Monday, August 20, 2012

The Cast of The Memory of Roses Guest Blog by Blair McDowell

On Casting The Memory of Roses

A friend of mine is a film editor. She has worked on a number of major films, including one of my all-time favorites, Under the Tuscan Sun. 

She kindly offered to read my manuscript and make suggestions on The Memory of Roses at the point where I was readying it for submission to publishers. She was helpful in a number of ways, principally in helping me to thinking visually, rather than only in words.

What I enjoyed most in the exercise I did for her was “casting” my book. If it were to be made into a movie, who would I want to play the various parts in in?

My heroine, Brit, would be a beautiful young actress I’ve only seen once—Claire Forlani who was the lead in Shadows in the Sun. She’d be quite perfect.

Ian McQuaid, Brit’s father, would be Sean Connery as he was twenty years ago.

Maria, Ian’s lover, maybe Jennifer Lopez, but not quite. She needs to be younger, more innocent, more vulnerable.

John Meyers, Brit’s attorney, would be Hector Elizondo (the hotel manager in Pretty Woman). That’s perfect casting.

Emmanuel would be Vincent Riotta (the estate agent in Under the Tuscan Sun). Again I can’t imagine anyone better.

Daphne—I’ve never found just the right mixture of charm and wisdom needed for this young woman who comes to the villa to work for Brit. Any suggestions?

Paulo di Stefano—Rufus Sewell—of The Master Builder, and the Zen series. Dark and handsome with sexy eyes.

Andreas—my hero. Now that one was fun to cast. No one was really good looking enough, but Jude Law came close. In my mind I see the statue of the Greek messenger of the Gods, Hermes, in a sculpture I love in the Museum of Archaeology in Athens. That’s the face, the form, the sexy body of my hero, Andreas. 

However Andreas’ brains, patience and temperament -- they were all my husband’s.

Brit and Andreas lock horns more than once in my story. That’s only natural. Brit’s in her early thirties. She’s financially independent, has taught at the university level, and is used to making her own decisions. Add to that the fact that, after one disastrous love affair, she doesn’t trust men.

Then throw her daily into contact with a man who looks like a Greek god, who is five years younger than she is, and who is pursuing her relentlessly.

 Add to the mix the difference in their cultures. He’s a Greek Male. They’ve been used to running things ever since Alexander the Great.

She’s an independent professional American woman. Nobody is going to tell her what to do.

That’s a recipe for fireworks.

In the following scene, Andreas arrives back from Santorini after a week’s absence to discover that Brit has undertaken a major building project on the property without consulting him.

Brit was standing in the middle of this chaos in the late afternoon when Andreas appeared in the doorway.

“Daphne said you were down here.” He looked around briefly, taking in everything.

“Andreas. I wasn’t expecting you until the evening flight.”

“Clearly.” He spun on his heel and walked swiftly away.

“Andreas, wait!” Brit ran after his retreating form. She caught up with him halfway to the house. “Andreas, stop, please. Listen to me.”

“When were you going to tell me about this?” He kept striding toward the house. Once inside, he went swiftly up to their bedroom and out on the balcony, Brit followed more slowly.

He turned abruptly toward her. “I asked you a question, Brit. When were you planning to tell me about this? Didn’t you think it mattered enough to mention it to me? I know we’re not married. But we are living together. Don’t you think a decision like this is something we should at least have talked about?”

“I knew you’d say we shouldn’t do it.”

“I see. So rather than discussing it, instead of hashing it out between us, you just went ahead with it on your own. Is that your idea of the way two people who care for each other make decisions?”

Brit hesitated. “No. Of course not. I suppose I should have talked with you about it.”

“You suppose? It will be huge job, Brit, and I can’t be here to supervise. Someone has to oversee all this work. You need a proper contractor, not just an assortment of local workers.”

Brit shook her head. “I don’t really think we need a contractor. Emmanuel will coordinate the work.”

 He continued as if she hadn’t spoken, “and you haven’t even considered the money it will take. I’m well off, Brit, but…”

“I’m doing this with my own money, Andreas.”

