Tuesday, October 12, 2021

David R. Slayton's "Trailer Park Trickster"

David R. Slayton grew up in Guthrie, Oklahoma, where finding fantasy novels was pretty challenging and finding fantasy novels with diverse characters was downright impossible. Now he lives in Denver, Colorado and writes the books he always wanted to read. His debut, White Trash Warlock, was published in October 2020 by Blackstone Publishing.

Here Slayton dreamcasts an adaptation of Trailer Park Trickster, the sequel to White Trash Warlock:
In White Trash Warlock we meet Adam Binder, a working class witch living in Guthrie, Oklahoma. The complex and shifting relationships between the characters is the core of the book in my opinion, so it would take talented actors to coax that onto the screen.

Setting-wise, the books shift back and forth between the normal world and the Spirit Realm, so it would need a director or a showrunner like Noah Hawley, who made Legion to capture that sometimes subtle, sometimes jarring, differences.

The main character, Adam, has a lot of innocence and a dash of cockiness that hides his insecurities, which mostly come from his rural background. He knows he doesn’t have a lot of magic and that makes him cautious when dealing with the beings and threats he sometimes has to. I’d love to see somebody play him who could show those sides, someone like Ross Lynch (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) or Sean Grandillio (Youth or Consequences, MTV’s Scream series).

Vic Martinez is a rookie cop whose whole world gets turned upside down when Adam saves him from a Grim Reaper, an intervention with major consequences for both men. Vic is a fan favorite. He’s a genuine person who knows who he is and does his best to roll with the changes. I think Danny Ramirez (Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Top Gun: Maverick) would be awesome as Vic.

Silver is Adam’s ex. The elven Knight of Swords, he’s all grace and classic looks with a bit of a mobster vibe. I knew Ludi Lin (Mortal Kombat, Power Rangers) would be perfect once I saw a pic of him in a pinstripe suit. Like most of the elves he has a lot of faces and events force him to assume a new mantle and appearance in Trailer Park Trickster. Lewis Tan (Mortal Kombat, Into the Badlands) would make a great choice for the role Silver plays by the end of Trickster.

Argent, the Queen of Swords, is Silver’s Twin. She’s infinitely powerful with a penchant for stealing cars. She first shows up in a dress that makes Adam think of classic Hollywood, so when I saw Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars, Raya and the Last Dragon) in a dress for the Rise of Skywalker premiere, I’m like yep, that’s Argent. She’s also a playful character and I think Tran would rock those contrasts.

Sara is bubbly and gregarious but don’t mess with her. She’s the easiest dreamcast for me. I knew right away that Nicole Byer (Nailed It, Wipe Out) had just the right energy for the enigmatic information broker who knows way more than she’s letting on.

Brian J. Smith (Sense8, Treadstone) would make a great Robert Binder. Give him a bit of a beard and he’d look the part of Adam’s older brother, the doctor who got away from Oklahoma only to have the supernatural side of his backwoods past catch up to him in Denver.

Finally, Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager, Orange is the New Black) is my dreamcast for Adam’s Great Aunt Sue. She’s been Adam’s caretaker since he became estranged from his mother and brother. Her Sight is powerful and she’s the one who sets Adam on his path to Denver. She loves Adam, but has her own secrets, all of which spill out in Trailer Park Trickster.
Visit David R. Slayton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 1, 2021

Jane Casey's "The Killing Kind"

Jane Casey has written eleven crime novels for adults and three for teenagers. A former editor, she is married to a criminal barrister who ensures her writing is realistic and as accurate as possible. This authenticity has made her novels international bestsellers and critical successes. The Maeve Kerrigan series has been nominated for many awards: in 2015 Casey won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Stranger You Know and Irish Crime Novel of the Year for After the Fire. In 2019, Cruel Acts was chosen as Irish Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. It was a Sunday Times bestseller.

Born in Dublin, Casey now lives in southwest London with her husband and two children.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Killing Kind:
In my standalone thriller The Killing Kind, Ingrid Lewis is a young lawyer who becomes convinced someone is trying to kill her. There’s an obvious suspect: John Webster, the man who stalked her after she represented him on a harassment charge. Because of him she lost her fiancé, her home and very nearly her life. But he denies any involvement. In fact, he offers to help her find out who is targeting her – at a price.

The Killing Kind is set in the London legal world, which is at the heart of London. It begins at the main criminal court, the Old Bailey, with St Paul’s Cathedral overlooking a gruesome murder – if you know anything at all about London, you will be able to imagine the scene! It’s a glamorous yet gritty world, very historical, and completely unique.

Ingrid is half-Danish and appears to be something of an ice queen. She keeps up a confident façade but she’s actually very vulnerable and sweet-natured. I think my ideal Ingrid would be Saoirse Ronan. She could be a believable lawyer, standing up to argue a case with devastating, incisive intelligence, but she would also let you see the impact that Ingrid’s fear has on her. As the plot progresses Ingrid allows herself to show her true feelings more and more. I think Saoirse would do a brilliant job of letting us see this process. I’m a huge fan of hers since her first appearances in Atonement and Hanna, and as an Irish writer I’d love to see an Irish actor take centre stage!

I’m also turning to Ireland for the part of John Webster, a charming man full of soft, terrifying menace. He operates outside the law and he’s capable of anything. Ingrid doesn’t trust him but she does have to decide whether or not to put her faith in him. Any actor who played him would have to make you like him in spite of yourself – I want you to root for the bad guy! – and for me the obvious choice is Andrew Scott. He can charm the birds from the trees but he has a genuinely chilling quality when he’s being scary. When I was writing the book I heard his voice in my head whenever Webster was speaking.

Webster’s main opposition in the book is Adam Nash, a police officer who tried to get him convicted once and failed. He’s driven and determined and Ingrid finds herself drawn to him. I’d love to see Regé-Jean Page from Bridgerton in this part (I love to see Regé-Jean Page in any part – he lights up the screen).

Ingrid’s best friend Adele is really a key role – she has a significant part in the plot and she’s one of my favourite characters. She’s funny, strong-willed and assertive and a very good friend to Ingrid. I think Maisie Williams would do such a great job of playing her. Since her breakthrough in Game of Thrones she has excelled in everything she’s done, and I think she has the most fascinating face – I never get tired of looking at her.

Finally, there’s Ingrid’s ex-fiancé Mark who is really significant in the plot, since what happened before the threat to Ingrid’s life is just as important as what comes after. He’s sort of an ideal man – wealthy, talented and thoughtful – but is he too good to be true? John Webster thinks so, but is that just jealousy or does he see something in Mark that Ingrid refuses to acknowledge? Mark has a bad temper and Ingrid’s life was far from perfect before the relationship ended. Tom Hiddleston would be superb as Mark. I’ve always loved him as Loki but I’ve also seen him on stage playing a difficult husband in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal and he was electrifying. He brings out the dark side of a character so brilliantly.

The Killing Kind has been optioned for TV and is in development at the moment, which is so exciting for me. They haven’t got as far as casting any of these award-winning A-list actors yet – but an author can dream!
Follow Jane Casey on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue