Casting of Blogger Girl Series – Nicholas Strong!

Welcome to the second installment of the Casting of Blogger Girl Series! Today I am casting the role of Nicholas Strong. I had a lot of difficulty choosing the right actor to play the part of Nicholas. In fact, I was *this close* to postponing his installment until later in the series. Truth be told, when I was writing Blogger Girl, I pictured a man I know personally when I wrote Nicholas. Although I did not base Nicholas’ personality on this guy, it was his face that I saw through the entire writing process. I am not going to divulge his identity because, quite frankly, I’m too embarrassed but I will say that it made it difficult for me to find the appropriate actor to take over the role when the book hits the big screen! I changed my mind MANY times.

Nicholas is an attorney in his early thirties and Kim has it bad for him. In her words, “At only about 5”7’, his stature might have kept him off of some women’s top five list but since I was vertically challenged too, he was currently number one on mine.” Kim’s weakness is the dark stubble on his jawline:

“I absolutely was not flirting with her, but I guess she’s cute enough,” Nicholas said, scratching his chin again.

I groaned. “For the love of God, why don’t you just shave?”

Nicholas dropped his hand. “Do I need to shave that badly?”

“No,” I said meekly.

“What then?”

“Have you looked at yourself recently?”

Nicholas shook his head softly.

“It’s sexy,” I whispered.

Nicholas gave me a closed mouth smile. “Isn’t that a good thing?”

I pinched my bottom lip. “It could be.”

The first actor I chose for the role was Wes Brown. Most recently, he played the part of Julian on the now cancelled television show Deception. I changed my mind for a few reasons but most notably because Wes doesn’t look quite right with scruff in my opinion and “lazy shaving habits” is Nicholas’ trademark.

 

Damn he's cute!

Damn he’s cute!

 

 The next actor I considered for the part was Rodrigo Santoro. I saw him in the movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Something was off with him though as well.

 

spicy but.. not quite.

spicy but.. not quite.

Readers weighed in with the following actors:

Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central suggested Ron Livingston. He’s handsome enough but he’s a bit too old for the role and his portrayal of needy/ insecure “he broke up with me on a post-it note” Jack Berger on Sex and the City turned me off but I always appreciate Melissa’s opinions.

 

I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me.

I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.

 

Elizabeth Grunderson suggested Joseph Gordon-Levitt but while the height is probably spot-on, I just don’t find him attractive enough for the role. Sorry, Joseph!

 

 

cute but...

cute but…

One of my favorite new shows of the summer was Under the Dome, based on the Stephen King book and I fell immediately in lust with the character of “Barbie” played by the gorgeous Mike Vogel. I considered him for about fifteen minutes until I regretfully decided that the blonde hair/blue eye combination just didn’t work. I’ll keep him in mind for book 4!

 

YUMMY! He could hang out in my dome anytime he wants.

YUMMY! He could hang out in my dome anytime he wants.

 

Then I considered Jake Johnson, who plays Nick Miller on The New Girl. On paper, he’s perfect: he has the right coloring, he’s the right age, he’s not very tall and he’s rarely clean-shaven on the show. I thought I finally got it. But the more I looked at him, the more I realized that he gives off a more goofy vibe than I want for Nicholas. Perhaps it’s because the role of Nick on The New Girl is so goofy but that’s all I see when I look at the actor.

 

My sister thinks he's hotter than I do.

My sister thinks he’s hotter than I do.

It was here that I decided to skip over the role of Nicholas and cast Bridget this week instead. That was until I watched the first episode of the new show Lucky 7 and spotted him. The One. This guy is perfect for Nicholas. Yes, I think his eyes might be blue but he’s got the dark hair, looks natural with scruff, he’s only 5″9′ and he embodies sexiness, sensitivity and depth. He’s muscular without being overly built and I personally cannot take my eyes off of him when he’s on screen. Finally, his last name in real life is Kimberly’s last name in the book – KISMET!

So, without further delay (and thank you for your patience) allow me to introduce you to Nicholas Strong:

The one!

The one!

 Actor Matt Long!

 

Sexy...

Sexy…

matt_long3

What do you think of my choice? Who would you have chosen?

