Grigory’s Gadget Dream Cast

Every author dreams, at least a little bit, that their book will some day get adapted to the big screen. Here is my dream cast for a Grigory’s Gadget movie!

Cara Delevingne

Zoya Orlova played by Cara Delevigne

Just have to dye that hair purple 😉

Aimee carrero

Anya Filipova played by Aimee Carrero

Summer Bishil

Lilia Alkaeva played by Summer Bishil

Ansel Elgort

Demyan Volkov played by Ansel Elgort

Jessie T Usher

Nikolai Polzin played by Jessie T. Usher

Bryan Cranston

Captain Edward Sokoll played by Bryan Cranston

Nicholas Hoult

Alexi Sokoll played by Nicholas Hoult

Lucy Lawless

Captain Snezhana Krupina played by Lucy Lawless

Naveen Andrews

Pavel played by Naveen Andrews

Keke Palmer

Tonya played by Keke Palmer

Oscar Isaac

Yeremiy Robertov played by Oscar Isaac

Neil Patrick Harris

Gotfrid played by Neil Patrick Harris

Daniel Dae Kim

Adam played by Daniel Dae Kim

David OHara

Igor played by David O’Hara

Isaac Hempstead Wright

Pyotr played by Isaac Hempstead Wright

What do you think of this cast? Are there any actors/actresses you think would be better for different characters? Let me know!

Meet the Characters: Edmund Sokoll

(Image source: Sergey Samuilov)

For this series, I’m going to delve into the characters of Grigory’s Gadget in the style of those fun/silly surveys that pop-up on social media from time-to-time. I’ll also include name pronunciation, because I know a lot of people have been asking about that! (That being said, you can pronounce the names of my characters however you like, I’ll just be listing the “official” pronunciation) This post will be about Edmund Sokoll.

WARNING: Mild spoilers for Grigory’s Gadget contained in this post!

Name: Edmund Sokoll (ED-muhnd soh-KOHL)

Name Meaning: Edmund – From the Old English elements ead “wealth, fortune” and mund “protection”; Sokoll – Slavic word for “falcon”

Age: in his 50s

Physical Appearance: Light skin, short gray and brown hair, blue eyes, his right leg is a mechanical limb

Hometown: Unknown

Family: His sister is the pirate Captain Snezhana Krupina of the Hell’s Jewel; his son is Alexi Sokoll

Relationship Status: His wife, Alexi’s mother, died sometime before the story. It is implied that, somehow, Edmund was responsible for her death.

Education: unknown

Religion: None

Greatest Strengths: great fighter and leader, great at rallying people to his cause

Greatest Weaknesses: He is short-sighted and has an enlarged and fragile ego

Favorite Color: Purple

Hobbies: piracy

Biggest Goal in Life: Find the Bronnerush and harness its power to gain infamy as the most notorious pirate at sea

Meet the Characters: Alexi Sokoll

(Image source: photobucket)

For this series, I’m going to delve into the characters of Grigory’s Gadget in the style of those fun/silly surveys that pop-up on social media from time-to-time. I’ll also include name pronunciation, because I know a lot of people have been asking about that! (That being said, you can pronounce the names of my characters however you like, I’ll just be listing the “official” pronunciation) This post will be about Alexi Sokoll.

WARNING: Mild spoilers for Grigory’s Gadget contained in this post!

Name: Alexi Sokoll (Ah-LEX-ee soh-KOHL)

Name Meaning: Alexi – Russian form of the Greek name Alexis, which meant “helper” or “defender”; Sokoll – Slavic word for “falcon”

Age: early 20s

Physical Appearance: Light skin, blonde hair, blue eyes, lean

Hometown: Unknown

Family: Father is the pirate Captain Edmund Sokoll of the Ocean’s Legend; Mother died some time ago, either directly or indirectly as a result of Edmund’s abuse

Relationship Status: in a complicated relationship with Anya Filipova

Education: no formal education

Religion: None

Greatest Strengths: Quick thinker, well-versed in how to run a ship

Greatest Weaknesses: Has a quick temper, struggles immensely with personal relationships due to the abuse from his father

Favorite Color: Blue

Hobbies: never had time for hobbies due to his responsibilities aboard the Ocean’s Legend

Biggest Goal in Life: Run his own ship and escape from under the thumb of his father

Music That Influenced My Novel: Grigory’s Gadget

Music has a place in pretty much every aspect of my life. I listen to music in the car, I often listen to music at work, I’m a dancer…even if I’m not actively listening to music, I’m probably singing along to something-or-other in my head. I also frequently experience musical frisson – that rush of chills you get when music gets AWESOME.

