Meet Author Brenda St. John Brown

Casting Call -- SWIMMING TO TOKYO (movie version?)

When people say, “your book would make a great movie,” I nod and smile and move on because, well, it would be super cool, but the likelihood is about as high as the Chicago White Sox winning the World Series. Disclaimer: I’m American living in the UK and I don’t follow baseball. But, historically the White Sox have mostly been a long shot, right? HOWEVER, let’s say the White Sox become amazing AND someone reads my book who wants to make it into a movie. Well, I’ve already done half the work! Let this post be my casting call!

First, the story. If you’ve decided you’re waiting for the movie version first, you might be waiting awhile, so let me summarize.  (And we all know the book is better anyway, right?)

The rules for swimming are simple:

Rule #1: There is no lifeguard on duty.

Since her mom died three years ago, nineteen-year-old Zosia Easton’s been treading water. Living at home. Community college. Same old Saturday nights. So when her father breaks the news he’s taken a job transfer—and by the way, it means renting out the house that’s been her refuge—a summer in Tokyo feels like it just might be a chance to start swimming again.

Rule #2: Beware of unexpected currents.

Finn O’Leary has spent God knows how many years trying to drown out his past. Juvenile detention. Bad decisions. Worse choices. He’s managed to turn it around – MIT, Dean’s List, a sexier-than-thou body with a smile to match – at least on the surface. When his mom asks him to spend the summer with her, Tokyo seems as good a place as any to float through the summer.

Rule #3: Swim at your own risk.

Today I’m casting 4 major characters. (Paramount, you can TOTALLY take my ideas if you want them!)

Zo is 19. Polish-American. Math nerd. Swimmer. Semi-popular. Redhead. Which is the only place where Sasha Pieterse is iffy because technically her hair is light brown or blonde. But, in this pic it looks almost red, right? You may recognize her from Pretty Little Liars and she was in a bunch of episodes of Heroes. Look for her next in Swimming to Tokyo?

Ah, Finn. Reformed bad boy. Super smart and not afraid to show it, but he’s definitely not sitting home on Saturday nights studying, if you know what I mean. Vulnerable and did I mention hot? Hot, hot, HOT.  Which makes him HARDER to cast, believe it or not. So, I have 2 choices, both dark haired b/c Finn’s definitely got dark hair:

Colton Hayes of Arrow (can you believe I’ve really never watched this show?? I need to remedy that, yes?)

And Colin O’Donoghue, who’s been in Once Upon a Time (which I’ve also only watched a handful of times).

The Finn in my head is probably some amalgamation of the two, but I’m not sure how possible that would be IRL. If I had to pick one, I’d go with Colton.

Zosia’s grandmother. Strong. Independent. Offers support and wisdom when Zo asks for it, and sometimes when she doesn’t. I’m picturing Bette Midler as Babci, but in a looser dress and with less prominent boobs.

Zo’s best friend from childhooc. Eclectic, open, interesting. Mindy is a good friend to Zo and has stuck by her through a lot. I really like Hailee Steinfield for this, who’s cast as Hadley in the film version of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight! I wonder if her casting started with a blog post? Maybe?

What do you think? Yes? No? Maybe? I’d LOVE to know whom you’ve pictured as these characters if you’ve read SWIMMING TO TOKYO. And even if you haven’t, who floats your boat when you consider the descriptions?

If you haven’t read SWIMMING TO TOKYO, it’s out there in the world and you could, in fact, go read it and come back. I’ll be here. Paramount, NewLine Cinema, Summit Entertainment – I’m looking at you! :)

Apryl Baker