I thought I should do something extra to promote them, so I've decided to cast my stories. I've noticed that some readers really enjoy that: pretend that a story or book is a movie and cast actors in the roles they'd play in the book.
I try not to do that when I write a story because I think it inhibits my creativity. Sometimes for minor characters I do it, but not deliberately: the casting just occurs as I think about the character.
J. K. Rowlings ... I mean, Simmons!
For example, when I thought about Grabthar Assurilogan, aka Grab Ass, the editor of the Interstellar Inquirer, I immediately thought of J K Simmons playing J. Jonah Jamesson in the Spiderman movies. I wanted someone gonzo, blustery, demanding and slightly ruthless, and Simmons in Spiderman was just the ticket. So Simmons would have the inside track.
Later, I thought of an elevator pitch for my story: “His Girl Friday” meets a “50 Shades of Gray” meets “Star Wars.” Which would imply Clark Gable or someone like him (nearest current equivalent: George Clooney) to play Grab Ass. But since Jinkie is a virgin, an existing or former marriage between Jinkie and Grab Ass wouldn't work, so Clooney, although a pretty good option, is not the the leading candidate. But a candidate, for sure.)
Captain Chode of Trippin' the Rift, along with 6 of 9, his sex droid.
Another option I thought of was Captain Chode from Tripping the Rift. He'd go great for the science fiction aspect of the story, being a purple three eyed alien and all, and he has a nice sleazeball element to him that would add to the story. Either or both would work.
Also Chanandra Bingh, Grab Ass's assistant: anybody who recognizes the name will know that Matthew Perry has the inside track and is in fact the person the character is modeled on, though there are a lot of actors in Hollywood could handle the role just fine.
When I wrote “Pea Eye” (Jinkie's cowboy guide to Durango 3) “was one of those men who looked like he had a second beard already growing beneath his existing beard, even when he was clean-shaven,” Burton Gilliam in “Blazing Saddles” was the person I was thinking of. You'll remember Gilliam's character, he was the chief assistant bad guy who came up to the railroad crew and said, “I don't hear you singin none of those nigger work songs” and wound up leading the other bad guys in singing a rousing chorus of “Camptown Ladies” to show the niggers how it was done. He can do comedy, has the look, so no other candidates in my mind.
Burton Gilliam himself couldn't play the role, sadly, he's too old. But I'm sure there are plenty of heavily-bearded actors with a talent for comedy who could handle the role just fine.
When we get to the lead roles, things get tougher.
For hotmeat, we need an older, but not terribly older, woman. Jinkie is the fiery young reporter, hotmeat is the worldly-wise sex slave. Clearly, hotmeat is much older than Jinkie, but with advanced medical tech, the years just don't show on her body. There's just a certain knowing something in her eyes, the way she carries herself, that announces her wordly experience. This despite the fact that she sings and dances about when happy and loves having promiscuous sex, which may be a product of her differing view of life, or maybe the treatments that keep her physically young, or maybe that wisdom of hers.
We need someone who can do sexy and funny and wise and do most of it naked, or nearly so, while wearing collar and cuffs and shackles, and that's a tough range to cover. But there are an awful lot of VERY capable actresses who could handle it. For example, Jaime Pressley. She's older, and she's still just plain fucking beautiful, to the point she could play Jinkie and it wouldn't be all that unbelievable. She's also very capable of doing the funny, most of her work is in comedy. She can handle worldly, not sure if she could handle wise, only because I can't think of any roles she's had that calls for it.
Another good candidate for hotmeat would be Jennifer Anniston, who's older, gorgeous and great with comedy. She could also do wise and knowing. I'm just not at all sure she'd do it naked, or nearly so, much less have sex onscreen.
My actual top candidates for the role are two actresses who are also stand-up comediennes, Iliza Shlesinger and Whitney Cummings. Both are gorgeous, both can do funny, both can do wise. I'm not sure about either doing nudity, or near nudity (by near nudity, I mean a skimpy thong and some pasties at most. She's supposed to be a consensual sex slave, dammit!).
There's one other option for hotmeat, and that's Ana Faris. Faris is gorgeous, a topnotch actress, and an excellent comedienne. She can and will do naked, she can do sexy and she can do funny, and do them about as well as anyone has ever done them.
