Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Jeannie Mobley's "The Jewel Thief"

Jeannie Mobley has spent much of her life daydreaming herself into other centuries. This tendency has led her to multiple degrees in history and anthropology, and a passion for writing fiction. She is the author of three historical middle grade novels: Katerina’s Wish (2012), Searching for Silverheels (2014,), and Bobby Lee Claremont and the Criminal Element (201), which have received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Library Media Connection. Other honors include the Willa Award, Colorado Book Award, Junior Library Guild Selection, and inclusion on a number of notable lists, including the Amelia Bloomer List for Feminist Literature, Library of Congress 52 Great Reads List, the New York Public Library Notables, the Jefferson Cup List for Historical Fiction, as well as a variety of state lists. Her favorite stories are those of ordinary people who achieve the extraordinary. She is currently a professor of anthropology and department chair at a college in northern Colorado.

Here Mobley dreamcasts an adaptation of her 2020 novel, The Jewel Thief:
While I typically do see the scenes playing out in my head as I write them, I think the advantage to books over movies is their ability to dig deep inside the characters in their portrayal, so I don’t tend to focus on the outward appearances of characters as much. Of course, I would love to see my books made into movies, and I think The Jewel Thief would be an excellent choice right now, with the popularity of historic costume dramas, so it’s always worth thinking about.

When I hear Louis XIV speaking in my head, it is in that cool, smooth voice of Alan Rickman, so in my anything-is-possible dreamcast, I would bring back a young Alan Rickman and cast him as the king just for the luxurious voice.

Casting it with people who are actual possibilities, though, I think Aiden Turner would be a fascinating Louis XIV—he has the charisma for the role, and can project both the power and the arrogance necessary.

An excellent choice for René, the main love interest, would be Timothée Chalamet, who has René’s youth and sweetness, and is also quite nice to look at. He also has really interesting hands, so since Juliette fixates on his hands now and then, I think that’s a plus.

Strange as it sounds, Juliette would be the hardest for me to cast. Because I see the main character from the inside out when I write, as if I’m looking through her eyes at the world, I often don’t have a clear mental picture of what that person looks like so much as how they think. But I think Holliday Grainger might be a good choice—she has the right mix of innocence and determination in her face for Juliette.
Learn more about The Jewel Thief.

--Marshal Zeringue