 His face turned white with anger. “I see. You think that using your money for it makes it all right. Using your money rather than mine means it isn’t necessary to discuss it with me. That says a great deal about how you view our relationship.”

Brit was speechless. She hadn’t thought for a moment about how it would seem to him. While she was pondering what to say, how to make it right, he spun around and walked out of the room and down the stairs. She heard his car start up and then the spray of gravel as he sped away. What had she done?

August 20 Guest blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

August 21 Interview and review
Black Hippie Chick's Take on Books & The World

August 22 Promo
Lisa’s World of Books

August 22 review
Reading Reality

August 23 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

August 24 Interview
The Seraphine Muse

August 25 Interview and review
Literature lovers labrynith 

August 26 Interview
Fang-tastic Books

August 27 Interview
Books, Books The Magical Fruit

August 28 Guest blog
Read 2 Review 


From the author of ‘Delighting In Your Company’ comes the enduring love story of two generations of the McQuaid family on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu. It is a tale complete with ravishing women, ruggedly handsome men, and an intriguing mystery. The picturesque settings of San Francisco, Venice and the magnificent island of Corfu add the crowning touch to this captivating story. 

Brit McQuaid has had a very bad year.  First, her heart is broken when her relationship with her professor ends because of his lies and infidelity. Then her father dies and leaves her a villa on the Greek Island of Corfu, and a deep mystery to solve; in his last letter to her, he asks Brit to find the woman he profoundly loved on Corfu many years ago, shocking Brit with the realization that her adored father  had cheated on her mother.

How could her father have owned a house that Brit knew nothing about? Why was he unfaithful to her mother? Who is this woman named Maria? And what is in the mysterious package?

To find answers, Brit must travel to Corfu, open a villa that has been closed for many years, and locate Maria Calbrese, the great love of her father’s life.

In the course of her voyage of discovery, Brit meets the man she could lose her heart to and begins to understand that, while passion can rule one’s actions, real love can neither be dictated by propriety nor measured by moments of passion. Real love may involve sacrifice, or at least the willingness to give up one’s own hope of happiness for the good of another’s.  Her father knew this truth.

Then in her search for Maria she stumbles upon a dark secret. A secret of sacrifice that lies at the heart of her father’s decisions all those many years ago. 

Brit faces a dilemma.   She has it in her power to destroy the life of the woman her father so cherished. What should she do with the information she has unearthed? And how will this new knowledge affect her relationship with the man she has come to love?

"Blair McDowell is the next popular woman's novelist. Memory of Roses is a spellbinding, well written story from the first page to the surprise ending. I couldn't put it down”
Review from 'HLMJH' on
5 Stars

“Highly recommended for those who like a touch of history and growth in their stories. A strong 4 of 5 for Memory of Roses."
Review from Poison Rose on ‘’
4 Stars

"This was a thoroughly enjoyable read, well written with interesting and engaging characters. Enjoyed reading/learning about Corfu and Venice which were accurately portrayed. Loved the surprise ending."
Review from 'Book lover' on
5 Stars

About the Author:

I travel a lot. I usually spend the month of October in Europe, Greece or Italy, and the winter in a little house I built many years ago on a small non-touristy Caribbean Island. I have worked and studied in many places -- Hungary, Australia the US and Canada, and have lectured in most of the States and Provinces as well as Taiwan and various cities in Europe. I enjoy being surrounded by cultures other than my own. I enjoy my own as well -- but variety is indeed the spice of my life.

I keep busy -- and I love my life.  I love meeting the people who come here to the west coast of Canada and stay in my B&B. I love traveling after the tourist season is over. And I love writing.  My interests?  Music, especially opera, reading everything in print, and Writing. And walking on the beach and swimming.  At one point I had hoped to swim in every major sea and ocean.  I've realized that may not be possible in one lifetime -- but trying has been fun!

Blair is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers of America (Greater Vancouver Chapter), and the Romance Writers of America (Women's Fiction) and the Pacific Northwest Writer's Association.


1 comment:

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