The Casting Meeting: A Daydream by Sybil Le Pyrmont


Remember the good olden days of adolescence? You were alone in your room, headphones on. The Wild Boys blared at tinnitus-inducing volumes. Your mic was a Dr Pepper can (with those few leftover drops that invariably landed in your eye), your audience a mirror framed with yellowed clippings of A-Ha and Andrew McCarthy. Yes, yes, I know, we’re talking a very distant adolescence here. Anyway, that mirror showed you where you knew deep down you belonged: on a glamorously lit stage – aka the high school gym at prom – flooring the Heathers who ignored you all your life and dazzling the handsome-oblivious-misunderstood jock you’ve been secretly worshipping since fifth grade. Oh, and let’s not forget the talent scout from Sony Music who just happens to drop by your small-town prom with a multi-million-dollar contract in his pocket.

Writers daydream too. A lot. And although most of our daydreaming revolves around plots and characters, some of it seems eerily reminiscent of those glittering teenage reveries. Yep, we dream. I dream. Of fame. The kind of fame where the phone rings and Bob Iger is on the other end to declare it his life’s mission to turn my novel, The Shape of Stars Unknown, into a movie franchise. Let’s leave out the tedious rights negotiations and paperwork and skip straight to the part of this fantasy that I love the most: the casting meeting.

Just arrived from [insert prestigious literary award ceremony], here I am in some posh conference room with a bunch of casting honchos and studio executives, hordes of obliging assistants and superb catering (Nobu, anyone?). After unanimously hailing my book as the greatest oeuvre since the invention of printing and pouring me a glass of vintage champagne, they ask me the million-dollar question: ‘Who did you have in mind for the starring roles? Give us any names, living or dead, and we’ll make it happen. Money is no object.’

I come prepared; my dream cast has been mapped out for quite a while. So, without further ado, I present them (and you) my core ensemble for The Shape of Stars Unknown:

Paul Bettany

Blake Lively

Tom Hiddleston

Stephen Campbell Moore

Ken Watanabe

Christopher Walken

Stephen Lang or Sebastian Roché – still up for debate

Sean Bean

Christopher Plummer

Glenn Close

Charles Dance

Tilda Swinton

Michael Lonsdale

Carole Bouquet

Margot Robbie

A fair amount of rejuvenating serum, resurrection and CGI will be involved to gather this cast, but let’s not dwell on such minor plot holes. With a production budget north of 400 million, they’ll make it happen, resurrection included, right?

Right. Sigh.

Okay, back to reality: the publishing business is tough. Trying to break into it as a new author can sometimes seem like a Sisyphean task. The occasional outlandish fantasy of Nobel Prizes, big-budget adaptations of my work or multimillion-dollar castles in the Scottish Highlands is as much an escape as it is a motivational boost I can tap whenever I need one.

But let me share a little secret with you: my true daydream is to build a dedicated readership that genuinely enjoys my writing and helps me grow as an author. Because … when the smoke clears, loyal readers are the only fame that matters.

Author Bio

Sybil Le Pyrmont was born in Germany and was raised on the Canary Islands (that Gallic name is a pseudonym – her actual name has as much flair as a tax return). Although she now resides in Frankfurt, Germany, her heart has been beating for Tokyo ever since she spent a year in that city and discovered her epic love for all things Japan. That includes, to her acute embarrassment, the Shinagawa train station jingle she has installed as her ringtone. When Sybil isn’t writing, or dreaming of the anonymous donor who will some day gift her a house in Japan, she splits her time between her airline day job and long rants about the sunshine and the always-too-hot weather.

Sybil writes urban fantasy adventure to whisk her readers away to realms of imagination that have a distinct possibility of existing somewhere in the depths of the Universe.

Visit for more on Sybil and her writing.

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