It's a pretty reliable question from readers: "Who would you cast in the movie of your book?" or "What actor/actress do you see as Jack?" It's always Jack, interestingly enough. My answer always surprises them: When I'm writing, I don't see my characters' faces. To me, they are a combination of personality traits and tiny physical characteristics: Jack's long eyelashes, the chicken pox scar above Ellie's eye, Kelly's blonde hair, Buck Pollard's barrel chest, Miner's sallow complexion, Ethan's vampire dude hair. As a writer, I don't like describing my characters in too much detail. I prefer the reader to envision the character themselves. It gives the reader ownership of the characters, ties them to the character in a way my detailed description wouldn't.
Still, I get the appeal of casting the movie. (Personally, I'd love to see STILLWATER as a TV series.) There have been dozens of times I've watched a tv show or movie and thought, "She would make a good Ellie." There was one time in Starbucks when Jack McBride literally walked in the door. As soon as I laid eyes on that man I knew he was Jack come to life. You know what's funny? I can't describe him to save my life, except he was tall, dark and handsome and knew how to wear a suit.
The other day when I was pulling together my list of Cowboys & Cowgirls You Want to Ride Off Into the Sunset With (if you haven't checked it out, or shared it on social media, you should!), I decided to cast STILLWATER and blog about it so my STILLWATER readers don't think I've completely forgotten about them, what with all the SAWBONES promotion.
Remember, these aren't who I see when I write, but the actors/actresses I'd like to play the parts.