Something Strange and Deadly is a series close to my heart. Susan Dennard was one of the first authors I met, on a signing tour with Sarah Maas, and she was so sweet and charming. She remembered me when we met next, and she and Sarah spent several minutes sharpie-ing drawings into their inscriptions.
Good people don't always write good books, but sometimes they do--and sometimes, they write great ones. Something Strange and Deadly is a genre-bending thrill of a series, with characters who will always live in my head. In celebration of the paperback release of Strange and Ever After, I've endeavored to bring those characters to life. (With bonus theme music, because obviously!) Enjoy the fancast. Before you leave, don't forget to enter the giveaway!
the face: Emilie de Ravin
I came across Ms. Ravin only recently--when making this post, actually. I knew instantly that she was Eleanor (although the Gothic picture with the gloves sealed it: fate!). Her fierce eyes and soft features almost perfectly match the Eleanor in my head. I can just imagine her saying something snarky.
the theme song: "Oscar Wilde" by Company of Thieves, "Make a Shadow" by Meg Myers
This one breaks the industrial flavor I was going for a bit (a lot), but it whispered to me and I couldn't let it go. It's a sad sort of song, the refrain a play on a famous quote from the man himself: "We are all our own devil and we make this world our hell." It reminds me of the self-consuming journey that Eleanor takes throughout the series. "Make a Shadow" snuck up on me. I've always loved it, but it struck me how perfect it is for El. It has a plaintive feel, a desire for escape but also a love for the darkness. It's angry and powerful and wild.
the face: Luke Mitchell
Luke was another new face for me. I discovered him on a long, long search to find Daniel. After scouring the internet, I've concluded two things: (a) there is no actor quite perfect and dashing enough to be the Daniel in my head, but (b) Luke is pretty damn close. The roguish smirk, light eyes, and bit of scruff are all there. Oh dear, dear Daniel.
the theme song: "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, "Cosmic Love" by Florence + The Machine
In keeping with the Gothic theme, I thought of this song for Daniel. It's all about trying to forget the past and feeling broken. It's about trying to protect the ones you love from the unworthiness you believe is inside you. And the sadness of it... I can imagine it playing during those last chapters. "Cosmic Love" is more about Daniel's feelings for Eleanor specifically. There's a hopelessness in it along with a deep love. Just what I imagine you'd see, peering into his heart.
the face: Taye Diggs
Joseph's age was always a little mysterious to me, but I imagined him as a sort of uncertain younger middle aged. He had to be fashionable, dapper, and sort of fierce--and for some reason, I imagined him with spectacles. So, basically, Taye Diggs.
the theme song: "Bad Blood" by Bastille
This song reminded me immediately of Joseph. It's like his history in a song. The young friendship, the betrayal, the long and harrowing thirst for revenge but also for peace. Plus, it's so freaking epic.
the face: Liu Yifei
You'll have to imagine the trademark shaved head and long braid. Shockingly, it's not a popular style for photo shoots. Barring that, Liu would make a perfect Jie. She has the very round, soft features that I always pictured for Jie, and a certain mischief about her that's absolutely necessary, yeah?
the theme song: "Stand My Ground" by Within Temptation
I knew that Jie needed something epic, being the certified badass of the group. This song is a little industrial and a great deal epic. It's about staying strong against forces trying to take you over. About being part of something and trying to hold on. I couldn't think of a better person for it.
the face: Chris Hemsworth
I'm not 100% sold, but Chris was the first person who came to mind when I re-read Elijah's description. He has the hair, obviously, but also the piercing stare that I associate with Elijah. He also happens to fit the unusual tallness that Eleanor wonders over, and he and Emilie even have some similar angles.
the theme song: "Dangerous" by Big Data, "Forsaken" by David Draiman
"Dangerous" popped out at me pretty quickly. It has that sort of electronic Gothic feel I was looking for (think Queen of the Damned, the movie), plus I can perfectly imagine Elijah slow-motion walking out of the cemetery with it playing hauntingly behind him. "Forsaken" (which actually was in Queen of the Damned) is a close second. It's haunting industrial quality and rage was perfect, and it's all about darkness taking over. And Elijah deserves two songs, don't you think?
the face: Zoey Deutch
I knew that whoever played Allison had to embody fierce, but also have some playfulness. Zoey is perfect. She has Allison's dark hair, pale complexion, and the angular features I always gave her in my head. Plus, look at that devious stare and I-know-I'm-hot posing. The perfect person to play the enigmatic Wilcox sister.
the theme song: "Ghosts" by Ladytron
This is a difficult one to explain. It just feels like Allison to me. It's a dark song with an upbeat hook, a conflicted song. A song about remnants and being driven by something beyond yourself. I can't explain fully without giving too much away, but I can feel Allison's soul in it. There's also just something sort of sinister about it, no?
the face: Ben Barnes
For some reason, Clarence was difficult for me to place. It needed to be someone classy and suave, with an air of darkness and a certain old fashioned charm. I almost went with Brandon Routh, but he wasn't quite boyish enough. Then, I realized that I should have gone with my first instinct all along. (Didn't hurt that Susan always pictured him as Ben!) Ben has all the qualities I imagined. Can't you just imagine him in a top hat?
the theme song: "Naive" by The Kooks
This is sort of an Eleanor and Clarence song. I can imagine the lyrics in his mouth, darker than the Kooks meant them, I'm sure. The back and forth, the conflict, the desperation and disaster.
the face: Nicholas Hoult
Last on the list is Oliver, the cheeky, drunk demon with a tragic past. Hoult was an easy choice, if you imagine his eyes yellow and his hair a little more chestnut. His angular, haunted features aren't exactly how I pictured Oliver, so much as I thought "Oliver" when I came across him. There's just something so sly about him that fits.
the theme song: "Places for Breathing" by Revis, "This is the Time" by Nothing More
I knew that Oliver needed something a little sad, a little jarring. Something that felt like heartbreak and feeling lost. This song is an old favorite, and its sort of dissonant, haunting quality and reference to oblivion reminded me of the look I'd imagine to see in Ollie's eyes. Then there's "This is the Time", which is faster, angrier, more alive. It's a song about keeping your head above water, living beyond past wounds. The line "We hold each other like ransom notes" struck me as very Ollie-esque.
Giveaway is U.S. only (sorry!) and will run from June 21 to July 10.
Before you leave, check out the rest of the tour!
Before you leave, check out the rest of the tour!