As a self publisher, I spend a lot of time on the admin parts of writing rather than on the writing itself. I find myself, designing covers, calling indie bookstores for stocking updates, digging into formatting issues and writing up blog Q&As and all other sorts of self-promotional rigamarole.It's at these downtimes that I start dream-casting the films made out of my stories if I were to win the lottery or pique the interest of a Hollywoood literary agent (about the same odds of the lottery).
I never write with certain actors in mind to prevent myself from accidentiaally ending up in the fan fiction zone, but it's still fun to make my picks after the fact and then compare it with the actors my readers best envision for the lead roles in the stories. It also makes for a fun way to engage with readers on Twitter and who knows, maybe you'll have one of said actors "like" your tweets?
For instance, I've taken the seven stories from my collection Guns, Gods & Robots and taken the liberty of casting the actors for the lead roles. Here's what I came up with:
- 3rd Flight - Johnathan Tucker has the physicality for this marathoner role based on what I've seen in Kingdom. Also his turn in Justified is the best part of the whole final season.
- Popular Mechanics for Young Widows - Martha Plimpton by a mile. Enough said.
- Xmas for a Half-Life - JD Sutton is an actor of ntoe in Orlando, Florida and has the right charisma for this weird Christmas tale set in an underground bunker complex.
- Numbers 16:32 - Billy Dee Williams is the right age for this and I'd want him play this farmer just him work in a different context.
- Timothy - Leon Rippy has always been in tough guy roles, but seeing him in 11.22.63 on Hulu really play to his vulnerable side was a gamechanger. I think he'd be great as an older engineer working through an impossible troubleshoot while stationed at an outpost in South America.
- Fighting Weight - Faith Prince is a broadway actress of note and I'd need her to sing her way through the mother role in this story.
- Sangrimal - Angus Sampson: This guy was great in the 2nd season of Fargo and Mad Max: Fury Road. Hands down an easy choice for a rough lawman in the weird and wild west.
Three of these stories have been hosted on OpenBooks before finding their final home in this collection, so readers may have some reccomendations of their own. Please share your ideas! Maybe if I hit that lottery we can see these actors try out their sci-fi and horror chops.
Also do other writers cast actors for their stories? What point in your writing process do you do this?