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Casting of Blogger Girl series – the BFF Bridget and click here to see who I cast as Kim! http://wp.me/p2PJqp-eH

Casting of Blogger Girl Series – Installment One – Kimberly Long

Welcome to the first installment of the Casting of Blogger Girl series! Now, I know that Blogger Girl has not been contracted for a movie but I am a dreamer and I like to dream big. Probably why I love writing so much – so I can dream up fun stories to entertain other people. So, for shits and giggles, let’s say that I have, in fact, sold the movie rights to Blogger Girl and let’s suspend reality even more and say that I, as the author, actually have a major say in casting said film. In this series, I will be sharing my picks for the roles of Kim (heroine), Nicholas (love interest), Bridget (best friend) and Hannah (high school nemesis/villain). I will also share my thought process as to how said actor won the role. In some cases, the decision was virtually instant. In other cases, I changed my mind five or six times before I knew – like the way you just know. Finally, since a few bloggers/readers shared their thoughts on the casting, I will include their picks too and give credit where credit is due. First up is the role of Kimberly Long.

Kimberly Long is a twenty-eight year old legal secretary/book blogger living in New York City. Kim has long, straight light brown hair and brown eyes. Her most distinctive physical feature is her height – only 4 feet and 11 inches. Kim is the first to admit to compensating her lack of height by emphasizing her proportionally larger breasts: “I needed to give people a reason to look down far enough to see me.”

Kim describes herself as “cute” and is not all that aware of her sex appeal:

Nicholas: – “Yes, I guess Hannah is cute, but you are sexy.”
Kim: “No, I’m cute.”
Nicholas: “Fine, you are cute. But you’re also sexy.”

There were only two actresses I considered for this role. My choices were somewhat limited because I couldn’t choose a very tall actress. My choices are slightly taller than Kim but, hey, it’s the movies and movies often stray somewhat from the book.

My runner up for the role of Kimberly Long is Michelle Williams:

  Michelle_Williams_78447

Although Michelle is a terrific actress and certainly cute enough to portray my girl Kim, I wanted someone a little more “quirky” and my pull towards the other actress was just too strong.  

Other thoughts for the role of Kim included:

 hilary-duff-wallpaper

Hillary Duff (courtesy of Elizabeth Grunderson who, by the way, wrote one of my favorite reviews ever.)

Amanda Seyfried (Courtesy of fabulous blogger Melissa Amster from the equally fabulous Chick Lit Central).

 amanda-seyfried-golden-globes-2013-red-carpet-02

 

I actually think both of the above options are not at all off-base and I wouldn’t terminate the movie contract if either of these actresses were cast. However, by the time I finished the first draft of Blogger Girl, I had a very clear picture of Kimberly Long and, without further ado, here she is!

imageskim

Definitely_Maybe-7-Isla_Fisher

Isla Fisher!

She’s adorable and sexy, yet approachable and not intimidating. I think she is perfect to play a comic role, a romantic lead and a vulnerable young woman learning what it takes to make her happy and how to make it happen.

Stay tuned for next week’s installment of the Casting of Blogger Girl series – Nicholas Strong!

Happy Anniversary A State of Jane and guest blogger!

With all of the fuss over the release of my third novel Blogger Girl and the re-release of my debut novel, Just Friends with Benefits, I almost forgot all about my “middle child” A State of Jane. (I’m surprised I haven’t heard the voice of Jan Brady whining “Blogger Girl, Blogger Girl, Blogger Girl!”)  But Jane Frank need not fret as I could never forget the anniversary of the day her story was released to the world. Happy Anniversary to A State of Jane! In honor of this momentous milestone, I have a special guest blogging about the first year anniversary. Welcome Beth Bacon to my blog! I am very lucky in that my publisher, Booktrope, provides marketing support to all of its authors in the form of a Marketing Manager. Beth Bacon is my Marketing Manager and she’s fantastic. I truly think I hit the jackpot of Marketing Managers. And, really, how many other Marketing Managers would agree to guest post on their author’s blogs? So, without further ado, I will hand this over to Beth:

Cheers!

Cheers!

The 1-Year Anniversary… What does it mean?

Happy birthday, Jane.  It’s the one-year anniversary of the publication of A State Of Jane. The first copies started rolling out of Amazon warehouses in mid-September 2012. The chick-lit world has never been the same.

One year. What does a year mean? The marker can trigger a celebration or act as a kick in the pants—Crap! A year has gone by already?

That’s the way Jane feels at the opening of A State of Jane. She’s been single for one year. The anniversary is like a wake up call. BRING! Time to get a life.

Granted Jane is the one who wanted the break up. But in the twelve long, dry months after that, Jane hasn’t dated a single Tom, Dick, or Harry. Crossing the one-year threshold jolts her into action. She needs to find a guy. The guy. The one. And fast. Especially because her ex is now happily engaged—to someone… nice.

What is it about the one-year milestone that spurs Jane to get off her butt and start dating like a her pants are on fire? What is it about the calendar circling around onto itself that makes one day different from the day before? Why do we mark anniversaries at all? And why, why do we feel so excited to celebrate the date that the book A State of Jane was launched into the world?

