The People In My Head
Writing a paranormal series that spans several sub-genres (BDSM, M/M, ménage a quatre, etc.) means that I get readers maybe normally I wouldn’t. I have to make sure I can entertain those diverse readers and pull them into my world regardless of whether the story is gay for you or het with light BDSM. Part of ensuring that my world reaches my readers is creating memorable and unique characters. I like to think I have a flare for that, but the truth of the matter is that I work very hard at it. And in some respects, it doesn’t hurt that I have to live with these people in my head until I’ve committed them to paper.
People always ask me where I get my characters from. The answer is simple. Everywhere and everyone. Yep. People do inspire characters for me! Sometimes I see or hear a cool name and want to use it. I have a friend named Sair so I stole her name for the heroine of my latest Tales of the Darkworld book. In the Tales series, Colin Granville’s next door neighbor is named Jon for my boss. My boss loves cool stuff and so does Colin’s neighbor (who utters the immortal line “There’s a dragon in your yard”) so it was a perfect fit.
Sometimes the character is a little bit more like the real person than just a name. In Hot Water, Colin and Eden meet an elf at the vampire club Carpe Noctem. Karl with a K has a very snarky personality, drinks Guinness, and has an internet gossip show. I have a friend named Karl who is a blogger. Karl has a very snarky personality, drinks Guinness, and writes for an internet gossip website. I could just hear the real Karl’s voice in my ear as I penned Karl with a K’s lines. The black spiky hair and wry demeanor of Dave Forrester in Ride the Lightning matches that of my friend Dave from Blogography. The sunny disposition of wildling Corey Green echoes that of my Twitter pal Gooster SD. Each real person had something to contribute to the character even if it was only a name.
Other characters are a figment of my imagination from start to finish. Sean, the awesome head of the Antaeus family, may look like Julian Fantechi in my head, but that’s about it. No one I know could be Sean. A master manipulator. Fiercely loyal to his family. Sean would do anything to ensure his loved ones are happy. Even stuff that makes him appear the villain of the story! He lives by the credo that the end justifies the means. And somehow, it just works for him and readers love him. But no way, no how is he based on a real person.
He’s certainly hot enough to warrant his own story too. But I’ll make you wait until the very last Tales book to get it. :-)