Friday, 6 December 2013

Ripley Patton: Christmas For Authors

The Movie of My Book

I'm a big movie buff. I especially love the big flux of movies that come out over the winter Holidays when I can snuggle into a warm, dry theatre and be taken away to other worlds.
And as an author, one of the most common interview questions I get asked is "Who would you have play your main characters in the movie of your book?"
Of course, I love that question. Who doesn't want to see their book on the big screen, while eating popcorn, surrounded by people oohing and ahhing over YOUR story? But I also hate that question because I am terrible at casting actors and actresses. First, I can never remember any of their names. Second, I have very specific pictures of my characters in my head, and they aren't Hollywood-looking people. They're just your average teenagers. But finally, it is because I don't want any actors or actresses to play my characters. I want something very different for the movies of my books.
I want them to be produced by Hayao Miyazaki. (Never mind that he just retired this year- I'm dreaming here).

If you don't know who Miyazaki is, let me tell you. He is simply one of the best movie makers of all times. He is a Japanese artist and film-maker famous for his anime feature films. And his movies are wonderful on so many levels.
First, he almost always has a young, strong, female protagonist in his movies. One of my favorite examples of this is his adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle, based on Diana Wynne Jones' 1986 fantasy novel of the same name. Because of this, I think he would be the perfect person to make Olivia Black truly come to life on screen.
His films are drawn from Eastern mysticism and spiritualism, and have less of a Western "good versus evil" element to them. They are complex and deep and often involve the environment, spirituality, and balance. Many of these same themes are what inspired The PSS Chronicles series and will play out as the series progresses. I can see Miyasaki really doing justice to the ethereal element and power of PSS and Olivia's ghost hand.

I love how Miyazaki's work speaks to both my inner child and the outward adult I am now. His movies are simultaneously deeply serious and laugh-out-loud funny, a feat I think I accomplished in my books as well.
And of course, fantasy and magic are woven into the tapestry of everything he does, and I can certainly relate to that.

My list of favorites by him includes:
Howl's Moving Castle
Spirited Away
Princess Mononoke
Kiki's Delivery Service
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

These movies were specifically written, animated, and produced by him. But almost anything by his company, Studio Ghibli, would be a wonderful watch for the Holidays as his movies appeal to such a wide age-range and audience.
So, when I cast the movie for my book, I don't imagine actors and actresses doing casting calls. Instead, I see Miyazaki bent over his sketch book scratching them to life in intricate, animated, detail.
Probably, that will never happen.
But one can always dream.

To find out more about me, my fiction, and The PSS Chronicles:

Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series. Ripley doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.  

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