Wednesday Wondering – Rescue Me!

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As romance writers, you’d probably expect that we’re fans of romance films and particularly those that might fall into the rom-com bracket. I personally absolutely love them. Can’t get enough of them. And when I find one I love, I’ll watch it over and over and over again.

There are some absolute classics (such as Pretty Woman, Bridget Jones’s Diary and pretty much anything by Richard Curtis), some misses (New Year’s Day was one of those for me) and some that grow on you with repeated watching (He’s Just Not That Into You).

P1050243One of my favourite rom-coms of recent times is the wonderful Leap Year with Amy Adams and Matthew Goode (nom nom). If you’ve seen it, you’ll know that he asks her what she’d stop to collect if her house was on fire and this is ultimately the crux of her realising her life needs to change. So, my question (in a month that has nothing to do with leap year) is if your house was on fire and your family and animals were all safe, what item(s) would you rescue before you fled to safety?

Note how I added an ‘s’ onto the end of item(s)? That’s mainly because I knew I wouldn’t be able to just pick one! I’d need the fire to be pretty slow-burning and in the right part of the house so I could grab my computer and my husband’s. He has all the photos of the munchkin on his Mac although I suspect he has them backed up somewhere remotely so we might be ok. I have all my writing on mine. Hmm, maybe I should try some remote cloud-y type stuff just in case! If it was night-time, I’d have to grab my wedding, engagement and eternity rings as I don’t wear them to bed. I’d also need to raid my bear cabinet. I collect proper jointed mohair collectable bears. Realistically there’s no way I could get them all so I’d make sure I rescued two very special ones: Mark Elvet and Paddington. Mark Elvet is the first bear I ever made when I had my teddy bear shop in 2005-07. I named him after my husband who I’d met 2 months after opening the shop and the street name in Durham (Elvet Bridge) where I attended my workshop). The Paddington is a Steiff and was my wedding present from the hubby. I love all my bears but these two are very special. Finally, I’d collect the munchkin’s favourite teddy, Pinky, because she’d be devastated if she lost him.

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Let’s hear what the others have to say:

Deirdre says …
Interesting question, and not so easy to answer as I first thought. To begin with I came up with a list of ‘essential’ items, went through it again and realised that, actually, hardly any of them are essential at all. Now there’s a surprise! So, I would rescue my handbag and address book, our photo albums, and my USB stick which contains all my writing, just in case Dropbox lets me down. Oh, and I’d grab a couple pairs of comfortable shoes in case I can’t get the same ones again. My feet must not suffer!

P1050235Helen P says …
Gosh I hate to even think about this because my house is full to the brim with so many of us living in there but if it was on fire and everyone was safe I would have to rescue my small Cath Kidston tin full of pen drives on which I have various ideas for novels stored on and my current works in progress. I’d be so lost without them.

Alys says …
It’s probably a bit sad but I think I’d save my laptop. Not just because the MS for Beltane and the work I’ve done on my second novel, Lughnasa are on here. They’re all backed up so that should be alright. It’s also my work computer and it would be tricky to do the day job without it. But the main reason is because photographs, music and so many happy memories are stored on here.

Helen R says …
Leaving behind the sensible approach which would be to grab the file with passports, birth certificates etc, I would grab my box of photo albums. These would be irreplaceable…memories from my childhood and memories of my own girls as babies through to the ages they are now.

Jay says …
I expect almost everyone will say this, but for me it would be photographs and videos. The irreplaceable ones would be of the children growing up and, even more than that, of my Dad who died almost 14 years ago. I have some hilarious video of him riding a bike for the first time in about 30 years, shortly before he was diagnosed with cancer. He’s laughing, in fact we all are, and that is something I couldn’t bear to lose. If there was time, I would also grab my laptop, as I am rubbish at backing up my latest WiP and I would likely lose thousands of words if I lost that… in fact, I might go and get a pen drive and a fire proof box right now, just in case! P1050239

Lynne says …
I love anything shabby chic and handmade using strong, natural elements like copper, linen, leather, wool, willow. I have a small collection of Mulberry bags made with chunky leather like animal hide, some clothes made of linen so thick that it is almost carved rather than sewn, and deep red copper, rich with natural pigments. I cook with vintage copper and love thick, chunky pieces that are made with ancient dovetail joints not the modern pressed stuff so I guess it would be whatever I could grab from that little gathering.

