Melisandra is the monstrous mother of Salamandra, the main character in the Hopeless Maine books. Sometimes these things are just who and how you are – Melisandra’s mother was probably a mermaid, and not the nice sort of mermaid…
Dancing with Kali,
Goddess of my missing mother
Ocean gone, abandoning mother
Lover of death and mayhem.
They say I look like you
Only with fewer scales.
I look like you
But my teeth are not so sharp
No amount of staring at my face
In mirrors gives me a word
Of your truth, your wisdom
No taste of your own life
Except the taste of my own flesh.
I look at my daughter,
Who is not me, not me
Not me at all, not mine
And I would devour her.
What else is there,
Mother dear, would you
Have eaten me yourself if you stayed?
I dance with Kali
Who understands the horror
How is can swallow you up
If you let it.
(art by Dr Abbey, text by Nimue)
It was obvious from very early on that as a motley crew and not an organised studio with a proper budget, we could not approach casting by putting a call out. We would have to find our players. We’d got Reverend Davies. Fortunately, two of the cast were blindingly obvious in terms of who we wanted, so as the project got moving, we got in touch with them to ask if they would be up for it…
I’ve known Loretta Hope since she was a kid. She’s a fantastic human being, an actor, dancer, model and aerialist and more. Multitalented, lovely to deal with and someone who very much looks the part. She’s always been the person I wanted to have playing Annamarie Nightshade. I asked, and she said yes, she would be up for doing this with us. You can find out more about Loretta here – https://lorettahope.co.uk/
There’s some good moody seaside Annamarie relevant content here…
The other obvious choice was asking Suna Dasi to play Melisandra. Singer, dancer, voice actress and longstanding supporter of Hopeless Maine, it had to be her. She agreed, so that was all charmingly straightforward!
That left two characters to find. We needed a young man with circus or combat skills to be our Blind Fisherman. We wracked our brains, and came up with nothing. Loretta couldn’t find anyone suitable in her circus circles. We asked other circus folk… and eventually the perfect young man appeared. More of him soon.
Our other missing cast member was Durosimi, and it eventually dawned on us that he had been staring us in the face all along…