When I am writing, after awhile I have quite a distinct look in my head for characters, and tend to go around and “fantasy cast” people who could do a good job in a film version. I like to open them up in my reference folders every now and then, especially when writing scenes between three or more to see what the room might look like and add to the texture of the scene.
Since I am now almost halfway writing the draft of Erfyl‘s sequel—Ambar—here is a look at characters you will be familiar with as well as the new ones introduced.
What drew me to her was the sweet venerability she is capable of showing, as evidenced in H2O: Just Add Water. I wanted the character to be as feminine as possible, in order to avoid the sort of male superhero in a skirt mentality that pervades a lot of genre fiction. She also has the right general look about her with golden blonde hair, a soft feel and full mouth that I had envisioned the character to look like.
Although he does not look exactly like I see Stephen’s build, what he does have is a definite stage presence. When he walks on screen you know it! From the first time I saw him in Robin Hood to his portrayal in North and South, I was impressed by the absolute confidence he shows without being overbearing or irritating about it. Stephen does have a darker look than his brother, although not quite to the extreme Armitage has.
When I thought of Gina’s bubbly warmth I immediately thought of Angel. Watch some of her Merlin behind the scenes videos and you’ll see what I mean! Although I see Gina as having a bit darker skin, she definitely has the “cute” look of Angel, rather than something more elegant like Zoe as Ohura in Star Trek. She was probably the first visual I had for any of the characters. The minute I started writing her, Angel popped into my head and remained there, although Gina has definite differences.
I actually chose him because he resembles a much younger David Wenham, who would be my first choice. They both give off an aura of attractiveness without it being the macho type, and also do not appear to be weak at the same time. It is a rare balance which is important to the character of Felix. He also has a bit of a nasty streak to him which comes out under pressure, and he needed to be extra handsome to make up for it!
Museum Curator “The Old Man”
I’ve seen him in multiple stage productions, and more screen portrayals than I can keep track of. I think what brought the character and actor together in my head was his role of Bra’tac on Stargate. I didn’t want the curator to be anything like a classic wizard (sorry Dumbledore/Gandalf!) or the overtly elegant sophisticated type. He needed to be down to earth, yet with a haunting otherworld quality to him—eyes that you looked into and saw years of wisdom building within, yet still having the capacity to joke and smile.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Although she appears briefly in the first book, we find out more about her in the sequel and she takes on a more active role. I wanted someone short, yet fiery, and able to toss out one liners with a wry cutting humour. Vanessa is unlike Buffy in many ways—she isn’t human for one thing, has no friends, hates talking, never goes out to have fun, is a work-a-holic, and enjoys keeping people in the dark and being as cryptic as possible. She also fights with ninja stars when pressed to it, and has more of a flowing dance movement that is closer to River in Firefly than Buffy.
He is introduced in the second book and without giving too much away, he is the same race as Vanessa. His character is quite the enigma—you never know which side he’ll decide to be on. The one that is certain is that whichever side he’s on tends to be victorious. Erfyl has a terrible time trying to decide whether to fight him or recruit him. While Dastan has a similar fighting technique, Ambar is much more cheerful and open about his emotions. He also does not have the sense of family bonding, which is the reason he and Vanessa basically ignore each other.
Speaking of enigmatic characters—book two sees the appearance of Guthwyne, the first of the Diras. Until now they have been a sort of faceless enemy, and that’s about to change. As the original power, she chooses to take a semi-human form more often than the others because of her close relationship with Ambar’s race. As for whether she will be Erfyl’s friend or foe you’ll have to read the book to find out! I chose Katie McGrath for her portrayal of Morgana’s story arc. She is able to go from the open-hearted innocent, yet opinionated ward of Uther to a cold bitter adversary. She has a distinctive voice that sets her apart from most actors, and gives the feeling that she doesn’t belong with humans. Her beautiful glowing skin and expressions add to the faerie quality that the Diras possess.
Agree with the choices? Or did you imagine someone else? Post a comment below!