Amity & Sorry is an extraordinary debut novel by Peggy Riley.
‘It is a story about God, sex, and farming. It’s THE LOVELY BONES meets WITNESS: an unforgettable journey into the horrors a true believer can inflict upon his family, and what it is like to live when the end of the world doesn’t come. In the wake of a suspicious fire, Amaranth gathers her barely-teenage daughters, Amity and Sorrow, and flees from the cult her husband ran. After four days of driving, Amaranth crashes the car, leaving the family stranded at a gas station. Rescue comes in the unlikely form of a downtrodden farmer, a man who offers sanctuary when the women need it most. AMITY & SORROW is the story of these remarkable women, their lives before the night they fled, and their heartbreaking, hopeful future. For, while Amity blossoms in this new world, Sorrow will move heaven and earth trying to get back home. And, meanwhile, the outside world hasn’t forgotten about the fire on the compound.’
I’m delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for Amity & Sorrow, which begins today. As a movie reviewer, I’m especially thrilled to be able to present a guest post by author Peggy Riley on ‘Casting Amity & Sorrow‘
There is also a Giveaway:
I have a signed Hardback of Amity & Sorrow to give away along with a #GodSexFarming badge, courtesy of Headline. All you have to do is email email@example.com and give your name and address. The winner will be randomly selected.
The good news is that the competition is international.
Guest Post: Casting Amity & Sorrow by Peggy Riley
Amity & Sorrow is my first novel, but I trained as a playwright. So, casting characters should be right up my street, though drawing specific descriptions of them in the writing is not. As a playwright, you don’t want to limit who can play a character. The more specific you are in terms of their looks or ability, the more you narrow the pool of actors who can play it. We don’t know what Hamlet looks like, so every actor feels he can play him. As a writer, I purposefully keep the descriptions of characters spare, so that readers can draw them in and flesh them out for themselves.
If I were to make a film of Amity & Sorrow, I do have a few pictures in my head of who fits the character’s images in my head. Apologies if they don’t match the ones in yours!
AMITY: ARYANA ENGINEER
Amity is twelve years old in the novel and casting a twelve year old is near impossible. With a casting time machine, she would be the Shirley Temple of The Bluebird, without the baby voice. Googling child actresses leads you to old photos, baby girls all grown up. I haven’t seen ‘The Orphan’, but this photo, found while Googling, stood out for me. Something in her face reminds me of Amity, her willingness to let the girl behind her stand so close, her neck bare and trusting, but her eyes watchful, aware that all may not be as it seems.
SORROW: ELLE FANNING
Sorrow looks like an angel but has some very dark desires inside her. I love this picture of a very young Elle Fanning ripping apart a butterfly. I think Elle Fanning, beautiful as she is, could access the darkness of Sorrow perfectly. But she’ll probably grow up in another ten minutes.
Back in my time machine, Amaranth would be the Madeleine Stowe of ‘Closetland’ or ‘The Last of the Mohicans’, before she’d had any work done. Oh, actresses, what are you doing to your beautiful selves! But not now, no. Sorry, Madeleine.
She is the very hardest casting for me. No one springs to mind. I looked at Jodhi May, Madeleine’s younger sister in Mohicans. She can do no wrong in my book, but I think she’s too young. If a character is in their mid-40s, I think you have a responsibility not to cast “down”. And I’d like her to be older. So, I’m plumping for Winona Ryder.
I like how she looks at the camera now, forcing her eyes open, terribly uncomfortable, staring at it as an adversary. Maybe playing Amaranth would let her open up before us, like a flower, as Amaranth does.
BRADLEY: VIGGO MORTENSEN
Viggo Mortensen is a handsome man, as is Bradley. He seems, most films, to not know that he’s handsome, as if convinced that other men are pipping him to that post. I like his earthiness, his thin hair and his wrinkles, I like his lankiness. He has a real authenticity in films like ‘A History of Violence’ and ‘Hidalgo’.
ZACHARIAH: JEFF BRIDGES
Jeff Bridges is growing old disgracefully and it is a joy to watch him on any screen. This picture looks exactly like Zachariah to me, a weathered man, slightly deranged, but in whose face you can see the handsome devil he was, a man so charming any woman would follow him into the woods to God. If he’s unavailable, why not Daniel Day Lewis? With a Jeff Bridges wig. And his Crucible teeth from his last outing with Wynona. Or let him play Amaranth.
To see more ideas, why not visit the Pinterest board for Tinder Press – Casting Couch? We put new people there, all the time.