Tuesday, September 16, 2014

You guys! I am SOOOOO excited to be hosting a stop with the lovely Paula Weston on her blog tour for Haze. I've already devoured the book -- you can check out my fangirl review here -- and I can say with absolute certainty that this is a series you do NOT want to miss.

Paula's here today to chat a bit about how she visualizes her characters*, but first, a little about the second book in the REPHAIM series:

By Paula Weston
In stores now!!!

Add to Goodreads

Order Haze:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Apple | Kobo | Fishpond | The Book Depository

Here's the blurb:
Gaby Winters' life used to be pretty normal. She lived with her best friend. She worked in a library. She was slowly getting over the death of her twin brother, Jude. And then Rafa came looking for her.

With him, her blood-soaked nightmares stopped. But now they are reality. She is one of the Rephaim - a wingless half angel, descended from the Fallen. Demons exist and they are hunting her.

She knows she's alive when she's meant to be dead. And that means maybe Jude is too. So why isn't she out there looking for him?

The Rephaim - how I picture my characters (sort of)
By Paula Weston

The beauty of books is that, as a reader, we get to visualise characters in ways that work for us. As a writer, I’m also happy with that arrangement. I have an idea in my mind of how my characters look, but I know other people picture them quite differently - which is fine by me. :)

In recent years, I’ve set up a private Pinterest board where I post images that reflect some aspect of a particular character. Here are a few of them. I should stress, I’m not saying the actors (and not all of them are actors) are perfect for their character - or even age appropriate - but that something in each particular image works for me.

The Key Players

Mila Kunis
Age: 19 (or 139, if we’re being pedantic)
Based: Pandanus Beach, Australia
Favourite food: I eat just about anything, but I especially love an authentic Thai green chicken curry.
Favourite weapon: It turns out I have some skill with a katana.
Favourite place: Pandanus Beach. At least my memories there are real.
Best friend: Maggie
Favourite way to relax: Jogging. Hanging out at Rick’s Bar.
Earliest memory: They’re all pretty vague…

a younger Charlie Hunnam
Age: 139 years
Based: Pretty much anywhere with a bed.
Favourite food: Lamb shanks
Favourite weapon: Katana
Favourite place: Patmos
Best friend: Jude
Favourite way to relax: Use your imagination. I’m also partial to beer.
Earliest memory: Sneaking into the armory and trying to lift Nathaniel’s broadsword. It was taller than me and I knocked a bucket off the bench. Nathaniel caught me dragging the blade around the room. He made me stay in the armory until I could grip it and swing it properly. He thought it was punishment.

(the version Gaby remembers)
Taylor Kitsch (this is how Aussie author Vikki Wakefield pictures Jude and it works for me!)
Age: 19
Based: Backpacker hostels
Favourite food: Fresh crab and a cold Corona
Favourite weapon: Channel Islands Flyer shortboard
Favourite place: Bell’s Beach, Australia
Best friend: Probably Gaby, given the amount of time we spend together travelling.
Favourite way to relax: Surfing.
Earliest memory: Racing down a hill in a homemade go-kart with Gaby behind me. She had the helmet. We stacked it at the bottom and both ended up bleeding and sore. We dusted ourselves off, hauled that thing back up the hill and did it all over again.

Imogen Poots
Age: 19
Based: Pan Beach
Favourite food: Too close to call: cured kingfish or pan-fried scallops.
Favourite weapon: Clearly this question is not for me.
Favourite place: Melbourne. Paris (I haven’t been there yet, but I know I’d love it.)
Best friend: Gaby
Favourite way to relax: Knitting and sewing; yoga; jogging; happy hour at Rick’s.
Earliest memory: Being on the beach with my dad, trying to out run the wash of the waves. He was laughing and he put me on his shoulders. I remember thinking he was the strongest man in the world.

Lincoln Lewis
Age: 139
Based: An apartment in New York. It’s empty a lot.
Favourite food: Home-cooked ravioli
Favourite weapon: I hate violence.
Favourite place: Tibet.
Best friend: I haven’t been close to anyone long enough to have one.
Favourite way to relax: Listening to acoustic guitar.
Earliest memory: Finding my mother crying at the foot of an angel statue in our village. I thought it was piety. A few years later I fell out of a sycamore tree unscathed and found out the truth.

