My Life as a Casting Director

By Susan Blexrud, author of Valentine VoteHis Fantasy Maid, and The Gettysburg Vampire

Valentine VoteDisclaimer: I am NOT a casting director. But I want to be in my next life. When I read a book I love, I find myself casting the movie, and I think I have a knack for finding the next gorgeous hero long before anyone else notices him. This is totally misguided on my part, but let me give you a couple of examples.

I was sure that when I saw Tom Mison in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen that I was the first star-struck female who had spotted him. I Googled him and added his gorgeous mug to my cadre of muses on my Pinterest site. I had discovered someone, right? Evidently not. In autumn of last year, the new FOX series, Sleepy Hollow, debuted, and there was Tom Mison as the star, Ichabod Crane. Huh. Someone else (okay, maybe all of tinseldom) had also thought he was the bee’s knees.

The same thing happened with Michael Fassbender. Didn’t I discover him? And then there was Richard Armitage and Benedict Cumberbatch. Surely, I recognized their magnetism long before they were tapped for major roles.

Enough with the delusions.

I didn’t come close to introducing those guys to the populace. Oh, but I admit to fantasizing about being a casting director and calling them for a screen test, handing over a script for them to read, momentarily connecting with their long, thin fingers, but that’s just a go-to fantasy for sleepless nights.

In the meantime, I can draw upon my Pinterest snapshots for inspiration…and I do. Typically, when I begin a story (after working through an outline of what happens when), I don’t have a muse in mind. The physical characteristics of my hero emerge as I write; the way he dips his head can inspire hair color, the way he averts his eyes can pinpoint the golden flecks there. He will surely have broad shoulders and a slim waist. I like my heroes long and lean, as evidenced by my celebrity muses. I’m not fond of too much bulk. I want a hero who can move quickly and elegantly. As I write my book, and particularly if I’m stuck on a scene or chapter, I insert a real guy from my Pinterest page to spur me on. For Valentine Vote, my newest book for Crimson Romance, I envisioned my hero, Senator Eric Morrison, as a Michael Fassbender lookalike, with a strong jaw and intense stare. I think the cover artist nailed him.

Oh, and if you’d like to see some of the muses that inspire me, head over to my Pinterest page and claim them for your own. But don’t forget, I discovered them (cough).