Rachael says …
If family and pets were safe and I could rush back in and rescue just something, it would be…… This is a hard one as I’d want to rescue everything, but just one thing would be external memory device for both the farm computer and my writing computer. At least that way I’d have all my writing and cow records.

Jaxx says …
Strangely enough my daughter was talking about this, the other day and there was no room for manoeuvre. It was family (she would push me out of the window if I was incapacitated, apparently- thanks for that!) Then it was Pushkins the cat, then Cheddar the hamster and then her iPad mini. I guess I would go with the same kind of thing and add my laptop as most of my writing is backed up to Dropbox, now. Haven’t seen my jewellery box since I hid it in the loft last summer before going on holiday so I guess that shows I don’t need the contents of that! Would quite like to take the piano and my guitar too but think that might be getting silly.

Over to you. What would you grab (whilst touching wood and hoping that none of us are ever really in this situation)?

Julie
xx

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The Wednesday Wondering – Our Characters on the Big Screen

Another week, another Wondering! This week we return to another passion of ours – films with a fabulous (but very tough) question set by Write Romantic Jo:

Who would you like to play the main character(s) in your book if it were made into a film? OR Who would you love to see the main characters in a book you love that hasn’t yet been made into a film (or perhaps a remake if you hated the film version that has been made)?

I think this Wondering has really captured the imagination of the group as most of the Write Romantics have responded to this one and have all chosen their own books. I think it’s such a dream scenario for us all that, not only will our books be published, but they’ll be made into Hollywood blockbusters too. Well, it has to happen to someone. Why not us?!

Although the only book I’ve read is Jo’s, I loved reading everyone’s responses because I instantly got a feel for the type of characters in their books. Mind you, I had to Google a few of them because I’d never heard of them … mainly because I’m far too busy writing and my sacrifice is very little TV! I have, however, now discovered a few new hotties I didn’t know existed!!! 😉

 

HELEN R:

If my book ever made it to film I would love to see Jessica Lucas play Jenna. When I saw Jessica Lucas’s photograph she felt right for the part. Her mother is white and her father is black, just like my character in the book. For Jake, I would envisage an actor such as Paul Walker with the lighter hair, the blue eyes. I could see him playing the part of a vet too, and looking ruggedly handsome as he works. I could see these characters together in a film … who knows, maybe one day. After all, we can all dream!

 

ALEX:

The main characters in Beltane are Finn, Zoe and Maeve. Zoe is new to the world of magic and has a lot to deal with in terms of coming to terms with her own gift and what’s happening around her. I think Karen Gillian (Amy Pond in Doctor Who) would be a fantastic Zoe. 

Maeve pretends to be a spiritual healer but is actually very cold and calculating. I think an actress like Lindsay Duncan would be wonderful.

Finn is a lot trickier. My friends who have read Beltane have very strong opinions on this and so far we’ve not found anyone we agree on. The person that Finn most looks like is Dan Snow. Now I’ll admit that a while ago I had a bit of thing about Dan (and watched one or two history programmes for no other reason) but I didn’t intend him to be the model for Finn. It just kind of happened. So far I’ve not been able to think of an actor who looks like Dan Snow. If anyone knows of one then let me know. I’ll be happy to check out any possible candidates! [Alex – closest I can think of is the absolutely gorgeous Paul Rudd who played Mike, Phoebe’s partner, in Friends but has been in a stack of films – Julie]

 

JAXX:

I’m not very good with names of famous people but I do know of Aiden Turner- the Irish one from Being Human, not the English one from – something else! I always imagined his face when I was writing about my gypsy boy as he looks dark and swarthy (and a little bit like he needs a good wash but I could soon have him in the shower!)

