It's All About the Casting - Kendra Leigh Castle on Wild Highland Magic and the wonders of Photobucket

It's All About the Casting - Kendra Leigh Castle on Wild Highland Magic and the wonders of PhotobucketThere’s a lot to be said for becoming a romance writer…after all, I get paid to make up stories that always have a happy ending, and I get to work in my pajamas. One bit that’s turned out to be a little more frustrating than I thought, though, is researching how I want my characters to look. Sounds like the MOST fun, right? And sifting through pictures of beautiful men doesn’t sound like very taxing work. Well…yes and no. There may be one guy who looks something like your hero out there and well-known enough to be photographed. But try finding him when you need him, and ARGH! It’s man picture overload, and it’s more frustrating than scintillating.So why bother? Well, it’s all well and good to have a rough idea of what your hero and heroine look like. But for a lot of writers, there needs to be a visual reference as well. Not absolutely necessary, of course, and sometimes there’s just no real-life corollary to the imaginary. But I’ll admit, it IS nice to have a picture to look at, both for writing descriptions and for visualization. Sometimes I’ll start with a particular face in mind to start…for instance, Gideon MacInnes in Call of the Highland Moon was always going to look like Gerard Butler in Timeline. I just loved that look (and, okay, I’ll admit to having a slight Gerry Butler thing), and it was perfect for a big Scottish werewolf as well. In my new release, Wild Highland Magic, my heroine was much easier to find than my hero. Of course, Cat is at least from Earth, even if she does have decidedly supernatural parentage.  Bastian…not so much.Catriona MacInnes is a half-werewolf, half-witch who has just discovered that not only is her father not an orphan and a freak of nature, as he’d always claimed, but that he’s the estranged brother of the leader of an ancient pack of Scottish Highland werewolves. She and her sisters wind up accompanying their dad to the annual pack gathering, where Cat finds a lot more than she’d bargained for in a certain otherworldly stranger whose power comes with some deadly problems.  Cat, in my mind, always looked a lot like Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic, a favorite movie of mine.  Long brown hair, soulful tip-tilted eyes, and a lithe figure of the sort I always wished I had…perfect for the first werewolf heroine I’ve written, earthy and stunning.It's All About the Casting - Kendra Leigh Castle on Wild Highland Magic and the wonders of PhotobucketThen there was Bastian an Morgaine, who is the mysterious big brother of my previous heroine Rowan and a powerful, if cursed, hero in his own right.  I won’t tell you what he’s been up to out in the secluded cottage on the grounds of the MacInnes estate, but I will say that he’s begun to wonder if the cure for his curse might turn out to be worse than the curse itself!  Anyway, I found out pretty quickly that there’s a frustrating dearth of actors and models who have the sort of Nordic look I was going for, pale blonde hair and ice blue eyes.  I’ve got a stubborn streak, though (which is, unfortunately, not a very well-kept secret), and I finally stumbled across a picture of a character I really should have remembered, considering my pre-teen obsession with him: Iceman.

Yes, you heard me right.  Bastian wound up looking a lot like Val Kilmer as Iceman in Top Gun. Val has sorta lost teh sexy these days, but back then, and in that movie, he was plenty hot and definitely hero material.  I mean, look at the picture, seriously!  So what catches me the most when I’m looking? I’ve found that most of the time, it’s the eyes. I’ve always been a sucker for an arresting pair of eyes, whether soulful or intense, and I’m afraid that’s an affliction my heroines have picked up! But that’s not all…take Val in the picture up there.  Yes, he’s definitely got the icy, yet somehow hungry, gaze.  His lips have Excellent Kisser practically stamped on them.  Hair?  Blonde and spiky, yep. Lastly there’s his expression, which I can only describe as…come hither:-) How could I resist making him the model for my hero?  I think I chose well, because Cat certainly couldn’t resist him!  And…I may have just a tiny thing for guys in flights suits, considering I’m married to a Top Gun grad. Thanks so much to Romance Junkies for having me here today, and to all of you for stopping by!  I’ll be in all day to chat, so please come in and say hi!  So my question for you is: which actor or actress would you love to see head into a romance novel to play the lead? And what about his or her looks do you find so compelling and/or appealing?Kendra Leigh Castle is the author of the MacInnes Werewolves trilogy, as well as the upcoming series The Fallen, coming from Harlequin Nocturne.  She lives in Maryland with her husband, three kids, and menagerie of pets, and loves to be visited online at

