Sunday, June 30, 2013

Laura Powell's "Witch Fire," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Witch Fire by Laura Powell.

The entry begins:
Witch Fire, like its predecessor Burn Mark, gives the crime thriller genre a fantasy twist by putting witches into the mix. The plot moves from London to a secret boarding school in Switzerland to a corrupt South American Republic, so it’s pretty action-packed. Sam Mendes did a great job on Bond so he’d be my top choice for director.

My hero, Lucas, comes from a long line of inquisitors and is struggling to reconcile his powers as a witch with his family’s status as famous witch-hunters. Skander Keynes, who played Edmund in The Chronicles of Narnia films, is now too old for the part, but he’d convey the right mix of posh-boy arrogance, charm and vulnerability. A young Billie...[read on]
Read more about the book and author at Laura Powell's website.

Learn about Laura Powell's top ten heroes in disguise.

My Book, The Movie: Witch Fire.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten great books you didn't know were science fiction or fantasy

At io9 Charlie Jane Anders came up with ten great books you didn't know were science fiction or fantasy, including:
Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg

This acclaimed mystery novel was made into a movie starring Julia Ormond. And its central trope is that Smilla has developed an intuition about snow, in which she understands it on a deep, visceral level. She's able to deduce or understand things by looking at snow. And the novel's McGuffin turns out to be a meteorite that crashed years earlier, and a mysterious parasite has infected several of the main characters.
Read about another entry on the list.

Smilla's Sense of Snow is one of Elizabeth Hand's six favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Andrew Isenberg's "Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life by Andrew C. Isenberg.

About the book, from the publisher:
In popular culture, Wyatt Earp is the hero of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, and a beacon of rough justice in the tumultuous American West. The subject of dozens of films, he has been invoked in battles against organized crime (in the 1930s), communism (in the 1950s), and al-Qaeda (after 2001).

Yet as the historian Andrew C. Isenberg reveals in Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life, the Hollywood Earp is largely a fiction—one created by none other than Earp himself. The lawman played on-screen by Henry Fonda and Burt Lancaster is stubbornly duty-bound; in actuality, Earp led a life of impulsive lawbreaking and shifting identities. When he wasn’t wearing a badge, he was variously a thief, a brothel bouncer, a gambler, and a confidence man. As Isenberg writes, “He donned and shucked off roles readily, whipsawing between lawman and lawbreaker, and pursued his changing ambitions recklessly, with little thought to the cost to himself, and still less thought to the cost, even the deadly cost, to others.”

By 1900, Earp’s misdeeds had caught up with him: his involvement as a referee in a fixed heavyweight prizefight brought him national notoriety as a scoundrel. Stung by the press, Earp set out to rebuild his reputation. He spent his last decades in Los Angeles, where he befriended Western silent film actors and directors. Having tried and failed over the course of his life to invent a better future for himself, in the end he invented a better past. Isenberg argues that even though Earp, who died in 1929, did not live to see it, Hollywood’s embrace of him as a paragon of law and order was his greatest confidence game of all.

A searching account of the man and his enduring legend, and a book about our national fascination with extrajudicial violence, Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life is a resounding biography of a singular American figure.
Learn more about Wyatt Earp at the Hill and Wang website.

The Page 99 Test: Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Amber Kizer reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Amber Kizer, author of A Matter of Days.

Her entry begins:
The Book of Leaves by Allen J. Combes, The Life and Love of Trees by Lewis Blackwell, Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants, by Tom Brown Jr. These books are just a few of the research I’m putting into a new series that focuses on trees and human interactions. I am intrigued by the newest science of plants and trees, in communication styles and adaptability—though I’m still in the early stages of stewing all this information into fiction. A lot of the idea came to me while working on the survival research for A Matter of Days—so at least in my brain it’s...[read on]
About A Matter of Days, from the publisher:
On Day 56 of the pandemic called BluStar, sixteen-year-old Nadia's mother dies, leaving her responsible for her younger brother Rabbit. They secretly received antivirus vaccines from their uncle, but most people weren't as lucky. Their deceased father taught them to adapt and survive whatever comes their way. That's their plan as they trek from Seattle to their grandfather's survivalist compound in West Virginia. Using practical survival techniques, they make their way through a world of death and destruction until they encounter an injured dog; Zack, a street kid from Los Angeles; and other survivors who are seldom what they seem. Illness, infections, fatigue, and meager supplies have become a way of life. Still, it will be worth it once they arrive at the designated place on the map they have memorized. But what if no one is there to meet them?
Learn more about the book and author at Amber Kizer's website.

Kizer is also the author of the popular Meridian trilogy.

The Page 69 Test: Meridian.

The Page 69 Test: A Matter of Days.

Writers Read: Amber Kizer.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Twenty notable books about troubled romances

Chris Bohjalian's newest novel is The Light in the Ruins.

When Bookreporter.com asked him to curate a bookshelf, he decided on a "corner of the library... for the Doomed Lovers --- or, at least, for those lovers who will need a whole lot of luck for their romance to survive."

One of the 20 books he tagged:
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.
Learn about another novel on Bohjalian's list.

View the video trailer for The Golem and the Jinni and visit Helene Wecker's website.

Writers Read: Helene Wecker.

The Page 69 Test: The Golem and the Jinni.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: David Housewright's "The Last Kind Word"

This weekend's feature at the Page 69 Test: The Last Kind Word by David Housewright.

About the book, from the publisher:
Rushmore McKenzie agrees to go undercover to help the ATF track a cache of stolen guns—after all, what could possible go wrong?

Rushmore McKenzie is both a millionaire and an unlicensed PI, which means he can afford to do the occasional favor and, as a former detective for the St. Paul (Minnesota) Police Department, he's got the necessary skills and connections to do them right. But this time, he's really stepped in it.

