Thursday, June 6, 2024

Maggie Auffarth's "Burn It All"

Maggie Auffarth is a lifelong book obsessive and crime fiction enthusiast. She holds a degree in creative writing from Wheaton College and she was a finalist for the Helen Sheehan Book Prize in 2018. When she isn't plotting fictional crimes, she enjoys baking, running, and binge-watching Lifetime movies. She lives in Atlanta.

Here Auffarth dreamcasts an adaptation of Burn It All, her debut novel:
Burn It All centers on a trio of main characters. There’s steely and ambitious Marley, whose fixation with improving her social standing in her small hometown has cost her everything, her best friend, introspective and cautious Thea, who has spent most of her life pushing her own dreams aside to care for her family, and Thea’s charming stepbrother Austen, whose fate is intertwined with both women.

When a string of vicious house fires rips through town one summer, culminating in Thea’s death, Marley and Austen must piece together the sparse evidence to figure out what, exactly, happened to the woman they thought they knew. What they discover is a viper’s nest of secrets that could destroy them both. Burn It All is told from both Marley and Thea’s perspectives across multiple timelines.

For Marley, I think Elle Fanning would absolutely nail the balance of the character’s often-callous exterior with her more sympathetic underbelly.

Auli'i Cravalho would make a fantastic Thea, capturing both her quiet yearning for a different life, and the hyper-independent shell she’s built to keep others from ever seeing who she truly is.

For Austen – a character who is charismatic but unpredictable – I see either Kyle Allen or Jacob Elordi.

And my dream director? Definitely Emerald Fennell. Promising Young Woman was a big inspiration to me as I was drafting Burn It All. Fennell has such an incredible talent for creating an atmosphere that’s equal parts claustrophobic and alluring, and she wouldn’t shy away from exploring the darkness at the heart of each character.
Visit Maggie Auffarth's website.

--Marshal Zeringue