While I was still writing the first draft of my Young Adult novel, Lily by Any Other Name, my dad began making a music playlist for the movie. This was especially sweet for two reasons:
- My father believed in me THAT MUCH.
- He was in his sixties. (Not exactly a young adult.)
Several drafts and years later Lily is published, both my parents still believe in me, and I’m finally ready to cast the movie…
…not because anyone bought the rights yet, but because it’s a lot of fun.
(Plus Lily is on sale for the first time for just 99¢ and to let you know this, I figured I might as well write a blog post!)
So. Without further ado, here are a few actors I picture in the major roles of Lily, followed by an excerpt from Chapter One:
Chloe Grace Moretz as Lily Anderson, a senior at Conejo High. She’s headed to Stanford and also in love with Zach Hewitt (or so she thinks). But there’s a lot Lily doesn’t know about herself yet, plus a secret she’ll discover about her parents that changes everything.
Saorise Ronan as Lily’s best friend, Sara. She lives next door to the Andersons and is fond of telling Lily truths she’s not quite ready to hear. But that’s what best friends are for, right? Maybe. If you can trust them.
Ansel Elgort as Zach Hewitt, star baseball player and Lily’s new(ish) boyfriend. He seems to care about her. A lot. But can she get him to say those three little words before she leaves for college?
Ian Nelson as Adam Connolly, the sweet and funny transfer student who’s harboring a not-so-secret crush. But is it Sara or Lily he’s thinking about? And will either one of them want him back?
Hailee Steinfeld as Madison Franklin, Lily’s biggest rival. Maddie’s after Zach and willing to give him whatever he wants. (She may already have.)
Elle Fanning as Brit, Maddie’s best friend. Lily believes she’s just a shallow follower, but she may surprise everyone. Even herself.
Drew Barrymore as Claudia Anderson, Lily’s mother. She’s about to drop more than one bombshell, whether Lily’s ready or not.
Oliver Hudson as Drew Anderson, Lily’s father. His love for Lily includes goals for her she may or may not share.
The following excerpt is from the end of Chapter One, before Lily and Zach get together, when she’s still just tutoring him for the SATs:
Zach tilts his head and his gray eyes tilt, too. My throat feels whatever’s more than dry.
“Why did you wait so long?” I ask. “I mean, October’s kind of late to be taking the SATs for the first time.”
“It’s stupid, I know.” He drops his chin. “I don’t even need the scores for Conejo Community.” At this, my cheeks get officially hot. I shouldn’t have told him about my own college applications last week.
“CCC has a great reputation,” I say.
“But it’s no Stanford.”
“Ha!” I force a smile. “Even Stanford isn’t Stanford.” Zach takes a beat. He’s got no clue what I’m talking about. Which makes sense because I don’t, either.
“Anyway,” he says, “I felt like the only senior who wasn’t on the SAT bandwagon. And I already feel not-normal most of the time. So I just decided I won’t be the guy who doesn’t try. No regrets, you know?”
“I do. I think.”
“Even if it’s all for nothing.”
“But it’s not nothing,” I say. “It’s completely something.”
“Completely something. I like that.” His smile is back. “Anyway, you only live once,” he says.
“You know, what’s funny?” Oh, God. I can’t help myself. “Everyone’s always saying YOLO, and putting YOLO on their profiles and getting YOLO tattoos. But the thing is, that sentence is an example of faulty modification. It should be ‘you live only once.’” Zach says nothing. “I mean, maybe it’s not actually funny,” I say. “More like interesting? Or maybe not.”
“That’s hard to say.”
I nod. “But can you imagine? All those tattoos. Wrong for life.”
“Tragedy,” Zach says. His eyes are soft now. And did I mention gray? The most gray-ish gray in history? My heart speeds up and my tongue’s a tangle.
“Anyway.” I pick up my phone. The timer’s still set. Zach’s practice test is waiting. “I guess this is it,” I say. “You ready?”
And then Zach Hewitt kisses me.
My math isn’t good, but 99¢ is fewer than four quarters, which is less than the cost of a bag of Doritos from a vending machine.
Also, Doritos last only a few minutes, but you can enjoy Lily for hours and hours.
So start now. Time yourself. Eat some Doritos while you’re at it.
Then get back to me and share. Who do you see in the movie roles?
Stay tuned for updates on FORGETTING OPHELIA, the third book in the Friendship & Secrets Series, launching October 8th!
Writing is a lonely business and I love to make friends along the way. (Plus, people online don’t know I’m in my pajamas and haven’t brushed my teeth yet today.)