Wednesday, 25 June 2014

YALC Readathon Guest Post - CJ Skuse

So we're onto day three of the YALC Readathon! How are you all getting on? Remember to let us know what books you're reading and loving by using the #yalcreadathon hashtag on Twitter!

Today I've got a great guest post from CJ Skuse, one of my favourite UKYA authors. She's here today to share her dream cast for her latest book, Dead Romantic. If anyone's in need of a pick me up in the form of shirtless hunks then you'll probably want to keep reading...

CJ Skuse’s Dream Cast for Dead Romantic

My third YA novel, Dead Romantic, is the first book which I had almost fully cast in my head before writing. With my first, Pretty Bad Things, I had my mother, father, grandfather and boy twin, Beau, all cast and ready to go but my main character, Paisley, was just a body and a personality – with blue eyes and blonde hair. No one really ever got the part. In Rockoholic, I had some characters out (Mac was a young Adam Lambert, Jackson was a young Seth Gabel, Hallie was Dakota Fanning etc) but some always remained hazy – including my main character, Jody. Dead Romantic’s cast looks something like this…

CAMILLE MABB: Camille is, basically, a ditz. She’s very much still a child and hasn’t had those important life experiences yet which force you to grow up and think about more sensible things. She’s also still very much a mummy’s/daddy’s girl and she kind of likes it that way. Meeting Zoe and later, Louis, is her spring board for growing up. I originally saw Camille as a 16-year-old version of the toddler, Cree, in Rockoholic. Physically, she is pretty much Pandora from Skins series 3&4.

ZOE LUTWYCHE: If Camille is Pandora in Skins, then Zoe is Effy. Or at least, she has the same kind of tone/bleak outlook as Effy, but the brain of Einstein. Facially, at least, she is Frances Bean Cobain; stunningly beautiful if a little scary to the untrained eye. She has the blackest hair, the bluest eyes and walks with an air of superiority. She is one of the few people I’ve written who kind of has the right to walk that way cos she’s an utter genius.

DAMIAN DE JAGER: Continuing the Skins theme, the sex-obsessed hot head Damian is Jack O’Connell with dark hair. (Jack played Cook in Series 3&4 of Skins). Yeah I know, I’m obsessed with Skins. His personality is at least one part Jay Cartwright from Inbetweeners and also a little bit Del Boy too. I wanted him to be a little bit three-dimensional, which is why you get the hint that meeting Zoe really is going to change him in more ways than he could have imagined and for this reason, I find him quite endearing. If I had done a sequel, it would have been about Damian’s ongoing quest for Zoe and his battle to win her affections as much as Sexy Dead Boy has. But he has his work cut out.

PROF. THOMAS LUTWYCHE (Zoe’s dad): The third appearance of Gerard Way in as many of my novels finds him as Zoe’s dearly-departed father Thomas. In both My Chemical Romance videos for I Don’t Love You and Helena, Gerard reminds me of a mad man and that’s really what Thomas is – a man driven mad by his work. I lent this image to Thomas and watched him grow from there.

CAMILLE’S MUM AND DAD: I was a bit lazy with casting here. I was watching a lot of repeats of Gavin & Stacey (as well as Skins) at the time of writing and I was looking to cast an older married couple as Camille’s parents. I saw Pam and Mick, Gavin’s mum and dad, as portrayed by Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb, and I loved their relationship so I just used them. Pam is like an older version of Camille with all her malapropisms and fussing/worrying over nothing so I think they work quite well.

LOUIS BURNETT: *sighs* Ah Louis, love of my life. Wherefore are thou? You just bring ALL the noms. Anyway, *ahem* Louis is basically a timid version of Clapton Davis, a character portrayed by Josh Hutcherson in Detention. Louis has brown hair, brown eyes, weird dress sense and an insane but quiet desire for Camille. I have an insane desire for Louis which continues to this day.

SEXY DEAD BOY: Even though *spoiler* we don’t get to properly meet Sexy Dead Boy, I always imagined him with blonde shaggy hair and perfect, well, everything else. A little bit Alex Pettyfer with a soupcon of River Viiperi. With the mind of a deranged genius Gerard Way. What a combo...


So, there you have it, CJ's dream cast for Dead Romantic? What do you think? Those of you who have read this one, did you picture the characters in the same way as CJ?

CJ will be at YALC so if you want the chance to meet her make sure you head to her writing workshop at 11.30am on Saturday July 12th, and her signing, which is at 2.15pm, also on the Saturday.

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