I created a Pinterest page, by book, to capture my characters and various topics in the novels. In The Hunt for Xanadu, I found my muse for Kelsey Porter. It is of a young Serinda Swan (though the photo above is actually Jessica Lowndes, who could be Serinda’s sister, so since it LOOKS like her and the image is so sexy and beautiful, this photo worked). For most other scenarios, Serinda is my “it girl” with her combination of tough/sexy girl, and she is how I imagine Kelsey appears. Only problem with showing a photo is that she may not be what other readers feel my character looks like. When you publicly put your vision out there, it might not jive with other people’s interpretations. Which is probably why people get so upset when casting directors cast characters readers don’t feel “fit the bill.” (I have a YA Series called FLYING TO THE LIGHT and FLYING TO THE FIRE and I showed my daughter my vision of the main character and she BALKED. I thought this boy was adorable and she said that is completely not how she envisioned him. Hmmm… he’s nearly a straight out description from the book, so not sure of the confusion)
On my pinterest pages, I found all the characters for my novels and some are actors and some are models. I’ve been able to locate various pictures of all of them and have been able to use their photos across three different pinterest boards so there is complete consistence.
This board is so helpful, because in this book I reference many buddhist themes, various ceremonies and some of my own experiences with the foods I discuss in the book. I have a girlfriend who realized I never had butter tea and took me to a great Tibetan Restaurant in Queens and we tried it. I explain my experience here: (now you get to see and hear me in action!) For those who have read book #2 in the series, THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB, I have a pinterest board here too!
So, do you have a muse? Or do you simply keep an image of the characters in your head? Love to hear.