Some authors use photos of their characters to get an image in their heads of how these people appear. I’ve always been the type who shied away from that because I could never find exactly what was in my head in the real world.
In truth, physical descriptions of my “peeps” are hard for me. I see them so clearly that sometimes I forget to describe them more than generically, if at all. I’ve had editors say “you never told us what he/she looked like” and lo and behold I didn’t. I even wrote one book where I never mentioned the heroine’s eye color. Whoops. In the sequel, I made sure I did.
However, there are three books I wrote where I did find photos of the heroes and then fashioned the character’s descriptions based on these real life men. The reason? I was collaborating on a six book series with another author. Our characters would appear in each others’ books and therefore, we needed concrete idea of what they looked like.
For the first time, The Rock Creek Six, by myself and Linda Winstead Jones (aka Linda Devlin) are avaliable in ebook format. These books were so much fun to write and they are some of my favorites of the 50+ books I’ve done so far.
The hero of the first book, REESE, is fashioned after Michael Biehn. I thought I was being fairly clever here. The leader of the Magnificent Seven is played by Yul Brynner. Hubba, hubba. In the television show, the same character was played by Michael. And my favorite role that Michael played was . . . Reese! In The Terminator. In my book, Reese has many of Yul’s sexy traits. That man could MOVE. Watch him walk across the screen sometime. Sex on two legs.
The hero of my second book (third in the series) is Rico. Called “the kid” he is the youngest of the group, and one of the most deadly. Women swoon for Rico. Until Lily Fortier arrives in town. For Rico I used Benjaman Bratt.
For my final book, NATE (the fifth in the series) I used this photo of Joseph Fiennes. Nate is a former preacher turned gunslinger with LOTS of issues. He shaves his head for reasons I will leave to the book to explain. But having no hair only makes his eyes even prettier. See?
Do you picture real people as the characters in books? Do you like it if an author likens her characters to someone famous? Does it help your imagination or hinder it?