The Prime Writers Summer Blockbusters – Buy Buy Baby and Talk of the Toun by Helen MacKinven

Summer is the season of Hollywood Blockbusters and it is in this frivolous spirit that The Prime Writers give way to the dream and have a go at casting their novels as films. Throughout the month of August Prime Writers will be putting forth their ideas. It will be interesting to see whether readers agree with our choices in casting beloved characters.

Prime Writer Helen MacKinven has chosen to dream big and cast both her novels, Talk of the Toun and Buy Buy Baby.

To have both of my books made into movies would be as we say in Scotland, “pure dead brilliant!”

My debut novel, Talk of the Toun is a black comedy of love, family life and friendship. It’s a bittersweet coming-of-age tale set in the summer of 1985, in working class, central belt Scotland.

Lifelong friends Angela and Lorraine are two very different girls, with a growing divide in their aspirations and ambitions putting their friendship under increasing strain. The two girls wrestle with the complications of growing up and exploring who they really are.

As urban Scots dialect is used throughout the novel, I can only imagine Scottish actors playing the lead roles. Angela is overweight and is a cheeky besom with real attitude so I think Sharon Rooney, of My Mad Fat Diary would be perfect. Her best friend Lorraine is slim and attractive so someone like Jayd Johnston would suit the role. After the book was published, it became clear that the readers’ favourite character was Angela’s gran, Senga. The best Scottish word to describe her would be gallus and the ideal actress would be Barbara Rafferty from Rab C Nesbitt fame.

In my fantasy, the premiere for the film of Talk of the Toun would be held in Cineworld in Falkirk, the town the book is set in and it would bring stars to an area that isn’t known for its glamour. Staying in dream-mode, let’s pretend that Talk of the Toun was so successful that my latest novel, Buy Buy Baby would be made as a Hollywood blockbuster. This time, the bigger budget would mean bigger stars and of course a premiere in Glasgow where the book’s set, at the Glasgow Film Theatre which is a beautiful art-house 1930s building.

Buy Buy Baby is a bittersweet story of two very different women united in their desperate quest for motherhood. Carol and Julia are complete opposites in looks and attitude. Carol’s a home bird who doesn’t have a social life and much going for her so although Maggie Gyllenhaal looks stunning on the red carpet, I think she’d be good as a mumsy character. In contrast, Julia is a real go-getter who has a sharp tongue and a designer wardrobe. I can easily imagine Cameron Diaz in the role of Julia as she plays spiky characters well. The male lead is a total charmer who is handsome and witty so Gerard Butler would be perfect to play Dan.

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And of course, an added fantasy of the idea of my books as films would be me posing for pics with the stars at the premieres wearing a designer outfit… As the song from South Pacific goes, “You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream. How you gonna have a dream come true?”

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HMK's pic

Helen MacKinven




One thought on “The Prime Writers Summer Blockbusters – Buy Buy Baby and Talk of the Toun by Helen MacKinven

  1. Reblogged this on Helen MacKinven and commented:
    It’s probably every writer’s dream to have their novel made into a movie – it’s certainly mine! Over on the Prime Writers website, I’ve indulged in my fantasy of casting the actors for the films of Talk of the Toun and Buy Buy Baby.
    Do readers agree with my choices?


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