The Sanctuary Rephaim

Henry Cavill (but obviously clean-shaven)
Age: 139
Based: The Sanctuary
Favourite food: Risotto with shaved parmesan and truffle oil
Favourite weapon: Katana
Favourite place: Bordeaux, France
Best friend: That’s a somewhat juvenile term, but to answer, I have great respect for Uriel.
Favourite way to relax: Reading
Earliest memory: My strongest memory is watching the monks painstakingly copy a page from the Codex Vaticanus. They were working from papyrus that had survived from the fourth century. I wanted to touch it. I didn’t.

this ‘look’ Oliva Wilde had in Tron: Legacy
Age: 139
Based: The Sanctuary
Favourite food: Beef vindaloo
Favourite weapon: Katana
Favourite place: Haven’t thought about it. I don’t mind Canada – love watching professional ice hockey
Best friend: Malachi
Favourite way to relax: Training
Earliest memory: Punching a boy in the village for trying to take the bread I was carrying for the brothers.

Santiago Cabrera
Age: 139
Based: The Sanctuary
Favourite food: Veal parmigiana
Favourite weapon: Poleaxe – but the katana is more practical
Favourite place: Banff, Canada, in ski season
Best friend: Taya
Favourite way to relax: Skiiing
Earliest memory: First snow fight. It was against Jude and Rafa in the main piazza. I lost.

Emma Stone
Age: 139
Based: The Sanctuary
Favourite food: Saltimbocca
Favourite weapon: Twin-bladed sais
Favourite place: The Dead Sea, floating with my face to the sky.
Best friend: Jones, before he followed Mya out the door with the rest of them. Then Gabe, before she disappeared.
Favourite way to relax: Painting. I suck, but it calms me.
Earliest memory: Wandering off in the forest on my own. I climbed a huge pine tree to try and find the Sanctuary and got stuck. It was freezing. Nathaniel found me about an hour later with ice in my hair. He completely freaked out.

Callard Harris
Age: 139
Based: The Sanctuary
Favourite food: Jam donuts
Favourite weapon: Katana
Favourite place: San Francisco
Best friend: Gabe
Favourite way to relax: Playing guitar.
Earliest memory: I found a bowl of melted chocolate in the kitchen and ate about half of it before Brother Alberto caught me. He said my gluttony would be its own punishment. It was: I had shocking stomach pains and then threw up on myself in front of Rafa and Jude. They thought it was hilarious.

The Outcast Rephaim

Amanda Seyfried
Age: 139
Based: All over
Favourite food: Grilled cheese sandwich from Grahamwich, Chicago
Favourite weapon: .45 automatic. I don’t know why we don’t use firearms. They might not kill a demon but they definitely slow them down.
Favourite place: Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon
Best friend: Ez
Favourite way to relax: Clubbing.
Earliest memory: Nothing I want to reminisce about.

Nadine Velazquez
Age: 139
Based: No fixed address (but we’re often in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
Favourite food: Fried Jewish artichokes
Favourite weapon: Long knives, katana
Favourite place: The Pantheon in Rome when everyone has gone. Especially if it’s raining
Best friend: Zak
Favourite way to relax: Sharing a meal with friends.
Earliest memory: Finding a perfect white feather on my windowsill. I was four or five. I thought an archangel had come to see us in our sleep. Years later I realised it was probably Nathaniel’s. I kept it until we left the Sanctuary.

this cover shot of NFL star Ricky Williams
Age: 139
Based: No fixed address
Favourite food: Souvlaki
Favourite weapon: Katana, fists
Favourite place: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Best friend: Ez
Favourite way to relax: Any beach where Ez is in a bikini.
Earliest memory: Watching Brother Alberto’s hound whelp pups in the kitchen. She delivered them in front of the pantry. Very messy, but I made myself watch. He let me name them.

Will Yun Lee
Age: 139
Based: Wherever the fight is.
Favourite food: Paella
Favourite weapon: Nun chucks are fun but not always practical, so I usually go with the katana.
Favourite place: Thailand
Best friend: In the old days it was Daisy. Rafa was always good value before Jude disappeared. These days I spend most time with Mya.
Favourite way to relax: Tai chi
Earliest memory: Swinging on a rope from one of the pines outside the Sanctuary. Made me wish I had wings. Shifting is fine, but I’d love to really fly.

