Today is the first in another new series of blog posts. Casting Call will show you who I had in mind while I wrote each story.
To celebrate yesterday's release of Angels Sinners and Madmen, I'll feature it first. The setting: Key West, Florida, in 1856. So imagine all the period costumes, and the basic rugged lifestyle of island life.
Olivia (Livvie) Collins sails from New York after her father's death. She's rebuffed the advances of her father's business partner, and wants to make a living as a writer. Her destination is New Orleans, where her brother Wendell lives with his wife Marianne and their two children. She knows her welcome at Wendell and Marianne's house will be limited, and they'll throw ball after ball to introduce her to New Orleans society. And to marry her off. Livvie wants no part of it.
So when her ship wrecks on the reefs near Key West, Florida, she's rescued by Sam Langhorne. The wreck claimed the lives of several shipmates, and Livvie's happy to be alive. And relieved for the delay. Key West society is nothing like New York. Here, people do as they wish, living free as can be. At first, she rebuffs Sam's flirting. Yes, he's handsome, but can someone who makes his living as a wrecker have any internal depth? She's surprised to learn he does. He reads newspapers to keep up with current affairs, and has a small library in his wrecker's shack. He has a sharp wit that speaks of at least some education. Despite herself, she's intrigued by him.
Kate Winslet is perfect for this part. She's gorgeous in a natural way. Intelligent, with a sweet temperament that can unleash a sharp tongue if provoked.
Sam Langhorne came to Key West to forget women. His fiancee Helen spent most of his money, then cheated on him and broke his heart, so he's callous about breaking any woman's heart. Glad to leave behind the shallow minds of Philadelphia and the law firm his father forced him into, he loves the cameraderie of the wreckers, the free and easy life. The challenge of pitting himself against the most terrible of storms to rescue shipwrecked passengers - and then profit from the salvaged cargo. He can be a bit surly and untrusting, especially of women, who lust after him because he's so handsome.
Ah, Hugh Jackman would be incredible as Sam Langhorne. Hugh's wide range of acting parts show he's up for the task of playing a wrecker too. And he's a perfect match for Kate as Livvie, I think.
The secondary cast were also very vivid to me. Liam Byrne, Sam's best mate, I imagined Geoffrey Rush very clearly in every scene. And Helena Bonham Carter was perfect as Millie, a local woman of ill repute.
I hope you've enjoyed this peek inside my head. On August 5, I'll give you a Casting Call preview of Follow the Stars Home, my Native American historical novel releasing with Eternal Press on August 7.