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.
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
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
finding a redhead. I found a redhead. 🙂 Casper Van
Dien, to be exact.
He is apparently best known for his roles in Starship
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.
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.
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.
Author: Ruth Staunton
Available from: Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Blushing
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?
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.