Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jen McConnel's Five Favorite Scottish Actors

I'm so happy to have Jen McConnel guest posting with us today. She's going to tell us some of her favorite Scottish actors in honor of her newly released novel THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY. It was released in December 2013, but I read it a year earlier when it was titled The Burning of Isobel Key. I can't wait to see what little tweaks were made over the course of that year.

Take it away Jen!

When you think of Scottish actors, who jumps to mind? The misty land has certainly produced a lot of talented performers over the years, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you today.

1. Sean Connery
Oh my goodness, who hasn’t fallen half in-love with the iconic original face of James Bond? I have to confess something, though; much as I enjoy a classic Bond flick, I really prefer the older Connery. I think my first Connery crush was in INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, and I also adore him in ENTRAPMENT. There’s just something about a man who ages well AND has a rolling accent!

2. Robert Carlyle
Before I started watching ONCE UPON A TIME, I was unaware of this actor (although my husband was quick to sing his praises and versatility). Now, three seasons in, I can’t imagine a world without Rumplestiltskin or Gold, for that matter. Carlyle takes creepy to a whole new level, and he even looks good in body glitter. Plus, who can resist the bad-guy-who-wants-to-be-redeemed? I particularly love when his accent slips through (usually when he’s playing an emotional scene).

3. Billy Connolly
I laughed when I realized this actor is Scottish, since the first film I knew him in was the quintessentially Irish BOONDOCK SAINTS. Connolly is another versatile actor; he can be a cold assassin or a cuddly father (he voiced the king in the animated film BRAVE, and he was WONDERFUL!). Once again, it’s all about the accent; who doesn’t love his gravely burr?

4. Deborah Kerr
According to IMDB, this classic actress was born in Scotland. I adore her in THE KING AND I (there’s no better moment then when she and Yule Brenner are spinning around the beautiful palace in “Shall We Dance”), and whenever I want a good cry, I’ll settle in for AN AFAIR TO REMEMBER. She’s talented, beautiful, and charming; a triple threat!

5. Kelly MacDonald
This actress stole my heart as the sassy princess Merida in BRAVE, the animated film mentioned earlier. If you haven’t seen it, you really need to remedy that situation! She manages to give the animated heroine the right amount of spunk, fire, and compassion to come across as completely real; Merida is, I think, my new favorite Disney princess, thanks in part to MacDonald’s voice work. Plus, who doesn’t love a Harry Potter performer? MacDonald played Helena Ravenclaw in the second DEATHLY HALLOWS.

There you have it! Who are some of your favorite Scottish performers?

About Jen
Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. Her debut NA novel, THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY, is coming December 2013 from Bloomsbury Spark . Visit to learn more.

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Lou is in the middle of a quarter-life crisis. Fresh out of college, she’s unemployed and unsure of herself. But when she gets the chance to escape to Scotland with her best friend, it could be the answer to her quest for self-discovery. The trip is not at all what she expected, especially when her tour guide turns out to be the dreamy historian Brian, and together they embark on a hunt for information about Isobel Key, a woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.

They set out to learn the truth of the condemned witch, but Lou isn’t prepared for the knowledge that awaits her. She must face her own demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.

Flashing between seventeenth century Scotland and a contemporary romance, THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY is a mystery that will please readers of all ages.

Learn More
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  1. No surprise that Connery tops the list. And Connolly has been around for years...
    Congratulations, Jen!

  2. Who doesn't love a Scottish accent? Or an Irish one? Heck, I even like a British one! Brave is one of the only animated movies I have seen that I STRONGLY liked. Very good.

    Congrats on your upcoming book release! I love the premise.

    1. Thanks, Robin! I know, I'm a sucker for any accent, really, and I ADORED Brave. :)

  3. Thanks so much for having me today, Charity! :)

  4. Ooh! Awesome picks, and I ADORE your cover, Jen. What I wouldn't give for a functioning time-stopper right now...but then I might have to deal with premature aging, so...

    1. Thanks, Crystal!! I love the cover, too. :)

  5. Jen, thanks so much for being with us today! It's always nice to have you.

  6. I loved Robert Carlyle in Stargate: Universe. Or rather hated him. Same thing.


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