Friday, May 19, 2017

Dumpster Dying & Grilled, Chilled, and Killed by Lesley A Diehl -- Guest Post

Guest Post from the Author
From the page to the screen

By Lesley A. Diehl
Author of Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Chilled and Killed

I’ve been asked several times in interviews what actor could play a protagonist in one of my books. I always find this a difficult question to answer, not that I wouldn’t like the opportunity to have someone buy one of my books for a movie. I’m not holding my breath for this to happen, but I would like to be prepared with an answer just in case.

My problem in answering this question is multifaceted. First, I don’t often go to movies, and I watch little network television. So I have no field from which I can draw my choice.  The actresses I do know of adhere to the rigors of the Hollywood model, and my protagonists do not. My characters are often short, or, if tall, flat chested, chubby, old (over 30) and very plain. I know there’s such a thing as makeup, but there’s something about makeup that is so, well, made-up—as in fake, phony. I’ve never felt make-up could do a good job making a short person tall or a tall one short, or a slim one chubby, or a young one old . They always make gray hair look like pot metal, so evenly gray. Who has hair like that?

Aside from not knowing contemporary Hollywood enough to select an actress, most of the actresses appear to be younger than my protagonists. That seems to be the case with television programs today. Maybe I don’t watch much network television because it appeals to a younger audience. I do watch Netflix programs with great regularity and enthusiasm, but the ones I prefer feature British actors or actors from other countries. I know actors can do many accents and many do speak not only Danish or Finnish or German, but also English. If I scrounged around among these very talented  people I might find someone who could play, for example, Emily Rhodes, my protagonist in Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Chilled and Killed. Let me describe Emily and perhaps some of you can offer someone who would be perfect for the role. Emily is very small, less than five feet tall, medium build, has blue eyes and blond hair (I think she helps keep it blond with chemical help, but she’s not admitting it.) Before she retired, she was a preschool teacher and now she is a bartender at the Big Lake Country Club in rural Florida (think cowboys, horses, cattle, palm trees and lots of alligators.) People see her as sweet and easy-going, but she’s got gumption and spice that has gotten her through preschoolers fighting over toys and drunk cowboys trying to get drinks when they’ve had too many. Any ideas yet?

It’s important that the screen play respect Emily’s size and not make her taller. It is her lack of height that got her out of a bad situation. Anyone taller wouldn’t have been able to hide from the bad guys in the knees of a cypress tree or the roots of a Banyan tree. I’ve seen Hollywood betray a physical characteristic to the detriment of the movie. If a guy in a book is big and very tall and that’s his signature presentation, why have someone five feet eight play him no matter how well-known as an actor or how muscular. Some of you will know the character and the movies.

There’s another issue with my work. I write humor into my murder mysteries and that’s difficult because not everyone shares the same sense of humor. I’m not convinced that the writer doing the screen play or the director of the movie or the actor playing the part could really do the funny bits well if they didn’t see them as funny bits. Maybe I’m short changing the creative genius of those who bring the written word to the screen, but I know of few funny books that do well when made into movies. Yet, there are some very funny movies and television programs, so I’m convinced that writers who do television and movie scripts have the ability to do humor well. But I suspect this is because the screen writers are creating the funny bits, not trying to rewrite a book’s funny parts for the screen.

Here’s what I’ve decided. The world will have to wait twenty-five years for Emily Rhodes to come to the screen. That’s because by then I’ll be dead and won’t have a say in who plays her part and the only actress I think could do her, Melissa Rauch, who plays Bernadette Rostenkowki on “Big Bang Theory” will have aged enough to do  fifty something Emily.

But I’m open to your suggestions on this matter, so let me know who you would select if you don’t want to wait that long.

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Creekside Publishing (December 31, 2016)
Paperback: 248 Pages
 E-Book 232 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997234923

Emily Rhodes came to rural Florida for the cowboys, the cattle, and to do a little country two-step, not to fall head first onto a dead body in a dumpster. Ah, the golden years of retirement in the sunshine state. They're more like pot metal to Emily Rhodes, who discovers the body of the county's wealthiest rancher in the Big Lake Country Club dumpster. With her close friend accused of the murder, Emily sets aside her grief at her life partner's death to find the real killer. She underestimates the obstacles rural Florida can set up for a winter visitor and runs afoul of a local judge with his own version of justice, hires a lawyer who works out of a retirement home, and flees wild fires -- hand-in-hand with the man she believes to be the killer. About the Author: Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida-cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office. In her words, "I come to the "Big Lake" to write, hang out in cowboy bars, and immerse myself in the Florida that used to be. No beaches, no bikinis, no sand. Just cows, horses, and gators."

Grilled, Chilled and Killed: Big Lake Murder Mystery
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series
Creekside Publishing (December 31, 2016)
Paperback: 330 pages
 E-Book 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997234930

This is the second in the Big Lake Mysteries (the first was Dumpster Dying) featuring Emily Rhodes, retired preschool teacher and bartender turned amateur snoop.

It seems as if Emily is destined to discover dead bodies. This time she finds one of the contestants at the local barbeque cook-off dead and covered in barbeque sauce in a beer cooler. She should be used to stumbling onto corpses by now and the question of who killed the guy should pique her curiosity, but Emily decides to let Detective Lewis handle this one, at least until she figures his theory of who did the deed is wrong, wrong, wrong. Lewis’ denigration of Emily’s speculations is condescending enough to stimulate her dormant snooping skills. As the two of them go on their separate paths to find the killer, Lewis’ old partner, Toby the dirty, tobacco-spitting cop interferes in the investigation leaving Lewis with the wrong man in jail. Killers, bootleggers, barbeque and feral pigs—it’s a lethal game of hide and seek in the Florida swamp.

Author Info
Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in Upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks, frequents yard sales and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work. She is the author of a number of mystery series and mysteries as well as short stories. The third book in the Eve Appel murders (from Camel Press) A Sporting Murder was awarded a Readers’ Favorite Five Star Award and her short story Gator Aid a Sleuthfest (2009) short story first place. She has fired the alligator that served as her literary muse when she is in Florida and is interviewing applicants for the position.

Purchase Links
Dumpster Dying – Amazon 
Grilled, Chilled and Killed – Amazon
Tour Participants
May 15 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW – Book 1, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 15 – My Journey Back –My Reading Journeys – REVIEW – Both Books, INTERVIEW*
May 16 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW – Both Books
May 16 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
May 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW – Both Books, INTERVIEW
May 17 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 18 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
May 18 – Book Babble – REVIEW – Both Books
May 19 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT
May 19 – Bookworm Café –  GUEST POST
May 20 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW – Book 1
May 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW – Both Books *
May 21 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
May 21 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 22 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW – Both Books, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 22 –StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW – Book 1
May 23 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW – Both Books*
May 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW – Book 2
May 24 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW – Book 1
May 25 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW – Both Books
May 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW –  Both Books*
May 26 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 27 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW – Book 2
May 27 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW Book 1, GUEST POST*
May 28 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW Book 2*
May 28 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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