Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Pilar comes from a large, extended Cuban-Chilean-American family, featuring an abundance of aunts, cousins, nephews, and in-laws in addition to her own sisters and parents, most of whom are very passionate, opinionated, and loud.  Pilar's is always the voice of reason in this tempestuous crowd.  She is the middle child of three, so she became the family mediator/peacemaker at an early age and she continues to function in that capacity as an adult.  Her older sister, Ana, is a stay-at-home mom with three boys so unruly that they’d make Supernanny question her career choice.  And the youngest of the Alvarez siblings is Isidora aka "Izzy," a rule-flouting rebel who delights in shocking her parents and the conservative Ana whenever she can.  The girls' mamá, Luisa, has mastered the fine art of histrionics and is always enacting some drama of her own making.  Needless to say, Pilar takes after her more mellow and cerebral father who misses out on most of his family's crises as he's busy running a successful Miami law firm.

Author’s Notes:  There are a lot of conflicting personalities in Pilar's family and somehow she always seems to end up getting caught in the crossfire.  One of my favorite scenes in the book is the one where Pilar gets together with her entire family to celebrate her mother's birthday and what starts out as a nice evening with everyone being on their best behavior quickly devolves into a complete free-for-all.  Isn't that always the way at big family events?

For me, one of the most interesting relationships in IN NEED OF THERAPY is the one between Luisa and Izzy.  They butt heads constantly and are always complaining about each other to Pilar.  Neither one of them will admit it, but the reason they have so much trouble getting along is that their temperaments are too similar, with both of them being ridiculously self-absorbed and stubborn and never wanting to compromise.  Pilar definitely has her work cut out for her trying to get those two on the same page.  

Izzy Quotes (non-spoilery): "He said he missed you and wanted to know what you were up to.  I told him that you'd moved to a remote island in the South Pacific so that you could provide psychological treatment to a tribe of cannibals there."

"You are such a prude.  I wear less than this to the beach every day.  And I get my butt pinched in clubs every night, so I might as well get paid for it."

"Wow, it's like being back in Psych 101.  Now, I remember why I dropped that class." 

Mamá Quotes (non-spoilery):  "Do you want to be the first woman in our family who's unmarried when she turns 30?  Even your cousin Sancha managed to find a man by the time she was your age, and she's got that lazy eye and a laugh that makes her sound like a donkey!" 

"Can you imagine what Father Ramirez is going to say when he hears about this?  The whole family will be excommunicated.  We'll be disgraced!"

"How could I have raised a daughter who has so little sense, a daughter who spits on the holy sacrament of marriage?"

Casting the Alvarez Women - Isidora:  Izzy is described in the book as being a knockout with dark coloring and legs that go on for days.  What's almost as important as her heart-stopping looks is her attitude.  She's hot and she knows it, so anyone playing this character would have to bring that confidence and sassiness to the table.  I think that the gorgeous Naya Rivera would be the perfect choice.

Casting the Alvarez Women - Ana:  Eldest sister, Ana, has black hair and olive skin like Izzy, but the similarities end there.  Ana has had three babies in a row, so her face and body are a little softer and rounder.  Plus, she has a more mature look than either of her sisters since she's on the other side of 30.  I think the very pretty Sara Ramirez actually looks like she could be Naya Rivera's older sister.

Casting the Alvarez Women - Mamá:  Luisa was a celebrated beauty in her youth, who has the pageant tiaras to prove it, and she's very fastidious about preserving her looks, so I imagined her as being quite the bodacious lady even in her 50s.  Even though she's technically about 20 years too old to play Luisa, I still have trouble picturing anyone but the forever-gorgeous and feisty Raquel Welch in the role.


  1. Tracie,
    you are just pulling me in more and more each day!!!! <3 I can't wait! <3

  2. Hee, I love these little insights into these characters. Mama Alvarez cracks me up...she reminds me of a modern, Latina Mrs. Bennett...LOL

    I'm holding out for the menfolk though....can't wait to meet them and more importantly, your casting of them...*drool*

  3. Great bios of the ladies and wonderful casting! I would love to see this movie and can't wait to read the book. I love Mama talking about the cousin who got married event though she has a lazy eye! LOL

  4. What wonderful casting! I'm counting down until the book comes out and I can start reading about this fabulous family!

  5. Love these ladies! Can't do better than Raquel Welch. Also -- can't wait for the guys :)

    Is it next week, already?