When the ATF gets a lead on a much sought-after cache of illegal guns near the Canadian border, they call McKenzie in to help them track down the elusive gunrunners. Their only lead is a guy who is part of a small-time gang of armed robbers working north of the Twin Cities. Their idea is for McKenzie to infiltrate the group and wait for them to lead him to the guns. Their plan is to fix McKenzie with a false identity as a serious bad guy and then fake an escape with the captured gang member. Which seemed like a bad idea to McKenzie at the time, but even he had no idea just how bad things were going to get.
Learn more about the book and author at David Housewright's website and Facebook page.

The Last Kind Word is the 10th Twin Cities P.I. Mac McKenzie novel.

My Book, The Movie: The Last Kind Word.

Writers Read: David Housewright.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Kind Word.

--Marshal Zeringue

Chris Kluwe's 6 favorite books

Chris Kluwe is a NFL punter and an active promoter of equal rights for all Americans.

His new book is Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities.

One of Kluwe's six favorite books, as told to The Week magazine:
Neuromancer by William Gibson

This 1984 novel, which deftly weaves together intensely evocative passages with stunning insights into what the future holds, should be required reading for everyone. We haven't completely arrived at Gibson's cyberpunk future, but we're well on our way.
Read about another novel on Kluwe's list.

Neuromancer made Inglis-Arkell's list of ten of the best bars in science fiction, PopCrunch's list of the sixteen best dystopian books of all time and Annalee Newitz's lists of ten great American dystopias and thirteen books that will change the way you look at robots.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Barbara Sahakian & Jamie Nicole LaBuzetta's "Bad Moves"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Bad Moves: How decision making goes wrong, and the ethics of smart drugs by Barbara Sahakian & Jamie Nicole LaBuzetta.

About the book, from the publisher:
Making decisions is such a regular activity that it is mostly taken for granted. However, damage or abnormality in the areas of the brain involved in decision-making can severely affect personality and the ability to manage even simple tasks.

Here, Barbara Sahakian and Jamie Nicole LaBuzetta discuss the process of normal decision making - our strategies for making decisions, biases that affect us, and influential factors - and then describe the abnormal patterns found in patients with conditions such as severe depression, Alzheimer's, and accidental brain damage.

Using striking examples and case studies from their own research to show the impact of abnormal decision making, they introduce the concept of 'hot' and 'cold' decision making based on the level of emotions involved, showing that in various psychiatric conditions extreme emotions alter the pattern of decision making.

Looking at the ways in which the brain can be manipulated to improve cognitive function in these patients, they consider the use of 'smart drugs' that alleviate these problems. The realization that smart drugs can improve cognitive abilities in healthy people has led to growing general use, with drugs easily available via the Internet. They raise ethical questions about the availability of these drugs for cognitive enhancement, in the hope of informing public debate about an increasingly important issue.
Learn more about Bad Moves at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Bad Moves.

--Marshal Zeringue

Peter von Ziegesar's "The Looking Glass Brother," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The Looking Glass Brother by Peter von Ziegesar.

The entry begins:
Casting The Looking Glass Brother would present some problems if it were turned into movie, because there are several sizes of everyone, for example myself at ten years old, then seventeen, then forty. Laying that aside, most of the action takes place around the turn of the century. I put the question out at the dinner table tonight of who would play me and got an interesting answer: Ewan McGregor. At forty-two he’s the right age to play me at the start of the book, but infinitely too handsome, I thought. Just for the nose I personally chose Adrien Brody, but got outvoted. Then my wife came up with the excellent idea of Aaron Eckhart, who not only looks a bit like me, but as an actor could handle all the conflicts I go through in the memoir: beginning a family, the sudden reappearance of a homeless schizophrenic stepbrother, propping up a faltering writing career, and trying to escape the weight of an uber-waspy childhood that included some suicides of close family members.

My homeless stepbrother Little Peter can be both eloquent and crude, childlike and wise, calm and crazed and can also change his appearance from extremely scruffy to rather...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Peter von Ziegesar's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Looking Glass Brother.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 28, 2013

What is Karen Brown reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Karen Brown, author of The Longings of Wayward Girls.

Her entry begins:
I am on a rereading binge. I’m diving back into Juliet Barker’s The Brontes: Wild Genius on the Moors, the new edition of her 1994 biography about the unusually gifted Bronte family. I’m drawn to the siblings and the worlds they created in their little sewn books as children. Their lives provided plenty of material—the dreary schools they attended, their work as governesses—but they were so imaginative that they were able to transcend their own material. Barker details each of them succumbing, one by one, to consumption—the dramatic way, for example, that Emily died—refusing to accept that she was...[read on]
About The Longings of Wayward Girls, from the publisher:
It’s an idyllic New England summer, and Sadie is a precocious only child on the edge of adolescence. It seems like July and August will pass lazily by, just as they have every year before. But one day, Sadie and her best friend play a seemingly harmless prank on a neighborhood girl. Soon after, that same little girl disappears from a backyard barbecue—and she is never seen again. Twenty years pass, and Sadie is still living in the same quiet suburb. She’s married to a good man, has two beautiful children, and seems to have put her past behind her. But when a boy from her old neighborhood returns to town, the nightmares of that summer will begin to resurface, and its unsolved mysteries will finally become clear.
Learn more about the book and author at Karen Brown's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Karen Brown.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five notable books on unusual journeys

Christopher Clark is a professor of modern European history and a fellow of St. Catharine's College at the University of Cambridge, UK.  His latest book is The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.

