How my characters come to life

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Behind The Scenes | 2 comments

HELLO, LOVELIES!

I thought it might be fun for you to know how my characters come to life and just how much of myself as an author and my surroundings reflects back in them. What starts me off is generally a name, or if they’re a recurring character who’s getting their story told, it’ll be their previous actions and conversations from past books. I never truly know which direction my characters are gonna go in until I’m writing their book, but I usually have a general idea from the previous books they’ve appeared in. They like to leave little easter eggs of possibilities. Like Chris and Diesel throughout the start of the King’s Disciples series.

THE LOOKS OF MY CHARACTERS

I’m not the most visual person which you may have noticed if you’ve read any of my books. The looks aren’t as important to me as the characteristics, actions, and voices of my characters. I keep a spreadsheet of hair color, eye color, scars, and tattoos for all my characters so I hopefully don’t get it wrong.

I’m my own cover designer and I have spent countless hours of my life on stock photo sites looking for the right models for my covers (maybe a little too much tbh). I have the covers ready or at least the models picked out way before I start writing the book because I love using the model on the cover to describe my characters. I’m often inspired by the models. One example of that is Rome from his and Juno’s book. I stumbled over the photo of that model and saw that half-done tattoo on his chest and just knew he would need a book. Another example is the model for Ares. He has a tattoo across his chest that says “Mi Vida Loca” which couldn’t be more true for Ares. I incorporated that into his looks along with the smaller tattoo he has across his ribs that says “trust”.

WHAT INSPIRES ME?

“Write what you know,” is maybe not the very best advice (we’d be missing out on a whole lot of fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi works, wouldn’t we?) but if we take it to mean that you should put some of yourself, your experiences, and your life, into your stories and characters, then it’s a lot better advice.

I’m always inspired by my surroundings, whether that be a scene from a movie I would’ve done differently, or if its my cousin telling me he sometimes has to crawl into the trunk of a car to get to something that needs fixing. I’d say thanks Patrick, but Jet’s pretty grumpy and doesn’t appreciate getting shut inside a trunk by Jack and Sully because of your little tidbit.

Cole from the Raiders series always puts Cade’s chocolate in the fridge and that’s thanks to my mom who, for as long as I’ve been alive, has always put food into the fridge that shouldn’t be in there. Can someone tell this woman that bread does not belong in the fridge and neither does canned food?

It could also be something from an Instagram post. I saw a video from a motorcycle club sharing tidbits about its members and one had crashed into a firetruck. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but I instantly laughed and thought; that’s something Ace would do, and so the start of Ace’s book came to life. Ace, who wasn’t supposed to get a book, but oh well, the boys do what they want. I’m just along for the ride!

WHICH PARTS ARE ME?

On a more serious note, I’ve put a lot of myself and my personal experiences into my characters. Auggie, for example, has my anxiety, and though his is certainly on a different scale than mine, that’s what I drew from when I wrote his and Russell’s book, Bandit.

Matt, on the other hand, is basically me. Well, a better me, I would say. While it’s not exactly spelled out in his and Digger’s book, he’s AuDHD just like me, and I brought a lot of my everyday struggles into this book. I remember my editor being perplexed about how Matt’s mom is inconsiderate and maybe a bit mean, but Matt also says that he knows she loves him more than anything. My first thought was that my editor must be an only child. 

There’s no better representation of ‘I get to be mean to you, but nobody else does’ than the sibling bond. Life isn’t black and white, no matter how much my autism would appreciate it. Your parents can still love you even if they do or say things that are hurtful, and it’s something I wanted in this book to ground it a bit more in reality.

Thank you for reading along! I hope you learned more about me and my characters. If there are any parts or scenes in my books that you’re wondering about, feel free to ask about them in the comments section below!

2 Comments

  1. This is good to know 🙂Thank you for sharing this with us readers 😍 I’m now rereading Juno and Rome!! I am so glad am reading this book series again ❤️🌈

    Reply
    • Thank you for commenting! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series the second time around, too!! 🥰

      Reply

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