Eight aspiring romance authors, five rounds of voting, and one prize – a book deal with Dorchester Publishing …
American Title V is the ultimate reality contest for romance readers played out on the pages of the Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine. Just like American Idol, the public decides who will move on to the next round of the competition. Two rounds have played out and six contestants remain.
Today we ask each of them a question.If your novel was turned into a Hollywood movie, who would you cast as the leads?Let’s hear what they had to say…
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When I was asked to find actors to cast in the roles of ANCIENT WHISPERS’ characters, I was puzzled for a moment. It’s not easy to put a real person into what came straight out of my imagination.Who could really measure up? Natalie Portman would be perfect in the role of my heroine Lily Bellefontaine. With her quiet strength and classical beauty, Portman would play well Lily’s depth and toughness.
And when my writer partners suggested Ryan Reynolds as the casting of immortal sorcerer Gabriel Callan, I knew they were onto something. With his powerful presence and strength, his bad boy look, Reynolds is the perfect actor to play bold Gabriel.His dangerous air even gives us that glimpse of a tortured soul so present in my enticing and doomed Gabriel. And you have to admit, he looks pretty good without his shirt on!
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When I write a character with an accent very different from mine, I like to have a voice reference. For Nate, I chose David Tennant, best known as the estuary-accented Doctor in “Doctor Who”, but in fact a Scot. (You can hear his real accent in interviews and in the BBC’s bizarre not-quite-musical, “Blackpool”.) As I absorbed the voice, not only did Nate begin to resemble Tennant physically, growing lean and lithe and puckish, but he developed a distinct tendency—like more than one Tennant character—to babble.
Katee Sackhoff might seem like an odd choice for my heroine, since unlike Sackhoff’s usual characters, Reba is a 19th-century country lass, not a borderline-psychotic military-trained fembot from the future. But Reba and Sackhoff’s Kara Thrace share three characteristics: a quick temper, a mischievous spark in their eyes, and—most importantly—a facade that seems impenetrable but is actually eggshell thin.
Hugh Jackman is the perfect fit for my hero Christopher Black. Christopher is a self-made man caught between his duty to find his friend’s killer and Rebecca, a woman he’s insanely attracted to, a woman who has ties to the murder.He’s intelligent, perceptive, and highly protective, although a past relationship has put a mighty big chip on his shoulder.
Kate Winslet is the only actress that came to mind who could pull off my vision of Rebecca Bailey. Rebecca is a sensible housemaid whose life spirals out of control.When her father comes to owe hundreds of dollars to dangerous men, she does the unthinkable.She impersonates an heiress to attract a wealthy suitor only to fall in love with a man who believes she’s capable of murder. And all the while, Rebecca is human – clumsy, a horrible liar, a woman doing the best she can.
Jada Pinkett Smith as Siren Jones.
Siren isn’t the traditional heroine: she’s a kick butt harpy with a temper that has a mind of its own. She’s intelligent, feisty and beautiful. Who better to play her than Jada Pinkett Smith, who embodies all those qualities?
Gerard Butler as Daniel Smith.
Daniel is a genetically-enhanced human with the ability to shape shift into stone form in direct sunlight. His Irish heritage, exotic looks and jaded past make him a gamma hero: dangerous and oh so sexy! No one epitomizes hunky bad boy better than Gerard Butler. Although he’s Scottish, his brogue gets me every time.
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My story, TRUE TO THE HIGHLANDER, has a heroine who is mixed–Native American, and white. I have a very specific image of her in my mind, and finding someone to play her was a challenge. I searched and searched and came up with Andi Muise. She is perfect, except her hair should be longer.
Malcolm was a lot easier. Yes, I know Gerard Butler has already been chosen, but what can I say. My favorite line in TRUE TO THE HIGHLANDER is, “Alethia awoke to find herself draped in hot, naked Scot.” Who else could I have chosen? Can you blame me?
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Brooding songwriter Luke Rivers wants to give his newly found eleven-year old daughter a happy, secure and normal home. Hard to do when he finds out his new house is haunted. And did I mention that Luke is hot? After giving this a lot of thought and looking at many pictures, I went with a young Bruce Springsteen. Bruce is a physical match for Luke. But more than that, he has the same intense energy and passion. You can hear it in Bruce’s songs, and you can hear it in Luke’s songs.
Cassie Taylor, ghost whisperer, was harder because she’s 5’3 and curvaceous. Not a common sight in Hollywood. In the end, I chose Minnie Driver. Though she’s not a physical match, she has Cassie’s inner qualities. The movie viewer will see her vulnerabilities beneath her tough exterior. She has layers. Just like Cassie.
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Thank you to the finalists for joining us today. Voting for Round 3 began this week, Monday, Jan. 19 and runs until Sunday, Feb. 1st. This round focuses on story summaries for the novels left. Visit Romantic Times to view summaries and contestant bios, then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title you’d like to vote for in the subject heading.
And stay tuned. Dates for the remaining rounds are:
Round 4: Feb. 16-Mar. 1
Final Round: Mar. 16-29
Also visit the ATV finalists on their blog www.loveconquers.wordpress.com.
Any questions or comments have at it.