Wednesday, April 14, 2010

L is for Lauren Reed

This is my last post about The Goddess of Vengeance for a few days, I promise. But... it's an L day and I can't resist! I want to write about Lauren, the main character for the WIP.

Did you know I already picked an actress I'd like to play her in the film version?  Freema Agyeman (who played Martha Jones on Doctor Who) has just the right look for Lauren -- sweet but resilient and strong at the same time, I think:
No comments yet from Freema, who would probably appreciate it if I a) finished the book, b) found an agent, c) got it published and d) had a film contract, before deciding that she's the perfect Lauren Reed.

Anyway, Lauren Reed is the ultimate nice girl. Her parents are both professors at the fictional Beckingham College (at least I hope it's fictional), which is set in the lovely rural town where she grew up. Her mom, Jessica Reed, has her doctorate in Classical Studies from Bryn Mawr, knows Greek, Latin and Spanish, and designed the sprawling farmhouse Lauren grew up in -- she's quite brilliant. Her father, Trevvor, is a psychology professor, and also is fantastic at flipping omelettes. Lauren is an only child, but even though she was lonely at times with just her parents, she had a wonderful childhood, full of reading, long walks and conversation, and summer vacations at the shore. She played volleyball and ran track in high school, got a 1400 on her SATs, and fell in love with her best friend, Danny, but they broke up when they went to separate colleges.

Lauren wanted to go to school in a city, and she was accepted at Dalton University in Dalton, VA, which is a fictional mid-sized city (500k citizens) only an hour and a half drive from her parents' home. As a sophomore, she lives in an off-campus apartment with her best friend, Kam, and sometimes sleeps over at her boyfriend Jake's house.  She relies on Kam's Hyundai Accent in hail storms, but mostly rides her bike or walks -- and Lauren still loves to run, especially at night. She's a double major in English and Chem, because she just can't make up her mind.  She works part-time at the Burnt Sugar Cafe, a small coffeehouse just off-campus.

Her boyfriend, Jake, worries her parents, because they don't want her to marry a blue-collar boy that prevents her from continuing her education.  Jake is a 21-year-old local cop. He owns a small, two-bedroom brick rambler and drives an ancient Lincoln town car, which Lauren always tells him is an old man car.  Jake comes from Irish roots, and has the curly dirty-blond locks to prove it. Lauren loves his hazel eyes, rugged good looks, and his betrayingly pouty lower lip -- as well as his common sense, kindness and quick wit. They met one night freshman year when she and Kam had a breakdown in a snowstorm, and he let them sit in the back of the squad car while they waited for a tow truck to come.

Lauren sees the good in everyone and even though she's light-hearted, she takes life rather seriously, always working hard and trying to be responsible. She's got quite the sense of humor, but since she doesn't like to tease other people or be snarky, it tends to be understated. She has a secret love of Cheetos, Dr. Pepper, YA novels, and the nature channel. She's level-headed, but she gets a little bossy when the people around her don't make sense. She also always leaves her wet towels on the floor.

That's my girl. Except for what I still have to discover as I write her story, of course.

Have you ever thought about who'd play your MC in a film adaptation of YOUR novel?


M. Gray said...

It would be SO FUN to play one of my main characters. I'd have to skinny up, though, and shed seven years...grow hair, grow some resiliency. And charity. Other than that, I'd be a perfect fit!

Susan R. Mills said...

I love coming up with who would play my characters in a movie. Of course, since I write YA, by the time my book is published and I sale the film rights to it, any teen actor/actress will be a grandparent. :)

Susan R. Mills said...

sell not sale. I'm full of typos today.

Kittie Howard said...

Lauren is delightful. I could really envision her, feel the vulnerbility, see the weakness in how a perfect childhood and the ivy tower environment impinged her decision-making...even her name've got a great match here!!!

Shelley Sly said...

Ooh I like Lauren, just from what you've described! And that actress is very pretty.

Yes, I've picked out some actors/actresses for my characters *just for fun* -- I don't actually think my books would be made into movies, but if they did, I found some guys and gals that look like the people in my books. If nothing else, they're nice to look at. :)

Jen said...

I've never thought about who would play my MC at all I still am unsure I think I would choose my friend to play because she's a gorgeous red head though she would need to be a few years younger!!! LOL

Piedmont Writer said...

Your MC sounds almost PERFECT.

I always think about who would play my characters in a movie but I can never seem to get the age right. I usually pick actors from the 80's or 90's that would make them too old now.

