Romance author Ally Blake on Jeremy Northam – so to speak!

4 Nov

First off, a big wave to the lovely Gill who invited me over here to natter about how Jeremy Northam came to inspire a hero I once wrote in a book called GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS.  Happy to do so.  I could go on about him…sorry, my writing process all day ;).

One of the most fun parts of writing a book is ‘casting’ the characters.  As a visual writer I like to have at hand a slew of pictures of my hero and heroine at play as you never know what tiny little thing might inspire a new scene – a pair of glasses, the way they hold a mobile phone, how good they look lying in bed amidst a pile of crumpled white cotton sheets.

And that brings me to Jeremy!

I never had ANY doubt that one day Jeremy Northam would help inspire a hero.  I’ve adored him and his films for years and years.  My very favourite being The Winslow Boy.  Cool, detached, successful, masculine – with the most brilliantly understated hint of heart that slowly unfolds as the story does the same. Yum!  If you haven’t listened to Jeremy’s commentary on the DVD, where he talks about how he was the brains behind the subtle, slow-building romantic element through the film, then you’re sooo missing out!

Then one day I had this idea for a book.  And with it a hero.  Laid-back.  Baffling behind a beautiful face.  Impossibly charming.  I went googling and searching through my extensive “hero database” of pictures and there he was.

Jeremy Northam AKA Flynn  Granger.  Finally!  A purely professional excuse to gaze upon that face day in and day out for months on end.  (Boy do I love my job!)

The fun thing about ‘casting’ a hero for me is that it has nothing to do with the actual person.  Or the characters they might play.  For me it has everything to do with wanting to know more about the glint in their eye in one picture, or why they haven’t shaved in another.  About the sly smile or the faraway frown.  About how a heroine might so easily find herself falling into those puppy dog brown eyes and never hope to find a way back out!

Jeremy gave me so many emotions to choose from, so much inspiration by way of the many guises he takes on so easily, that Flynn Granger is still one of my favourite heroes I’ve ever written to this day.  You can see why in a little snippet from the book I have on my website here.

GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS is getting a shiny new re-release next January in a collection entitled BOARDROOM HOT-SHOTS.  You can pre-order it today from The Book Depository (best book shop on the planet IMHO!) and get 25% off and free postage worldwide.

Thanks for having me!  Now I’d best off and return to googling pictures of handsome…sorry, my current work in progress ;).


Thanks so much to Ally and all the very best on the re-release. If you haven’t yet read her book, trust me, you need a copy now!

8 Responses to “Romance author Ally Blake on Jeremy Northam – so to speak!”

  1. Gayle Cooley November 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    That was a real treat Ally. Thank you so much for contributing this insight into your Flynn Granger character, and how Jeremy helped to shape him.
    I enjoyed hearing your thoughts so much!

  2. LauraP November 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    You do have a great job, Ally! You also have great taste in men! 😉

    Thanks so much for sharing with us your process of choosing a hero for your books. It was a lot of fun to read.

    I have to confess that I haven’t yet read Getting Down to Business, but you can bet I’ll be ordering a copy as soon as I finish writing this!

    • LauraP November 18, 2010 at 12:23 am #

      I DID order a copy of Getting Down to Business. When it arrived a few days ago, I started reading almost immediately.

      What fun! It’s a great read with a likeable heroine and a sexy hero. Ally captures perfectly what makes Jeremy such an attractive man.

      Great job, Ally!

  3. Lori November 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    I, too, am a visual writer and I have to thank Ally for this wonderful, witty insight to methods of choosing characters. What a great sense of humor!
    Thanks to Gill, as well, for contacting Ally and interviewing her.
    Well done.

  4. Martina November 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    I can only agree with my preceding commentators! That was very entertaining and interesting to read and so is your little novell “Getting down to business”. When I came across your witty ‘casting-story’ a year and a half ago I´d to order the book at once. Fortunately I got on well with it and thanks to your sensitive writing I`ve understood it for the most part. (I`ve to mention that I am a German) I like it very much to have a face to a book character and that you`ve chosen Jeremy Northam – so much the better!
    Thanks to Gill for inviting and ‘providing’ the kindest guest bloggers here!

  5. Jennythenipper November 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    I once got to write the text for a Cary Grant photo book. It was so distracting, but I did love my work more than usual. You never know where inspiration will come from. A line of a song one hears on the radio…a handsome face…


  1. Tweets that mention Romance author Ally Blake on Jeremy Northam – so to speak! « The Jer Blog, all about Jeremy Northam -- - November 4, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gill Fraser Lee, Gill Fraser Lee. Gill Fraser Lee said: Romance author Ally Blake guest blogs on how Jeremy inspired a hero! […]

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