October 31, 2016

Spin the Sky Blog Tour: Dream Cast + Giveaway

Welcome to Day #1 of the Spin The Sky Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Spin the Sky by Jill MacKenzie (11/1/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Jill and 5 chances to win a copy of Spin the Sky, as well as a chance to win a Live 2 Dance Prize Pack in the Grand Prize Giveaway!

Spin the Sky Dream Movie Cast
by Jill MacKenzie

Thinking about who my celebrity cast would include if Spin the Sky was adapted into a movie is pretty much one of my favorite things to think about. Ever. The funny thing is, the actors who I’ve imagined in the past who would play Magnolia, George, Rose, Abby, Quinn, Mark, Mrs. Moutsous, Dolores and Rio have changed throughout the book as the characters themselves have changed in development. So I thought it might be fun here to show you all the “befores” and “afters,” who I thought would play each character when this story started forming in my mind, and who plays them in my mind now.  

Magnolia: She’s a little bit of a complicated human, don’t you think? She’s beautiful but doesn’t know it. Strong but doesn’t see it. Capable but doesn’t feel it. Confident but doesn’t show it. When I first started writing her, she wasn’t necessarily the person she is now. And also, I hadn’t decided on the ending, so I wasn’t clear on her arc, or how Magnolia would change. This is the actress I started with in the early days of Spin the Sky

That’s right, eighteen-year-old Mila Kunis. And I swear to god, it wasn’t because of the Black Swan thing. Or maybe it was, and I just wasn’t fully aware of it. The thing is, as Magnolia started to develop and really speak to me, it wasn’t Mila Kunis’ voice I was hearing anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love the wildly talented Ms. Kunis, but for some reason she was coming across to me, then, as a little too brash, too strong, too sure of herself to really be Mags. In the end, this is who I pictured (and still do now): 

If you can’t tell from this photo, that’s Seychelle Gabriel, known for her work in The Spirit and The Last Airbender. Look at these two photos (above and below.) She looks so thoughtful in the top one. Like she has so much to say but doesn’t know how—or if—to say any of it. The photo below represents free Mags, the one at the end of the story. She’s made her peace with life. She’s okay with who she is. She wants to be happy now instead of never, ever being happy. I love all of Seychelle’s photos because that’s how people are, don’t you think? Not just one type of person, but many different people on many different days. 

George: I had a clear photo for George right off the bat, right from the second this story started forming in my mind. The only “celebrity” I actually began writing Spin the Sky with, I stole my George from real-life So You Think You Can Dance favorite, First-runner up from Season Seven, Kent Boyd. This is him: 

And this is also him: 

He was just incredible to watch and he pretty much melted my heart in the best possible way….and then Teen Beach Movie came along. After that, well, Kent Boyd just wasn’t my George anymore. Here is who he morphed into: 

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Channing Tatum, the early days. Except with blond hair. I can totally picture him with blond hair, can’t you? I think we can all agree that he’s a fine choice for George. ☺  

Rose: Rose was always tough for me. I searched up and down the Internet for someone who embodied who Rose is. She’s quiet but fearless. She’s sensitive but strong. She wants to take care of Magnolia but she’s barely hanging on, trying her best to take care of herself, too. I have a deep love for Rose. The actress needed to reflect that love. Though I don’t think I ever found my “perfect person” to play Rose, this is who came closest, I think: 

I stumbled upon the beauty that is Jessica De Gouw by accident, while skimming pictures in search of Rose Woodson. Minus the red lips—Rose would never wear this shade—I think this does sort of encapsulate how I see Rose. No nonsense. Never really smiling with her teeth because she doesn’t have time to laugh that big. I’m glad she loosened up, however, in small moments with Mags. 

Rio: Rio was probably the easiest of all for me to visualize. Zendaya. She’s always been a younger, shorter Zendaya for me. Look at this picture: I just love her here: 

And also here:

Two very different looks for Zendaya—and I think Rio could pull both of them off. She’s definitely the kind of girl that everyone loves and, sometimes, loves to hate.