So, of course, music has a place in my writing as well.

I touched on this topic a bit back in December, but that was before Grigory’s Gadget was published, so I wanted to revisit it.

The music I listen to while actively writing is often instrumental. If there are words to a song, I’ll just wind up listening to those words instead of my story’s. Usually this music consists of soundtracks. While writing Grigory’s Gadget, I tended to listen to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks, along with a little Lord of the Rings,Game of Thrones, and Lindsey Stirling.

Along the way, I also discovered a new favorite genre of music: electro-swing! This genre takes jazz and swing songs and remixes them. This blend of old and new fits wonderfully with steampunk! My favorite album was Jazz Goes Steampunk! Electro Swing Invasion. It does break my rule about instrumental-only music while writing, but it didn’t seem to be too much of a problem. Now, if we want to be technical, the fact that most of these songs are from the 1930s would suggest they’re more appropriate for dieselpunk, not steampunk. Grigory’s Gadget already blurs those lines, what with all the communist and fascist dystopian undertones, so I still consider it appropriate!

SPOILERS AHEAD! You’ve been warned!

Grigory’s Gadget was also influenced by music when I wasn’t actively writing. Songs I hear on the radio often influence plot or characterization. For example, the song “From Finner” by Of Monsters and Men helped set the tone of the story. The chorus of the song –

We are far, far from home, but we’re so happy;
Far from home, all alone, but we’re so happy

– became a sort of mantra for my characters. The juxtaposition of the forboding sound of the song with the smattering of hopeful lyrics set the tone as well.

The song “Gangway” by Guster influenced Anya’s characterization: she’s energized by being at sea, and quickly took a liking to being a pirate.

If I could make a wish, if I could right a wrong,
If I could plot a twist we wouldn’t be here long,
I’d lean in to each turn, seeking evermotion.
Soon, the walls, the house, the sky starts shaking,
The clouds, the land, the sea,
Gangway!

By far the most influential song I listened to while writing Grigory’s Gadget was “Hero” by Family of the Year. This song actually caused me to make some characterization adjustments and major changes to the climax of the story. Namely, this is the song that led to Demyan being killed.

Let me go
I don’t wanna be your hero
I don’t wanna be a big man
Just wanna fight with everyone else

This song actually led to my discovery of foreshadowing I hadn’t realized I had planted. At the beginning of the story, the friends play a card game called Durak (Russian translation: fool) and Demyan loses. Throughout the story, Demyan is the one who is the least adaptable to their situation (getting seasick, getting frustrated by their situation, etc.). He also lacks the rebellious streak of his friends, preferring to keep his head down and do as he’s told. He doesn’t want to be a hero.

The original ending of Grigory’s Gadget saw Demyan live, and he felt like a dead weight (pun intended, sorry). I couldn’t put my finger on what the problem was until I heard “Hero”. That song resonated with Demyan’s character so much. Then it clicked: I had been foreshadowing Demyan’s death this entire time! And of course, his death was an act of bravery and heroism: he helped Zoya start to come back to herself at the cost of his own life. He wasn’t a dead weight character anymore. He had done something; he saved the woman he loves and their friends.

Moral of the story – don’t underestimate the power of music! It can be lethal…

Meet the Characters: Nikolai Polzin

(Image source: Nappturality)

For this series, I’m going to delve into the characters of Grigory’s Gadget in the style of those fun/silly surveys that pop-up on social media from time-to-time. I’ll also include name pronunciation, because I know a lot of people have been asking about that! (That being said, you can pronounce the names of my characters however you like, I’ll just be listing the “official” pronunciation) This post will be about Nikolai Polzin.

