Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Funny, You Don't Look Like a Hero

Dear people who ask me to write about you,

I'm flattered, really. It's nice to know you think that much of my work that you want to be part of it. But please....stop.

I made the mistake of using "real" people as character models once, and I wish I could take it back...for a lot of reasons. First, it seems as if since I did it for one, now I'm supposed to do it for everyone. *whimper* More than that though, I realized it made me second-guess character behavior. It didn't matter that character X was bisexual, not when I wondered how the real life model would feel about it. (And no, not because there is anything wrong with being bisexual. Simply because sexuality is a complicated enough topic as a teenager without your friends questioning you because of something in a book.) I battled with that for a long time before sticking to the original plan, and it's a decision that still worries me. Plus, I do bad things to my characters. I kill their loved ones, chop off their lbs, scar them for life-- emotionally and physically. Why would you want that?

This goes double (or more) for the men who keep poking at me to make them heroes in my romance novels. No. Just no. Not only would it mean I have to look at you as a potential love interest through the entire writing process (which, trust me, will not endear either of us to your significant other), it means I have to overlook all your faults long enough to understand why someone else would overlook them. 

And if I AM involved with you? That's almost worse. I have to take you...and make you better. Your job? Sorry, that doesn't fly. You need to be worth a lot of money. And don't get me started on your anatomy. I have to design the "perfect" you. That means at some point, I'm going to start comparing. Do you really want to compete with your richer, better endowed, more muscular you? Really? 

Trust me when I say that if you are my friend, there's a decent chance some little thing you do or say will make it into a book at some point. Because I have funny-ass friends who make me laugh all the time. They are far funnier than I am.

As for romantic heroes? You want that, then be that. There's a guy (whose name I can't even remember) who looked at his wife with so much adoration that I wanted to be her. There's another guy I know (whose name I do recall but won't share) who has so much charisma that he makes a girl feel like the entire world narrows down to her when he talks to her. Those guys make me want to write them just by being themselves. 

You want to be immortalized? There you have it. Be witty. Be romantic. Be a character, and you're in whether intentionally or not. But don't try to score a spot by telling me it's okay and that you really wouldn't mind too terribly if my next vampire looked and acted just like you. Because pretty much from that point forward, my plan will be to kill you in the most violent way possible--fictionally of course. 

Much love,

P.S.--If you actually just want me to kill you sometime, be on the lookout. I routinely ask for volunteers to die when I hit sweetness and romance overload and just have to write a death scene before I can move on. 

P.S. again--Disclaimer time: I occasionally auction off character names for charity. This is a rare thing and it is generally for minor characters only. Don't have the qualities mentioned above or really just want to see your name in print? Be prepared to put your money where your mouth is. (And no, I'm not the only author who does this. We'll do a lot of things for a good cause.)

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