Olivia: Imagine this girl (ironically also named Olivia) but taller. And with way, way longer hair. And legs. That’s right, this is who I envision as my Legs, er, I should say Olivia Palmetto (Palmetto, like the bug.) I hated her through my whole story. Hated her, until I could do nothing else but love her. 

Dolores: This is going to sound kind of weird but, originally, I had thought that Dolores was going to be someone bad in the book—bad to Magnolia or George or just bad in general. But then when I starting writing her, I realized that I needed Mags to learn something about herself through Dolores. She’s the off-beat stranger that helps Mags on her journey. But here’s who I pictured to play Bad Dolores: 

That’s Charlize Theron from the movie Monster. You know, the one where she plays female serial killer Aileen Wuornos? While Dolores didn’t end up being bad in my book, I still think the photo fits her. But look at Charlize here: 

She’s exactly how I pictured Camilla Sky! Funny that one actress could, potentially, play two very different parts in my story. I sort of love that. 

Mark McDonald: Ah, Mark. The love of Magnolia’s life…that she doesn’t even know exists until the end of the book. He could be so many different male actors, I think. Strong jaw, sweet disposition. Darkish, brooding-ish sort of attitude. I’m kind of partial to this guy here for Mark: 

Easy on the eyes, right boys and girls? Well, that’s Dave Franco, younger brother to James Franco and the star of the new 21 Jumpstreet, which pretty much means the new Johnny Depp. Artsy and misunderstood. Sexy and capable of loving one person, and one person only. Sigh… 

Here they are, Mags and Mark, side by side. I think they look stunning together! Don’t you? But I’m curious…who do you think could play the other characters I haven’t mentioned here? Ones like Hayden, Jacks, Liquid, Mrs. Moutsous, and Becca? I’d love to hear from you and see their celebrity photos, too!
Stop by Positively Book Crazy tomorrow for Day #2 of the tour!

Blog Tour Schedule:
October 31stA Dream Within a Dream  
November 1stPositively Book Crazy  
November 2nd Tales of the Ravenous Reader  
November 3rdLive to Read  
November 4thCrossroad Reviews


Magnolia Woodson wants nothing more than to get her and her sister, Rose, out of the pitifully small, clamming-obsessed Oregon town that hates them—she just doesn’t know how. Forced to put up with the snide comments and hateful looks the townspeople throw at them, Mags thinks she’s destined to pay for the horrible, awful thing her mom did—and that she’s left her and Rose to deal with—until the day she dies. But when a nationwide televised dance competition posts tryouts in nearby Portland, Mags’s best friend, George, says they have to go and audition. Not only have they spent the past fourteen years of their lives dancing side-by-side, dreaming of a day just like this, but also it could be Mags’s chance of a lifetime—a chance to win the grand-prize money and get her and Rose out of Summerland, a chance to do the thing she loves most with everyone watching, a chance to show the town that she’s not—and has never been—a “no-good Woodson girl,” like her mother. But will the competition prove too steep? And will Mags be able to retain her friendship with George as they go head-to-head in tryouts? Mags will have to learn that following her dreams may mean changing her life forever.

Jill Mackenzie, a Vancouver native, is an ex-ballerina and contemporary dancer. Now working toward her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Jill chasses between roles as part-time student, full-time mom, and always-writer. Though Jill no longer studies dance, she still tries to dance herself clean whenever she can. Currently she lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she spends her free time beach-bound with her husband and two beautiful daughters.
Follow Jill: Website | Twitter
Giveaway: (1) Finished copy of SPIN THE SKY - Open to US/CAN only!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

One (1) winner will receive a Live 2 Dance Prize Pack featuring a Live 2 Dance necklace, signed copy of Spin the Sky, and Spin the Sky swag! Enter via the Rafflecopter below!
US Only
Ends 11/6 at midnight ET



  1. I love seeing an authors dream cast! Thanks so much for the post!

  2. I love books that have characters facing issues of family. I also enjoy athletics in stories so I'm looking forward to the dance competition.