For the Wall Street Journal, Clark named five top books about unusual journeys, including:
Amerika
by Franz Kafka (1927)

In this strange, unfinished novel, the author, who never traveled to America, imagines a journey to New York and into the deep West. The narrative opens with a characteristic mishap: Gazing in awe from the deck of his steamship at the Statue of Liberty, Karl is swept forward by the crowds making for the shore, only to realize that he has left his umbrella down below. Having pushed through the surging crowds and descended into the bowels of the ship, he is drawn into an obscure quarrel between members of the crew. Only at the end of a long first chapter does Karl succeed in coming ashore. In New York, he encounters an unlovely array of pompous clerks, hostile servants and manipulative drifters passing through a dreamlike sequence of perplexing social situations played out in corridors, basements and offices with low ceilings. The book ends with another surreal departure: Having joined the "Nature Theatre of Oklahoma," Karl and a troupe of hopefuls board a train bound for the West: "Only now did Karl understand how huge America was."
Read about another book on Clark's list.

Amerika is on John Mullan's list of ten of the best umbrellas in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Amber Kizer's "A Matter of Days"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: A Matter of Days by Amber Kizer.

About the book, from the publisher:
On Day 56 of the pandemic called BluStar, sixteen-year-old Nadia's mother dies, leaving her responsible for her younger brother Rabbit. They secretly received antivirus vaccines from their uncle, but most people weren't as lucky. Their deceased father taught them to adapt and survive whatever comes their way. That's their plan as they trek from Seattle to their grandfather's survivalist compound in West Virginia. Using practical survival techniques, they make their way through a world of death and destruction until they encounter an injured dog; Zack, a street kid from Los Angeles; and other survivors who are seldom what they seem. Illness, infections, fatigue, and meager supplies have become a way of life. Still, it will be worth it once they arrive at the designated place on the map they have memorized. But what if no one is there to meet them?
Learn more about the book and author at Amber Kizer's website.

Kizer is also the author of the popular Meridian trilogy.

The Page 69 Test: Meridian.

The Page 69 Test: A Matter of Days.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Mark P. Witton's "Pterosaurs"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy by Mark P. Witton.

About the book, from the publisher:
For 150 million years, the skies didn't belong to birds--they belonged to the pterosaurs. These flying reptiles, which include the pterodactyls, shared the world with the nonavian dinosaurs until their extinction 65 million years ago. Some pterosaurs, such as the giant azhdarchids, were the largest flying animals of all time, with wingspans exceeding thirty feet and standing heights comparable to modern giraffes. This richly illustrated book takes an unprecedented look at these astonishing creatures, presenting the latest findings on their anatomy, ecology, and extinction.

Pterosaurs features some 200 stunning illustrations, including original paintings by Mark Witton and photos of rarely seen fossils. After decades of mystery, paleontologists have finally begun to understand how pterosaurs are related to other reptiles, how they functioned as living animals, and, despite dwarfing all other flying animals, how they managed to become airborne. Here you can explore the fossil evidence of pterosaur behavior and ecology, learn about the skeletal and soft-tissue anatomy of pterosaurs, and consider the newest theories about their cryptic origins. This one-of-a-kind book covers the discovery history, paleobiogeography, anatomy, and behaviors of more than 130 species of pterosaur, and also discusses their demise at the end of the Mesozoic.
  • The most comprehensive book on pterosaurs ever published
  • Features some 200 illustrations, including original paintings by the author
  • Covers every known species and major group of pterosaurs
  • Describes pterosaur anatomy, ecology, behaviors, diversity, and more
  • Encourages further study with 500 references to primary pterosaur literature
Learn more about the book and author at Mark P. Witton's website, blog, and Twitter perch.

The Page 99 Test: Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Sally Koslow & Percy

This weekend's featured duo at Coffee with a Canine: Sally Koslow and Percy.

The author, on how dogsitting Percy (her neighbor) contributes to her writing:
I adore dogs. My husband and I had a very smart Puli, Muzzy, who lived to be 15, and Maggie, a Cocker Spaniel with long, beautiful blonde ears. We hope to get another dog in a few years, but love dog-sitting, especially for Percy. When I write, he is a cozy companion, and I also enjoy...[read on]
About Sally Koslow's The Widow Waltz, from the publisher:
Georgia Waltz has things many people only dream of: a plush Manhattan apartment overlooking Central Park, a Hamptons beach house, valuable jewels and art, two bright daughters, and a husband she adores, even after decades of marriage. It’s only when Ben suddenly drops dead from a massive coronary while training for the New York City Marathon that Georgia discovers her husband—a successful lawyer—has left them nearly penniless. Their wonderland was built on lies.

As the family attorney scours emptied bank accounts, Georgia must not only look for a way to support her family, she needs to face the revelation that Ben was not the perfect husband he appeared to be, just as her daughters—now ensconced back at home with secrets of their own—have to accept that they may not be returning to their lives in Paris and at Stanford subsidized by the Bank of Mom and Dad. As she uncovers hidden resilience, Georgia’s sudden midlife shift forces her to consider who she is and what she truly values. That Georgia may also find new love in the land of Spanx and stretch marks surprises everyone—most of all, her.

Sally Koslow’s fourth novel is deftly told through the alternating viewpoints of her remarkable female protagonists as they plumb for the grit required to reinvent their lives. Inspiring, funny, and deeply satisfying, The Widow Waltz explores in a profound way the bonds between mothers and daughters, belligerent siblings, skittish lovers, and bitter rivals as they discover the power of forgiveness, and healing, all while asking, “What is family, really?”
Learn more about the book and author at Sally Koslow's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: The Widow Waltz.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Sally Koslow and Percy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Eleanor Kuhns's "Death of a Dyer," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Death of a Dyer by Eleanor Kuhns.

The entry begins:
If Death of a Dyer were made into a movie? (Something I would love!)

Scarlett Johansson for Lydia, I think. She can carry off red hair and she plays many of her parts with a sweetness and a feistyness that is...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Eleanor Kuhns's blog and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: Death of a Dyer.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ten top books about James "Whitey" Bulger

Christian Science Monitor contributor Casey Lee came up with a list of ten books about reputed Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, including:
"Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal," by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill

Can you ever really leave your past behind? They grew up together in Boston's tough South Boston neighborhood, and then, years later, childhood friends Whitey Bulger and John Connolly met up again. Whitey had become a leader in the Irish Mob and John was rising in the ranks of the FBI. Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill explore the deal that they say was struck between these two men – an agreement that quickly got out of hand.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is David Housewright reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: David Housewright, author of The Last Kind Word.

