Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Laura Anne Gilman's "Silver on the Road"

Laura Anne Gilman is the Nebula-nominated author of many pretty-damn-good-according-to-reviewers F/SF novels and short fiction. She also dips her pen into the mystery field, writing the Gin & Tonic series as L.A. Kornetsky.

Here Gilman dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, Silver on the Road:
Disclosure: Silver on the Road is the only book I’ve ever written where I had a pretty good idea of who I’d like to cast in the roles as I was writing it. Interestingly enough, my casting had very little to do with matching looks, but some aspect of the actor that caught the core of the character.

The boss (aka the Devil) was first and foremost and always Rupert Graves (aka Inspector Lestrade on BBC’s Sherlock). It’s his raspy voice, and his eyes, and the slightly exhausted look of jaded competence he can project - you trust him, but you’re always wondering why, exactly. Then again, the boss tends to shift his appearance randomly, so we could get a whole bunch of actors to play him, and overlay those eyes…. (Yay digital FX!)

For Izzy, 16 years old and torn between wanting to be an adult and being terrified that she’ll fail these new and terrible duties she’s taken on, I knew I wanted someone young, and someone Latina (Izzy is of Spanish descent by way of Mexica, something my fabulous cover artist caught perfectly). Caitlin Sanchez, a young actor best known for her voice work, has the ideal combination of innocent eyes and determined chin that I always visualized for Izzy.

(Casting under-20 characters is hard. You can find actors in their 20’s who can play teenagers, but it rarely entirely convinces, in my experience. If I were time-traveling, Judy Reyes might have been my first choice for Izzy, for that same combination).

Gabriel, my advocate-turned-rider-turned-mentor, was a difficult one. We only get bits of his backstory, but I knew he was northern-born, of a Metis mother and white father, and educated back East. In his first incarnation, I thought maybe Misha Collins - the right physical presentation, quietly coiled and watching, like the rattlesnake that seems to follow the character. He can do sweet and then turn a dime and be cold, just by a shift in the jaw and a flicker in the eyes, and that is very much Gabriel. It didn’t seem like quite the right fit… but it’s pretty damn close.

If I could dial back time for a bit, I would consider Timothy Hutton for this role, for the same reasons as above - that ability to slip between soothing and deadly with the flicker of the eyes.

And Farron the Magician? He gave me conniptions. I could not ‘see’ him in my head at all, the dialogue falling flat, flipping from one actor to another, waiting to hear something click, until I was stress-binging on older episodes of Supernatural, and hit the “soulless Sammy” episodes. And I realized that Jared Padalecki, now that he’s put on a few years, could rock the screen as the slightly mad, entirely deadly, and yet unnervingly amusing Farron Easterly. And he fit the physical description of Farron, too!

(Jared, have your people call my people. Seriously.)

And Marie, the boss’ Right Hand? I’m going to call for a time-turner on that on, and demand a late-30’s Jodie Foster for Marie. You’ll know why when you meet her.
Learn more about the book and author at Laura Anne Gilman's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue