Handsome face, where are you?
No joke, for me, finding what a character looks like, is not an easy feat. For other writers I know, the “soul” of a protagonist, for example, emerges from their imagination like Venus from the sea. My process is slightly different.
I feed on energy. Like some sort of vampire if you like. Okay, not really. What I mean by energy is how I feel when I look at a certain picture, watching a particular scene of a movie.
Want an example? I was searching for the main male protagonist of The Debt Collector. I knew I wanted a handsome, charismatic man (duh!) but I was aiming for someone dark, tormented too, and finding someone that would fit the bill, a mix of raw power and maintained, sleek façade, wouldn’t be easy.
At the same time, I came across a TV series with the actor Thomas Beaudoin. If it rings a bell, you may have seen him in Hallmark romantic movies.
Sexy guy, no doubt about it, but I wasn’t convinced that he would ever make the cut of one of my “men”. However, it was one of my friends, quite enamored with Thomas (you know who you are 😉), who convinced me to look deeper into this option.
My first impression of Thomas was the “good guy” feel. You know, the one in the story who has the girl but loses her at the end.
Picture after picture of him, I was searching for that click, my instinct telling me was the one and that I had to continue browsing.
That’s when I found this picture.
Gone was the good guy, no more softness or friendliness in his gaze, and that’s when I knew I had found him, found Locke. For me, Locke had a swimmer’s body, glacial eyes and sharp features that gave nothing away unless you knew him enough. That clenched jaw, restless hands, burning gaze… Everything clicked.
Do you see it? Him?
From that image, I started weaving who was Locke, where he came from. His background and his personality, from how he interacted with his enemies to how he fucked. Thomas had disappeared and Locke had emerged. Not only emerged, but exploded, taking a life of his own. That’s when I lost control on him that I fell in love.
Now, the downside… a small one at least. I see my character Locke as a facet of a real man called Thomas Beaudoin. I described him as he appeared in my imagination. However, when you read The Debt Collector, when you meet the characters for the first time, you may not see them as I do, as I described them.
So what? I may see Locke a certain way, you may envision him in the complete opposite. And that’s fantastic. That’s perfect. From the moment my book is out in the world, it’s not my own anymore. What I hope is that, whatever the characters look like, that you see their souls as I do, and fall in love.
If you want a deeper glimpse on what my characters look like (in my head), go check out my Pinterest!
Or jump right into The Debt Collector to meet the dark Locke yourself as well as many other characters of my series!
Let your imagination fly!