WARNING: Mild spoilers for Grigory’s Gadget contained in this post!

Name: Nikolai Polzin (NEE-koh-LIE POHL-zihn)

Name Meaning: Nikolai – Russian form of Nicholas, meaning “victory of the people”; Polzin – occupational name designating a merchant who engaged in transactions for profit in Russia

Age: early 20s

Physical Appearance: Dark skin, long dreads, deep brown eyes, muscular

Hometown: Lodninsk, Morozhia (LOHD-ninsk, moh-ROHZH-ya)

Family: Mother died from a plague that swept through Lodninsk; father’s death is unexplained

Relationship Status: single

Education: studying archaeology

Religion: None

Greatest Strengths: Intensely loyal to his friends; sharp-witted and an analytical thinker

Greatest Weaknesses: Cynical to a fault; has a quick temper

Favorite Color: Orange

Hobbies: playing card games like Durak; considers archaeology a hobby/passion

Biggest Goal in Life: Go on an adventure, inspired by tales of ancient cities and artifacts

Meet the Characters: Demyan Volkov

(Image source: harvenhait)

For this series, I’m going to delve into the characters of Grigory’s Gadget in the style of those fun/silly surveys that pop-up on social media from time-to-time. I’ll also include name pronunciation, because I know a lot of people have been asking about that! (That being said, you can pronounce the names of my characters however you like, I’ll just be listing the “official” pronunciation) This post will be about Demyan Volkov.

WARNING: Mild spoilers for Grigory’s Gadget contained in this post!

Name: Demyan Volkov (DEH-myan VOHL-kohv)

Name Meaning: DemyanRussian form of Damian, meaning “to tame”; Volkov – Russian patronymic from the word for “wolf”

Age: early 20s

Physical Appearance: Brown hair, green eyes, below-average height with small build

Hometown: Lodninsk, Morozhia (LOHD-ninsk, moh-ROHZH-ya)

Family: Father died from a plague that swept through the city; mother died in a cave-in at the Lodninsk mines, which was caused by the Skarbniki revolt

Relationship Status: in a relationship with Zoya Orlova

Education: studying archaeology

Religion: None

Greatest Strengths: Trustworthy, honest

Greatest Weaknesses: Is not quick to adapt to new situations

Favorite Color: White

Hobbies: Reading-up on history, playing card games like Durak

Biggest Goal in Life: Settle down somewhere safe and consistent, minimize conflict and complications

Meet the Characters: Lilia Alkaeva

(Image credit: Aminta’s Fasion)

For this series, I’m going to delve into the characters of Grigory’s Gadget in the style of those fun/silly surveys that pop-up on social media from time-to-time. I’ll also include name pronunciation, because I know a lot of people have been asking about that! (That being said, you can pronounce the names of my characters however you like, I’ll just be listing the “official” pronunciation) This post will be about Lilia Alkaeva.

WARNING: Mild spoilers for Grigory’s Gadget contained in this post!

Name: Lilia Alkaeva (LIH-lee-ya al-KAH-yeh-vah)

Name Meaning: Lilia – cognate of Lily, from the flower which is a symbol of purity; Alkaeva – from the Russian verb alkat “to wish, to be wished”

Age: early 20s

Physical Appearance: tan skin, brown eyes, short thick black hair, glasses

Hometown: Lodninsk, Morozhia (LOHD-ninsk, moh-ROHZH-ya)

Family: Father and brother died in an airship crash; mother died from a plague that swept through the city

Relationship Status: single

Education: studying literature and history

Religion: None for most of Grigory’s Gadget, converts to Drevnih toward the end

Greatest Strengths: loyal, nurturing

Greatest Weaknesses: easily discouraged

Favorite Color: Pink and purple

Hobbies: reading, “dance lessons” (secret code which actually refers to sword fighting lessons)

Biggest Goal in Life: establish a safe and stable life