25 Responses to It's All About the Casting – Kendra Leigh Castle on Wild Highland Magic and the wonders of Photobucket

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  2. Genevive Ventress

    I think he was involved in a strange gun incident

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  5. Максим Кузьмичев

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  6. Ростислав

    Точно! Это точно всем пригодится.

  7. Lisa

    As an aspiring romance writer myself, I often picture a movie in my head of my stories. There is only one star of my novels and that’s Gerard Butler. His ability to look so very different in every role, even in his private life, gives me the versatility of different heroes.

    Gerry is the only hero to me ….

  8. Carol L.

    Hi Kendra,
    I can’t wait to read Wild Highland Magic. I love Scottish highlander/werewolf stories. Val Kilmar was one hot pilot back in the day.
    I too loved him as Doc Holliday. But Hugh Jackman is a hottie and Antonio Banderas is sexy as they come.
    Carol L.

  9. MarthaE

    Gorgeous cover! I liked Val K in The Saint. And Ladyhawke is a favorite movie of mine. I still like Jeremy Northam for a mature role! Guess I’m not up on the younger guys as much! Someone did say Viggo M right – yum. I really liked Sandra Bullock especially in While You Were Sleeping!

  10. Kendra Leigh Castle

    Hi Amy:-) I love Keanu too, he’s adorable. Although I will always think, just a little bit, of Ted Theodore Logan when I see him. Wyld Stallynz RULES!

  11. Kendra Leigh Castle

    Hi Lori! Well, he was WAY hotter than Johnny Nagorelli, LOL! I think I loved Richie Sambora back in the Slippery When Wet days, but, umm…he hasn’t aged very well. But once upon a time, he could rock the leather pants with the best of them:-) And then I liked the drummer from Slaughter…oh my God, the hair band days! I think it’s cool you married a rocker:-)

    Hi elysabeth! That is SO funny that your character just appeared on TV! It happens sometimes, you just see someone and they’re IT. I would have fallen out of my chair too!

  12. Amy S.

    Wild Highland Magic sounds great! Yummy pic of Iceman! Keanu Reeves is my answer. lol. He’s so cute!

  13. elysabeth

    I hear ya loud and clear. In my current WIP my hero looks like a scruffier, long haired “Owen Hunt” from Grey’s Anatomy. I started writing this one well before I had even seen him on tv (in that role. I’ve seen the actor on Journey Man and other roles. ) Then around January as I was flipping channels I landed on an episode of Grey’s I had never seen previously. I hadn’t watched that show in probably two seasons! And there he was. It about knocked me out of the chair.
    Needless to say I tune in every week now. 😀

  14. Lori C.


    I am so tempted to say Maxwell Caufield (aka Cool Rider) except I never really found him hot. LOL. For me, it would have to be Jon Bon Jovi in his “Runaway” days with the long hair. He was totally hot. Obviously, I go for the rockers since I marrried one.

  15. Kendra Leigh Castle

    Sharon, I love you:-D

    Donna, you know, I never really picture George Clooney for anything I do. I think it’s because he’s more just adorable than rugged. Not that there’s anything wrong with that:-) Now, Viggo and Orlando I can probably work in, LOL!

    Marie, totally…there is always room for Iceman. I knew my youthful infatuation with him would someday serve a purpose!!

  16. Marie Force

    You can’t go wrong with Val Kilmer circa Top Gun, Kendra! can’t wait to get ahold of this one!!