His entry begins:
I just started The Yellow Admiral, one of the nautical adventures featuring Lucky Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, by Patrick O’Brian. I’ve been hoarding these books, knowing that there are only twenty (this is number 18).

I used to...[read on]
About The Last Kind Word, from the publisher:
Rushmore McKenzie agrees to go undercover to help the ATF track a cache of stolen guns—after all, what could possible go wrong?

Rushmore McKenzie is both a millionaire and an unlicensed PI, which means he can afford to do the occasional favor and, as a former detective for the St. Paul (Minnesota) Police Department, he's got the necessary skills and connections to do them right. But this time, he's really stepped in it.

When the ATF gets a lead on a much sought-after cache of illegal guns near the Canadian border, they call McKenzie in to help them track down the elusive gunrunners. Their only lead is a guy who is part of a small-time gang of armed robbers working north of the Twin Cities. Their idea is for McKenzie to infiltrate the group and wait for them to lead him to the guns. Their plan is to fix McKenzie with a false identity as a serious bad guy and then fake an escape with the captured gang member. Which seemed like a bad idea to McKenzie at the time, but even he had no idea just how bad things were going to get.
Learn more about the book and author at David Housewright's website and Facebook page.

The Last Kind Word is the 10th Twin Cities P.I. Mac McKenzie novel.

My Book, The Movie: The Last Kind Word.

Writers Read: David Housewright.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five notable books on boating

One title on the Barnes & Noble Review's list of books on boating:
The Hard Way Around: The Passages of Joshua Slocum
by Geoffrey Wolff

A thrilling biography-cum-adventure story of the first person to sail solo around the globe, The Hard Way Around presents the astonishing life of Joshua Slocum. Rising from ordinary seaman to ship commander in less than a decade, Slocum spent his days enduring hurricanes, wrecks, and bouts with pirates and smallpox as he made his way from Liverpool to Montevideo to Cape Horn. At age fifty-one, he resolved to circumnavigate the world -- on a diminutive sloop in the age of the steamboat. His subsequent fame, financial ruin, and eventual disappearance are captivatingly detailed by Geoffrey Wolff, in this riveting portrait of a complicated seafarer and businessman. See the full review by Robert Messenger here.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Tara Ison's "Rockaway"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Rockaway: A Novel by Tara Ison.

About the book, from the publisher:
Rockaway Beach, 2001. Sarah, a painter from southern California, retreats to this eccentric, eclectic beach town in the far reaches of Queens with the hopes of rediscovering her passion for painting. Sarah has the opportunity for a real gallery showing if only she can create some new and interesting work. There, near the beach, she hopes to escape a life caught in the stasis of caregiving for her elderly parents and working at an art supply store to unleash the artist within. One summer, a room filled with empty canvasses, nothing but possibility.

There she meets Marty, an older musician from a once-popular band whose harmonies still infuse the summertime music festivals. His strict adherence to his music and to his Jewish faith will provoke unexpected feelings in Sarah and influence both her time there and her painting.

Rockaway is a time capsule love letter to a quirky, singular town, in a time before an entire community was brought to its knees in the events about to occur in September 2001, and to an entire town that faced tragedy again when it was summarily devastated eleven years later by Hurricane Sandy.
Visit Tara Ison's website.

Ison is also the author of the novels The List, A Child out of Alcatraz, a Finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the short story collection Ball.

The Page 69 Test: The List.

My Book, The Movie: Rockaway.

The Page 69 Test: Rockaway.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Ian Clark's "The Vulnerable in International Society"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The Vulnerable in International Society by Ian Clark.

About the book, from the publisher:
Who are the vulnerable, and what makes them so? Through an innovative application of English School theory, this book suggests that people are vulnerable not only to natural risks, but also to the workings of international society. This replicates the approach of those studies of natural disasters that now commonly present a social vulnerability analysis, showing how people are differentially exposed by their social location. Could international society have similar effects? This question is explored through the cases of political violence, climate change, human movement, and global health. These cases provide rich detail on how, through its social practices of the vulnerable, international society constructs the vulnerable in its own terms, and sets up regimes of protection that prioritize some forms at the expense of others. What this demonstrates above all is that, even if only a 'practical' association, international society inevitably has moral consequences in the way it influences the relative distribution of harm.

As a result, these four pressing policy issues now present themselves as fundamentally moral problems. Revising the arguments of E. H. Carr, the author points out the essentially contested normative nature of international order. However, instead of as a moral clash between revisionist and status quo powers, as Carr had suggested, the problem is instead one about the contested nature of vulnerability, insofar as vulnerability is an expression of power relations, but also gives rise to a moral claim. By providing a holistic treatment in this way, the book makes practical sense of the vulnerable, while also seeking to make moral sense of international society.
Learn more about The Vulnerable in International Society at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Vulnerable in International Society.

--Marshal Zeringue

Susan Dennard's "Something Strange and Deadly," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard.

The entry begins:
If the Ambiguous They ever make Something Strange and Deadly into a movie, I can tell you exactly who I'd want to play my characters. Admittedly, these actors are all a bit older than their characters, but that's pretty typical...right? (Plus, it'd be creepy if I was eyeing teenagers. I am almost 30, after all.)

When I was crafting Daniel Sheridan, I very vividly imagined him as Max Irons (Red Riding Hood, The Host). His cocky grin, unruly blond hair, and lanky frame just screamed "Daniel" to me. I still think--in terms of looks and acting--he'd be perfect as my short-tempered inventor.

