Sunday, 29 May 2011 10:13

titleI think that many of us play the casting game when we read a series—wondering which actors we'd like to see play our favorite characters.

Readers of Craig Johnson's (left) Walt Longmire series don't have to wonder anymore. The pilot for Longmire, based on Johnson's novels, has just been filmed for the A&E Network. However, at present the TV series is not part A&E's fall lineup.

Personally speaking, I think Longmire would make a dynamite TV series. The novels have multilayered plots, rich characters and breathtaking scenery. Johnson's 2010 novel Junkyard Dogs was a terrific read. I think Longmire would fit nicely with the A&E lineup.

I'd watch it.

A&E has a reputation for quality programming and for treating mystery series with respect. Johnson's novels seem to be in good hands with Emmy-winning Greer Shephard (The Closer, Nip/Tuck, Trust Me) and Mike Robin (The Closer, Rizzoli and Isles, Nip/Tuck, NYPD Blue) executive producing and John Coveny (The Closer, Trust Me) and Hunt Baldwin (The Closer, Trust Me), writing the script and also executive producing. Chris Chulack (Southland, ER) is an Emmy award-winning director who is directing the pilot episode. "He’s a regular guy, and I think that might be the highest praise I know how to give," said Johnson in an email.

altOf course, expect a few changes from the novels but the few liberties make sense for the TV audience. Walt will be a bit younger in the A&E series than he is in the novels. A few names will be changed and look for Cady to move back to Wyoming so there will be more interaction with father and daughter.

The Longmire novels are set in Wyoming, but filming was in Las Vegas, and New Mexico's Taos and Santa Fe because Wyoming’s weather can be a bit unpredictable.

If the series is picked up, plots will include original stories as well as some taken from the novels.

OK, so what each of us really wants to know is who's in the cast. I have to say, I am very impressed with the lineup.

The tall, rangy Robert Taylor, left, (Matrix, Vertical Limit) plays Sheriff Walt Longmire. Henry Standing Bear will be played by Lou Diamond Phillips, below left, (Young Guns, La Bamba). Again, I think that is inspirational casting. Phillips is a personal favorite and I can so see him in this role. Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica, 24) will play Vic Moretti. Anyone who saw her play Starbuck knows that she exudes emotional and physical strength. Cassidy Freeman (Smallville, CSI: Crime

Actor Robert Taylor plays Walt Longmire.

Scene Investigation) will play Cady Longmire.
Baily Chase (Saving Grace, Damages) plays the role of Turk/Branch Connally. This character underwent the biggest change from the books. Turk is now Branch, still Lucian Connally’s nephew, but he has become a regular foil as opposed to a one-time character.

Johnson has been on the film set and said he couldn't be more pleased with the casting and the way his novels are being treated.

"I don't think most author's experiences have been like mine—the producers and writers kept me in the loop from day one and then invited

me down for the entire shoot," Johnson told me in an email. "In all honesty, I'm just a seven-book author and really don't have the leverage of a Stephen King or Clive Clussler so I had to look at the people who were courting me and see what their track record was, and whether they really respected the novels and what they had to say.

Louis Diamond Phillips plays Henry Standing Bear."They do, and it's coming through in the production in spades. The direction and performances are amazing.The man who plays Walt Longmire, Robert Taylor, IS Walt. Lou Diamond Phillips is stupendous as Henry Standing Bear—even went to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation to get a feel for the land and the people, and Katee Sackhoff? Well, she was born Vic."But for Johnson, the novels continue.

Hell is Empty just came out and Johnson is touring to promote this latest installment of Longmire's adventures, which, I hope, will eventually make it to the TV screen.

Photos: Craig Johnson, top, Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips. Photos courtesy Craig Johnson and A&E.

Craig Johnson's Longmire
Oline Cogdill
craig-johnsons-longmire

titleI think that many of us play the casting game when we read a series—wondering which actors we'd like to see play our favorite characters.

Readers of Craig Johnson's (left) Walt Longmire series don't have to wonder anymore. The pilot for Longmire, based on Johnson's novels, has just been filmed for the A&E Network. However, at present the TV series is not part A&E's fall lineup.

