Handsome Brooding Types, or Finding My Hero
For a lot of writers it’s important to have a sense of what your characters look like from the first word. A lot of us troll the internet, typically for actors. And it helps if a handsome actor has period clothing on. It helps even more if the guy is Robert Downey Jr., but that’s a whole ‘nuther topic.
My hero, George Orleans, is not the detective in this story, but rather a very handsome, brooding, somewhat depressed and over-it-all vampire. He is Lillian Holmes’ nemesis, her Moriarity. I love a brooding hero. I think it’s why I favor Matthew MacFadyen’s Darcy over all others. (I know, I know, don’t hate me.)
MacFadyen as Darcy looks like my George, for sure. Tall, dark, handsome in a very manly way. But then add in the Downey Jr.-as-Sherlock wit and occasional moroseness.
A brooding vampire at the cusp of the 19th century… well, hardly a normal chap you’d see on the street. Who writes about normal guys in novels? What’s heroic about that? Ah, but there has to be something believable about them, even if they’re undead. I mean, honestly, do you actually know anyone who remotely has the characteristics of Holmes? Conan Doyle got away with murder, creating someone so unbelievable, thank God.
What did normal Joes look like in 1899, I wondered? My editor, Chris Keeslar, was asking for a description of my hero to give to the cover artist. So I poked around, and found these fellas:
Leyendecker, a German immigrant and artist. Pretty dashing, wouldn’t you say? And he broods, no doubt.
And there’s this guy, a little less broodful, I think, but a hot ticket, for sure.
This fella looks a bit like a rascal, doesn’t he? Heartbreaking bad boy is my guess.
Which would you pick? Some combination of all of them? It’s a matter of taste, after all. That’s what so wonderful about Romance novels. You, the reader, get to create your own mental image of the characters, whether you have an unshakeable crush on Russell Crowe (really? never got that one) or Johnny Depp. They all work. Because in the end, the experience is in your head, and you write the story along with the author, by coloring it with your tastes and imagination, your experiences and ideas of time and place. I hope you love my hero, George. Whatever you think he looks like.
Ciara will be stopping by the party page on Facebook.