Joseph Boyer wasn't someone I had an actor in mind for...but then I saw the film The...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Susan Dennard's website, blog, and Facebook page.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Susan Dennard & Asimov and Leia.

My Book, The Movie: Something Strange and Deadly.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What is Reavis Z. Wortham reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Reavis Z. Wortham, author of The Right Side of Wrong.

His entry begins:
I’m a voracious reader, in fact, I believe I’m truly addicted to books. That’s a problem when you’re a writer. I want to read when I’m writing, but when reading, I feel guilty I’m not writing, at infinitum.

I average three to four books a week, despite my writing schedule. Here are the most recent, and a few thoughts.

Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell. He’s one of the authors who truly inspired me to write, along with Robert Ruark, Keith Roberson, William C. Anderson, and Jules Verne. Eclectic. David is one of those authors with the ability to instantly catch a reader’s attention and hold them throughout the entire novel. Morrell suspenseful mystery takes us back to the real Ratcliffe Highway murders that occurred in London during...[read on]
About The Right Side of Wrong, from the publisher:
It’s near the end of 1965 and Constable Cody Parker of Center Springs, Texas, has a frightening sense of gathering storm clouds. His dreams prove accurate when he is ambushed and nearly killed on a lonely country road during an unusually heavy snowfall. The attack leads locals to worry that a terrifying killer known as “The Skinner” has returned.

As his nephew, Cody, recovers, Constable Ned Parker struggles to connect a seemingly unrelated series of murders, and the people of northeast Texas wonder why their once peaceful community has suddenly become a dangerous place to live.

Investigating, Ned, Cody, and deputy John Washington cross paths with many colorful characters: cranky old Judge O.C. Rains; the jittery little farmer Isaac Reader; the Wilson boys, Ty Cobb and Jimmy Foxx; and a mysterious old man named Tom Bell. Of course, Ned’s preteen grandchildren, Top and Pepper, are underfoot at every turn.

When Cody follows his main suspect across the Rio Grande into Mexico, Ned understands that to save his nephew, he will have to cross more than a river: he will have to cross over to the right side of wrong.
Learn more about the book and author at Reavis Z. Wortham's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Rock Hole.

My Book, The Movie: The Rock Hole.

Writers Read: Reavis Z. Wortham (June 2011).

The Page 69 Test: Burrows.

Writers Read: Reavis Z. Wortham (July 2012).

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Reavis Z. Wortham and Willie.

The Page 69 Test: The Right Side of Wrong.

Writers Read: Reavis Z. Wortham.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten books for recent graduates

At The Hairpin, Alexis Coe recommended ten books for recent grads, including:
Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls was banned shortly after it was published in 1960, and the Irish author’s own parish priest publicly set it on fire. The groundbreaking work cast a critical eye on a repressive, post-war Ireland, launching an entire generation of writers, including Colm Tóibín. The book would ultimately become an eponymous trilogy, but it all began with Kata and Baba, childhood friends who lit out for Dublin. One is romantic, the other independent, and their friendship tumultuous. Love, of course, changes everything, and lives once intertwined become concurrent.
Read about another novel on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Karen Shepard's "The Celestials"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: The Celestials by Karen Shepard.

About the book, from the publisher:
In June of 1870, seventy-five Chinese laborers arrived in North Adams, Massachusetts, to work for Calvin Sampson, one of the biggest industrialists in that busy factory town. Except for the foreman, the Chinese didn’t speak English. They didn’t know they were strikebreakers. The eldest of them was twenty-two.

Combining historical and fictional elements, The Celestials beautifully reimagines the story of Sampson’s “Chinese experiment” and the effect of the newcomers’ threatening and exotic presence on the New England locals. When Sampson’s wife, Julia, gives birth to a mixed-race baby, the infant becomes a lightning rod for the novel’s conflicts concerning identity, alienation, and exile.
Learn more about the book and author at Karen Shepard's website.

Writers Read: Karen Shepard.

The Page 69 Test: The Celestials.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Chiara Lepora & Robert Goodin's "On Complicity and Compromise"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: On Complicity and Compromise by Chiara Lepora and Robert E. Goodin.

About the book, from the publisher:
'Taxpayers are complicit in the illegal wars waged by their governments.' 'Corporations are complicit in human rights abuses perpetrated by their suppliers.' 'Aid workers who compromise with militias are complicit in their reign of terror.' We hear such allegations all the time. Yet there are many ways of being mixed up with the wrongdoing of others. They are not all on a par, morally; some are worse than others. Furthermore, complicitly contributing to wrongdoing, while still wrong in itself, might nonetheless be the right thing to do if that is the only way to achieve some greater good. Drawing on philosophy, law and political science, and on a wealth of practical experience delivering emergency medical services in conflict-ridden settings, Lepora and Goodin untangle the complexities surrounding compromise and complicity: carefully cataloguing their many varieties; identifying the dimensions along which those differ; and explaining why some are morally more worrying than others. Lepora and Goodin summarize their analysis in a formula that can be used as a decision heuristic for assessing any given act of complicity. They go on to illustrate its practical usefulness by applying it first to some stylized philosophical examples and then, in a more sustained way, to two vexing cases of complicity in the real world: the complicity of humanitarian aid organizations with genocidaires controlling Rwandan refugee camps; and the complicity of physicians treating patients who are being subjected to torture. Both rigorous and rooted, this is a book for philosophers and practitioners alike.
Learn more about On Complicity and Compromise at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: On Complicity and Compromise.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Susannah Charleson & Jake Piper

The current featured duo at Coffee with a Canine: Susannah Charleson and Jake Piper.

