I originally signed up to do a casting post just because I thought it would be fun. After

all, isn’t that a daydream that a lot of us writers have – to see our books become really

popular and be cast as the next blockbuster movie? However, I didn’t anticipate just

how challenging it would be. For one thing, although I know a lot of authors do, I

don’t typically use actors or actresses as an inspiration for my characters. I will

occasionally use stock photos. In this case, I used the photograph of the characters that

ended up on the cover as my inspiration for Grant and Lainie. That means the people

on the cover are actually how I see Grant and Lainie in my head. That being the case

it was rather challenging to imagine them otherwise when trying to cast them.

Secondly, I don’t watch a lot of movies. That became explicitly clear when I tried to

find the right actress to play Lainie. Everyone I thought of turned out to be far too old.

Clearly, I’m behind the times when it comes to movies. That being said, I do watch a

great many crime dramas on TV. When I went back to what I know, the actor to play

Lainie became fairly obvious.

jj-as-lainie_200AJ Cook is best known for her role as SSA JJ Jarreau on

Criminal Minds. She plays a career FBI agent who is

also a wife and mother. I think she could pull off all the

complexity that Lainie goes through as a tough sassy

modern woman who really wants her husband to take

charge but has no idea how to handle it, and occasionally

lets her stubbornness and independence get the better of

her.

With my choice for Lainie settled, I set about trying to

find the right actor to play Grant. That’s when I made

my second discovery of how challenging this process

could be. It turns out that finding redheaded male actors

in Hollywood is darn near impossible. Google offered

Danny Bonaduce, who is far too old, as is Ron Howard or Rupert Grint, who is

forever in my mind is Ron Weasley and therefore could never be my sincere but

hesitant HOH. Finally, after wading my way through God knows how many pictures,

I finally decided not to worry about whether or not the actor actually looked like

Grant, as far as hair color and such. After all, they managed to make Sam Heughan,

who is naturally blonde, into my favorite redhead of all time (sorry, Grant) Jamie

Fraser.

 

SamHeughan200

Jamie_200

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casper-Van-Dien_Grant3_200Of course, as luck would have it, as soon as I gave up on

finding a redhead. I found a redhead. 🙂 Casper Van

Dien, to be exact.

He is apparently best known for his roles in Starship

 

 

Troopers and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I’ve seencasper-van-dien-Gran_200t

bits and pieces of Starship Troopers, and I’ve never seen

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow so I can’t really speak to

his acting ability, but I can see him playing Grant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

dakota-fanning-kathleen_200Though Grant and Lainie are the main characters, they

also have two teenage daughters, and the oldest,

Kathleen, plays a fairly significant role in the plot so I

couldn’t leave them out. Casting the girls brought about

my third challenge. (I don’t know why I should be

surprised. Kathleen is a challenging character. Why

wouldn’t she be just as much of a challenge to cast.) I

discovered that pretty much everything available on the

Internet for child actors is severely outdated. Most of the

child actors listed are now in their 20s or even 30s.

Finally though I found someone I think could play Grant

and Lainie’s stubborn wild child, who is convinced her

parents have moved her into some strange cult, Kathleen

– Dakota Fanning.

That left their youngest daughter, twelve-year-oldMcKinsey-Foy-as-Natalie_200

Natalie (who is 13 by the time of Unexpected Surprises).

She loves Corbin’s Bend and is finally being accepted

and making friends for the first time in her life. She is by

far the least difficult of the characters in the story.

However, she proved to be the absolute most difficult to

cast. Even after I had already found actors for the rest of

the family, Natalie continued to elude me, partially

because she looks like her father and I ran into the

scarcity of redheads again.

Finally, I discovered Mackenzie Foy. She is best known

for playing young Renessme Cullen in Breaking Dawn,

part two. However, that’s been several years ago, and

she is now 14, much grown up from the tiny innocent little girl she played there.

When I found this picture on Facebook, I knew I had (finally!) found my Natalie.

 

 

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SW6Y5UKLearning to Live Again

Author: Ruth Staunton

Available from: Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Blushing

Books

Tired of increasing chaos in his family life and the

distance that is growing between him and his wife,

Lainie, Grant Taylor decides the only way to save his

marriage is to get back to the domestic discipline

lifestyle he grew up with. When he finds Corbin’s Bend

on the Internet, he is certain it is the perfect place for

them to start over.

Exhausted and tired of juggling everything herself,

Lainie reluctantly agrees to her husband’s suggestion. However, she is new to the

lifestyle and more than a little uncertain about it. To make matters worse, their 15-

year-old daughter Kathleen is convinced they had moved her into some kind of weird

spanking cult. She is miserable and not at all shy about letting everybody know it.

Will moving to Corbin’s Bend be their saving grace, or will it be the final straw that

tears them apart?

Available: Blushing Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

 

 

Love-in-the-Rockies-6x9Unexpected Surprises

Author: Ruth Staunton

Part of the Love in the Rockies boxed set along with

stories from Thianna D, Kathryn R. Blake, Kate

Richards, Etta Stark, and Constance Masters.

Available: February 1, 2015

For their first Valentine’s Day in Corbin’s Bend, Grant

Taylor is determined to do something special for his

wife Lainie. Lainie, however, has plans of her own. As a

middle school teacher, she has volunteered to help plan

and chaperone the Valentine dance that is being held for

the middle and high school students.

When Grant hears this, he insists that she is working too

hard and needs to cut back on the things she has committed to, the first and foremost

being the Valentine’s Day dance. Lainie insists that she can’t do that and finally he

reluctantly agrees to let her work part of the dance and then come home.

Under extreme protest, Lainie agrees, but when the time comes to admit to her

supervisor that she can’t chaperone, she changes her mind and decides Grant is being

unreasonable. She determines to chaperone the dance anyway and deal with Grant

later. Unfortunately, Lainie’s plan doesn’t work out quite like she intended it to and

she is in for quite a few unexpected surprises.