I read a long time ago that J.K. Rowling had a wish-list cast in mind before the Harry Potter books were made into movies—including Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith as Snape and McGonagall, respectively. I thought, what a lucky bitch, getting to see her story cast!
I think many of us fiction writers fantasize about such an opportunity, so this week I invited my fellow Naughty Author Chicks to talk about their man-candy muses and fantasy cast members. Actors, celebrities, animé legends…these are examples of the men (and women) we have in our heads as the physical models for our characters. Some are straight-up muses—that person who sparks a new idea for a character. Some are actors in the movies playing in our heads when we write. Some are the people we'd short-list to portray our characters, should a movie magically be optioned for our books.
Compiling these was an absolute blast, and I was shocked that we didn't have any repeats! It's quite a mix. I'll start with myself. Here are a few of the faces who haunt my brain when I write:
1) Julian Barrett, one-half of the surreal British comedy double-act, the Mighty Boosh. It's probably this man's fault I even started writing novels to begin with. He's got the face (if not the body or dress sense) of the hero of my very first manuscript, a yet-to-be published single-title romance. 2) Ken Leung, a.k.a. Miles from Lost. According to the movie inside my head, he plays Pike, the long-suffering, grumpy medic from my current work-in-progress. 3) Jakob Dylan, son of Bob and Wallflowers frontman. This picture is the exact image of my WIP's too-handsome-to-trust Glaswegian sociopath, Ian Kilpatrick. 4) Christian Marc, the Parisian hairstylist from most seasons of America's Next Top Model [guilty pleasure alert] with a penchant for jaunty hats. He's not the spitting image of Gabriel, Shivaree's anti-hero, but he definitely sowed a seed.
Clearly, I like brunet men with dark squinchy eyes who can't operate a razor. Preferably ones wearing silly hats.
Next is Stephanie Adkins. She stuck to one hunky muse:
Can you see why? Here's what Stephanie said: "I definitely have a character that was inspired by one of my favorite actors—Gary Dourdan. I used to love watching him on CSI: Las Vegas, and when I wrote Resisting Kane, he was the hero in my mind that I brought to life in Terence Kane. I even printed out a picture of Gary and taped it to my monitor while I typed for inspiration. Terence is a cop in my story, and he's stubborn, just like my heroine, Madison Carey. They went to high school together and they never got along. In Resisting Kane, they're reunited fifteen years later, and boy oh boy are there ever fireworks."
Now on to Michelle Polaris and her A-list celebrity stable.
"In Bound Odyssey, my futuristic BDSM ménage, three character images fell into my lap. One of my heroes, Roman Nash, a sophisticated hillbilly sexual switch (love the contradictions) was immediately captured for me by the image of 1) Matthew McConnahey. He has sparkling bad-boy blue eyes. Jace Argo, my second hero, needed to be dark and brooding. Although 2) Hugh Jackman is too good-natured in real life, his scowling character in Wolverine made me think he'd be perfect for Jace. The images above are the ones that captured the pictures in my head. Mira, the heroine, I pictured as 3) Charisma Carpenter, who if you look on the web has so many looks to her it spun my head. But again I took the one that fit for me. It was tons of fun finding the right matches.
Next up is Jina Bacarr, who's got a cast for the movie she plays in her head when she writes:
"When I created Shintaro, the samurai lord for my Harlequin Spice novel, The Blonde Samurai, I remembered the fascinating samurai 1) Katsumoto in the film [played by actor Ken Watanabe], The Last Samurai, and decided to paste his picture alongside the 2, 3) animé photos representing my two other lead characters, Katie O'Roarke (Lady Carlton) and Akira, a younger samurai. The Blonde Samurai is the story of an Irish-American heiress who marries an abusive English lord and falls in love with the handsome samurai, Shintaro, in 1873 Japan. Since my story is an erotic romance with an m/f/m relationship—Lady Carlton, Shintaro and his squire, Akira—I discovered that by having these characters pasted on my Vision Board to look at while I wrote their story, it helped me establish their loving and sensual relationship in an evocative and titillating manner."
Last but so not least, Dalton Diaz came through and offered up the man we all somehow failed to! He's not an actor, but how could anybody resist casting this man?
Dalton supplied the portrait, but I couldn't resist adding the bod shot. Dalton said: "My visual inspiration for Jordan Fox in Illegal Moves is David Beckham, and I distinctly remember [co-author] Samantha Cayto wholeheartedly agreeing with me. In fact, I tore out this exact image that I found in Men's Health magazine. Yes, I have a subscription. You know, research and all that!"
So those are some of the unsuspecting innocents we're itching to lure onto our naughty casting couch. Thanks for sharing, ladies! Now, how about you? Any other writers out there with a fantasy star roster? How about readers who've assigned a famous face to beloved characters from their favorite books? Tell us about it!