Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Remember When . . . I Began An Hour Unspent?

This week marked my self-appointed deadline for beginning my next book. I just realized that An Hour Unpsent is not only the third book in the Shadows Over England Series (which begins July 2017), but it will also be my 16th published novel...and my 34th finished novel (we'll just assume I'll complete it, LOL). Which means that, assuming I finish writing it before my birthday, it'll have the distinction of making it so that I've written a book for every year I've lived. Looking forward to outdoing that number. ;-)

But as I began writing, I quickly realized that while I have my plot largely figured out, I had only a vague impression of my characters. Very vague, which is unusual for me lately. Especially given that the hero, Barclay Pearce, has been in both of the first two books of the series. But my only physical descriptions of him are that he's average looking until he smiles, at which point he's nearly too-handsome to blend in--and blending in is always his goal.

So last night, I recruited my husband, who pays more attention than I do to all things TV, to help me find the perfect actors to play my characters. Sometimes it's fun to pretend like I'm a casting director. So here we are. Casting for An Hour Unspent.

First up was finding an actor to play Barclay. After much thumbing through IMDB on his phone and hemming and hawing and joking, he pulled up the Downton cast and said, "What about him?" to Dan Stevens.

Now, I'd watched the first season at Downton, so I knew him as Matthew Crawley...and he wasn't quite it. But when I looked up his images on his own and saw the photos from the new Beauty and the Beast, I changed my tune.

Yep. This is how I'd been picturing Barclay. Thin face, sandy blond-brown hair. Not given to smiling, though he's a joker. I hadn't yet nailed down his eye color, so we'll just go with Dan's blue. ;-)

But I had even less of a clue about my heroine Evelina, who's new to the series. I know she's rather pretty. That she's a suffragette. Sweet, but also with a backbone of steal and a fierce independent streak. After a bout of polio as a child left her with a limp, she's had to fight tooth and nail for that independence, too.

So what would she look like? No. Clue. I'm still not 100% sure I've nailed it, but . . . well, this morning I was browsing images of English actresses. I honestly hadn't even chosen a hair color for her, so I had nothing to go on. I was just looking for images that caught my eye and found one of Jane Levy that said, "I am the daughter of clockmaker who's always running late." ;-)

Something in her expression caught me, so at the moment I'm casting Jane as my Evelina Manning.

Auburn hair and blue eyes? Sure. Why not. ;-) (Interestingly, this will mark my first series where I didn't have a blond, a brunette, and a redhead as my 3 heroines, LOL.)

So what do you think? Any other suggestions for Barclay, my thief extraordinaire who has patched together a dozen orphans over the years to call his family? For Evelina, my suffragette who sees herself as the only out-of-balance gear in the perfect clockwork of the Manning household?

Regardless, stay tuned for more hints about the story as I get deeper into it!

The challenge:
to steal an hour from Big Ben's clock

The means:
a distracted clockmaker with a fascination with weaponry

The complication:
the perpetually-late clockmaker's daughter
who isn't about to let a little thing like war get in the way of her cause


  1. I have always liked Mark Wahlberg.

    1. Oh yeah, love Marky Mark! ;-) I had him in mind for the hero of a book that I've never finished...I'll definitely have to recast him in one of my to-be-published stories. =) He's a little too muscle-bound and angular for Barclay, but I should totally model a hero in the next series (whatever it might be) after him!

  2. I'm genuinely so excited about reading this someday! :) Elizabeth