My third novel came out a few days ago (read about that here), and as you might remember from my previous two novels, I find it useful to ‘cast’ each character before I sit down to write (you can read more about that here and here).
Here then, are a couple of pictures that until recently were pinned just to the right of my desk; those talented stars of stage and screen who I would dearly love to breathe life into the lives of people who up until a few days ago only existed in my head.
If you’ve already started reading My Girlfriend’s Perfect Ex-Boyfriend I’d love to know what you think. Post your thoughts, feelings, or alternative casting ideas in the comments at the bottom of this page (or here if you’re reading this in an email).
Evan Evans (Ken Stott)
“You wanted to see me, Evan?” I say as I stick my head round the headmaster’s door. His big round puffy face was a picture of total boredom a second or two earlier – like a three-week-old balloon left over from a children’s party – but the moment he sees me his head re-inflates and bounces around on sloping shoulders.
“Ade!” he says. “Come in. Sit down. How’re things?” I take the seat on the other side of the large mahogany desk.
“Oh, you know,” I say.
“Excellent, excellent.” He clasps his hands together and leans forward. “And how’s that lovely lady of yours?”
“She’s, erm… good,” I reply with some rapid nodding thrown in to indicate just how good she is.
“Any wedding bells in the offing?”
“Oh – er – you know,” I say again, but this time he’s not going to be deflected.
“Not really, no.”
“Good!” he says, throwing me a wink. “Don’t want to let a woman like that get away.” And I try and ignore the feeling of my heart being torn out, dropped in the waste paper basket, doused in petrol and ignited in front of me.”
Gary Cooke (Asa Butterfield)
“A ball of screwed up paper whizzes over my head and bounces off the wall. I wait a full three seconds then casually glance up at the minor skirmish that has inevitably broken out in the moments that my attention was elsewhere.
“Mr Cooke,” I start, addressing the lad who is currently engaged in a tug of war over a mobile phone with another pupil, “Is there a reason you are out of your seat for the third time this period?”
“I need to borrow something.”
“You seem to have been particularly forgetful when you packed your bag this morning.
“Yeah, I didn’t, I er… Yeah.”
“Sit down,” I say again. “Now.”
“But I need – ”
“If I have to tell you a third time, Gary, you’ll be coming back here at a quarter to four.” He stands there. Defiant. “And tomorrow night,” I say. “Two lots of detention if you don’t sit down right now.” And I can tell he’s conflicted. It’s like he wants me to give him detention, but at the same time acknowledges the fact that it’s a punishment and therefore something to be avoided. “Quarter to four it is then,” I say, and half the class breaks into forced laughter and jeering.”
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