The other day, I was sent some interview questions for a guest blog I'll be doing in a couple of weeks (Aunty squees with excitement). One of the questions was: Do you base your characters on real people or are they purely figments of your imagination?
My first reaction was of course they are TOTALLY made up from my imagination. But then I realized that's not exactly true. So in order to honor the "truth in lending" law... No wait! That's not right! So in honor of honesty being the best policy- -yes, much better!- - Aunty will reveal some of the real people whose names or traits wound up in characters in The Wild Sight.
- The hero's older sister, Doreen. Okay, might as well start with the obvious! I have three younger siblings. It was my duty as first born to see that they did not run amuck too terribly much. THEY called me bossy (I suspect they still do), but I was merely doing my duty and trying to look out for their best interests. It was only natural that I give my hero's older sister some of these same wonderful traits.
- Doreen's husband, Sean. My DH has a cousin in Northern Ireland named Sean (imagine that!) who is a sweet and charming man, and definitely influenced my creation of this character.
- PSNI Inspector Colm Lynch. When I first went to work for the Department of Health Services lo these many years ago, my boss's boss had the last name Lynch. He was a big, beefy man with white hair, but I swear all resemblances end there!
- The heroine, Rylie is a petite, sassy young woman with the tenacity of a bulldog. One of my beloved nieces happens to be 4' 10" and a size two, with quite a mouth on her (can't imagine where she got that trait), but the resemblance ends there. She is a couple of years younger than Rylie and does not have blonde hair or gray eyes. There is, however, a certain pointy-chinned young actress who has portrayed several sassy characters in films that provided much inspiration for Rylie.
- The hero, Donovan is one of those strong, rather silent types who does not like to talk about himself nor his feelings. Gee, has anybody EVER met or known a guy like that? (To quote Craig Ferguson, "Remind you of anyone?") ME TOO! I even married a guy like that... AHEM! But Donovan's interest in art is definitely rooted in my DH and his artistic endeavors. And yes, there is a certain tall and lean Aussie actor who provided some physical inspiration for Donovan. But you already knew that Aunty likes 'em tall and lean. ;-)
What about you? Have you ever read a book and thought you recognized one of the characters? Or certain aspects of a character? If you are a writer, do you base your characters on "real" people? Bits and pieces maybe? C'mon now, honesty is the best policy!