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!
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.