Casting Bound by Blood, by Margo Bond Collins


I think every author spends some amount of time dreaming of a movie made from his or her books—I suspect that an inordinate amount of time goes in to casting these imaginary films—at least, it does around here!

For this post, I’m casting only the adults in the novella. There are also two children, a five-year-old boy and a twelve-year-old girl, but when I started trying to cast them, I realized that the child actors I had imagined in the roles had all grown up! I finally decided that I would leave child-actor casting to the professionals, instead.

So here are my choices for those actors I did cast. Take a look at them, and then tell me, who would you cast in these roles?


Dr. Lili Banta, a doctor from a Filipino-American family

played by Vanessa Hudgens

Until I started writing this novella, I was unaware of just how many Filipina actresses I already knew and loved. Although Hudgens looks a little young for the role of Lili, I think she could definitely pull it off!

Amber Lounge Fashion Monaco 2012 - Show


Dr. Will Manning, a doctor in Houston, Texas, and Lili’s ex

played by Patrick Dempsey

. . . because who better to play a handsome doctor?

Patrick Dempsey as Doctor Will Manning


Harry Iverson, a detective from Dallas, Texas

played by Jensen Ackles

. . . because he’s Texan, and he’s one of my favorite actors. I would cast him in everything, if it were up to me.

Jensen-Ackles-as Harry Iverson


Nurse Susan Yee

played by Zhang Ziyi

. . . because she is my favorite Chinese actress!

zhang ziyi as Susan Yee


Lili’s grandmother, nicknamed Inang

played by Beverly Salviejo

. . . because she looks exactly like I imagined Lili’s Inang.

Beverly-Salviejo-as Lilys grandmother

I would love some help casting the children! Who would you cast to play Kenny (a five-year-old boy) and Felicity (a twelve-year-old girl)?


Sometimes the monsters in the dark are real…

As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother’s cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.

Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city’s children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure.

But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected….




Sitting straight up in bed, I gasped and threw myself back against the headboard, the thud dying away along with the remaining shreds of my dream.

But the word still ricocheted through my mind.


Until yesterday, I hadn’t thought of the term in years—not since I’d left Houston for med school in Maine, determined to get as far away from home as I could.

But this resurgence of the same, odd illness that had swept my city years before was apparently also dredging up the old stories from deep in my subconscious: the aswang, a vampiric woman who lived a quiet life by day and fed on children in the night, flying back home on bat-wings just before dawn.

My unconscious mind had clearly also expanded on the idea, casting me in the role of aswang and adding schizoid conversations with a chorus of internal voices.

Great. I’m insane in my dreams.

And I’m a monster.

Shuddering, I wiped my hand across my gritty, raw eyelids.


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About the Author 



Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.




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