"Mystic River" author says his characters lure actors

Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:17am EDT
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By Martin Roberts

GIJON, Spain (Reuters) - "Mystic River" author Dennis Lehane attributes the success of his books on the silver screen to his characters, which he says attract the attention of good actors.

Clint Eastwood's film version of "Mystic River" was nominated for the 2004 Oscar for Best Picture, Ben Affleck filmed "Gone, Baby, Gone" and Lehane admits a deal with Martin Scorsese for "Shutter Island" drew the envy and admiration of other writers.

But he does not write his novels with a movie in mind because, he says, it's a very different type of writing.

"A book is an apple and a movie is a giraffe," he said on the sidelines of the Semana Negra book festival in northern Spanish town Gijon. "Plenty of bad movies have been made from great books."

In addition to writing nine novels, Boston-based Lehane was a scriptwriter for the gritty television series "The Wire," set in Baltimore. The international success of the series surprised him.

"We just thought we were writing this very small, very shaggy television show that was extremely low-rated. Nobody, as far as we knew watched us," he said.


Lehane says his novels are informed by the perennial conflict between the haves and have-nots.   Continued...

<p>U.S. writer Dennis Lehane poses during the XXIV Semana Negra (Noir Week) book fair in the northern Spanish town of Gijon July 28, 2011. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso</p>