Introducing the DaCostas

If you’ve been keeping up with my novel series Family Portrait, then by now you probably love or hate the characters.

The Banovic and the DeCosta children start to come into their own. They are not innocent like other NA book characters – Rachel Paelin

Either way you are familiar with them. I recently featured my fantasy cast for The Banovics, now here’s a look at the inspiration behind dysfunctional family number 2, The DaCostas.


The most deviously fun character I’ve written so far is Savannah (Savi) DaCosta. Savi is the momster of singing sensation Leighann and step-momster to L’Wren. Savi is the devil in stilettos. Throughout the series she has terrorized, blackmailed and almost shot some of the characters, just wait till you see what she does in Book 4 (releasing in November).

Readers have called for her head so to speak, and they are excited to see her demise. Can you blame them?

Savi….hmmm…Let me sum this up in a few short sentences. She is a selfish, conniving, insatiable, scum of the Earth woman, who doesn’t deserve the beautiful daughters she has and takes full advantage of! She thinks only of herself and is crazy as hell to boot. I thought at one point in the book, her act may change…but oh no…no no no. – Jovon Tucker.

I have to say I don’t know where Savi comes from in my mind, but I love writing her because she does things that I wouldn’t dream of doing. I love her and fear her at the same time.

Unlike some of the cast members of the Banovic family, Savi’s character was written first and casted recently. I chose Christina Moore for as Savi.

Savi DaCosta

Christina played Naomi Clarke’s mom in 90210. I like that she has a fun, youthful side and I think she would make a great cougar/mother from hell. Oh did I mention that Savi is having an affair with Kevin Banovic, who is young enough to be her son?

Leighann, the song bird.

Leighann is sweet, kind and just a beautiful person on the inside.

I’m only 8% into Changes and I love Leighann already – Jovon Tucker

The character I liked the most in this book was Leighann. I loved how she didn’t like her life as a Hollywood star and stood up to her mom to tell her what she really wanted. Leighann was just really innocent and wanted to live a normal life. – Maureen B

It’s easy to see why people have gravitated towards Leighann. Despite the fact that her mother completely takes advantage of her and growing up in the spotlight, Leighann has managed to hold on to her integrity.

In the very first draft of the series, Leighann was the dominant character and Adriana was the submissive. I felt it was predictable to write it that way because of the environment they grew up in, so I flipped the switch, I am so glad I did.

Old Leighann DaCosta

Aimee Teegarden

I had originally pictured Aimee Teagarden as Leighann, then Danielle Bradbury came along and I was like “Oh My God! She is freaking Leighann!” What do you think?

Danielle Bradbery as Leighann DaCosta

Danielle Bradbery

If Danielle were to ever play Leighann in real life, she could sing! YAY!

L’Wren, the other DaCosta

I’d pictured L’Wren as a blond originally and thought about Brittany Snow. But I wanted someone slightly in contrast to Leighann. They are step-sisters so it didn’t matter if they didn’t look too much alike. I ended up with Laura Breckenridge.

Brittany Snow Old L'Wren DaCosta

Brittany Snow

L'Wren DaCosta

Laura Breckenridge

I love the girl next door look that Laura brought to the cast. I first saw her in the CW series Related. She doesn’t have the flashy Hollywood look or typical “LA” look. I needed her to have that quality for her to catch the eye of Kevin Banovic.

Stefan DaCosta

Even though Stefan is mentioned in books 1 and 2, he doesn’t put in an appearance till in book 4 (releasing in November).

When I saw Jeffrey Pierce in The Tomorrow People on the CW (I’m still pissed that they cancelled a perfectly good show), I knew he’d make a good Stefan. So glad Stefan is in book 4, I can’t wait to get readers reaction to him.

Stefan DaCosta


There you have it, the DaCostas. If  you haven’t read the series yet, click here to find out where you can get the first book for FREE!

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