Monday, December 13, 2021

Meghan Holloway's "Hiding Place"

Meghan Holloway found her first Nancy Drew mystery in a sun-dappled attic at the age of eight and subsequently fell in love with the grip and tautness of a well-told mystery. She flew an airplane before she learned how to drive a car, did her undergrad work in Creative Writing in the sweltering south, and finished a Masters of Library and Information Science in the blustery north. She spent a summer and fall in Maine picking peaches and apples, traveled the world for a few years, and did a stint fighting crime in the records section of a police department.

Here Holloway dreamcasts an adaptation of her latest thriller, Hiding Place:
I never have a model or actor in mind for a character as I am writing. The characters reveal themselves to me as fully evolved, entirely unique individuals, not based on any specific person. It is not simply a matter of looks that captures a character. The strength of the actor, the range of emotions they are able to portray, the actors’ presence on the screen balancing the parallel of the character on the page… I gave the subject of starring roles for Hiding Place some consideration before I came up with my answer.

I wrote Hector more in the vein of an antihero than a hero. He lived a hard life from the time he was a boy, and he is a cold, driven man. The only gentling influences in his life are Frank, his dog, and Maggie, his wife’s closest friend. He is obsessed with uncovering the truth of what happened to his wife and daughter fifteen years ago. The man he believed responsible for their disappearance is dead, and the trail has once again grown cold. Until he finds a long-hidden message from the past. Although he is a bit younger than the character, I think Josh Brolin could pull off the stern, weathered, distant character of Hector.

Faye is such a damaged character. She comes from a background of privilege and extreme wealth, but she has never quite fit in anywhere. She is an observer by nature, someone who stands back and watches and cannot quite grasp the art of human interaction. Whenever I am watching Léa Seydoux in a film, the word that comes to mind most often when I study her expression is “lost.” She has such a haunting quality to her. That amalgamation of vulnerability, melancholy, and hidden ferocity would make her a perfect Faye.

Sam, much like Faye, comes into the story with these terrible internal wounds you discover as their story unfolds. Although he is a nonverbal character, he plays a pivotal role. The child actor Bentley Storteboom would portray Sam well.

Grant is a layered antagonist who does not quite fit into the labels “good” or “bad.” His ranch sprawls over four hundred fifty thousand acres, and he is known the world over for his horses, both the ones he breeds and trains and the wild herds that roam his back-country after he rescues them from the Bureau of Land Management’s slaughter pens. He’s a man of great wealth, influence, and secrets. And he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep those secrets buried. I would love to see Brad Pitt play this morally gray character.

If you’ve read Hiding Place, tell me what you think of my choices for these leading roles. Who would you cast to portray Hector, Faye, Sam, and Grant?
Visit Meghan Holloway's website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Page 69 Test: Hiding Place.

--Marshal Zeringue