Personally speaking, I think Longmire would make a dynamite TV series. The novels have multilayered plots, rich characters and breathtaking scenery. Johnson's 2010 novel Junkyard Dogs was a terrific read. I think Longmire would fit nicely with the A&E lineup.

I'd watch it.

A&E has a reputation for quality programming and for treating mystery series with respect. Johnson's novels seem to be in good hands with Emmy-winning Greer Shephard (The Closer, Nip/Tuck, Trust Me) and Mike Robin (The Closer, Rizzoli and Isles, Nip/Tuck, NYPD Blue) executive producing and John Coveny (The Closer, Trust Me) and Hunt Baldwin (The Closer, Trust Me), writing the script and also executive producing. Chris Chulack (Southland, ER) is an Emmy award-winning director who is directing the pilot episode. "He’s a regular guy, and I think that might be the highest praise I know how to give," said Johnson in an email.

altOf course, expect a few changes from the novels but the few liberties make sense for the TV audience. Walt will be a bit younger in the A&E series than he is in the novels. A few names will be changed and look for Cady to move back to Wyoming so there will be more interaction with father and daughter.

The Longmire novels are set in Wyoming, but filming was in Las Vegas, and New Mexico's Taos and Santa Fe because Wyoming’s weather can be a bit unpredictable.

If the series is picked up, plots will include original stories as well as some taken from the novels.

OK, so what each of us really wants to know is who's in the cast. I have to say, I am very impressed with the lineup.

The tall, rangy Robert Taylor, left, (Matrix, Vertical Limit) plays Sheriff Walt Longmire. Henry Standing Bear will be played by Lou Diamond Phillips, below left, (Young Guns, La Bamba). Again, I think that is inspirational casting. Phillips is a personal favorite and I can so see him in this role. Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica, 24) will play Vic Moretti. Anyone who saw her play Starbuck knows that she exudes emotional and physical strength. Cassidy Freeman (Smallville, CSI: Crime

Actor Robert Taylor plays Walt Longmire.

Scene Investigation) will play Cady Longmire.
Baily Chase (Saving Grace, Damages) plays the role of Turk/Branch Connally. This character underwent the biggest change from the books. Turk is now Branch, still Lucian Connally’s nephew, but he has become a regular foil as opposed to a one-time character.

Johnson has been on the film set and said he couldn't be more pleased with the casting and the way his novels are being treated.

"I don't think most author's experiences have been like mine—the producers and writers kept me in the loop from day one and then invited

me down for the entire shoot," Johnson told me in an email. "In all honesty, I'm just a seven-book author and really don't have the leverage of a Stephen King or Clive Clussler so I had to look at the people who were courting me and see what their track record was, and whether they really respected the novels and what they had to say.

Louis Diamond Phillips plays Henry Standing Bear."They do, and it's coming through in the production in spades. The direction and performances are amazing.The man who plays Walt Longmire, Robert Taylor, IS Walt. Lou Diamond Phillips is stupendous as Henry Standing Bear—even went to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation to get a feel for the land and the people, and Katee Sackhoff? Well, she was born Vic."But for Johnson, the novels continue.

Hell is Empty just came out and Johnson is touring to promote this latest installment of Longmire's adventures, which, I hope, will eventually make it to the TV screen.

Photos: Craig Johnson, top, Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips. Photos courtesy Craig Johnson and A&E.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 10:06

titleEveryone loves a shaggy dog story. And here’s a different spin.

So many times I’ve heard authors talk about how a character came out of the blue, knocking on their door, begging to be let into a plot.

But for Daniel Palmer, a character didn’t come knocking, but came pawing.

Palmer had pretty much finished his manuscript for his debut Delirious. The story revolves around Charlie Giles, the inventor of a new digital-entertainment system for automobiles, whose life unravels after he has a meltdown in a meeting. Then compromising emails and web sites are found on his company computer.

Charlie is a driven, uncompromising character who undergoes tremendous changes during Delirious.

While the manuscript’s plot worked, Palmer’s agent felt that the character was almost too driven and unsympathetic. Charlie needed something or someone to soften his edges and make the reader want to root for him.

Enter Monte, a lovable, energetic beagle who was just the perfect solution—and companion—for Charlie. Talk about pet therapy.

