Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Randee Dawn's "Tune in Tomorrow"

Randee Dawn writes about entertainment glam by day and fantastical fiction worlds by night. A former Soap Opera Digest editor, she now scribbles about the wacky universe of showbiz for Variety, The Los Angeles Times and Today.com. The co-author of The Law & Order: SVU Unofficial Companion, Dawn appeared on L&O once! In the courtroom! Her short fiction has been published in multiple anthologies, and in her spare time she’s a trivia writer for BigBrain Games. Based in Brooklyn, New York she lives with a brilliant spouse, a fluffy Westie, many books and never enough mangoes.

Here Dawn dreamcasts an adaptation of her first novel, Tune in Tomorrow: The Curious, Calamitous, Cockamamie Story Of Starr Weatherby And The Greatest Mythic Reality Show Ever:
Though I have a movie of every story I write going on in my head as I write it, I don't often fixate on one specific actor to fill any given role. Instead, the characters are an amalgam of several people in most cases, and sometimes are more about the essence of a real-life person than an exact likeness.

Tune in Tomorrow is about a reality TV show run by mythical creatures, for mythical creatures – and starring humans. That made things a little easier for me: Nearly everyone has to be preternaturally handsome or pretty, due to the nature of fae creatures and stars alike. I worked at a soap opera magazine for several years, and was inspired by some of the actors on real-life soaps, but these are not meant to be direct pulls whatsoever.

My protagonist Starr Weatherby – still a struggling actor in her mid-20s, looking for her big break – is the one I've given the most thought to – I imagine she's a bit on the short and curvier side, which makes me think of Bridgerton's and Derry Girls' Nicola Coughlan, mixed with Rebel Wilson. They're both very funny ladies who don't look like the traditional Hollywood leading lady – and they both have a twinkle in their eye that says they'd get Starr from moment one.

Glenn Close would be a terrific Fiona, our dangerous and heavily-invested diva, who has been playing her role so long the alter ego in her head speaks to her. Someone who can be haughty and patrician – but also downright cruel when necessary – makes her a favorite for me; plus, she has the chiseled cheekbone face Fiona sports. Her partner-in-crime Nico is described as stunningly beautiful, and of Greek and Desi descent. I picture Rufus Sewell mixed with Hasan Minhaj for him. For his rival, the laconic, laid-back cowboy actor Mav I envision Andrew Lincoln or Jeremy Renner: Someone who carries baggage and has expressive eyes, but projects dignity and self-possession.

Jason Valentine, our faun executive producer, is tougher. He's beautiful like so many of them, but has a puckish sense of humor and joy. Someone suggested Alan Cumming would be a great casting choice; I lean more toward Jon Cryer (in his Pretty in Pink days) mixed with the YouTube Tasting History host Max Miller. (Max's show even gets a bit of a reference in the book; Starr finds a recipe for "parkin" on a "web-based cooking show" and makes it to feed a dragon – that's Max's show, and he did do an episode where he mentioned it.)
Visit Randee Dawn's website.

The Page 69 Test: Tune in Tomorrow.

Q&A with Randee Dawn.

--Marshal Zeringue