Inspiration Behind the Characters
A Guest Post by Nicole Evelina
I’m always curious about the inspiration behind the characters authors write about in their books and in today’s guest blog post, Nicole Evelina, author of the upcoming contemporary romance novel, Been Searching For You, was kind enough to share her inspiration.
Inspiration for Been Searching for You’s Main Characters
For me, characters sometimes have different inspirations for who they are and what they look like. So I’m going to give you both because each one impacts their thoughts and behaviors, just as it does us.
Who she is: Our heroine. Annabeth is a hopeless romantic who has never given up on her dream of finding her one true love. She wants to get married to someone for whom love and fidelity have meaning. Because of that, she can be seen as naïve, even old-fashioned in this world where hookups are normal and sex doesn’t mean what it used to. But she’s also dealing with the emotional fallout from a traumatic experience years before with Nick, so she has trust issues when it comes to men and sex that she needs to get over.
Why I made her this way: I felt like a lot of women have trust issues, so that was something readers could relate to. I also wanted to show a character who is a virgin far later in life than most people deem acceptable. They do exist. I know a few. She’s not waiting for marriage, but she also has her reasons being the way she is. Plus, most romance readers are romantics at heart, so they would be able to relate to her desire to be with her soul mate
What she looks like: Average height, slender, freckles, brown hair and eyes.
Who I imagine playing her: Ashley Clements from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (who also happens to be the narrator of the audiobook version of Been Searching for You). The character was originally inspired by British actress Nadine Lewington, whom I saw on an episode of Inspector Lewis.
Who she is: The frienemy. Mia was rich from birth thanks to her lawyer father. If that wasn’t reason enough to always want her way, she’s a supermodel. She does what she wants, when she wants, no matter who she hurts in the process. Mia is Annabeth’s close friend since Annabeth moved to Chicago, but also because Mia is Miles’ girlfriend. She thinks Annabeth is backward and needs to join the 21st century in her thinking about love.
Why I made her this way: Everyone loves a bitch, right? Well, we have one in spades with Mia. The snarky nature of the relationship between Mia and Annabeth reflects an interesting trend between young women, the likelihood that at least one in their close group will stab them in the back at some point in their friendship. I’ve had a few frienemies in my time and Mia is partially based on those experiences.
What she looks like: Very tall, long read hair, long legs, thin.
Who I imagine playing her: Kathleen Robertson (with the red hair she had in Scary Movie 2)
Who he is: Our hero. Alex is a literature professor who just got out of a long-term relationship, which ended very badly. He’s about as romantic as Annabeth is and is fond of grand gestures to show his love.
Why I made him this way: I needed Alex to be both relatable and the reader’s dream guy, so I made his previous relationship end in a way we are all too familiar with: cheating. But because he’s a romantic, he won’t let that stop him from grandly pursuing the women he’s interested in. I am not a fan of alpha males, so I made him more beta on purpose so that women like me had a hero that didn’t make them roll their eyes. Alex is sensitive, educated, cultured and rich. What more could a girl ask for?
What he looks like: Tall, slightly muscled, but not like a typical alpha. Dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, a bit of stubble.
Who I imagine playing him: I actually based his looks on a model whose name I can’t remember. The closest celebrity I’ve found is Bradley Cooper, but even that’s not quite right.
Who he is: The villain. Can we say bad-boy? That would be Nick. He’s Annabeth’s ex, the one who made her have trust issues. Now he’s back, bringing his signature blend of charm and jackassery (Yes, that is word. I made it one.) with him. He’s a “sorry, not sorry” type who is really all about what benefits him. His relationship with Annabeth is complicated because they’ve known each other since they were kids and he was her first love.
Why I made him this way: I think a lot of women know this love-to-hate type of man. Many are even drawn to him, perhaps even dated a version of him. He’s the kind of guy we think we can fix, and even looking back years later, we wonder if there was something we missed. I needed a foil for Alex, but I also wanted to show how Annabeth’s taste in men has evolved over the years.
What he looks like: He’s a cross between James Dean and Christian from Clueless. Average height, trim, brown hair, bright blue eyes, dimples.
Who I imagine playing him: Sebastian Stan.
Who he is: The best friend. Miles is both Annabeth’s co-worker and best friend. They’ve known each other since college, so they are totally comfortable with one another, but there’s no attraction between them. He acts more like a big brother than anything else to Annabeth. He also lets Mia, his girlfriend, walk all over him.
Why I made him this way: Every heroine needs a best friend and I wanted Annabeth to have someone solid, someone who wasn’t the stereotypical gay best friend that every rom-com seems to have. Miles is a great guy, funny, charming, and loyal. In many ways, he’s everything Annabeth is looking for, but the neither of them have the attraction which is so key. I wanted him to be someone every woman would want as her friend.
What he looks like: African American, tall, big muscles, brown hair and eyes.
Who I imagine playing him: Charles Michael Davis, Marcel on The Originals
Been Searching For You is scheduled for release on May 10, 2016