Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Verlin Darrow's "Murder for Liar"

Verlin Darrow is currently a psychotherapist who lives with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near the Monterey Bay in northern California. They diagnose each other as necessary. Darrow is a former professional volleyball player (in Italy), unsuccessful country-western singer/songwriter, import store owner, and assistant guru in a small, benign spiritual organization. Before bowing to the need for higher education, a much younger Darrow ran a punch press in a sheetmetal factory, drove a taxi, worked as a night janitor, shoveled asphalt on a road crew, and installed wood flooring. He missed being blown up by Mt. St. Helens by ten minutes, survived the 1985 Mexico City earthquake (8 on the Richter scale), and (so far) has successfully weathered his own internal disasters.

Here Darrow shares some ideas for the above-the-line adaptation of his new novel, Murder for Liar:
I didn't have any specific actors in mind when I wrote Murder For Liar, but I definitely pictured each character in detail, and if I think about which actors match up to those images... Let's see.

I guess the psychotherapist protagonist, Tom, who is a big guy with a rugged, scarred face, could be portrayed by a fortyish Nick Nolte. He'd need to be a bit more bewildered than usual. Zig-zag, the waif-like twenty-year-old daughter of a deceased spiritual leader could be played by a young Natalie Portman. Dizzy is a strong African American character who draws Tom into a conspiracy. Thus, Keke Palmer. The quite crazed therapy client--George Arundel--would need to be a bit spooky-looking, and capable of great acting for reasons I wouldn't want to give away here. Anthony Hopkins? Jack Nicholson? Ian McKellen? I'm not sure about this one.

There's a dog I know who'd be perfect for the one who provides Tom a major clue as he tries to solve a series of murders, but I doubt she can act.

I guess that covers the main characters. I wouldn't want the sort of director who puts a characteristic stamp on his work. People like Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, and Guy Ritchie would distract from what I believe is already a compelling story. After all, who gets singled out as a possible angel? Who encounters meaningful coincidences by the dozen? Who has to figure out whether they've lost their mind as outrageous events keep up a breakneck pace?
Visit Verlin Darrow's website.

Writers Read: Verlin Darrow.

--Marshal Zeringue