Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Mike Chen's "Here and Now and Then"

Mike Chen is a lifelong writer, from crafting fan fiction as a child to somehow getting paid for words as an adult. He has contributed to major geek websites (The Mary Sue, The Portalist, Tor) and covered the NHL for mainstream media outlets. A member of SFWA and Codex Writers, Chen lives in the Bay Area, where he can be found playing video games and watching Doctor Who with his wife, daughter, and rescue animals.

Here Chen dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, Here and Now and Then:
I tend to dream cast my roles while writing. This is purely out of logistical need -- I find I can visualize a scene better (and thus translate it to prose better) if I have an actor in mind, complete with voice tics. For Here and Now and Then, it all started with Idris Elba as main character Kin Stewart, particularly Elba from Luther (sharp-eyed readers will find two easter eggs for this).

For the supporting cast, I basically plucked actors from the past decade of Doctor Who. Part of it comes from my own amusement; Karen Gillan as Heather and Arthur Darvill as Markus were somewhat arbitrary picks stemming from the fact that this was a time travel book heavily influenced by Doctor Who. I inserted them early on in drafting and they remained and became integral to my internal visualization of dramatic beats.

For Penny, I wrote her specifically with Doctor Who alum Jenna Coleman (and current star of Victoria) in mind. I wish I could say that this was a decision made from her brilliant abilities, the way she can be equally vulnerable and fierce, her playful comedic timing. Which are all true, as seen both in Doctor Who and her post-Who work. But it's mostly because I have a crush on her, which my wife gives me plenty of grief about.
Visit Mike Chen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue