One of the questions I get asked a lot by aspiring writers is how do I decide what my characters look like? For every writer it is different, of course, but for me it often begins when I spy a picture in a magazine or think about a favorite actor.
The picture above is one I shamelessly ripped out of a magazine at a doctor's office (I think) and took home with me in my purse (hence the fold marks). I had already begun writing Dark Angel and had named my hero Gerard because there were certain qualities about the actor Gerard Butler in Phantom of the Opera that inspired me. However, when I saw this model in a cologne ad, I knew I had found my true Gerard. Read the description I had written before I ever saw this picture:
The gray mist of his gaze enveloped mine and blocked all else from the periphery of my vision. The untamed beauty of his face struck me even in my half-conscious state.
Another woman might have found his high cheekbones and exotic eyes excessively proud or the swarthy hue of his skin too foreign or the black slash of his eyebrows too authoritarian. Nevertheless, to me, he was beautiful like a wild thing was beautiful, some creature of the forest and the fields.
Eerie, right? Even down to the color of his eyes. I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into my writing process!