This is my stop during the blog tour for Destiny (destiny Trilogy #1) by Cindy Ray Hale. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours . The blog tour runs from November 5 till November 25, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours
Today, she’s talking about how Les Misérables inspired her novel, Destiny.
Before I started writing Destiny, I hadn’t ever seen Les Misérables.
I’d heard the CD maybe once back when I was about 18. Then a couple of year later, I’d seen about five minutes of the musical while I was flipping through the channels on TV. My husband was obsessed with it when I first met him. He’d gone to the musical and had a t-shirt and everything. I never understood what the big fuss was. To me it just seemed like a bunch of dirty angry and sad people in France singing out the story the entire time.
Then I learned. I was so very wrong. This musical is amazing, funny, deep, and touching. You’ll laugh, cry, scream in frustration, sit on the edge of your seat, and sigh at the sweet love story.
Here’s my story of how I discovered that.
Last fall, about a month after I began writing Destiny, my younger sister tried out for the part of Éponine in Opus, (see my inspiration for the name Primus?) her private school’s elite choir. They weren’t singing the entire musical, just a medley of the songs, but she wanted the Éponine solo so badly it was all she would talk about for weeks. I drove the two hours down to Chattanooga to help her practice, since I was an alumnus of her choir. She showed me a couple of videos on YouTube, and I was mesmerized and completely hooked.
When I decided to write about Les Misérables, I realized I knew virtually nothing about the musical, so I began researching it heavily. I found myself scouring the internet for anything and everything Les Misérables. This crazy, obsessive research eventually made its way into the book. Destiny does the same thing right after she lands the part of Éponine.
Since this was before the new movie with Hugh Jackman had come out , I started by watching a non-musical version on Netflix, which gave me a good understanding of who the characters were and what the storyline was. It’s really hard to get that from watching the musical.
A few days after watching the Netflix version I looked up the 25th anniversary edition on YouTube. Back then they had the ENTIRE thing on YouTube. I was so completely hooked at that point, the musical had become an absolute complete obsession. I began re-watching the videos in smaller clips on YouTube from the 25th Anniversary and the 10th. I had it playing while I flat ironed my hair, did dishes, folded laundry, scrubbed my floor, and just for the fun of it. Pretty soon I had my favorite songs picked out and memorized.
In between, I would write. Eventually, I came to the point in the story where I had to decide which characters were going to sing what parts in the musical. As I assigned the parts, my husband came up with the idea that the choir director should assign the parts according to who they most resembled in the musical.
Destiny hears Jessie Larsen, her jealous ex-best friend, explain it a bit.
“Mr. Byrd was the one who made it too literal. Just look at how he cast everyone. Will is Javert the self-righteous jerk; Aspen is Cosette, the spoiled brat; Destiny is Éponine the dirty street rat; Sydney’s the raunchy hotel owner’s wife; Evan is Enjolras, the sexy rebel; Michael is Jean Valjean, the misunderstood convict; and Isaac is Marius, the sought-after hot guy. Oh, and don’t forget Hannah, who’s Fantine the prostitute.”
Ironically, Jessie is more of a Mrs. Thénardier character, (used to be close to Destiny/Éponine, hates Aspen/Cosette) but then she couldn’t make a statement like this and I really like the idea that she doesn’t have a major role after all the nasty mean things she says to Destiny.
I’ve really turned into a quite the Les Misérables fangirl. I follow fan clubs for the musical on Twitter and Instagram. I saw the movie in the theater, got the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, and a book of sheet music so I can play and sing the songs myself. It was *ahem* research.
I can sit down and watch that movie, and with every scene, I can point out some way it’s influenced my story. It’s all woven in there somehow.
I don’t kill off most of the characters like they do in Les Mis, but I have some of the same themes of intolerance.
Aspen’s grandfather is the priest in Les Misérables. He’s one of those characters with a seemingly small role who makes a big difference in the main character’s life.
Although Isaac is cast as Marius, in many ways he more like Jean Valjean. You really see him change throughout the story. He starts out hateful and angry, but as he spends more time with Destiny, who is a lot like Cosette in many ways, his heart is softened.
Spending so much time with both the characters of Les Mis and Destiny has truly been an honor. I’m excited to find new ways to connect the stories in Synchrony, the second book in the series, which will be coming out in 2014.
Destiny Clark, a young Mormon girl living in Tennessee, is wildly infatuated with Isaac Robinson, the headmaster’s son at her Baptist high school. When they’re cast together in the school’s production of Les Misérables, Destiny is horrified to find that she has to be publicly humiliated by acting out her true feelings of rejection onstage.
As their rehearsals begin, Destiny realizes the unimaginable: Isaac has developed deep feelings for her despite their religious differences and the fact that he has a girlfriend.
But will they be able to find their place amongst the backbiters of their ultra-conservative world?
Weaving around Destiny and Isaac’s alternating viewpoints, Destiny is the first book in a series inspired by the characters of Les Misérables and explores heartbreak, self-discovery, intolerance, and love.
You can find Destiny on Goodreads
About the Author:
Wife. Mother. Writer. Cindy Ray Hale lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with her husband and four children. In addition to being a writer, she’s an avid reader and a social media junkie. She starts her morning by writing with a freshly-blended berry spinach smoothie next to her. She’s obsessed with Les Misérables, playing the piano, and stalking up-and-coming musicians on YouTube. Destiny is her first book and will be available for purchase November 2013.
And there is a tour wide gveaway, here is what you can win:
– A Destiny Swag Pack:including a signed copy of Destiny, a Destiny keychain, a t-shirt that says “I heart Destiny,” a Destiny bookmark.
– a $25 Amazon Gift Card
– Camp Boyfriend Swag pack.
For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway