Caroline Friday is a novelist and award winning screenwriter, with eleven screenplays to her credit. She has several film projects in development, one of which is her adaptation of No Place for a Lady, by Maggie Brendan, which has been optioned by Starz Media for distribution on the Hallmark Channel. In addition, her script, Angels on Earth, placed second-runner up in the 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Competition for spiritually uplifting screenplays, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. She has also recently completed her first novel, The River Flows, based on her script by the same name. Caroline currently serves as attorney, co-founder and EVP of Sixth Day Media, LLC, a faith-based and family film finance and production company headquartered in the Atlanta area. She can be found at www.sixthdaymedia.com/caroline.
No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brendan
If you’ve ever wondered what Scarlet O’Hara’s life would be like as a cowgirl, make sure you read No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brendan. As a lover of Southern heroines, I felt a kindred spirit with Crystal Clark, the beautiful and spunky Georgia peach who comes to live with Aunt Kate on a cattle ranch in Aspengold, Colorado. Of course, as with all great historical romances, a cool and aloof love interest is waiting for her there, and in this case, his name is Luke Weber.
From the moment I finished the first chapter, I saw the silhouette of Crystal’s dainty parasol bouncing up and down as her buckboard approached the dusty, scratchy ranch house, while a group of gawking cow hands excitedly strutted about in anticipation of seeing a “real Southern belle.” And then standing in the shadows was the slim-hipped, long-legged Luke pretending to stare into the distance, his hat slung low over a pair of steely blue eyes. Wham! Just like Crystal, my heart didn’t have a chance. Immediately, I knew this had to be a movie.
As a screenwriter, I thought of the sweet Western romances, like one sees on the Hallmark channel, particularly the Love Comes Softly series based on the books by Janette Oke. These movies are hugely successful and will last for generations, but unlike those stories, No Place for a Lady also encompasses the vast backdrop of the Yampa Valley and the Colorado mountains often showcased in such epics as Lonesome Dove and Into the West.
The sweeping panoramic views of aspen trees, scented jasmine, and floating columbine blooms swirling in the wind—not to mention herds of cattle roaming the plain—would add marvelous color and texture to a film version of this story. Add a dangerous tornado, a treacherous cattle drive to Denver, as well as a beautiful and wealthy nemesis, April McBride, who has her heart set on luring Luke into a loveless marriage, and you have a hit.
Now for the talent . . . landing A list Hollywood actors would be problematic, since the Western romance genre is geared more toward the family TV audience, where budgetary constraints dominate. And yet, I couldn’t help but visualize Kate Beckinsale in a lacy, cream-colored gown and her long, flowing black hair tangled in the arms of Luke Weber (also, English actors are great at imitating a true Southern accent). As for Luke, I see the rugged, yet handsome face of Drew Fuller, who is blessed with a pair of crystal blue eyes (no pun intended) and long dark lashes.
I first saw him in The Ultimate Gift and was impressed with his acting ability and screen presence. Look for him in Army Wives on Lifetime. But truly, if I had my dream choice for Luke, it would have to be Ryan Gosling (from The Notebook), who doesn’t have
the baby blues, but is long, muscular, and lean, with the ability to display a wide array of emotions. I predict he will be one of the great actors of his generation. Put him in a day-old beard, Stetson, and spurs, and I’m sold.
Once Hollywood takes notice of this little gem of a story, all of us who love a good, Western romance will be in for a real treat. Until then, cuddle up with the book and go for a fast-paced, fun ride, where the smell of leather and cowhide permeate the pages, transporting the reader to the natural beauty and simplicity of a cowboy’s life, where he tames the wild, wandering heart of a headstrong Southern lady. You might even want to pop a tub of popcorn and pour a frosty glass of soda. Oh, and make sure you don’t have to get up early the next morning, or you will be very, very tired.
Caroline Friday is a novelist and award-winning screenwriter with eleven screenplays to her credit. She has several film projects in development, one of which is her adaptation of No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brendan, which has been optioned by Starz Media for distribution on the Hallmark Channel. In addition, her script Angels on Earth placed second runner-up in the 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Competition for spiritually uplifting screenplays, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. She has also recently completed her first novel, The River Flows, based on her script by the same name. It tells the story of a 1920s North Carolina poor white farm girl who discovers the true meaning of love through an unlikely friendship with a dynamic black gospel preacher.
Caroline is also a founder and Executive Vice President of Sixth Day Media, LLC, a family and faith-based film finance and production company. In her former life, she worked as a tax and securities lawyer for Freeborn & Peters, a law firm headquartered in Chicago, and as Legal Counsel for Technology Solutions Company, a computer services company traded on NASDAQ.
Caroline has a Business Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Juris Doctor in Law (JD) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Wake Forest University. Professional affiliations include Women in Film, American Christian Fiction Writers Association, the American Bar Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association. Caroline is also a Stephen Minister and a Bible study teacher.
Caroline has lived in North Carolina, Chicago, and London, but now resides in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband, Bill, and three children, Anna, Braxton, and Rachel, and yellow lab, Dodga.