Okay, hold on, wait. This is not a philosophy blog. This is a chick lit blog. Forget I went there.

Instead—LET’S PARTY! A STATE OF JANE IS ONE YEAR OLD TODAY!

WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?

How do I decide?

•  Skinny blue jeans and white t-shirt like Kim on the cover of Blogger Girl?

•  An A-line dress cinched at waist with pumps like Stephanie in Just Friends With Benefits?

•  A V-neck cashmere sweater, black jeans and boots like Jane in A State of Jane?

WHAT AM I GOING TO DRINK?

So many tasty cocktails.

•  A skinny flute of Prosecco like Kim in Blogger Girl?

•  A dirty Martini like Hannah in Blogger Girl?

•  Wheat beer like Stephanie in Just Friends with Benefits?

•  A nice glass of white wine like Jane in A State of Jane?

WHERE SHOULD WE GO TO CELEBRATE?

Lots of places to check out.

•  Vero Wine Bar, Banc Cafe, The Hurricane Club, or Ryan’s Daughter like in Blogger Girl?

•  The Round Robin Bar, the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, or the Rhino Bar & Pumphouse like in Just Friends with Benefits?

•  Whisky River, Hillstone, or the Lex Bar like in A State of Jane?

HOW LATE AM I GOING TO STAY OUT?

Not too late. I’m gonna’ get home early, curl up in bed, and re-read A State of Jane.

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Cover art – building a brand

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It wasn’t too long ago that I worked with my amazing cover artist, Loretta Matson, on the cover of my newest release, Blogger Girl. I told Loretta that I wanted the cover to give off a fun “chick lit” vibe. The main character of the novel, Kimberly Long, is a loyal defender of chick lit – the easy breezy writing style, the humorous tone, the happily ever after etc. – and I wanted the cover to reflect that. It seems that many American chick lit writers are moving away from illustrated covers but I personally love them. I am my own target audience and am more likely to click on an illustrated cover on Amazon than a photograph because illustrations, to me, scream “chick lit” and chick lit is my favorite genre. But I had more on my mind when creating the cover of Blogger Girl than just the illustration. I wanted the cover to fit into my brand.

When my debut novel, Just Friends with Benefits, was being published and I worked with the designer on the cover art, I didn’t give any thought to future books I would write and how I would want their covers to look. I was a newbie in the business and gave no thought to my “brand” because I didn’t have one yet. I also did not give my brand much thought when working on the cover for my second novel, A State of Jane. But I absolutely loved the cover of A State of Jane and knew that I wanted the cover of Blogger Girl to give off the same fun vibe.

Responsibility for the cover design of Blogger Girl was shared by Loretta as the designer, me as the author and Beth Bacon as my book manager and there was a lot of back and forth between the three of us before it was completed. Once we were finished, we immediately got started on the new cover of Just Friends with Benefits as I had just assigned the rights to Booktrope. With building my brand as one of our biggest goals, we wanted all three books to share certain elements that would distinguish them as books by “Meredith Schorr” while making it clear that they were stand-alone novels and not part of a series.  This is what we came up with:

The title of all three books is in the same font.

One letter in each title is dotted with a “heart” design.

My name is placed in the same spot on each book and also in the same font.

The back covers all include two endorsements, one before and one after the blurb.

The first sentence of the blurb is written in the same font as the title and in a larger size than the remaining text.

My photograph appears to the left of my bio on the bottom of the back cover.

Finally, on the spine of both Blogger Girl and Just Friends with Benefits is a smaller image of one of the designs featured on the front cover. On Blogger Girl, it is the image of Kim; on Just Friends with Benefits, it is the image of a candy heart. Although we did not do this with A State of Jane, it is a feature I definitely want to include in my future books.

For any authors reading this blog, do you focus on your “brand” when designing your covers? If so, in what ways? If not, is it something you would ever consider in the future?

Blogger Girl - Full Cover

Blogger Girl – Full Cover

Just Friends with Benefits - Full Cover

Just Friends with Benefits – Full Cover

A State of Jane - full cover

A State of Jane – full cover

Chick Lit Central – Giveaway of Blogger Girl

Melissa Amster of Chick Lit Central hails Blogger Girl another top favorite of 2013 and considers it the Girls Just Want to Have Fun of books.

Check out her review here and enter for your chance to win an ecopy of Blogger Girl.

back-to-school essentials!

