Like many other authors, I base my heroes on a real person’s looks, although obviously I make up their personality to suit my story. And just as in real life, it’s seeing them for the first time that gives me the biggest spark. Like falling in love but in an imaginary way. If I’m lucky, just the sight of this potential hero triggers a scene in my mind, which becomes the basis for the rest of the story. If not, I can at least use this instant crush feeling when writing about the hero and heroine meeting for the first time. And falling in love ...
Sure, I have an archive of photos I can flick through and I also have a pin board next to my computer with lots of pictures of possible heroes, but sometimes that just doesn’t work. Right now, I need to find someone new, a man I’ve never seen before, but who will set my mind off on an imaginary journey where he’s the hero and I’m the heroine. Someone who sets my pulse racing and makes me tingle all over when he looks at me (even if I’m only pretending he’s looking at me of course).
Actually, that’s not quite true – sometimes it works if I see an actor in a new role at the cinema, one where he’s different from normal in some way. Take Johnny Depp for instance – I loved him in the film Chocolat and could happily have based a hero on his character in that, but he didn’t do it for me in any of his other films. Then along comes Captain Jack Sparrow and “wow!”, there’s the spark again.
Some actors are definitely chameleons, while others play much the same role in every film (like Hugh Grant). That means of course that the Hugh type is only good for one starring role in my novels, whereas others can inspire me over and over again. Right now though, that’s not working either – I need someone brand new.
So does anyone have any recommendations? Any films I absolutely must see over the Christmas holidays? Please let me know because until I find him – THE ONE – my next book just isn’t going to get written.
Please come back on Sunday to hear from Liz!