In conjunction with the release of my new mini-collection, GUNFIGHTER GOTHIC VOLUME 0: BLOOD OF THE UNIVERSE, I’ll be doing a Casting Call for the (cough) inevitable (cough) GUNFIGHTER GOTHIC movie over the next few days. You can get the Kindle edition of BLOOD OF THE UNIVERSE for 99 cents over at Amazon. (The paperback will be out shortly.)
HISTORY: The daughter of a Boston whaling merchant, Jill grew up in an upper class house. Her best friend was Hanna, the daughter of two of her family’s servants, and Jill was the only person in either side of the house that didn’t think this friendship was, in any way, odd. As the girls grew older, Hanna became Jill’s personal servant, but where Hanna was acutely aware of the unspoken divide between them, Jill never considered it an issue. The two girls engaged in various bits of adventuring around Boston and the port cities where Jill’s dad launched his whaling and merchant ships, and these adventures often brought the two girls in contact with the supernatural.
On the morning of Jill’s wedding to Dotson Winters (a man she did not love but agreed to marry because it would save her father’s business), her fiance faked his own kidnapping by werewolves, and Jill and Hanna went off to find him. In Kansas City, they boarded a train headed west and found themselves embroiled in a plot involving werewolves, vampires, Mrs. Lincoln, and Dotson himself, who reveals himself to be a would-be criminal mastermind. Jill gets shot, the train jumps its tracks, and Jill dies.
Only to wake up after being sliced open by the Universe Cutter, a blade that can bring one member of the dead back to life, granting the recipient near immortality and the ability to walk backwards through time. Jill is aware that Hanna is in love with her, but is only willing to occasionally give her body to Hanna, but never her heart.
PERSONALITY: Jill is the eternally upbeat, risk-taking daredevil without a care in the world, who acts without consideration of the consequence. Even before the Universe Cutter made her nearly immortal, Jill walked through life like she could do anything and never suffer any harm.
CASTING: I’ve been an admirer of Jordana Brewster since the excellent and underrated horror film, The Faculty. She has a natural kind of beauty and always seems to carry herself in such a way that she comes off as being on her own plane of existence. Plus, she just looks like a pampered rich girl that has a harder backbone that most people, and Jill has to have the steel to Hanna’s softness.
JILL EXCERPT #1 (from “Train Comes a Burning”): Jill looked around at the carnage. “What do you make of all this?”
Bellingham turned serious again. “Isn’t anything I haven’t seen before.”
“Stop playing tough guy,” Jill snapped, bending down to look at one of the chefs, “and start playing detective. I thought Havertons had brains to go along with all that brawn.”
Bellingham nodded, scanning the room with inquisitive hazel eyes. He moved towards the Haverton at the far door. He moved past the blood-soaked child without looking at him. Dead kids creeped him out. “What about you?” he asked as he bent down to look at the shredded body of Tommy Drummund. This kid had spent the first fourteen years of his life as a slave, spent the next four as an aide in Sherman’s regiment, and the last one as a Haverton and now he’d been eviscerated in a kitchen of a westbound train.
Bellingham knew what this death meant without even checking the identity of the other body.
“What about me?”
“You’re into this,” Bellingham remarked coolly, taking his eyes off Drummund’s corpse. “We’ve got two dead agents, three dead cooks, two dead waiters, and one dead kid and you’re standing there loving it.”
Jill gave a resigned shrug. “Yeah,” she said slowly, “I do love it. Always have. It’s a weakness, I know,” she said, holding up her hands, “but … I’d rather be here than in a knitting social. You said yourself you’ve seen this before. Prove it. Put words to the nightmares and tell me who did this.”
Bellingham rose to his feet. “Werewolves,” he announced stoically.
Their eyes on each other, neither of them saw the kid’s face break into a devilish smile.
Thanks for reading, everyone. I’ve been incredibly humbled by the response to GUNFIGHTER GOTHIC, so far, (I think, in one day, BLOOD OF THE UNIVERSE has sold more Kindle copies than HARPSICHORD & THE WORMHOLE WITCHES has sold in over a year), so I hope you’re enjoying these casting calls.