Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tammy Kaehler's "Dead Man's Switch"

Before trying her hand at fiction, Tammy Kaehler established a career writing marketing materials, feature articles, executive speeches, and technical documentation. A fateful stint in corporate hospitality introduced her to the racing world, which inspired the first Kate Reilly racing mystery. Kaehler works as a technical writer in the Los Angeles area, where she lives with her husband and many cars.

Here she suggests some casting--and location--preferences for an adaptation of Dead Man’s Switch, the debut Kate Reilly racing mystery:
I couldn’t think of real life people as the characters while I was writing Dead Man’s Switch, for fear that would disturb the world I was creating in my mind or have influenced the characters in some way I didn’t want. Since then, I’ve done a little thinking, and I have some ideas—though I’m going to ignore ages and pretend these actors are all the right age for each character….

Christina Ricci as Kate Reilly: up-and-coming racecar driver, 24, small but strong, fair skin and black hair. I think of Kate as a bit more robust than Ricci (I’ve seen her in person and there’s almost nothing to her), but she has the look I picture for Kate, and I think she could portray both Kate’s toughness—required of a woman making her way as a racecar driver—and her vulnerability, fear, and inexperience as she deals with being suspected of murder.

Ryan Reynolds as Stuart Telarday: racing series VP, early thirties, tall, sandy-blond hair, stern. I think Reynolds is a physical match and could play both the cold, uptight aspects and the glimpses of helpful and warm personality that we see. Besides, Reynolds is cute; Stuart has to be cute underneath all that pain in the behind-ness.

Kristen Chenoweth as Holly Wilson: hospitality director for race team, Kate’s best friend, late twenties, flaming redhead, never wrinkled or flustered. Chenoweth is older than Holly, and not a redhead, but she’s the embodiment of the tiny person with an outsized personality I envisioned for the character.

Patrick Dempsey as Mike Munroe: Kate’s co-driver in the Corvette, thirties, goofy but caring, dark, shaggy hair. Dempsey doesn’t have the bear-like presence or demeanor I envisioned for Mike, but he’s got the requisite good-guy nature with a hint of temper underneath. Plus he races cars; there’s got to be a spot for him in this movie!

Lime Rock Park as Lime Rock Park: the racetrack in Northwest Connecticut. The location is as much a character as anyone else in Dead Man’s Switch, and there’s no getting around filming the movie on location. The crew would have a lovely time filming in the gorgeous New England setting.
Learn more about the book and author at Tammy Kaehler's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Dead Man’s Switch.

--Marshal Zeringue