Scout Book: Question Seven for Mary Head

The final question for Author Mary Head about her Kindle Scout book, No Safe Place.


Final Question + a bonus question!

A story like No Safe Place relies a lot on the strength of its characters. Who do you personally feel is the strongest character in the book and the one you are proudest of? If Hollywood gave this a reenlight who would you cast in starring roles (other than Liam Neeson!)?

I think Hannah is the strongest character, and is definitely the one I'm proudest of. I tried very hard to make her feel realistic. I didn't want her to just be a typical victim, I wanted her to be dynamic and layered. She's a damsel-in-distress, sure, but she's not weak and useless. She can fight and defend herself when the need arises, but she fights within her own limits, if that makes sense; she's not unrealistically strong, or wielding martial arts moves all over the place. She's strong, and she's smart, but she also cries and gets scared, because that's normal for the kind of situation she's in; there's a lot going on that's out of her control, and she fights back as much as she can given the constraints of her predicament. I'm very defensive and protective over Hannah; she's the character I've written that has the most 'me' inside of her.

As for casting, oh, boy, I've had this book cast since the moment of inception. Hannah is played by Dianna Agron; David is Gary Oldman (sorry, Liam Neeson, this isn't Taken); Eli is Zac Efron; Juliet is Rachel McAdams; Chris is Jensen Ackles; Eddie is Callum Keith Rennie; and Jackie is Lee Pace. Every character has an actor that plays them in my mind, even the minor ones, though I came up with this cast in 2011, so some of the actors may not necessarily "fit" anymore. But if Hollywood ever did come calling, I would be insistent on being involved in casting; these characters are too important to me to be played by the wrong people.


Hannah Cole, a young graduate student attending George Washington University, and her father David Cole, a senior FBI agent, enjoy a happy life together in Arlington, Virginia. Due to the nature of his job, and having been a single father for most of Hannah's life, David has always been fiercely protective of his daughter and has taken great strides to keep her safe. But when Hannah is kidnapped from their home one night, their world is turned upside down.

With the force of the FBI behind him, including his best friend Juliet Grayson, trusted partner Chris Tyler, and rookie agent Eli Shaw, David rushes to find his daughter, while Hannah struggles to stay alive, both of them racing against a deadline that could mean the end of Hannah's life.

Lincoln ColeComment