Q: Where did your characters come from? In your head?
A: Thin air. That’s right, I came up with them from thin air. The process that I followed what makes this interesting.
The beginning was coming up with the concept of the story that I had rolling around in my head for months. I knew what I wanted to write yet I didn’t know how to write it. I reflected over weeks that turned into months before I came up with the basis of the books as they exist today.
One day, I had a flash of inspiration and I came up with the title, ‘The Taste of Honey’. Once I had that, the character ‘Honey’ was obvious. Her attributes, mindsets and beliefs hadn’t been worked out yet but I had her name.
How I came up with ‘Mona’ happened completely differently. I knew I was writing an adult themed story that would be full of sex and kink. I also wanted this character to be a strong, confident woman who is more than capable in thriving in her world.
First and foremost, she was a sexual woman who enjoys all forms of sex and intercourse. After reflecting upon her fundamental characteristics, I decided that she would be vocal in her sexual play. She would be a moaner. Ergo? ‘Mona’. Her last name was a bit more of a challenge but eventually I decided on a play of words. Think of, ‘bend her over and screw her’. ‘Bend her over’ became ‘Bendarova’.
Charles, as Mona’s owner and Master, had to become ‘Charles Bendarova’ by rule. Honey’s master came about from the adverb masterly, as in Master Lee. His last name Marks was just a name I liked a lot and it sounded good.*
In ‘Broken Steele’, the new characters I introduced came about very differently. Due to a disaster of working with two different bankers in my real life, I took their names and reworked them into Braxton Steele and Ryder Moro. I consider them villains and their characters definitely reflect that.
The rest of the characters come from a list of names I keep in my notes for the books. They get on the list because I like the names and I choose them as necessary. Since women outnumber men thousands to one, the list of possible women’s name is huge and I burn through them by the dozens in each book. Some are recurring characters, such as Renée. Others don’t survive a single book. To avoid confusion for the reader, I don’t reuse a name though I know that it does happen in real life. Certainly, there are enough names in our languages to avoid duplication.
None of these characters are based upon real people, though I reserve the right to do so in the future. There is a lot of me in Mona and Charles. I split my likes between them. Mona, loves coffee and Kamikaze cocktails. Charles, loves a good steak and a single malt scotch. Of course, both love sex and kinky play, just as I do. For the others, no one character is based upon anyone in particular but I reserve the right to inject attributes from those in my life who have left an impression on me. Good or bad, these attributes help make the characters believable.
The characters in ‘Her Client Trilogy’ came about completely different from what I wrote about above. I’ll write about those characters in a future blog.
So, that’s my story. That’s how I came up with my characters. For those of you who are writers, how do you come up with your characters. Or, if you are an artist, how do you come up with your vision? If you’re a musician, what process do you use to come up with your next song, composition or symphony?
I’m curious. Please, share your thought processes. I’d love to read them.