family, I did have a few in mind.

In The Dead Season, Thousand Islands-based Senior Investigator Shana Merchant returns to her hometown in Vermont upon learning that her estranged uncle has been murdered. Shana’s immediate and extended family both play a major role in her informal investigation of a homicide that hits close to home. When she receives word that a child has been abducted back in Upstate New York, her partner Tim Wellington and local Sheriff Maureen McIntyre factor in as well. Of course there’s also Blake Bram, the serial killer from Shana’s hometown whom she’s been hunting, and who she believes could be involved in both crimes.

That said, here’s the casting scenario that plays out in my mind.

Shana Merchant: Emma Stone. I know she’d portray Shana as the shrewd and plucky investigator that she is.

Tim Wellington: Adam Driver. Driver may be an unconventional choice to play small-town Tim, but I love the unexpectedness of having him depict an Everyman type.

Maureen “Mac” McIntyre: Jane Lynch. As Shana’s friend and mentor, Mac is equal parts cerebral and feisty, and Jane Lynch fits the part.

Blake Bram: Jeremy Renner. I can’t explain it, but he’s been my Bram from the start.

Della Merchant (Shana’s mother): Jodie Foster. What a dream that would be!

Wally Merchant (Shana’s father): John Slattery, if he’d be willing to adopt a British accent.

Doug Merchant (Shana’s brother): Seth Rogen. Something about Seth Rogen as Shana’s older brother just makes me smile.

Brett Skilton (Shana’s uncle): Breckin Meyer, with platinum blond hair.

Felicia “Aunt Fee” Skilton: Helen Hunt. I’ve always thought she and Jodie Foster look like they could be sisters.

Crissy Skilton (Shana’s cousin): Scarlett Johansson. I’d get a kick out of seeing her play a character that’s unkempt and a bit uncouth.

Suzuka “Suze” Weppler (Shana’s childhood friend): Vanessa Hudgens would be great here.

Robbie Copely (Suze’s husband): Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s all about the eyes with Robbie.

Cheryl Copely (Robbie’s mother): Kristin Chenoweth. I’m a huge fan of hers, and her spirit and diminutive stature would make her ideal for this role.
Visit Tessa Wegert's website.

--Marshal Zeringue