Thursday, December 16, 2010

Who's That Girl?

As Liz said in the previous post we spent a few wonderful hours/days discussing who we would cast in our books. She nabbed talking about the Heroes but a hero needs a strong heroine. And with a blog called 'The Heroine Addicts' we need to look at them.

Now what makes a great heroine for you? Is it her looks? Is it her sparkiness? Is she who we want to be? And when you see the heroine in your head does she look like a famous person?

One of my first heroines is a girl called Allie, in 'The One Before The One' (and yes I know there is now a book of that name but I started mine 6 years ago!). In my head she was a feisty and stubborn (and had to go head to head with a hero played by Jamie Bamber). Allie is the bridesmaid at her ex's wedding and is the prime suspect when he is found dead in the Orangery on his wedding night.

I chose the singer songwriter Allison Moorer. I loved her music and in this picture she said Allie to me.
The next heroine that I wrote about was Zoe. Her hero was Jack (Hugh Jackman) and she was a singer songwriter. Zoe and Jack's story was 'Dream Date' and was the first book I ever finished and it was requested by Mills & Boon but sadly got no further. Zoe wanted to follow her dream of going to Nashville and I wanted someone who looked quirky and determined.

I chose Lori McKenna who is a singer songwriter who followed her dream. Her songs have been recorded by Faith Hill.

Once I had brushed myself down after my rejection I started on another M&B.

My heroine was called Jo, she is the younger curvier sister of a top model. She works as a project manager in the construction industry and she wants to prove to her family that she is successful. She is someone who lives in her head. Her hero Lucas (Gerard Butler) is a reclusive artist with a penchant for picking up waifs and strays. He also hasn't painted in years. Until he takes one look at Jo and her curves. In my head there was only one woman with the fierceness and softness for this job.

Step forward Super Nanny, Jo Frost.

That story didn't last long and I moved onto 'Bah Humbug!' also known as 'The Wedding Carol'. Now I struggled with casting Edie Dickens. The story is based on 'A Christmas Carol' but is based around weddings. Edie is a divorce lawyer and she is visited by Ghosts of Weddings Past, Present and Future. I needed someone who could do uptight and end up soft and in the arms of ex-rugby international, Jack Twist.

I cast Emily Deschanel.

But as we all know I have moved on to the world of YA. Casting for 'The Stone Voice' (also known as 'Henges & Hormones') was easy when it came to the men. Quin is somewhat like RPattz and Lord Eden is Sam West. But Alexa was difficult.

Alexa is almost sixteen. And pretty bloody annoyed with life. At the beginning she is overly concerned with appearances. I struggled for ages to work out who she was. In fact I realise I don't give much of a description of her until well into the book. But then I realised who she was. Someone familiar. Ok so the person she is based on is well over twice her age (physically, not mentally) but really there was only one person it could be.....


Who are your heroines?

Don't forget to come back on Sunday to hear from Susanna


  1. My heroine in the book I am writing at the moment is Anne Hathaway. I needed someone who was pretty, but in a 'girl next door' kind of way. She wasn't stunning, but she was to my hero...if that makes sense? She is a mother so needed to look 'mumsy' and she is kind but a little bit of a flapper....I saw a picture of Anne Hathaway and straight away said - that's her!

    And my hero is Gerard Butler, too! :-)

  2. It is sometimes the exact picture which gives you the heroine you need!!

  3. It's strange, I always base my heroes on a real person, the way you've done with your heroines (and have a notice board full of "research" material to help me), but when it comes to the girls, I usually don't. Instead I try to figure out what sort of heroine would most appeal to that particular hero and then I just try to imagine her. It's worked so far!

    Great photo of you!

  4. Great post, Bridgid - I like your last Heroine the best. ;)

    I find it interesting how you cast your heroes and heroines on real people. I've never done that. My characters grow out of ideas I have for them and the plot of my story. The personality that develops and the name chosen both go far to determine the characters' looks.

  5. Christina & Sofie - I do start with the personality first, I don't actually choose who they look like until after I have the character settled in my head. I have found with writing YA that I find I don't need to use photos and casting as much as I did.

    And thanks :-)

  6. So that explains things Biddy!

    I usually cast my heroines first but that comes through the about 1/3 into the book I know her physically well enough to pick someone close. In August Rock the heroine is based on a dear friend of mine, Maddie in a Cornish House is wild and woolly Julia Roberts (her hero is Hugh Jackman)in Penderown I have based the younger heroine on Scarlett J and the elder on Helen Mirren... the current book I haven't found a 'star' but met her in an older version at a drinks party this month - it was a very wierd feeling to suddenly be chatting to her:-)