Aly Sullivan’s senior year is turned on end when she meets teen rock star, Jacob Roman, and his family on a summer vacation in Mexico. All of this would make the perfect backdrop for romance, if she didn’t just catch her boyfriend with his tongue down some chick’s throat. But Aly is determined not to disrupt her life for a known player like Jacob, even if he splashes color into her tidy black and white world. She followed her heart once and it ended up broken.

Lesson learned.

She’s going to get what she wants – to be an architect – no matter what, or who, crosses her path. SAT tests, AP exams and college applications are part of her plan, NOT the Grammy Awards, Jacob’s rabid fans or the paparazzi.

A friendship with Jacob’s brother continues after vacation ends, making it complicated to avoid Jacob, and her growing feelings. Falling in love is a risk Aly’s scared to take. Love is messy, and heartbreak is the certain outcome. With a guy like Jacob, who has girls throwing themselves at him, all bets are against her. As a future architect, Aly knows how to calculate chances, but some things can't be solved with a calculator and a keen mind. Maybe she'll have to trust her heart.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesday


"How could you do this to my family?" Jacob yelled at Aly as she walked down the hall. He stood in the doorway, blocking entry to her room, with a mix of anger and pain so visible on his face, that it hurt her to see. In that moment she knew she loved him. She knew because more than anything else, his believing that she could do this, ripped her heart out.

"Jacob?" She asked in a voice too quiet to have been hers. "You believe it too? I don't know why I though you couldn't shock me anymore." She stood there in front of him searching his eyes for a hint that he might believe her.

He was shaking with anger. "Shock you? Shock you? I couldn't be more shocked by you Aly. I never would have thought you do this. What is it? Was it for money?" He shook his head. "No, it can't be that, you come from plenty of money. Were you not happy witht he level of celebrity we were providing you?" He dropped his eyes from hers and his shoulders slumped just a little. "How could you hurt us, how could you hurt Andrew like this?"

In any other circumstance seeing him like this, so raw, so vulnerable, she would have rushed at him and pulled him into her arms to try and make it better. Now, it was unbearable. Even though she could see in his eyes the pain and betrayal that was causing him to say such terrible things, she couldn't take another moment. "Jacob, please move," she asked, that unfamiliar quiet voice returning.

He stood there and raised his eyes to hers again, his lips parted as if he was preparing to say something else. Without a word, he dropped his arm and walked down the hall, away from her.

She struggled to slide the card into the door, the tears lining up to fall were blocking her vision. "Come on, come on," she said to the lock. Two more attempts and the heavy door swung open into her room. She took a few steps into the room to clear the door, then pushed back on it with her full weight to close it. As soon as she heard the click, she sunk to the floor in sobs.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Casting NORMAL

NORMAL was inspired by a dream I had about 2 1/2 years ago. In my dream a confident, focused but heartbroken girl has the ultimate temptation put in front of her while on vacation- a gorgeous rock star who falls for her. I wrote notes that very morning and fleshed out a sparse outline about this dream for future plot and added it to my SNI file. I can still see some visuals from this dream as clearly as if I had it last night. I have had this dream or a variation of it several times since then.

Fast forward to February 2009 - sitting in a dark theater with my daughter and her friend watching the Jonas Brothers 3D Concert movie. Going into the movie I didn't even know which Jonas brother was which - coming out I could only think about that dream I had. Something clicked and I saw the book clearly in front of me. The movie really brought home the feel of the book and urged me to write.  My initial dream formed the plot and personalities of my characters - and my daughters have certainly helped flesh out the mindset of uber fans.

Even though Camp Rock is much loved in my home - I was not interested in casting my novel with a repeat of the Camp Rock trio. So my cast only includes one of the Joni. Originally Jacob Roman was cast as Nick Jonas in my head... over the course of writing the manuscript I realized Joe Jonas is truly Jacob. Joe is now too old for Jacob but that's how I see him.

Handle with Care (the band) is more alternative rock than pop... but their ages and good looks have brought them the kind of fan-base that was previously reserved for boy bands.

The book takes place over a span of 3 years, so I've tried to reflect some of the age changes in my cast photos. Keep in mind that when casting a book, I'm often literally looking at a single picture and the look/feel that picture portrays to me - not necessarily the real actor or personality behind the person. (Also - obviously I didn't take these photos and do not want to take credit for something that isn't mind. I don't know where most of them came from over time but I hope no one minds me sharing them.)

When I saw this first picture of Leighton Meester I immediately thought of Aly - only problem - she's missing Aly's bright blue eyes. The first picture would be Aly towards the beginning (age 17) and the 2nd of Aly around age 20.

Enter these photos of Jessica Stroup.... this is more like the Aly from my dream. Only imagine her with darker hair.

Aly's best friend (Ashley Benton) is the one that forces Aly out of her head and to try and have fun. She is bubbly but wicked smart which catches people off guard.

THE ROMANS (brothers that form the band, Handle With Care)

This first picture of Joe Jonas is what made me come to grips that Joe is Jacob Roman as I see him. Something about his pose, the look on his face, the stage - it just screams Jacob to me. Jacob starts out 18 years old and ends at 21.

This has been difficult for me to cast, since I am having a hard time finding someone that captures the dream version of Andrew. This photo of Stephen Sraight is the closest I have found to really giving me the funny, sweet, innocent type of air that Andrew has. Andrew is 16 years old to start and ends up 19.

Jake T Austin just might work out for Tommy, the athletic, sporty, hard core guitarist. Imagine with super short hair... Tommy and Tanner are 14 (almost 15) to 17.

All of the Roman boys were hard for me to cast but Andrew and Tanner are the hardest. A youngish Jeremy Sumpter catches the unique look Tanner (Tommy's twin) has - with his lighter hair and blue eyes. Tommy is a complete introvert with a sarcastic, dry sense of humor and big brain.

Molly Quinn IS Caitlin Sullivan, Aly's little sister and Tanner's friend/LI. Molly with more of a strawberry blonde look would be perfect. Cait starts out almost 15 and ends up 18.

Devon is the youngest of the cast of characters. Aly's 12 (to 15) year old little brother is adorable and oblivious to the drama unfolding around him.  I think these photos of Logan Lerman are just about perfect.