Casting Smoky Mountain Dreams #bonusmaterial #gayromance

I don’t always cast my books, though sometimes it does help me to get a handle on a character if I have a very clear view of what they look like. While I absolutely love and am entirely satisfied with the cover of Smoky Mountain Dreams, the guys don’t fit the image I had in my head for Christopher or Jesse, nor do they fit the almost-good-enough attempts I made at casting them with photographs. I thought it might be fun to show readers the closest, but not quite right, approximations I’ve got for a few of the characters in the book.

First, let’s talk about Christopher. The inspiration for Christopher was originally a real human being that I saw performing at Dollywood. He was handsome enough, but not stunning, thin enough but not cut, cute but not amazing, and his singing talent was well beyond my own but he’d never be famous. I have no idea what his name was, but I decided then and there to write a book about him. Well, eventually, I wanted to describe Christopher in more detail and I set about trying to find a photo that captured what I’d found so compelling about this performer at Dollywood. I finally settled on this picture of Jesse Spencer. Though I feel compelled to say that not every picture of Jesse Spencer works for Christopher, in fact, this may be the only one. But I returned to this one time and again to try to capture the feeling the character of Christopher gave to me.


Now, Jesse was a lot harder. I had a couple of pictures I referred to for him, actually. One that mainly just captured the body confidence I thought Jesse had. But this one is probably the closest in terms of the face. Only, uh, without that full, messy beard .Jesse just had scruff, and the hair is shorter by a bit, and his eyes are tired here because of the burdens of his life (and maybe the sex he had with Christopher all night long), but, yes, this was the closest I could find…probably. It’s still not just right, but whatcha gonna do? πŸ˜€


More pictures of that model (Maximilio Pantane) that I used as references for Jesse:


Both of these were my references for Young Jesse:
Maximiliano_Patane youngjesse


Now, Gareth. Yes, he was pretty easy. I saw this picture one day and was like, “Holy crap, what is Gareth doing on Pinterest??” So, yes, this is what I think Gareth looks like.


Every reader obviously has their own idea of what the characters look like and I hope seeing my thoughts doesn’t taint your own. I also hope it was fun to see these! πŸ˜€ If you’ve got ideas of what Christopher and Jesse look like and pics to go along with that, please to be sharing in comments below!


Smoky Mountain Dreams is available now at:


And now atΒ KOBO.

ETA: I just saw this yesterday and he would make an acceptable Jesse too, I think.