The author, on how she and Jake were united:
Jake Piper was brought to my doorstep by a neighbor who found the puppy following him on a morning walk. He, the neighbor, was very much allergic and couldn't do much for the puppy, but he had heard that "the lady on the corner rescues dogs" -- and so he brought him to me. Jake was probably about ten weeks old at the time. He was very small, with huge dark eyes that looked both pitiful and hopeful at the same time. Jake was dying of starvation and gastroenteritis when he came to us, but the hope won out. It was a hard struggle requiring great veterinary care...[read on]
About Charleson's new book, The Possibility Dogs, from the publisher:
An inspiring story that shows how dogs can be rescued, and can rescue in return.

With her critically acclaimed, bestselling first book, Scent of the Missing, Susannah Charleson was widely praised for her unique insight into the kinship between humans and dogs, as revealed through her work in canine search and rescue alongside her partner, golden retriever Puzzle.

Now, in The Possibility Dogs, Charleson journeys into the world of psychiatric service, where dogs aid humans with disabilities that may be unseen but are no less felt. This work had a profound effect on Charleson, perhaps because, for her, this journey began as a personal one: Charleson herself struggled with posttraumatic stress disorder for months after a particularly grisly search. Collaboration with her search dog partner made the surprising difference to her own healing. Inspired by that experience, Charleson learns to identify abandoned dogs with service potential, often plucking them from shelters at the last minute, and to train them for work beside hurting partners, to whom these second-chance dogs bring intelligence, comfort, and hope. Along the way she comes to see canine potential everywhere, often where she least expects it – from Merlin the chocolate lab puppy with the broken tail once cast away in a garbage bag, who now stabilizes his partner’s panic attacks; to Ollie, the blind and deaf terrier, rescued moments before it was too late, who now soothes anxious children; to Jake Piper, the starving pit bull terrier mix with the wayward ears who is transformed into a working service dog and, who, for Charleson, goes from abandoned to irreplaceable.
Learn more about The Possibility Dogs at Susannah Charleson's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Susannah Charleson and Puzzle (July 2010).

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Susannah Charleson and Jake Piper.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The five best books by Nelson Mandela

Christian Science Monitor contributor Casey Lee came up with a list of the five best books by Nelson Mandela, including:
Conversations with Myself

"Conversations with Myself" is a personal archive that draws on letters, notebooks, taped conversations, and prison diaries to take a thorough look at all aspects of Mandela's life. Readers will find much here that is inspiring, including lines like: "[T]he knowledge that in your day you did your duty and lived up to the expectations of your fellow man is in itself a reward."
Read about another book on the list.

Conversations with Myself made Alexandra Fuller's top ten list of African memoirs and Martin E. Marty's five best list of books on the theme of prison writing.

--Marshal Zeringue

David Housewright's "The Last Kind Word," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The Last Kind Word by David Housewright.

The entry begins:
Truth is, I’ve never given much thought to which actors I would want to play the major parts if my books were to be made into movies. But my fans have. I asked the question on my social media outlets and was quite surprised by the responses I received.

For Nina Truhler, I was given names of actors including Jennifer Connelly (my favorite), Cobie Smulders, Stana Katic, Claire Forlani, Marg Helgenberger, Mary Steenburgen, Catherine Zeta-Jones and...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at David Housewright's website and Facebook page.

The Last Kind Word is the 10th Twin Cities P.I. Mac McKenzie novel.

My Book, The Movie: The Last Kind Word.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Meg Gardiner reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Meg Gardiner, author of The Shadow Tracer.

Her entry begins:
Heart in my throat, I’ve been reading T. Jefferson Parker’s Border Quartet. These novels—about sheriff’s deputy Charlie Hood and his work with the ATF against gunrunning to the narcotrafficantes—are wise, taut, and beautifully written. They’re about the violent clash between worlds. Lawmen and outlaws. American cops and Mexican drug lords. Struggling, honorable humans and—maybe—a journeyman devil. They’re tough and emotionally true. They’re also a master class in suspense. Any novelist who wants to improve his or her skills should read Iron River and annotate the ways that Parker...[read on]
About The Shadow Tracer, from the publisher:
An explosive stand-alone thriller from the Edgar Award–winning writer Stephen King called “the next suspense superstar”

Can a person ever really disappear for good by going off the grid? And what happens when vanishing is no longer an option?

Sarah Keller is a single mother to five-year-old Zoe, living quietly in Oklahoma. She’s also a skip tracer, an expert in tracking people who’ve gone on the lam to avoid arrest, prosecution, or debt—pinpointing their locations to bring them to justice.

When a school bus accident sends Zoe to the ER, their quiet life explodes. Zoe’s medical tests reveal what Sarah has been hiding: Zoe is not her daughter. Zoe’s biological mother—Sarah’s sister, Beth—was murdered shortly after the child’s birth. And Zoe’s father is missing and presumed dead.

With no way to prove her innocence, Sarah must abandon her carefully constructed life and go on the run. Chased by cops, federal agents, and the group responsible for Beth’s murder, Sarah embarks on a desperate journey. Can her knowledge as a skip tracer help her stay off the grid, remain one step ahead of her pursuers, and find a way to save her daughter?

Meg Gardiner is acclaimed for her richly drawn characters, propulsive plotting, relentless suspense, and shocking twists. The Shadow Tracer delivers on those fronts and more.
Learn more about the book and author at Meg Gardiner's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Dirty Secrets Club.

The Page 69 Test: The Memory Collector.

My Book, The Movie: Meg Gardiner's Evan Delaney series.

Writers Read: Meg Gardiner (July 2010).

The Page 69 Test: The Liar's Lullaby.

My Book, The Movie: Meg Gardiner's Jo Beckett series.

The Page 69 Test: The Nightmare Thief.

Writers Read: Meg Gardiner (August 2011).

The Page 69 Test: Ransom River.

Writers Read: Meg Gardiner (July 2012).

The Page 69 Test: The Shadow Tracer.

Writers Read: Meg Gardiner.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Reavis Z. Wortham's "The Right Side of Wrong"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: The Right Side of Wrong by Reavis Z. Wortham.