 

HELEN P:

I would love to see Sigourney Weaver sporting a very British Accent to play my main character Police Officer Annie Graham in The Ghost House and of course Detective Sergeant Will Ashworth would have to be Brad Pitt or actually I have a bit of a thing going on for Kevin Bacon at the moment so either of them would be fantastic.

 

JULIE:

I massively struggled with this one because I tend to have a good idea of the basics of appearance but don’t fill in the blanks fully. I once tried to find some images to inspire me and I didn’t feel anyone quite cut it but I’ll have a go for here because, as the host of the Wednesday Wondering, I’m determined not to back out of responding to one! I will not be defeated!

I have 5 main characters in my novel, Searching for Steven. Sarah is the protagonist and is a strong woman, a hopeless romantic and slightly ditzy at times. She’d need to eat a few pies for the role but Anne Hathaway would be my first choice. Sarah has two best friends, Clare and Elise. Clare is Irish, blonde, stunning, a massive flirt, a commitment-phobe, a career woman and very straight-talking. No idea if she can do an Irish accident but the closest I can think of in looks is Charlize Theron although she is a bit old for the character (sorry, Charlize – you’re still beautiful!) Elise is a very gentle soul and loyal friend. She has auburn hair so that limited me slightly (unless we get the dye out). Not perfect but we’ll go for Amy Adams or Isla Fisher.

For the boys, I turned to Glamour Magazine’s Top 100 Sexiest Males to try and get some inspiration but it didn’t actually help! There are some very odd choices on there! Sarah has two men battling to steal her heart. First love Andy would probably be played by Matthew Goode (who I adore in Leap Year) and new friend Nick would be Patrick Dempsey (although he’s also a bit too old so may need to be tweaked in the editing suite!)  Spookily enough, they’ve both been in favourite films of mine with Amy Adams (Leap Year and Enchanted respectively) so maybe she needs to be Elise as she’s worked with them before. Or maybe not because she was their love interest in those films and if the men start fighting over Elise instead of Sarah … well, we have a completely different book!

 

DEIRDRE:

In the book I’m writing now I definitely had in mind Laila Rouass and Edward MacLiam when I came up with my main characters. She’s just beautiful, and I do love an Irish actor…  They played Sahira and Greg in Holby City, a storyline I got tremendously involved in as it was so emotional, and sad since they didn’t end up together.  Unfortunately, when my book comes out and is made into a film  *much laughter* they won’t be able to play the actual parts unless they can play quite a bit younger. But who knows, maybe they can!

 

JO:

My answer would be that I would have liked Colin Firth ten years ago, around the Bridget Jones diary era, to play the hero in my book, but he has gone just a tiny bit too crinkly around the edges now – haven’t we all? Or maybe it is just me and Colin! Got a thing for Ewan McGregor at the moment after watching him in tight armour in Jack and the Giant Slayer, so I think I’ll cast him.  I’d like my heroine to be played by Holly Willoughby. Okay, I know she’s not an actress, but she’s got just the right look and sense of humour and I am sure she’d be able to turn her hand to it – after all, she’s apparently a published children’s author now too, but I have decided not to hate her too much for that!

 

What do you think of our choices? Would you go to see a film with this cast of characters? If you’re a writer, who would you like to have playing the main parts in your book? Whether you’re a reader or a writer (or both), are there any books not yet made into films for which you visualise certain actors? Unless I’ve missed it, I don’t think the actors for 50 Shades have been confirmed yet. If you’re read that, perhaps you have a visual of who would play Ana and Christian (have I got the names right?!)

Please join in. We’d love to hear from you.

Julie

xx