Thursday, August 01, 2013

Picturing People While I Write by Zoey Williams

I’ve had a lot of celebrity crushes over the years. My first one was Freddie Prinze Jr. when I was in elementary school. He was featured on a Carvel cake (back when they used to print pictures on the icing—do they still do that?) at my 10th birthday party, my slice almost exclusively captured his face. Soon the pictures torn out of various teen magazines and taped to my bedroom wall were covered by sprawling, giant NSYNC posters, ones where it felt like Justin Timberlake was pointing right at you. I was a fangirl all the way.

By middle school, I was obsessed with then little-known actor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I even wrote him a fan letter and stuck the signed postcard he (okay, his publicist) sent back to me to the inside of my locker with a magnet. He hit it big time with “Bend it Like Beckham”, but I was the chick who had seen all of his movies before then. I may have begged my mother to let me rent Velvet Goldmine from Blockbuster at the ripe old age of fourteen.

So anyway, what I’m trying to say is that while I’m writing hunky heroes, it’s not like I don’t have an arsenal of crushes to gain inspiration from.

But in my debut Harlequin Cravings novella, THE DEMON’S FORBIDDEN PASSION, my brain did an interesting thing when it came to picturing my hero, Ethan Phillips—a half-demon firefighter. I kept picturing him as Eddie Cibrian. You know, Leann Rimes husband? Tan skin, totally jacked, a tall drink of water?

Now here’s the issue. I’m not a fan of Eddie Cibrian. Not to say that I don’t like him—I’m sure he’s a perfectly lovely human being—but I’ve never seen any of his work besides that one episode of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” in which he plays… come to think of it, a firefighter!

While I wrote my heroine, a caring, plain Jane nurse named Tina Driscoll, she remained somewhat faceless until halfway through the manuscript when I realized who would be a good doppelgänger for her: Anna Kendrick. Problem is, I’ve only seen Ms. Kendrick in one movie, Pitch Perfect, and I accidentally fell asleep halfway through (I know that’s a great film, but in my defense, I was sick and almost never fall asleep through movies usually, I promise!). Why do I keep picturing people whose work I am hardly familiar with?

Have you ever thought of celebrities—ones you’re a fan of or ones you barely know—when you write (or read)? Leave a response below and I’ll select one lucky winner to receive a digital copy of my debut paranormal erotica novella, THE DEMON’S FORBIDDEN PASSION, available August 1st, 2013 from Harlequin Cravings!

***Zoey's winner is Erin!  Congratulations!***


erin said...

Congrats Zoey on the new release! Thanks for the great post! No... I don't picture real people when I read... I don't know... it's more like I get the feel of the character through voice more than appearance.

Lisa W said...

If there isn't a clear picture of the characters on the cover and their description matches a celebrity than yes I do picture them as the character. I like when I can picture I whole scene in my mind, including the characters, as though I was watching a movie or TV show. It just makes the book come more alive and more enjoyable.

Pat Cochran said...

I don't really think of real persons when I
read a book. That's why when an author asks
for suggestions to base characters on, I'm
left staring into space! No suggestions!

Pat C.

Eli Yanti said...

I just can't picture a real person when I read a book :(