Friday, February 10, 2017

Character Love (+ a book & jewelry giveway!) by Cerella Sechrist


I don’t know about other authors, but one of my favorite things to do when I start plotting a book is to choose actors who give me a visual reference for my characters. I know some writers who don’t need this imagery because they have such a clear view of the characters on their own. But I prefer a little help when imagining the face of my creations.

I’ve found this particularly fun for my Findlay Roads series since many of the characters have recurring roles in each book. I tend to be picky, though, when choosing actors. For instance, in Harper’s Wish, the first book in the series, the hero is Connor Callahan and in the second book, A Song for Rory, his sister is the title heroine, Rory. So not only did I want to choose actors with similar coloring and looks for the family reference, but I also chose ones that are Irish natives since Connor and Rory were born in Ireland.



For me, the guilty pleasure of casting comes in handy when it’s time to coordinate with the art department for a book’s cover. I tend to go overboard in this regard, too, creating entire mood boards for settings, the actors I’ve cast, clothing styles, and other imagery. But the attention to detail pays off when you’re rewarded with a cover that perfectly envisions the characters you’ve chosen, such as the cover for A Song for Rory.



When it comes to writing, there are so many layers that go in to creating a good book, but at the end of the day, characters are the heart and soul of each story. In A Song for Rory, my hero and heroine, Sawyer and Rory, are particularly dear to me because of the heavy themes they’re facing. Their journey represents the struggle of so many couples and families facing early onset Alzheimer’s. They are, for me, the best kind of characters – the ones that live and breathe almost by themselves so that I’m the one learning from them.

This is a writer’s life – from the deep themes of love and loss to the fun and frivolity of character casting. And it makes me wonder…when you’re reading, do you mentally “cast” the story? Let me know in the comments and be sure to enter the giveaway below!

A Song for Rory, the second book in the Findlay Roads series, is available for pre-order (releasing in March.) Harper's Wish, the first book in the series, is available now. Links can be found on my website.

Congratulations to Lynn Brooks, who was the winner of last month’s Lucky 13 Heartwarming giveaway


Character Love: Book & Jewelry Giveaway

 
About Cerella:

 CERELLA SECHRIST lives in York, Pennsylvania with two precocious pugs, Darcy and Charlotte, named after Jane Austen literary characters. Inspired by her childhood love of stories, she was ten years old when she decided she wanted to become an author. These days, Cerella divides her time between working in the office of her family’s construction business and as a barista to support her reading habit and coffee addiction. She’s been known to post too many pug photos on both Instagram and Pinterest. You can see for yourself by finding her online at www.cerellasechrist.com. A Song for Rory, Book #2 in her Findlay Roads series, releases in March 2017.

24 comments:

  1. Cerella, you do an amazing job of choosing actors and how lucky you are that your cover is so close to the vision in your head! Making vision boards is an excellent exercise. The more complicated the series or book, I've found, the more it helps. I loved Harpers Wish and I'm looking forward to A Song for Rory!

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    1. Thank you, Catherine! You're right, the vision boards are an excellent exercise, and they do help me stay on track with imagery for the story. Especially with a series, when there are more characters and places to juggle. I'm so glad you enjoyed Harper's Wish! :)

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  2. I do the same thing. I like to image voices too. I've always thought Julia Roberts had such a distinct voice. Loved using hers.
    And Aidan Quinn, now there's a hero and voice.
    A Song for Rory sounds awesome

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    1. Yes, Pam! I think voices are a somewhat overlooked feature. There are certain characters, for me, where I can hear them very well, especially inflections. But this is a great point - voice models! ;)

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  3. I agree, Cerella. Your choice for Sawyer...whoa! Choosing the characters and creating secret Pinterest boards is always fun. Congratulation on your upcoming release. I look forward to reading A Song for Rory.

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    1. lol! You know how it is, Jill - so easy to crush on your own heroes...especially ones that are cast as Christ Hemsworth!

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  4. Congratulations, Cerella. I also use photos for characters - and it's amazing when you spend a couple of months with them, you really do begin to see beyond whatever it is they're advertising, and inside the image. Or, maybe that's just me. We're all a little too closely connected to that world Roz talks about where story ideas live. Happy Weekend, Everybody.

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    1. No, I agree, Muriel! I think of casting as my framework, and the characters grow within that framework (their physical quirks and such.) It helps me, but I also just find it fun! :)

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  5. I love the cover for A Song for Rory. Rory's green eyes are beautiful. When I'm reading I tend to get a visual in my mind of the characters and the setting.

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    1. Me, too, Laurie! Rory's eyes were one of the first things I noticed when I saw the cover. The art department actually had to tweak the picture (I don't think the model's eyes were green in the original, or at least not a striking green.) I think they're beautiful!

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  6. Terrific post, Cerella. I would LOVE to see one of your mood boards! I can't believe how much your cover models resemble the celebrity lookalikes you picked for your characters. You wouldn't want to do my Art Fact Sheets for me, would you?! :)

    Best wishes with your upcoming release!

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    1. I have a love/hate relationship with the Art Fact Sheets, Kate! So the mood boards help me along. :) I have to admit, even I didn't realize how close the resemblances for my actors and the models were until I did these graphics. Even I'm impressed! lol

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  7. Hi Cerella!! I do the same thing! Although I don't pay as close attention to my heroines as I do to my heroes . I love your covers and can't wait for the new book!

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    1. I find heroines easier than heroes, Anna. I'm even pickier about my heroes! Thank you, I love the covers, too. :) Have a great weekend!

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  8. The resemblence is amazing. Beautiful cover. I don't know actors well, so while I have a picture in my head of characters, I usually have to go looking to find someone who looks like them. I've often found it jarring when I see a movie based on a book I love, and the character doesn't match the one in my head.

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    1. That's something I should have mentioned in this post, Beth - I can see an actor once and then again ten years later and immediately recall their filmography. It's my only party trick. lol So maybe that's part of why I enjoy casting my stories so much. But like you, when I see a book based on a movie with an actor that doesn't match the vision in my head, it's really hard for me to adjust to the new image!

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  9. No Not really, I imagine what they look like but not really a who they look like. You know what I mean?

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    1. I do know what you mean, Linda, as I've done this with books before as well. And sometimes, I think this is where a cover that's true to the author's vision comes in handy because I do sometimes imagine characters exactly as I see them on the cover.

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  10. I try not to cast the story, and I hope to be involved with the main characters.

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    1. That's the most important thing, Kathy, is really feeling like you're involved in the story, right along with the characters. No amount of visuals are a replacement for that!

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  11. I would really like to win "Harper's Wish" as you know, Cerella! the jewelry would make a nice bonus win! Pam Hamblin

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    1. Good luck, Pam! You try every time - one of these days, your name has got to be chosen!

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  12. no, I just picture what they might look like. Thank you

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