Planning a book is a BIGGGGGGG thing. All over the house Moontrug has got spider diagrams of characters, maps showcasing settings and mood boards brainstorming plot angles. And one of the things that really helps Moontrug shape characters is having a mini photo of a film star in mind for each of her characters. You’ll be pleased to know Johnny Depp and George Clooney feature already… And it turns out Moontrug isn’t alone in this technique – author of the FABULOUS Violet & The Pearl of the Orient, Harriet Whitehorn, had a few movie icons in mind when creating her debut for 7+ years. Moontrug has a review of Violet coming next week but in the meantime, here is a brief blurb on the book before Whitehorn takes over with an LA lowdown on her characters. When the Count and Countess Du Plicitous move into Violet’s neighbourhood she’s sure there’s something strange about them. And when her eccentric neighbour, Dee Dee Derota, has a precious jewel called the Pearl of the Orient stolen, a series of clues make Violet think the new family are to blame. But with no one willing to listen to her, Violet’s going to need to use all her detective skills to uncover THE TRUTH…
Harriet Whitehorn here – with a warning! You are now about to enter author fantasy land… I’m in LA, lying on a unfeasibly comfortable sun lounger, a cocktail in my hand. Sitting attentively by my side is one of the top, no the top, casting agent in Hollywood. Their pen is poised to record my every thought concerning the cast of the forthcoming blockbuster movie of Violet & The Pearl of the Orient…
Buy Violet & The Pearl of The Orient here
Rose,Violet and Isabella
I’ve only just started and despite several sips of my cocktail, I am feeling rather stumped, as the only suitable children’s actors I know are now about thirty five. So over to my casting agent on this one, and maybe that’s good as she won’t think I’m entirely bossy and controlling.
Right I’m in gear now and this one was easy – he even has the same first name – Benedict Cumberbatch. He would bring the perfect blend of humour, slight eccentricity and great Englishness that I imagine Benedict to have.
The counterpoise to Benedict’s Englishness is Camille, his very glamorous French wife. I love Eva Green but she is too gothic for Camille. Audrey Tatou would be great, as she is funny too, but I’m sure Marion Cottilard could manage it. In fact any of those beautiful French actresses would do.
When I was writing the book, Dee Dee was the only character for whom I did have an actress in mind and that was, drumroll please… Gena Rowlands, who is the actress in The Notebook film. I see from Wikipedia that she is now 84, so she might take some persuading, but she would be absolutely perfect.
The Count Du Plicitous
This is the character that I have had the most trouble with. Charles Dance would be good but then, maybe he is a bit too scary – I can’t really shake the image of him as Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones. Hugh Grant is the right level of menacing but I think he would be such a marvellous Uncle Johnny, that I have to save him for that. So I have settled on the more unusual choice of Colin Firth. He looks right and I think it would be fun for him to play a baddie for once.
The Countess Du Plictious
It think it might be rather beneath the formidable talents of Cate Blanchett, but she would play the Countess beautifully. Probably worth the phone call…
Celeste is an old school friend of Camille’s but is very much a grown-up tomboy. I’m finding my knowledge of French actresses a little limited here but I could imagine Juliet Binoche convincingly being an adventurous wildlife photographer.
I know it’s wrong to have favourites but I have to admit that PC Green probably is my favourite adult character and for ages I couldn’t think of the right actor. And then it came to me in a flash – Rupert Grint. And now I can’t imagine anyone else.
Norma and Ernest
Although these two characters are in the background they are crucial to events and I think you could have some fun with them – I didn’t describe their physical appearance in the text and therefore you could have any nationality, any age really so over to my casting agent while I order another cocktail…
Look out for Moontrug’s review of Harriet Whitehorn’s Violet and the Pearl of the Orient next week!