About the book, from the publisher:
It’s near the end of 1965 and Constable Cody Parker of Center Springs, Texas, has a frightening sense of gathering storm clouds. His dreams prove accurate when he is ambushed and nearly killed on a lonely country road during an unusually heavy snowfall. The attack leads locals to worry that a terrifying killer known as “The Skinner” has returned.

As his nephew, Cody, recovers, Constable Ned Parker struggles to connect a seemingly unrelated series of murders, and the people of northeast Texas wonder why their once peaceful community has suddenly become a dangerous place to live.

Investigating, Ned, Cody, and deputy John Washington cross paths with many colorful characters: cranky old Judge O.C. Rains; the jittery little farmer Isaac Reader; the Wilson boys, Ty Cobb and Jimmy Foxx; and a mysterious old man named Tom Bell. Of course, Ned’s preteen grandchildren, Top and Pepper, are underfoot at every turn.

When Cody follows his main suspect across the Rio Grande into Mexico, Ned understands that to save his nephew, he will have to cross more than a river: he will have to cross over to the right side of wrong.
Learn more about the book and author at Reavis Z. Wortham's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Rock Hole.

My Book, The Movie: The Rock Hole.

Writers Read: Reavis Z. Wortham (June 2011).

The Page 69 Test: Burrows.

Writers Read: Reavis Z. Wortham (July 2012).

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Reavis Z. Wortham and Willie.

The Page 69 Test: The Right Side of Wrong.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s “Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted”

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And all the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong.

About the book, from the publisher:
When writer-producers James L. Brooks and Allan Burns dreamed up an edgy show about a divorced woman with a career, the CBS executives they pitched replied: “American audiences won’t tolerate divorce in a series’ lead any more than they will tolerate Jews, people with mustaches, and people who live in New York.”

Forty years later, The Mary Tyler Moore Show is one of the most beloved and recognizable television shows of all time. It was an inspiration to a generation of women who wanted to have it all in an era when everything seemed possible.

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted tells the stories behind the making of this popular classic, introducing the groundbreaking female writers who lent real-life stories to their TV scripts; the men who created the indelible characters; the lone woman network executive who cast the legendary ensemble—and advocated for this provocative show—and the colorful cast of actors who made it all work. James L. Brooks, Grant Tinker, Allan Burns, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Gavin MacLeod, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Georgia Engel—they all came together to make a show that changed women’s lives and television itself. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted is the tale of how they did it.
Learn more about the book and author at Jennifer Keishin Armstrong's website.

My Book, The Movie: Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted.

The Page 99 Test: Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books on vaccines

Seth Mnookin is the Co-Director of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing. His most recent book, The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy, won the National Association of Science Writers 2012 “Science in Society” Award and the New England chapter of the American Medical Writers Association’s Will Solimene Award for Excellence.

He discussed five of the best books on vaccines with Sophie Roell at The Browser, including:
Do you want to add anything about David Oshinksy’s book, Polio: An American Story and why you chose it?

What I find so impressive about this book is that Oshinsky really does cover the whole history of a disease but does so in a way that you never feel you’re getting a Cliff’s Notes version. It’s a pretty unwieldy topic: you could write an entire book just about the year the polio vaccine was rolled out, or what happened since then, or you could write a book, as Paul Offit did, just about the Cutter incident. All the way through Polio you feel like you are getting all the details you would want or need. To combine that much information in a way that is not only accessible and exciting and readable but also scientifically rigorous, was a real, real accomplishment.
Read about another book Mnookin tagged at The Browser.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 24, 2013

What is Marion Winik reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Marion Winik, author of Highs in the Low Fifties: How I Stumbled through the Joys of Single Living.

Her entry begins:
I just finished Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz, by Cynthia Carr, a fascinating account of one of the more exceptional characters taken from us by AIDS in a time that is coming to seem, even to those who lived through it, like a long time ago.

I read the book at the recommendation of Tom Beer, the books editor at Newsday; he put it in his top ten of 2012. Beer described the biography as a companion piece to Just Kids, by Patti Smith, her memoir of her passionate friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe, and that was enough for me to put this 600+ pager on my list. I'm glad I did.

As the avant-garde art critic for the Village Voice through the 80s and 90s, Cynthia Carr knew the artist/writer/activist Wojnarowicz casually, then became close friends with him the year before he died. Losing him, it seemed, plunged her into...[read on]
About Highs in the Low Fifties:
A cross between Nora Ephron and David Sedaris, longtime NPR commentator Marion Winik has a way of looking at life that's both relatable and remarkable. Following her beloved memoir First Comes Love and the award-winning The Lunch-Box Chronicles, her chronicle of being single in middle age will leave readers shocked, awed, and laughing out loud.

Brimming with humor, Highs in the Low Fifties follows Winik's attempt to rebuild her world as a once-widowed, once-divorced single mom. With her signature optimism, resilience, and poor judgment, Winik dives into a series of romantic experiences. Some are pathetic, some are sweet, and some are simply incredible. She gets propositioned (for money) by a sexy Salvadoran doing construction work on her basement, meets an emotionally unavailable dreamboat on Craigslist, and makes out with a former student. The adventure culminates not with a honeymoon but with a two-week stay in Johns Hopkins Hospital. But even her treatment for hepatitis C is kind of a funny story.

Winik's brand of single living is never lonely, never dull, and always a satisfying read. Her candor about her own mistakes and ability to find humor in the darkest moments has won her thousands of followers – and maybe a few voyeurs.
Visit Marion Winik's website and read more about Highs in the Low Fifties.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Marion Winik and Beau (December 2009) and Coffee with a Canine: Marion Winik and Beau (June 2013).