The main character in my new release, Blogger Girl, is twenty-eight, however, with her ten year high school reunion looming and a request to review her high school nemesis’ book waiting in her email inbox, she’s been thinking a lot more about her high school days than she probably should. Promoting the book so much over the past few weeks got me thinking about my days in school as well, especially in light of the Labor Day Weekend. When I was younger, the first day of school was always the Wednesday after Labor Day and so this day always makes me think of the first day of school and a new start of sorts. I used to approach the first day of school with a mixture of excitement and anxiety: I wondered who would be in my classes, if my teachers would be nice, if I would make new friends and still get along with my old ones and if I would have a boyfriend. Although I knew even back then that much of this was out of my control, I always tried to prepare as best as I could for a good year. My mom would take me to get all of my school supplies, like a new backpack, notebooks for each of my classes, pens and pencils etc. She’d also take me clothes shopping. My mom and stepdad could not afford to buy me a new wardrobe each year but I would always get a few new outfits in the latest fashion to mix with the clothes from the year before. I would study magazines like Seventeen, Mademoiselle and Sassy to see what was in style and I would spend hours contemplating what to wear on the first day. For instance, should I wear my favorite new outfit right away or should I wear something “summery” if it was still warm out? I would agonize as if my entire year would be decided based on what I wore the first day.

All of my school photos!

All of my school photos!

I don’t go to school anymore but I still think of coming back to work after the long Labor Day Weekend as a new beginning. Like a high school girl preparing for her new year of school, I also prepare for a new beginning at work and in life in general. These are some of the things I do:

