I’ve just sat down this week to start a new trilogy. It’s hard to say goodbye to the characters from my previous trio, for they’ve become dear friends throughout the course of writing the three books. (Cameron's story. TOO DANGEROUS TO DESIRE, will be out in November.) After all, we’ve had coffee together every morning for quite some time (not to speak of numerous breaks for chocolate and other butter-laden treats to feed the Muse.) At this point, I know their minds better than they do <G>
But it’s also fun to make—and I mean that quite literally—new friends.
It’s also challenging. Now, I tend to start with my hero. (Or I this case heroes, as I have to think ahead to the three sinfully sexy rogues who will play a starring role in each of the three stories.) But more on that in a minute. First a little more backstory on the general creative process.
I have an overview of the series, and a short synopsis for each story, so I know the bare-bones facts about who the heroes and heroines are. (In this case, the working title of the trilogy is “The Hellions of Half Moon Street,” and it will revolve round three sisters who have a secret passion for writing.) But fleshing them out takes a lot more than a few paltry scribbles on the pages. Especially since I’m a total “pantser,” and rarely have any more than a vague idea of how they are going to get from Page One to the HEA.
So the first few chapters are always slow going as I begin feeling out what makes each of the characters tick. (Trust me, some are more introverted than others and are shy about sharing their secrets.) Now, I’ve found that having a picture helps me —you know, seeing the shape of a mouth, the strength of chiseled features, the expression swirling beneath the hue of the eyes reveals a lot about a person.
So one of the first things I do is to start collecting photos of faces I find . . . inspiring. And as I said, the first characters I focus on are my heroes. So without further ado, let’s look at a few men who have caught my eye for this new project. I’ve decided my three heroes are going to be dark and a little dangerous. Tough, yet sensitive. Mysterious. Handsome as sin.
A young Timothy Dalton from Wuthering Heights seemed like a good place to start. (I have to confess, he’s been a big favorite for quite a while. He made very dashing James Bond too. ) Then there’s Ioan Gryffudd from the Horatio Hornblower series. The hero in the first book of this new series is a former military officer, so that struck me as a good match. So did Sean Bean as Richard Sharpe. (okay, okay, he’s not dark-haired but I’m allowed a little artistic license, aren’t I?)
I also came across a rather attractive fellow who’s the son of a princess, (His name is Andrea) and as my heroes are nobleman, I figured there’s nothing wrong with having a little blue blood flowing through their veins.
And then there is Johhny Depp in his role as Captain Jack Sparrow. Because honestly, how can we not love a pirate? (And he looks pretty alluring without the mascara and braid as well)
Now, given that’s it’s still summer here in the States, and many of us are indulging in a last swirl of frivolous play time before buckling back down to business after Labor Day, let’s have a little fun. Who would you suggest as the model for a devilishly dashing hero? Anyone goes—actors, celebrities, princes sports stars from the recent Olympics! So let’s hear who makes you heart go pitty-pat!