So Palmer went back to his manuscript and, after consulting a veterinarian friend about the kind of dog Charlie should have, came up with Monte. The playful beagle does indeed allow the reader to see beyond Charlie’s tough exterior. You gotta love a guy who keeps an old shoe in his desk drawer for his beagle’s chewing pleasures, as Charlie does.

And Palmer knows he made the right decision in bringing Monte to Delirious.

"He's a good example of a character just 'barking' to be in a story. I'm glad I heard him," Palmer told me.

Daniel Palmer Barks Up the Right Tree
daniel-palmer-barks-up-the-right-tree

titleEveryone loves a shaggy dog story. And here’s a different spin.

So many times I’ve heard authors talk about how a character came out of the blue, knocking on their door, begging to be let into a plot.

But for Daniel Palmer, a character didn’t come knocking, but came pawing.

Palmer had pretty much finished his manuscript for his debut Delirious. The story revolves around Charlie Giles, the inventor of a new digital-entertainment system for automobiles, whose life unravels after he has a meltdown in a meeting. Then compromising emails and web sites are found on his company computer.

Charlie is a driven, uncompromising character who undergoes tremendous changes during Delirious.

While the manuscript’s plot worked, Palmer’s agent felt that the character was almost too driven and unsympathetic. Charlie needed something or someone to soften his edges and make the reader want to root for him.

Enter Monte, a lovable, energetic beagle who was just the perfect solution—and companion—for Charlie. Talk about pet therapy.

So Palmer went back to his manuscript and, after consulting a veterinarian friend about the kind of dog Charlie should have, came up with Monte. The playful beagle does indeed allow the reader to see beyond Charlie’s tough exterior. You gotta love a guy who keeps an old shoe in his desk drawer for his beagle’s chewing pleasures, as Charlie does.

And Palmer knows he made the right decision in bringing Monte to Delirious.

"He's a good example of a character just 'barking' to be in a story. I'm glad I heard him," Palmer told me.

Monday, 23 May 2011 15:53

crimefestThe CrimeFest Awards were handed out at the CrimeFest Gala Dinner May 21, 2011, at the Marriott Royal Hotel in Bristol, United Kingdom. This year's awards were for crime publications published in the UK in 2010. The annual convention draws top crime novelists, readers, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world and gives delegates the opportunity to celebrate the genre in an informal atmosphere.

Congratulation to all the winners and nominees.

Winners

tyler_herringinthelibraryLast Laugh Award (best humorous crime novel first)
L.C. Tyler for The Herring in the Library (Macmillan)

E-Dunnit Award (best crime fiction ebook)
Field Grey, by Philip Kerr (Quercus)

Sounds of Crime Awards (best abridged and unabridged crime audiobooks)
Abridged: Our Kind of Traitor, by John le Carré; read by John le Carré, abridged by Peter Mackie (AudioGO)

Unabridged: Dead Like You, by Peter James; read by David Bauckham (Whole Story Audio Books)

For a complete list of nominees and winners please visit CrimeFest.com.

2011 Uk Crimefest Awards Winners Announced
Mystery Scene
2011-uk-crimefest-awards-winners-announced

crimefestThe CrimeFest Awards were handed out at the CrimeFest Gala Dinner May 21, 2011, at the Marriott Royal Hotel in Bristol, United Kingdom. This year's awards were for crime publications published in the UK in 2010. The annual convention draws top crime novelists, readers, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world and gives delegates the opportunity to celebrate the genre in an informal atmosphere.

Congratulation to all the winners and nominees.

Winners

tyler_herringinthelibraryLast Laugh Award (best humorous crime novel first)
L.C. Tyler for The Herring in the Library (Macmillan)

E-Dunnit Award (best crime fiction ebook)
Field Grey, by Philip Kerr (Quercus)

Sounds of Crime Awards (best abridged and unabridged crime audiobooks)
Abridged: Our Kind of Traitor, by John le Carré; read by John le Carré, abridged by Peter Mackie (AudioGO)

Unabridged: Dead Like You, by Peter James; read by David Bauckham (Whole Story Audio Books)

For a complete list of nominees and winners please visit CrimeFest.com.