Thursday, January 12, 2017

Assembling the Cast of Characters

Gabrielle Here:

I have just begun writing my twelfth novel. It's almost hard to believe! This story will be published with Love Inspired Historical in December, but it's yet-to-be-titled. Once I finish it, and my editor reads it, we'll toss some ideas back and forth until we come to a title we both like.

This will be the third novel in the Little Falls Legacy series, so some of the characters are carried over from the first two books, while some are new. The hero in this story is Reverend Ben Lahaye who was introduced in book #1, A Family Arrangement, and who plays a role in book #2, Inherited: Unexpected Family (releases in August). In both stories, Ben is instrumental in getting the reluctant hero and heroine together, so in book #3, it's his turn to get his happily-ever-after.

I always start with an actor or actress in mind when I create characters. I try to find one that fits my idea for looks and personality, based on movies I've seen them in.

Since I only do this for heroes and heroines, I didn't have an actor for Ben until it was time to write his story. Since Ben is the son of a French fur trader and an Ojibwe mother, he needed to have some Native American features. I scoured the web until I found just the right man. His name is Jerry Wolf. He's an actor I'd never heard of, but he looks a lot like I imagine Ben to look.


The heroine in book #3 is named Emmy Wilkes. I'm just getting to know her, but she's a deeply wounded woman who has set out on her own to see the west. She's strong, brave, and very feminine. I picture Jennifer Morrison who plays Emma from Once Upon a Time (the name was just a coincidence).


There are twin boys in this story who are orphaned and taken in by Ben. They will be based on my own twin boys, which should be fun. I'm changing their names, but everything else will remain the same about their looks and personalities. I used my four children as personality templates in A Mother in the Making, my first Love Inspired Historical, and those as some of my very favorite characters ever.

Here are my boys.


My older twin at the age of five, the same age as my character Zebulon in book #3.


My second twin who will be the template for my character Levi in book #3.

I just wrote the first scene of book #3 tonight, and I'm already in love with this story and these characters. I'll share more in the coming weeks, but wanted to give you a sneak peek at what I'm working on.

Your Turn: When you read a story, do you think of the characters' looks based on front covers? Or do you pick actors/actresses to keep in mind while you read? 

Fun side note: My author photo was taken the same day as the pictures of my twins. :)

Gabrielle Meyer
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6 comments:

  1. I find myself referring to the cover often when I read if the characters are on the front. Even with good descriptions my imagination is not great as far as picturing the characters faces. My scenery, I picture, whether correct or not.

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  2. I definitely look at the front cover for character appearance if the cover model matches the description. Sometimes only the heroine is on the cover, so you don't see the hero. I like lots of detailed description of the looks of main and supporting characters, so I can get a good picture in my mind of how they appear.

    Gabrielle, I love reading posts like this, so I'll know how the author pictures the character. Most of the time I latch on to that and keep it in mind while reading the book. Occasionally, I just cannot see the person they have chosen as the character they have written. In that case I just find my own person that fits the one in my head.

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  3. I almost never seem to agree with the front cover images. I can't always say how I picture them different, but they aren't quite right either. I think it is usually the hair - historian problems! A few exceptions are when there are a lot of characters with similar names that I have trouble keeping straight - example Lord of the Rings. Almost all the characters in that book are based on the movie actors.

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  4. At first glance, I always think of the characters as the ones on the cover. However, most of the time I end up thinking differently about them as the story continues. It all really just depends. I love that y'all think of actors/actresses to help base and think of your characters that you write about. It really does help bring the characters alive.

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  5. I like to imagine how the characters look based on their descriptions in the story. I try not to let cover art distract me as so many of the same images are being used over and over for some books.

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  6. That's really neat that you used your children for inspiration...good idea! :) Your characters had a realness and depth to them. I appreciated that!

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