I got an invitation to write a guest post for a blog called My Book, the Movie where authors are invited to imagine their books becoming films. Here's how I began my reply:
The first thing I should do is quote my film agent who says that, in his experience, novelists are poor casting agents for their own books.
Having said that, I’ll take a stab anyway. Mike Bowditch should be a great character for an actor to play—he’s brave and intelligent but impetuous and haunted by violence, both his own and others’—but Hollywood seems to have a dearth of promising male actors under the age of twenty-five (which is Mike’s age in this book). For that reason, I’d probably go with someone a little older like Ryan Gosling, who has the acting chops and has shown an inclination recently to play more physical roles. I haven’t seen enough of Charlie Hunnam’s work, but his performance on Sons of Anarchy has intrigued me.
No sooner had I hit send than the wisdom of my film agent's observation came home to me.
I had suggested that January Jones might be right for the character of Sarah (whom I have always seen as earnest and beautiful but bland). My wife scoffed. She wanted an actress in the role who could project intelligence, someone like Carrie Mulligan or Amanda Seyfriend or Michelle Williams. She's almost certaintly right.
Hey, what do I know? I'm just a novelist.