Title: The Corvids – Autumn #1
Author: Lisa Ann Brown
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Published: October 14th 2012
Leading Ladies of “The Corvids” by Lisa Ann Brown
I’ve always been excited see who’s going to play my favourite literary characters in the film or television adaptation of novels I’ve read and loved. Everyone knows how casting is crucial to the success of a feature film or television episodic; the wrong actor in place can sink a project before it begins, just as the best actor for the role can ensure a solid win at the box office.
In terms of vampire casting, would “True Blood” be as hot as it is without Alexander Skarsgard as Eric Northman? (Oh, I think not!) Or “Twilight” as obsessively followed without Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen? (Doubtful!) Or how about the back-in-the-day negative furor over vampire casting, such as when Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat, in the film version of Anne Rice’s classic novel, “Interview With A Vampire”?
As a talent agent in the Vancouver film & television industry for many years, I was able to suggest and book my clients on many high profile projects such as “Twilight”, “The Watchmen”, “The Secret Circle” and innumerable, if not hundreds, of other literary adaptations.
Entertainment has always been my focus - in one form or another - and my hometown, Vancouver, BC, Canada lends a moody, atmospheric tension to the many creative endeavours happening in and around this beautiful oceanic and mountain shadowed city. Vancouver is constantly standing in for other locales, and posed most convincingly as Forks, WA in the “Twilight” saga; the endless grey rain of Vancouver’s autumn season was necessary to complete its dark scenic tension. I like to think that the rainy day skies, the endless green forests, the blue-grey hues of the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Coastal Mountain Range played a large part in visually preparing my description of “The Corvids”.
Casting for my own books, I would say Vancouver works for the location, but who would play which character is a much more interesting and intricate challenge. In “Book One: Autumn”, we meet Arabel Spade, who is pretty much described as the most beautiful girl anyone has ever seen. Below is Arabel’s description from “The Corvids – Book One: Autumn”:
“In the pale, early morning rays of dawn, Arabel peered at herself in the looking glass which sat upon her dresser. Her wide blue eyes scrutinized back with alarming intensity. Arabel’s thick, raven-black hair hung straight past her shoulders in a soft curtain. Her pale skin highlighted the rouge of her lips and the arches of her black eyebrows framed the beautiful oval of her face with precision.”
To be honest, there are at least a few million beautiful girls in the world and I’ve met an inordinate amount of them as a talent agent and manager. Many would probably fit the above description, but to find the actor with the intensity, the strength and the vulnerability to play this character would be the deciding factor. Far too often, casting directors and producers in Hollywood will cast a gorgeous model for a female lead and the project sinks because audiences are much savvier than the studios often give credit for and often beauty - while engaging enough in terms of its own appeal - isn’t the same as talent. The actor portraying Arabel has to be both a great actor and a great beauty.
Personally, the closest known actor I’ve seen to fit this role would be Ashley Rickards of MTV’s “Awkward” and “Fly Away” fame. Of course, her eyes are not blue and her hair is not black…but those are tiny considerations that hair and makeup will both gladly and easily alter. Ashley’s looks have undergone a bit of a radical transformation as “Awkward” is on hiatus, so she’s gone blonde and tan…which is definitely not Arabel, but I’d say Ashley’s a contender.
If Kristen Stewart hadn’t already starred as Bella in “Twilight” I have to admit, I’d probably want her for Arabel. For those who say Kristen isn’t much of an actor, I have to disagree – watch her in “The Runaways” as Joan Jett and then tell me the girl can’t act!
Other roles I’d want to cast would include tiny necromancer, Francesca de Lorimar, who we meet in “Book One: Autumn”, and who stars in “Book Two: Winter”. Here is a description of Francesca, from “Book One: Autumn”:
“She was an ethereal slip of a figure, paler than pale, with curly, white blonde hair and a diminutive frame. Her crimson dress served to heighten the effect of her bloodless skin and her eyes, when she opened them, and stared directly back at Arabel, were pink.”
Obviously anytime you need a diminutive, talented blonde starlet, you need to hire a Fanning sibling, so Elle Fanning – I think we’ll cast you! At five foot seven and fourteen years of age, however, we will have to use the “Hobbit-sizing” camera tricks to make Elle shorter and tinier!
The Gypsies of The Corvids are all dark, swarthy and handsome. Arabel’s love interest is Eli Frankel, and he is, quite simply, gorgeous. The glorious freedom of writing a book means I get to visualize, create and write hot, fantastic men I’d personally like to know! I’ll let you read the books and tell me who you think should be cast as Eli, Zander and Xavier!
In closing, I must admit that for all of the years I worked in the film industry, I was gratified many times when casting directors and producers hired my actors for roles I thought they were perfect for. It was very rewarding work – nurturing creativity and art – but I think my creativity is being utilized to much greater success by creating roles for actors to play, as opposed to simply suggesting actors for roles others have imagined into being.
I’d love to hear what you think! J
Arabel Spade was not like the other girls. She knew this for certain after old Mr. Hapkins’ funeral. Everyone turned out for the dismal ceremony, standing together in the spitting rain, hiding solemn faces under wide brimmed black hats and downturned glances. All eyes were upon the plain black coffin being lowered into the wet, dark soil; all eyes stood witness to the deceased man’s final journey into the cold belly of the earth.
Except for Arabel. She was too busy staring at the spectre of old Mr. Hapkins as he frantically tried to leverage the coffin open with grey stiff fingers, his skittish eyes darting back and forth in confusion as he did not understand the futility of his actions. His mouth worked wildly, as if he wanted to speak, to scream, to understand why he was not in his body and why said body was being lowered into the ground as the bagpipes played mournfully overtop the curtain of rain.
Arabel surveyed him sadly. She had seen his kind before. She also knew they never managed to reclaim their discarded bodies. They always tried, but none succeeded. Once the spirit left the mortal coil, it no longer belonged within the earthly realm. Of course Arabel was not exactly certain where they belonged, but it was obvious, it was no longer here at The Corvids. Arabel very much sympathized with their plight – she did not know if she belonged in The Corvids either.
Arabel Spade was not like the other girls.
Lisa Ann Brown
Lisa Ann has been involved with storytelling and entertainment, in one form or another, her entire life. Beginning her creative journey as both a writer and an actor, Lisa Ann spent many years immersing herself in innumerable books, countless theatre productions and earning a degree in Musical Theatre. Shortly after college, she attended the Vancouver Film School to learn the finer points of screenwriting. This study culminated in the writing of a few feature length scripts and an overwhelmingly potent desire to move from Canada to Hollywood. Once ensconced in East Hollywood however, creative inspiration lured Lisa Ann away from screenwriting and returned her to her original writing intentions: to be a novelist. In three months, Lisa Ann had completed her first novel, I Raid, and there has been no cessation of her novel writing ever since. Moving back to Canada, she spent many years working as a talent agent in Vancouver before retiring from the film industry to focus on writing full-time. Lisa Ann derives great personal satisfaction by delivering her characters through the twisting arcs and unexpected tribulations of their imaginary lives. She strives to keep her readers on edge while enjoying the suspense and surprise of their literary journey. She resides in picturesque Vancouver, BC, Canada where she is happily nestled in between the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountain range.
Lisa has offered an ecopy of The Corvids – Autumn #1 to one lucky person. Just enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win!!
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