I have a special post from Jennifer Rush to celebrate the release of her book Altered. Each of the blogs on the tour has been assigned a character (Nick, Cas, Trev, Sam or Anna) and Jennifer has shared her thoughts on each character based on a selected excerpt from the book.
I was assigned the character Cas!
If Cas knew I liked Sam, did Sam know? Of course he did. I wasn’t exactly secretive about the whole thing. But hearing it out loud changed everything. I suddenly felt nauseous. I put my face in my hands. “Oh my God."
The tree branches rustled. Cas dropped to the ground next to me and patted my head. “It’s all right. Go ahead and admit you’re in love with me, too. Let’s get everything off our chests while we’re at it."
I swatted at him but he dodged away. “You’re not making me feel better.”
“Who said I was trying to make you feel better? Fact: Sam’s got swagger. Fact: I’m straight. Fact: Even though I’m straight, I sorta love the dude. So I can’t say I blame you.” (Altered page 166)
Out of all the Altered boys, I think Cas is the most entertaining to write! There isn’t a lot of hidden meaning in the things Cas says. He isn’t modest. He isn’t quiet. He isn’t afraid of saying whatever pops into his head. As a writer, that’s liberating!
In this scene, Cas and Anna are talking about Anna’s crush on Sam, which isn’t news to anyone. But, in true Cas form, while Anna is mortified about her crush, and mortified about him knowing, Cas is climbing a tree. He cannot sit still for longer than five minutes, which is one of my very favorite Cas characteristics.
When I wrote this scene, I thought, no way would Cas remain on the park bench while Anna poured her heart out. So what would he be doing? He’s listening to her, of course, because he responds with the perfect answer! But while his brain is occupied, his body also needs to be moving, hence the tree.
If you’ve ever watched the movie Marley and Me, just picture Marley, and you have Cas’s canine equivalent. Now, when I write Cas into a scene, the first question I ask myself is: What in this setting can he get into?
ALTERED BLOG TOUR:
Monday, January 7th – YA Bibliophile
Tuesday, January 8th – YA Sisterhood
Wednesday, January 9th – Confessions of a Bookaholic
Thursday, January 10th – Once Upon A Twilight
Friday, January 11th – Icey Books
Altered by Jennifer Rush
Publisher: Little Brown (January 1st, 2013)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Series: Altered, #1
When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?
Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.
Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.
Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.