I know of quite a few authors who’ve said that a certain actor or actress will keep popping into their head when they’re writing a particular character. Some go so far as to say they have a specific person in mind to play a character if their book is ever made into a movie.
My visions of my characters are usually a little nebulous, and I like it that way. I try to only share their strongest features so readers have a basic idea of what the characters look like and can envision them however they want to, in a way they’re best able to connect with. I still sometimes look for pictures to use as a reference, though, just to make sure “nebulous” doesn’t turn into “inconsistent.”
Trying to find pictures that help you describe people or settings or whatever in your stories is a really fun game to play when you’re looking for inspiration or if you’re a visual person who keys in on images. I make background wallpapers for most of my books. Sometimes they have pictures of space, sometimes people or places, sometimes even drawings I’ve done (and sometimes it’s a mix of all of the above).
For people, the trick is finding—or making—a picture that perfectly captures the main trait or emotion of the character. Is the character full of cocky bravado? They better be smirking. Are they constantly afraid, but try to put on a brave face? A nervous smile might do.
Most of my characters could be played by a variety of actors or actresses. I’d love to see Stephen Amell play Dante (if you’re going to dream, dream big!). Or Ian Somerhalder—as long as he didn’t smirk! That just wouldn’t fit the character. Plus, how can anyone think while Ian Somerhalder is smirking?
When I find pictures to use for my writing, my brain always alters them while I’m writing to make it fit the character, setting, or prop perfectly. Except in one case.
Yes, I’m going to talk about Garrett again. I did say he would be hard for me to move on from 😉
I looked at a bunch of different faces that might fit Garrett. Adam Joseph Copeland would be a good casting choice I think, along with a few others. But only one face kept coming up in my mind every time I wrote Garrett.
I freely admit to being one of those authors who dreams of seeing their books on the big screen. If The Summer Park Psychics trilogy is ever made into a movie, I would love, love, love for Josh Holloway to play Garrett. I’ve been watching him on the new TV show Colony, and am constantly struck by how perfect he would be for the part.
Pictures of him are showing up in my social media feeds, and every time I see one, I think, “Oh look! It’s Garrett!” It isn’t just his general appearance, but the expressions he tends to make, his skill in emoting, and holy smokes, that guy can heat up the screen with a kiss!
The fact that he’s back on the air right when Whispering Hearts was released—given that I wrote it a year ago—is kind of uncanny. It’s been a really fun way of connecting with the character for me.
I’m in the middle of edits for the third Summer Park Psychics book, Lingering Touch, which is the last story in this series arc. Jazz and Finn’s story is action-packed and hot, hot, hot! It’ll be a while before I make it back to this world, so I’m enjoying everything—and everyone—in the series as much as I can. It’s been a wonderful way to start out my publishing career 🙂