  1. Hair – I got my hair cut last week – just a trim of the length and the layers. Although I am not due for highlights for another six weeks or so, my stylist also applied a layer of toner to my hair to keep the color from getting brassy from so much time in the sun.
  2. New clothes – Ok, I haven’t actually done any clothes shopping lately but I have begun to compile my coupons from Macy’s, Banana Republic, Anne Taylor etc. I am just not ready to start buying colder weather clothes when I’m still wearing shorts, tank tops and sandals on the weekends. Besides, I’m not really sure what is in fashion. I don’t pay too much attention to trends and basically wear clothes I like that flatter my figure. I assume if the dresses, skirts etc. are on the hangers at popular stores, they must be somewhat fashionable. But I’m not a label whore with the exception of bags. I will admit to fantasizing about the Christian Louboutin shoes worn by the main character in Blogger Girl and if the book does well, I might treat myself to them at some point but probably not. While purchasing a pair would not leave me homeless, I’m not sure my desire for the shoes would outweigh the guilt I would feel for spending that much money on a pair of shoes that are probably incredibly uncomfortable.
  3. Exercise – I have a very good workout ethic and always have. I run between six and ten miles four to five times a week; I take a weekly spin class and I do the stair climber. I’ve never enjoyed lifting weights. I have never wanted to be extremely sculpted and would prefer to be soft and feminine but not flabby but I know that soft can quickly turn to flab if I am not careful. Because of that and because I know it is important to keep my bones strong as I get older, I added a twice weekly strength training plan to my workout several months ago but I have been slacking. The days that I skip my workout tend to be the days I planned to lift weights. Or if it is beautiful out, I skip the weight lifting to go for an extra run. With the new beginning, I am going to try hard to stick to the weight training!
  4. Mean Girls – Back in high school, I faced more than my share of mean girls. My history with mean girls actually dates back to Elementary School and continues through Junior High. I didn’t really come into contact with any mean girls in High School although some of my friends weren’t actually all that nice. I am a much stronger person now than I was back then and definitely do not have the patience for bitches and so I do not bother with anyone I see as potentially “mean” –I do not socialize with anyone I would categorize as mean and thankfully all of my colleagues are nice people. However, there is definitely a mean-spirited person haunting me and some of my author friends on Amazon and Goodreads. There is a member of Goodreads who has left a two star rating on almost all of our book pages on Goodreads. Now, I do not expect everyone to love my books and I have come to terms with my negative ratings (for the most part). I will never please everyone. However, this person’s profile is private so we cannot see anything about her. All we know from her profile is that she has left over 19,000 ratings (not a single written review) and her average rating is 1.98 stars. She bombed Blogger Girl with a two star rating practically the first day it was published which struck me as odd since she didn’t have much time to actually read it. And she had also rated A State of Jane and Just Friends with Benefits two stars. If she hates my writing so much, why read all of my books? Because she didn’t! Seriously, the likelihood that she read and hated 19,000 books would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic. I have a feeling this is the same person who has marked most of my positive reviews on Amazon as “unhelpful” and my handful of negative reviews as “helpful.” Obviously, I cannot make this person stop being a complete wench so instead I will focus on the fact that nothing she does can take away from the enjoyment others will experience from reading my books and hopefully I will get enough positive reviews that no one will even notice her stupid 2 star rating or care if my negative reviews are marked helpful. She cannot control my success as a writer so I will continue to do what I am doing. And hopefully, she will get some therapy because God knows she needs it.
  5. Organization – In school, I was infamous for my messy notebooks. There were always papers falling out of my binders and nothing was ever organized. A classmate actually took one of my binders home with her one weekend because she couldn’t take how messy it was. Flash forward twenty years and I am equally disorganized in the office. My desk is a complete mess. I know where everything is but anyone else trying to locate something might get buried under the loose papers which occupy my office space. My apartment, while clean, is usually untidy as well. I live in 500 square feet and there just is not enough room to put everything away without accruing clutter. Well, I took several hours yesterday and tidied up my apartment. I am going to try to keep up with it to avoid things getting out of hand. Wish me luck!
  6. Boys (men) I am currently single and so of course I would like to meet someone I like as “more than friend” who feels the same way about me and who is intelligent, funny, nice, attractive and, of course, available. I did have a date a couple of weeks ago and it was the first date I actually looked forward to since ending my last relationship earlier this year. I had met the guy before but this was our first “date.” It went well, or so I thought. He was nice, cute, interesting and we spent several hours talking and laughing. I was pretty certain he was into me especially when he asked if he could walk me home at the end of the date but he hasn’t called me again. Although the date was good, it was not a slam dunk. We met at 7:30 and by the time I went inside my apartment, it was past midnight. Never during our time together did my date ask if I was hungry or wanted something to eat. Had I known the date would go so long, I might have mentioned something to him but I did not want to presume we would spend that much time together and figured if we just had a drink, I could eat when I got home. About half-way through the date, around 9pm, my stomach was literally growling and when he went to the bathroom, I dipped my hand in the snack bowl the bartender had brought over to avoid biting my hand. I probably should have brought up dinner at that point but I didn’t. I had been up since 6:30, went to the gym, worked all day and then met him straight from work with only a yogurt for breakfast and a salad for lunch as my fuel. As much as I enjoyed talking to him, and I did, I was exhausted from an entire day of work and no food. While I drank two glasses of wine, it was over the course of four hours so instead of getting tipsy, I felt tired and dehydrated. He nursed his one drink and it took all the self-control I could muster not to gulp mine for some sustenance. Despite the hunger pains and the cotton mouth, I knew I wanted to see this guy again. He was cute, interesting and had a very “soothing” quality to him which relaxed me, but it was getting late, I had work the next day, had to pack for a weekend getaway and, in case I haven’t mentioned it, I was starving. When we finally left the bar, my date offered to walk me home. On the one hand, I was excited because I figured that meant he liked me and wanted to spend a bit more time with me and kiss me goodnight. On the other hand, I was starving and thought to myself, “would he think I was weird if I asked him to walk me to the pizza place?” I decided I was too embarrassed to stop for pizza and I led him straight back to my apartment where we continued to talk and laugh and talk and laugh and talk. Each time one conversation ended, another started and I just wanted him to say “I definitely want to do this again” and kiss me so that I could go home, eat something, pack and go to bed. But he did neither of those things. We both said we had a great time and it was on the tip of my tongue to say “I would like to do this again” but I couldn’t do it. I am not opposed to being the aggressive one when the situation calls for it and my ex will attest to the fact that if I hadn’t said to him “are you going to kiss me already?” the night we met, we probably would not have dated for the next year and a half. However, I couldn’t bring myself to do that this time. I was too tired and too hungry and just wanted my date to take the reins, adjust his balls and be the man. So, after hemming and hawing outside of my building for close to a half hour, I finally walked inside without a kiss or the promise of another date. I toyed with reaching out to him but I decided against it. If a guy likes me enough, he will do the asking. (And mom, if you are reading, this is my final answer and, no, I don’t want to talk about it!) If the guy in question is reading this, my message to you is that if you ask, I DO want to go out with you again. Just make sure you feed me (I promise not to order mutton…) and kiss me goodnight next time! Of course, it is entirely possible that the guy only went out with me in the hopes of getting laid and expected an offer to walk me home would come with an invitation to come inside. I didn’t get that vibe but I’m not all that good at reading men these days so who knows? In any event, I don’t roll that way. I like to get to know someone in a less rushed way. There would have to be an intense physical attraction/connection for me to take a guy home on a first date. God, why are men so presumptuous these days?  Hmm, maybe because women are so easy. Thanks to my female sisters for being sluts. *sarcasm” Shrugging off the negativity NOW. With new beginnings comes new hope that I will meet another man I’d like to date soon. 🙂

So there you have it – my “back -to-school” list. What is on your list?