  17. Donna

    Rudger Hauer was great in Ladyhawke and young Matthew Broderick.
    If you write about a devilish, mischief maker, but cute shister that’d be Matthew B. in Ferris Bueller’s Day off.
    Come on ladies ,doesn’t anyone think of George Clooney for any of your hero’s or is he too pretty?
    Speaking of Lord of the Rings. Kendra, when you first introduced Bastian, my first thought was Viego Mortensen and Orlando Bloom will have to make it into your new Series.

  18. Sharon Lathan

    I’m here for ya, baby! *wink* Anytime 🙂

  19. Kendra Leigh Castle

    LOL, Sharon, glad I could start your morning off right:-) I LOVED Val as Doc Holliday. Don’t care if he was sickly, he was totally “Mah Huckleberry” ha ha. Rutger Hauer in Ladyhawke is a good one! See, you’re helping me start my day with lovely thoughts too!:-)

  20. Kendra Leigh Castle

    Hi Ladies! Donna, it was more like I got caught in a gale force wind this morning, LOL…but my flat iron has fixed all. I LOVE your list of characters! This is the wonderful thing about reading as opposed to movie-watching…we can all cast the way we like:-) I’d never considered Matt M. for Gabriel, but the attitude totally fits…and the killer smile:-) I hope you enjoy the book!

    Lisa, seems like a bunch of people are having a hard time finding it right now…I can only hope it’s a temporary problem! But there’s always Amazon, thank God. My issue with books made into movies is TOTALLY the same as yours. It never matches what I was thinking! Except maybe for Lord of the Rings. That was frighteningly close, actually. I hope you can find, and enjoy, the book!:-)

  21. Sharon Lathan

    Aah….Val Kilmer. Be still my heart. I fell in love with him as Iceman too (WAY hotter than Cruise, IMHO) and followed through for ages. Even looking sickly as Doc Holiday there is something about Val. *shivers* Ever see “Real Genius”? He is only in his late teens, but oh man!

    As you were describing Bastian another actor came to mind. How about Rutger Hauer as he was in Blade Runner or Ladyhawke? He, like Val, hasn’t aged so well. But when he was young? Katie bar the door!

    OK, now I have to reread the book with Gerard Butler in mind! *fanning self* It is way too early in the morning for all this excitement……

  22. Lisa

    Kendra, great post! Yup, maybe that’s why I love reading so much. I read and it’s like a movie in my head. I think that’s why I have such a hard time when they make movies out of a book. I’ve already cast the characters in my head and they never quite match who the directors and casting agents choose.

    I couldn’t find your new book either. I dropped my daughter off at soccer practice yesterday and headed to B/N but no such luck…not even the first two either. I’m not a big online order girl…but I may have to re-think!

    ***Lisa C***

  23. Donna

    I love your P.J’s but what happened to your hair. Did you put your finger in a light socket?
    Just kidding.
    I totally put Gerry Butler into all Scottish Kilts. Good
    choice for Gideon MacInnes. And anyone exotic, dark and sexy it’s Antonio Bandares.
    Quirky, but truly Sexy it’s Johnny Depp. And brave, mysterious it’s Keanu Reeves. Bigger than life Truly Brave hero it’s Hugh Jackman, Sexy, playboy, tough when he needs to be it’s Matthew McCanaughey and Matthew was my idea of your Gabriel MacInnes.
    I love Sandra Bullock. I see her in so many books.
    I’ll think of her and Val Kilmer. He was so cool as Iceman.
    Wild Highland Magic should be waiting for me at home today.

  24. Kendra Leigh Castle

    Thanks, Cheryl! Yeah, he was totally my imaginary boyfriend back in the 80s. I’ve never really gotten over him, LOL:-)

  25. Cheryl Brooks

    OOooo, Kendra! Love that Iceman! I haven’t found your new book in a store yet, but I’ll keep looking, and I’ll try to think of Val when I’m reading about Bastian!
    Congrats on the new release!

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