Writers Read: Marion Winik.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top dynamic duos in fiction

Elizabeth Wein has lived in Scotland for over ten years and wrote nearly all her novels there. Her first five books for young adults are set in Arthurian Britain and sixth century Ethiopia. The most recent of these form the sequence The Mark of Solomon, published in two parts as The Lion Hunter (2007) and The Empty Kingdom (2008). The Lion Hunter was short-listed for the Andre Norton Award for Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2008.

Wein's more recent novels for teens mark a departure in a totally new direction. Code Name Verity is a World War II thriller in which two young girls, one a Resistance spy and the other a transport pilot, become unlikely best friends. Her latest book, Rose Under Fire, set towards the end of the second world war, also features a young heroine with plane-flying skills.

For the Guardian, Wein named her top ten dynamic duos in fiction, including:
Pooh and Piglet (from Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne)

Here come the stuffed animals! I suppose that Piglet could be called a sidekick rather than a legitimate team member, but "Pooh-n-Piglet" rolls so trippingly on the tongue, and they have been with me for so long - longer than I can in fact remember - that I feel they ought to be included. Occasionally their adventures take them in opposite directions - the adventure of the Heffalump comes to mind - but ultimately, when Piglet's house is destroyed he moves in with Pooh and that is that. They belong together.
Read about another dynamic duo on the list.

Piglet is on Clara Vulliamy's list of five of the best children's book protagonists. AA Milne and EH Shepard made Chris Riddell's top ten list of author/illustrator double acts. When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne is on Glen Roven's list of seven poetry books to ignite your imagination. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner is a book to which Jonathan Kozol will always return; and Winnie-the-Pooh is one of the Barnes & Noble Review's top five books featuring toys and a book Walter Mosley hopes parents would read to their children.

Visit Elizabeth Wein's website and blog.

Writers Read: Elizabeth Wein (January 2008).

Writers Read: Elizabeth Wein (July 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Meg Gardiner's "The Shadow Tracer"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: The Shadow Tracer by Meg Gardiner.

About the book, from the publisher:
An explosive stand-alone thriller from the Edgar Award–winning writer Stephen King called “the next suspense superstar”

Can a person ever really disappear for good by going off the grid? And what happens when vanishing is no longer an option?

Sarah Keller is a single mother to five-year-old Zoe, living quietly in Oklahoma. She’s also a skip tracer, an expert in tracking people who’ve gone on the lam to avoid arrest, prosecution, or debt—pinpointing their locations to bring them to justice.

When a school bus accident sends Zoe to the ER, their quiet life explodes. Zoe’s medical tests reveal what Sarah has been hiding: Zoe is not her daughter. Zoe’s biological mother—Sarah’s sister, Beth—was murdered shortly after the child’s birth. And Zoe’s father is missing and presumed dead.

With no way to prove her innocence, Sarah must abandon her carefully constructed life and go on the run. Chased by cops, federal agents, and the group responsible for Beth’s murder, Sarah embarks on a desperate journey. Can her knowledge as a skip tracer help her stay off the grid, remain one step ahead of her pursuers, and find a way to save her daughter?

Meg Gardiner is acclaimed for her richly drawn characters, propulsive plotting, relentless suspense, and shocking twists. The Shadow Tracer delivers on those fronts and more.
Learn more about the book and author at Meg Gardiner's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Shadow Tracer.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Kate Bowler's "Blessed"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel by Kate Bowler.

About the book, from the publisher:
How have millions of American Christians come to measure spiritual progress in terms of their financial status and physical well-being? How has the movement variously called Word of Faith, Health and Wealth, Name It and Claim It, or simply prosperity gospel come to dominate much of our contemporary religious landscape?

Kate Bowler's Blessed is the first book to fully explore the origins, unifying themes, and major figures of a burgeoning movement that now claims millions of followers in America. Bowler traces the roots of the prosperity gospel: from the touring mesmerists, metaphysical sages, pentecostal healers, business oracles, and princely prophets of the early 20th century; through mid-century positive thinkers like Norman Vincent Peale and revivalists like Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin; to today's hugely successful prosperity preachers. Bowler focuses on such contemporary figures as Creflo Dollar, pastor of Atlanta's 30,000-member World Changers Church International; Joel Osteen, known as "the smiling preacher," with a weekly audience of seven million; T. D. Jakes, named by Time magazine one of America's most influential new religious leaders; Joyce Meyer, evangelist and women's empowerment guru; and many others. At almost any moment, day or night, the American public can tune in to these preachers-on TV, radio, podcasts, and in their megachurches-to hear the message that God desires to bless them with wealth and health. Bowler offers an interpretive framework for scholars and general readers alike to understand the diverse expressions of Christian abundance as a cohesive movement bound by shared understandings and common goals.
Follow Kate Bowler on Twitter, and learn more about Blessed at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel.

--Marshal Zeringue

Simon Toyne's "The Tower," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The Tower by Simon Toyne.

The entry begins:
I read somewhere that the act of fantasy casting the movie of your own book is known as ‘casturbation’ – so I guess this is as good a moment as any to confess that I casturbate - a lot. I come from a TV background and find that visualising everything really helps me write. As a result I spend probably far too long drawing up character documents littered with images of people to help me get a handle on what they look like.

In The Tower a high level FBI investigation runs through the book and the two agents, Shepherd and Franklin, are like black and white, coming from two entirely different perspectives so I cast them in my mind as different physical types to help visualise that division. Shepherd is younger, more cerebral, uncertain of himself, wiry and intense and I always imagined Sam Rockwell playing him with the same kind of off-kilter intelligence he brings to most things, but particularly Moon. His older partner is physically more imposing and more comfortable with himself. He’s from the south so has an old style courtesy about him and slow charm. I imagined...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Simon Toyne's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Sanctus.

Writers Read: Simon Toyne (September 2011).

The Page 69 Test: Sanctus.

The Page 69 Test: The Tower.

Writers Read: Simon Toyne.

My Book, The Movie: The Tower.

--Marshal Zeringue