All writers hope for film or TV deal. If any of us say we don’t, we’re lying. Aside from the (often actually quite small) financial boost, it’s a massive pat on the back, and a kick to see characters you’ve imagined made flesh and blood. Even if they’re not the ones we’d slated for the parts during those idle times when we assemble our ideal cast, along with our Desert Island Discs and Oscar-win speech. But a few of us (it can’t just be me) start the casting process a lot earlier. With no imagined prize in sight, and before a word of the novel is even written. For me, I need my characters made flesh and blood so that I can write them into being, which is why casting a novel is the first thing I do.
Sometimes it’s people I know. Occasionally it’s someone I see on the street. But most of the time, I fall back on A list actors, who I will have seen enough to know how they speak, move, inhabit a character, so that they can inhabit mine.
So in The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings, twins Daisy and Bea are played by I Capture the Castle era Romola Garai.
Jason (and his later incarnation James) is played by a fey, teenage Ben Wishaw, while his nemesis, the arrogant Hal is a swaggering Dominic West. All three of these actors have appeared in my novels before, and will doubtless appear again. Along with Anna Friel, Sean Bean, Will Poulter and Millie Bobby Brown. So even if the film of the book never gets made, I’ve already watched it played out in my head countless times, to rapturous applause (albeit only mine).
The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings is out in hardback, Audible and eBook today. You can order it by clicking here.