Thursday, November 30, 2023

M. M. DeLuca's "The Night Side"

M. M. (Marjorie) DeLuca spent her childhood in the beautiful cathedral city of Durham in North-Eastern England. She attended the University of London, Goldsmiths College, studied psychology, then became a teacher. She immigrated to Canada and lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two children. There she also studied writing under her mentor, Pulitzer Prize winning author, Carol Shields.

She loves writing for all ages and in many genres—suspense, historical, sci-fi for teens. She's also a screenwriter with several pilot projects in progress.

DeLuca enjoys teaching workshops in Creative Writing and the writing process.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Night Side:
Since I’m also a keen screenwriter, I always need to visualize my main characters as if I’m compiling a cast list. Sometimes I’ll even pin pictures of them to a board in my office so I can glance up at them every now and again to remind me of how they look.

My book The Night Side, is focused on a toxic relationship between a mother and daughter, so these two characters would be the leads in a movie adaptation of the book, which is a story about Ruby Carlson, who at eighteen ran away from her home in Stoneybrook, Montana, and vowed she'd never return. Never return to life under the control of her manipulative mother, Ida, a self-styled medium and psychic scammer who made a career out of ruining people's lives. Never return to the small town where enemies lurk at every turn.

But twenty years later, Ruby, now a successful archaeologist, is back. Her mother is missing, presumed dead, and Ruby reluctantly returns to a home filled with chilling memories to settle Ida's affairs. Did she really commit suicide by drowning, or is this another dark scheme? Ruby thought she knew everything about her mother, but finds herself unraveling a web of lies and secrets to reveal a story more twisted than anyone could have imagined.

My dream actress for the character of Ruby would be Ana de Armas. Since I watched her breathtaking portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in the movie, Blonde, I was awestruck by her ability to bring vulnerability and a whole range of emotions to the role. She also has an enigmatic quality to her, which is absolutely necessary to portray Ruby who is traumatized and haunted by her past and the secrets she is forced to hide. Ana de Armas can project that aura of mystery and intrigue.

The character of Ida needs a strong, vivacious actress capable of expressing an entire range of emotions, but also able to project the heartlessness and cunning needed to manipulate her own child as well as her victims. Cate Blanchett would be the perfect person to play the role. Her chilling performance in Nightmare Alley in which she plays Lilith Ritter, a wealthy and ruthless psychiatrist who cold-bloodedly beats up and coming psychic Stanton Carlisle at his own game, is one of her strongest roles. Ida is a chameleon, able to change her persona whenever the mood suits her and whenever it is personally beneficial to her. Cate Blanchett is the best actress for the role.
Visit M.M. DeLuca's website.

--Marshal Zeringue