Double Indemnity Release Party: Casting the Characters

January 27, 2015

I like to cast my characters early in the writing process to give me a touchstone for their appearances. Though models and actors are never exactly like the characters in my head, it’s fun! I also do this with my favorite romance novels, since so few novels capture the leads as I imagine them on the cover.

Let’s take a look at some pictorial inspiration for Sam and Nathan first.

With his slim, yet muscular build and dark complexion, Italian model Luca Calvani is a good fit for Nathan. Look at that profile! Swoon! His contemplative, brooding expression also suits Nathan well. Nathan doesn’t have a beard in the novel, but he does get scruffy at times. :)  

Sam was a more difficult character to cast for me, mainly because since I was living in his head, he became almost like a real person. The guy on the cover of the novel is supposed to represent Sam and, aside from the incredible washboard abs, he comes pretty close. However, if I could have used a young Jensen Ackles, I would have.

Aside from the two main leads, this story has other important characters I feel it would be remiss of me not to introduce: Sam’s best friends, Yuri and Rachel.

Rachel was a no-brainer for me: Antonia Thomas from one of my favorite shows, BBC’s Misfits. LOVE HER. She’s Sam’s rock in a lot of ways. Honest and direct, she cares a lot about him but doesn’t let him push her around.


Yuri, Sam’s business partner and former lover, was nearly as difficult to cast as Sam. This guy comes close. His most defining features are the dimples and sweet disposition. Contrasted with Rachel, Yuri is more of a pushover where Sam is concerned.


Do you picture certain people (actors, models, whoever) when you’re reading/writing, or are the characters fuzzier in your mind? Do you like to have a detailed description of characters’ appearance when you read, or do you prefer embellishing characters with your own imagination? Also, when it comes to book covers, how important is the cover image for you in selecting a book to read?

Remember, there’s a 15% off coupon code for one-time use at the Dreamspinner site (Kavanagh0127) to purchase either of my books over the next two days. Combined with the current 25% off sale, that adds up to 40% off the list price. A good time to invest in a paperback, perhaps?

7 Responses to “Double Indemnity Release Party: Casting the Characters”

  1. Angela says:

    I like to picture the characters in my mind, although it´s always nice to see what type the writer had in mind when he or she wrote the book. The “type” of characters you picked while writing this book are gorgeous :)

    The cover is very import to me, it’s afterall the first thing you see when looking for books but i have to admit that i read books were the cover was a total turn of for me and i was totally surprised i liked them, so now it’s a combination of cover and blurb and reviews that usually sell the book to me.

  2. Therese Woodson says:

    When I write I usually picture someone in my head. Then later, if I come across a picture of someone who matches the idea I had, I will save it for reference. However, with the work I’m writing right now, it was totally inspired by a manip of Dylan O’Brien.

  3. maggiemkavanagh says:

    @Angela, Glad you like them! One of the great things about reading is everyone gets to have their own version of the characters in their minds.

    Covers can be very misleading. I’ve definitely avoided books based on covers, only to find I’d missed out on wonderful novel. So yes, I agree that blurb and reviews are just as, if not more, important :)

  4. maggiemkavanagh says:

    @Therese, why am I not surprised you’re currently inspired by Dylan? ;) I’m excited to read what you’re cooking up!

  5. Susan says:

    I am a very visual person, so I always have a clear picture in my mind when I read. I try not to judge a book by its cover, but get annoyed when the cover photo does not match the author’s description.

  6. H.B. says:

    I don’t usually imagine a model or celebrity for a character. I do like when an author describes the look of a character since that allows me to imagine a person with those features. If the cover of a book uses a model than that’s who I imagine the character looking like when I read the book.

  7. Liz Keysmash says:

    Holy crap. I need to reread the book now with young Jensen Ackles in my head. Yes and please.

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