And this guy...
(he's one of the Butler brothers who think they run Pan Beach)

This guy - possibly not so buff! (Apologies to this tattoo artist from Knife & Flag for not knowing his name)
Age: 23
Based: Pan Beach
Favourite food: Steak, eggs and chips at the Imperial
Favourite weapon: Sawn-off shot gun
Favourite place: Campsite on the mountain
Best friend: Joffa
Favourite way to relax: Shootin’ shit.
Earliest memory: Stealing beer from the old man’s esky then copping a hiding for it.

*Character profiles can be found on the author's website and were used here with the author's permission. All photos were provided by the author for use with this post.

As you can see, there are a lot of hot angel offspring and humans alike in this novel. ;0) I kind of love that Paula's casting choices aren't necessarily indicative of the characters' ages but are more about the characters themselves. As she said, these aren't necessarily how you or I envision the characters, but I can definitely see why she chose these people to represent them. And I lurrrrrve the Taylor Kitsch casting for Jude! YUM. =) I liked to envision Natalie Portman as Gaby and Jesse Spencer as Rafa while I was reading:

Like Paula, I understand that these actors are a bit older than the characters depicted in the book, but there's just something about each of them that reminded me of Gaby and Rafa. Plus, Jesse's an Aussie, so it kind of made sense to me that my mind pictured him whenever he and Gaby were mid-banter. And Natalie just seems like a nice, girl-next-door type, which is exactly how I saw Gaby...until she started kicking demon butt. ;0)

Since we're talking about characters already, I wanted to share which character I am most like based on a quiz we were given by the author before the tour kicked off.

My result was:

Yay! Obviously, she's my favorite character -- with Rafa coming in a close second! -- so I'm delighted to find I'm most like Gaby.

I absolutely cannot wait to discover what else Paula has in store for us with this series! I was so impatient for Shimmer, the third book, which has already released in the UK, that I purchased a copy from an international retailer so that I could read it now. And now I am DYING to know what happens in the last book!

If you're sufficiently curious about the books now, be sure to stop by all of the tour posts this week and leave a comment for your chance to win the first two books in the series from the publisher. You can find the tour schedule and full details on the giveaway here at the publisher's blog.

About the author:

I’m the author of the Rephaim series. For my day job, I’m a writer-journalist-professional communicator with pH creative, where my writing involves a lot less profanity. :)

I also love to read, blog, cook, eat, drink and travel and tend to get passionate about human rights, ethical food production… actually, I can get passionate about pretty much anything.

I’m also a huge fan of Australian literature, fantasy/paranormal writing across books, TV and film; I love comedy; I’m a closet comic reader and TV addict; and I’m borderline obsessed with the Foo Fighters.

(Photo credit: Celia Southcombe, Flow Photography)

Find Paula:

WebsiteTwitter | FacebookGoodreads


  1. loved this and seeing all the characters come to life visually! Like i mentioned on twitter, Nick and Taya are totally spot on and all the other characters too. only thing is Mila being cast as Gaby.. i think she looks too old. Still, awesome list! I'm starting Haze today so i'm super excited.

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  2. WHEW *fans self* I need to reread this series now. Have you read SHIMMER?!!!! I'm dying for the finale now. LOVEEEEEE this series so much, and it's fun to put faces to the characters.

  3. Thanks for hosting Paula!

    Charlie Hunnam as Rafa, I think he even got sexier in my opinion! Yum!

  4. Ooh how cool to see who Paula invisions. I like the idea of Natalie Portman Jen! Okay I need to get Shimmer now! I read an egalley of Haze recently and LOVED it and have been dying to read Shimmer. I may have to do what you did and order an international copy! But then I will be dying for the final book haha! So good!

  5. I love this casting!! I love seeing who the author sees as their characters so this was such a fun post. I got Gaby for the character quiz too!

  6. It's always so intriguing to get to see how an author imagines the characters in their head. And so many pretty people! =D

  7. I haven't read the book so I can not comment on hot angel offspring but I agree on the human. Look forward to reading.

  8. I know this is an old post but I'm new to the awesome rephaim series & wanted to throw in my 2 cents. For me, I had Kaya Scodelario (actress who played Effy Stonem in Skins) pictured as Gaby, here - http://i.imgur.com/OdjeFM4.jpg. Particularly given her Italian heritage & she's got a sort of ethereal quality about her. Love all the other casting choices tho, Charlie Hunnam *sigh* is especially perfect :)


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