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Where stories and characters come from...

A question I'm frequently asked, and I'm sure it's the same for any other author, is where do I get ideas for stories and characters. So today, I thought I'd share where I've "found" a few of my characters and what inspired their stories.

I have never based a character wholly on someone I know. Sometimes aspects of a personality or a quirk will find it's way to one of my characters, but all my characters are fiction. :) Sometimes it's hard to remember a particular instance that inspired a character, while it's quite memorable for others.

In The Boy Next Door, I tried my hand at one of my favorite themes--friends-to-lovers. The hero, Mac, well... he embodies everything I love about a hero. He's caring, sweet, but damn, the man knows what he wants. And when the way is clear for him to get it, there is no stopping him. He was the starting point of this story. Oddly, he came to me pretty much as he is on the page. I didn't have to think about it too much. The hardest part was coming up with why he hasn't pursued Darcy, the heroine he's known since childhood, before now. Poor Darcy, I had to have her life kind of fall apart, but I don't think she's so sorry, because she figured out that what she really wants and needs was right next door.

In Fate's Song, the first book in The Fey Series, the opening scene came to me as a dream. And it was a vivid dream. I woke up about 4 am and RAN to the computer to get as much down as I could before it started fading. Kaelen, Prince of Fey, is banished from the Fey Realm for interfering in human affairs--never mind that he saved 3 lives while doing it. Now that was a hero I could get behind. He did the right thing no matter the cost. Poor Abagail, the heroine, stumbles over (literally!) a badly beaten Kaelen in the woods, and her life was never the same from then on. Can you imagine finding a hunky man, nursing him back to health, THEN finding out he's a faery...and oh he was supposed to be King? LOL When writing Fate's Song, Kaelen had these 3 friends who came along with him--fiercly loyal and well, hunky in their own write. I'm working on the 3rd book of the series now.

Lust Me, Trust Me came from a call TEB put out for their Bite Me! collection. I wanted to write a vampire story, but I didn't want to fall back on all the vampire mythology already out there. So I came up with my own little vampire society. Fenlon, the hero and his partner were operatives for the governing body, The Triumvirate. But they weren't the spark that started the story. This time it was the heroine--Sarah. She was human and had had a glimpse into the vampire world--and it scared the crap out her. She wanted nothing to do with it. The emotional rollercoaster she was on, while on the run, was what developed in my head first. But Fenlon was tasked to bring her in. It was fun to write this woman who would do anything to get away from a vampire--even one who was hot and turned her on like nobody's business. Fenlon's partner, Jaecar, of course, demanded his own story, and that will release in August from TEB.

One last one--All or Nothing. This was my first menage. Shannon is happily married to Nate, but when his friend Zac comes along, whispering naughty things about threesomes...well, what women wouldn't be curious about 2 sexy men in her bed, right? The kernel that started this story--Zac. That bad boy popped into my head and wouldn't stop talking. While a lot of the story is about Shannon coming to terms with whether or not to be adventurous and go for it, pushing aside society's norms, Zac's mindset was very clear in my mind. He and Nate had shared women before, and are extremely close. While he's out of the country, Nate gets married...he's actually greiving the loss of that relationship as it was. Of course that doesn't stop him from trying to forge a new one with his friend and his friend's wife.

So there you go. Probably not as exciting as basing a character on someone exotic or something! LOL Sometimes a situation will spark an idea, or a character will just pop on in my head, or when all else fails...playing "what if". :)

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.


1 comment:

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Jess,

Great post. I sometimes dream entire stories, but I'm always too lazy to get up and write them down!

I loved "All or Nothing"-- going to have to check out some of these other characters.