Elektra James is back in the brilliant sequel ‘Waiting For Callback: Take Two’ and it’s got a fabulous new cover illustrated by Lisa Brewster who also collaborated on the design with Jenny Richards. If you haven’t had a chance to read this series then now is the perfect time to start, you can read the first two before the final book in the series ‘It’s A Wrap‘ is released.
Life is looking up for our aspiring actress, who has landed a starring role in an actual blockbuster film and nearly become the girlfriend of her massive crush Archie. True to form things don’t always work out quite like she imagined it! With a hessian cloth for a costume and Archie away filming a teen vampire movie surrounded by beautiful ladies, Elektra’s dream summer is turning into a major nightmare. Warm, witty and filled with hilarious highlights this is a real treat of a book. And on a personal level please can Eulalie adopt me she really is the most glamorous, gorgeous grandmother, I will even forgive her for having way more Twitter followers than me!
I am delighted to share with you again today the fabulous guest post from Perdita and Honor Cargill to celebrate the new look for ‘Take Two.’
Scouting – Perdita & Honor Cargill
Today we’re talking about Scouting – well, how we researched Take Two and how (because our plot, our characters and the laughs will always come first) we played fast and loose with what we learned.
We knew from the start of writing the Waiting for Callback series that we wanted a lot of the scenes in Take Two (or book-two-with-no-name as it was for months) to take place on a studio set. The dream would have been to have done lots of reconnaissance at Pinewood when a big movie was filming but studio sets are closed sets. To be fair, cast and crew have enough to contend with without a couple of writers with notebooks standing around (probably in the wrong place) and on the look-out for material that they could (very gently) ridicule… But we were lucky enough to have help from an actor friend with loads of on-set experience who read our early drafts as well as some young actors who’d done some holiday studio filming (none of them bear any responsibility!). And of course, thank God for Google (P: I don’t say that every day; H: I do). Ok, we ended up with slightly dodgy search histories (P: ‘hot young teen actors’ is one that I’m slightly uncomfortable with) but at least we weren’t writing about terrorism or grisly murders. Although some of the health & safety on-set research was terrifying (“Fight scenes, falls, pyrotechnic incidents, malfunctioning fog machines. Flying objects can be an issue, boulders, heavy weaponry, winged creatures, elves…” Ch. 11). And costume research! Honor had had all the fun of being fitted for costumes at Cosprop but we couldn’t resist hours more research. Poor old Elektra in her brown hessian sack…
We probably don’t want to add up how many hours we watched of behind the scenes footage of movies like The Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings but A LOT. There’s more basic stuff on the web too like maps and plans and photos of the big studios (including dressing rooms with Those lights around the mirrors – something Elektra gets borderline overexcited about). Basically we on-line stalked the studios.
Some of our research was inside-out research. For example, Hon came up with the speaking/squeaking-boulder scene (that won’t make any sense until you read the book) and then we did some research until we could be reassured that yes, indeed, there had been unfortunate incidents with sets built out of polystyrene and plywood…
We also had some fun researching the movie business elements that we put into things like the slides in chapter 3. The more we researched this world, the more confident we were that no matter how mad we went we’d be credible in spirit if not in every detail.
And sometimes we intentionally went for something a little different. Not just when we took things further on set than any competent director would have put up with (poor Havelski!) but, for example, we didn’t use the full standard film script format. Our script segments are very much part of the story and important to the plot and we didn’t want to risk them being jumped over so we went for a compromise style that sat more easily with the rest of the text. It felt right.
We read some great books in the name of research and, to get those A-list diva details right, a regular supply of celebrity magazines – we possibly did more ‘research’ there than we strictly had an excuse for.
So we’re owning up to hours of watching behind the scenes footage, reading celebrity mags and actor memoirs – it’s a tough job…
‘It’s A Wrap’ – Sneak Peek
I am delighted to share with you the gorgeous and brilliantly vibrant cover illustrated by Lisa Brewster who also collaborated on the design with Jenny Richards of the new book ‘It’s A Wrap.’ So without further ado here it is…….
Also the lovely Perdita shared on Twitter a sneak peek of chapter one which I’m happy to also share with you today.
Thank you to Perdita and Honor for this fantastic guest post and letting me share your fabulous new covers and a sneak peek of Chapter One on the blog. ‘It’s A Wrap’ is released on 31st May and is available to pre-order online or from any good bookshop.