That's why I would go with Faris as my lead candidate for the role of hotmeat – there's just no substitute for comedy skills, and Faris has them in spades. I'm sure she'd look good as a redhead, too.
and Chris (Pratt)
The male lead, John Quill: I was thinking of someone looking like Kevin Sorbo when I wrote the character, hunky and broad faced. But Sorbo isn't really great with comedy, he's genial but not sharp, and also a little old for the role. Fortunately we have Chris, Chris and Chris. We got Chris Helmsworth, who did great comedic acting in “Thor: Ragnorok,” we got Chris Pine who has done some nice if mild comedy in his role as Young Captain Kirk in the Star Trek movies, and we got Chris Pratt, who was great in Parks and Recreation and has done funny stuff in most of his movies, specifically Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Any of the Chrises could handle the John Quill role just fine. It's not that easy a role: Quill is simultaneously strong and commanding and easygoing. The actor who had those qualities in spades would be James Garner. I think Helmsworth is the best of the three Chrises in this respect, so I guess he gets the role, though I think Pratt might edge Helmsworth out in his ability to work the comedy.
Finally, there's Jinkie Jenkins herself. I think shes' a much less demanding role than hotmeat, because she's more a product of traditional humor: she's simultaneously enthralled and repulsed by sex, a fairly common trope for young female leads, and she's also got great ambition and dedication to her craft (“I'm a reporter, dammit!”) Rosalind Russell from “His Girl Friday” is about perfect for the role, except for being dead, which I'll grant you is problematical. But we have some topnotch actresses quite capable of following in Russell's footsteps.
and Amy A.
My first thoughts about Jinkie were Scarlet Johansen and Amy Adams, since they are both strikingly beautiful redheads. (I'm not sure what their real hair colors are, but they've both looked wonderful playing redheads, and that's what counts.)
But I don't think I have ever seen either of them do a really good job of doing "funny." Johansen played a funny role in "The Spirit" but she wasn't funny in it. Not that I blame her -- nobody was funny in that role, and that included Samuel L. Jackson, and he can do funny whenever he wants to. So I just don't know about Scarjo.
Same with Amy Adams. I've never seen her do comedy. She does beautiful and lovable very well, but then, so do a lot of actresses.
As John Gielgud said on his deathbed, "Dying is easy, comedy is hard."
Emma Stone has played a redhead in comedy well, in "The Easy A." But she's not what I'd call "strikingly beautiful." In fact, "Easy A" was about a virginal beauty who is dealing with sexuality, so Emma has trod territory very close to Jinkie Jenkins.
Stone did a nude sex scene in "Easy A" which was deleted, so she'd do nudity and sex, but other than that, there are no nude scenes by her. But she's a much better prospect than Johansen or Adams. I don't consider her as strikingly beautiful as Johansen or Adams, but that's a matter of taste.
Which brings us to another young actress, Aubrey Plaza. She starred in a film called "The To-Do List" about a scholarly high school grad who decides she needs to learn about sex over the summer before going on to college. So she goes about it in a scholarly way, making a list of sex things she should experience, with losing her virginity at the top of the list, and going down her to-do list methodically, with hilarious results.
There were also nude sex scenes in The To-Do LIst, so Aubrey's got that covered.
So, Aubrey Plaza has been in the same turf as Emma Stone, and she's done very well, for my money. She's not as strikingly beautiful as Johansen or Adams or Stone, but she does comedy better than any of them, and her role in The To Do List shows that she could play Jinkie beautifully. Since comedy skill and willingness to do sexy are paramount, that puts Plaza at the head of the list to play Jinkie.
So, for my dream cast, I have
Jinkie Jenkins -- Aubrey Plaza
hotmeat -- Ana Faris
John Quill - Chris Helmsworth
Grab Ass -- J K Simmons
Chanandra Bingh -- Matthew Perry
And Marty Stu as himself
Of course, this presupposes that whatever script is developed from the stories is a sharp realization of their comic possibilities that fully embraces the sexiness inherent in them, which will make all these actors very eager to land the lead roles. I leave it to the informed reader to guess how likely this is.
In any event, being picked up for a movie is a slim chance at best. But the stories are selling, and if enough sell, Hollywood will get interested. See: 50 Shades of Gray. And my stories are SO much more fun than 50 Shades of Gray.