By Kelli Stanley
Happy Halloween! My favorite holiday, mainly because it's about a social pact and collegiality that's not commonly found in our daily life. I mean, strangers knocking on your door is the stuff of suspense and horror movies--not a smile and a fistful of candy.
Halloween also means the freeing up of inhibitions, the night you're allowed to indulge your costume fantasies and play dress up. And what fun have we, getting to dress our fellow Criminal Minds!
So, to take a page from Becky and Graham, we're trick-or-treating as a cast this year, and shedding our Muggle wear for the world of ... Harry Potter!
As Harry, the boy who survived, who else but the brilliant, boyish and delightful Josh Corin? I swore I saw a lightning scar on his forehead at Bouchercon. Josh is the kind of person whom civilization should depend on.
Harry's courage is matched by his best friends: the incredibly smart and brave Hermione (a natural for the incredibly smart and brave Rebecca Cantrell) and the plucky, lion-hearted and loyal Ron Weasley. With a bit of red hair dye, Graham is perfect for Ron, since he's always downplaying his own great accomplishments.
Speaking of redheads, Ginny Weasley simply must be Gabriella Herkert. Spunky, courageous, and independent--a true freedom fighter, and a star in her own right.
Sue Ann Jaffarian possesses magic in abundance, as she juggles three successful series and a full-time career. How does she do it? Maybe she's an elf. Sue Ann can seamlessly shift from starring as an Ewok yesterday to Dobbie today.
Lois Winston trades off on Mondays with Sue Ann, is inventive, handy with glue guns and all kinds of other tools, and I think she'd make an excellent Poppy Pomfrey. She'll know what to do if we drink Polyjuice Potion during Halloween!
For her deliciously dry sense of humor and ability to transform from Jane Austen's England to contemporary America, who else but Tracy Kiely as Minerva McGonagall? She'd even look terrific in the hat. Plus, she's practically British!
Michael Wiley ... well, that Shaggy quality from Tuesday is still clinging to him, but always heroically. He's one of my favorite characters: the courageous, noirish werewolf, Remus John Lupin. As a writer, Michael is a master of the Dark Arts! Besides, I hear he howls at the moon.
And that brings us to Meredith Cole, who, like Michael, won a Best First Mystery contest from St. Martin's. What's more natural than Meredith as Nymphodora Tonks, particularly because she's smart, super talented and looks great in black?
Reece Hirsh is next, and since Reece is both a successful thriller writer and an attorney, he understands what it's like to lead a dual life. He's the mysterious Severus Snape!
That leaves us with one of my favorite characters: Hagrid. Who better than the uber-talented Gary Phillips to play a gentle (but ferocious and loyal) giant? And anyone who's ever heard Gary's laugh knows how infectious it is and how good you feel when you hear it.
Award-winner Hilary Davidson is known for her dark, poetic prose and fabulous writing, so while she could conceivably play a bad girl (Bellatrix), let's keep her on the good side. I think she'd make a very cool Lily Potter--she's super-smart, very loyal, has powers way beyond the average wizard, and besides--that's her heroine's name!
Finally, there's our newest member, Vicki Delaney, who is delightful and delightfully talented! Vicki is one of the nicest people I know, but tough and loyal like Molly Weasley. Just bring on more red hair dye!
As for me, it's an easy enough change from Obi-Wan on Wednesday to Dumbledore on Thursday.
Now, all we need is a little of that magic J.K. Rowling sales dust to land on all of us! And that's what I wish all the Criminal Minds for a very Happy Halloween! :)