Anonymous said...

I have everyone picked out! Now if I could just score that movie deal...or book deal, for that matter. :)

Aubrie said...

Sounds like the picture goes really well with your description of her. Maybe she'll call you soon :)

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

I've never really thought about it. But I like that picture and your description :) Wouldn't it be fun if our wishes like this came true

Christina Farley said...

I really like this idea. It's fun too! I think it would make me visualize my characters more too.

arlee bird said...

Would Dalton, VA be anything like Richmond?

You got me thinking, but to be honest I can't think of any actors-- I don't really keep track of all of them. And I can think of any that would fit the characters of my WIP. Guess I'll leave it to the casting directer.
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Old Kitty said...


Oh Freema Agyeman is a gorgeous, gorgeous and darned fine actress isn't she?

And I love your novel's premise - and your MC is just a super young woman - with a lovely romantic conflict there as her romance with Jake blossoms. Or I hope it does cos he sounds so dreamy!

Hmmm I don't know yet who would play my MCs but I must have a Daniel Craig-type looker in my story!

p.s. I'm very sorry but I read "Kam's Hyudai Accent" as Kam having an accent as she is from Hyundai. I could be quite silly at times and this made me laugh at me when I realised what a Hyundai Accent is!
pps. I must keep up with the times really! LOL!

Take care and good luck with your novel and writiing!


Take care

Guinevere said...

M, I'd love to play some of my characters too, but they're too young (and yes, skinny :p)! I read about the emerging genre of "Transition" fiction (between YA and women's fiction/chick lit, which tends to focus on women with careers/kids and whatnot), and that's what my characters are all about so far -- girls in their early 20's and school.

Susan, I can't imagine it will take THAT long, but I do think my preferred actors and actresses are apt to age out of the appropriate groups before I see film rights, too. Oh well! :)

Thanks for that, Kittie! It is so good to hear that you can already see where her vulnerabilities will emerge, since I want that to be a very natural extension of her character!

Guinevere said...

Shelley, there's a lot to be said for "nice to look at", too. Writers need a break from just words, words, words sometimes! I'm glad you like Lauren. She's the sweetest MC I've ever had!

Jen, that'd be pretty cool for your friend! lol. Most of the actors/actresses out there are younger than the parts they play, anyway, which is always sort of weird to me.

Piedmont, I do that too. I always want to use actors I crushed on as a kid/teen... yeah, they're a lot older now! You're right, Lauren is sort of perfect, but that's also where her weaknesses develop in the novel - she's TOO nice and responsible for her own good. I've never written such a nice character before - very different from my lovable but superflawed April!

You and me both, Disobedient. I take comfort in the number of book deals that are being accompanied by movie deals these days... it might take a while, but eventually, the code will be cracked for agent/publisher!

Guinevere said...

Aubrie, that would be pretty neat!

Rebecca, thanks! Might as well dream big as writers, right? Since we're already dreaming. :)

Christina, it's a lot of fun -- I like having such a solid picture of Lauren in my mind.

Arlee, I'm thinking a lot like Richmond, actually -- it's hard to place a fictional city in what feels like such a small state, though! I just wanted to write somewhere I "know" but can take creative liberties with. Geography is the hard part for me -- I'm not great on that sense of location.

Guinevere said...

Old Kitty, I think a Daniel Craig type would be absolutely brilliant! No place for him in my story, unfortunately, but he's definitely a favorite actor of mine. So pretty without being a pretty boy!

And I love the accent from Hyundai... that is too funny! :) Thanks for visiting!

Shannon said...

I would love to read this book you are writing, when you are done with it, sounds awesome! Thanks for the wonderful post!

Gina Leigh Maxwell said...

Wow, I love how detailed you are with her. Right down to the wet towels on the floor which made me chuckle.

For my characters (and I do this even when I'm reading a book) I take what I know I want their physical attributes to be, and then I scour the celebrities to find the perfect fit to the picture in my head. For example, right now I have Ali Larter, Kate Beckinsale and Andy Whitfield as 3 of my MCs, but for my leading man I couldn't find ANYONE who fit the picture in my head. Until one day I was googling "dark-haired male models" and stumbled upon my guy. He's so perfect, but there was no name attached to the image and I've never been able to find it again. Thank goodness I saved the pic! He's on my blog under "Meet Dominic" if you want a drool-worthy picture!!

Fun post!

Jennie Englund said...

I think what a girl drinks (Dr Pepper) and how she tells it is critical. Honestly.