I took a large chunk out of my day today to reread Breaching Midnight, the novel that started everything. Not only did it start my career in writing, but it also started a series (the Alma Cefeira series) that I’ve grown very attached to. I know, I know. As an author, I’m not supposed to play favorites with my “brain children”. And I’m not, so rest assured. However, because it’s a series, a lot more thought and planning has gone into writing these books than as if I were writing just a stand-alone novel.
In any case, as I was reading, I was reminded about the attachments I have to the characters, and the inspiration behind them. Sometimes characters come to me in dreams or imagination and are just that – figments of imagination. That, however, is not the case with most of the characters from this series. So I’ve decided to write a blog explaining the characters in-depth, and their inspiration behind them. And, as an added treat for my readers, I’ve included pictures of the four main characters. Excuse the art – they were done years ago when the novel was in the planning stages.
Amanda Versteckte: This was the last character to be “completed”. At first, I had tried to base her off of myself, because the other characters were based off of others in my life. However, as I began writing the story, I realized that Amanda was becoming less like Erica and more like… well, Amanda. And she continued to progress into Andy. She’s spunky, opinionated, and lets her emotions get to her more often than she should. When she first introduced herself to me, I thought she was a bit whiny. I tried rewriting her character, her scenes and everything that had to do with her over and over again. However, the longer I worked with Andy, the more she developed from “whiny teenager” to self-assured woman. Of all of the characters in this book, Andy is the most dynamic from beginning to end. The best thing about Andy is that she’s “real” – she has real problems, real emotions, and reacts in situations like I feel the average person would. If the average person were surrounded by mythical beings and trying to save her sister from an imaginary friend, that is.
Azrech Coull: Az is by far the character who has grown most near and dear to my heart. He is one of two characters that isn’t based off of anyone at all. When I first began planning this novel out, I knew that there needed to be a love interest – more than that, there needed to be a character to make women swoon and men pump the air with their fists. As silly as it sounds, Az came to me in a dream. The dream actually became a scene in the novel, and Az was born. He’s calm and collected until those he loves are threatened, and then he’s lethal. I’ll admit that I fell in love with Az as his character developed; he’s a man straight out of the ’20s. He’s chivalrous, kind and caring. He’s a true gentlemen in age that seems to have forgotten they ever existed – except in the bedroom. Wink wink. I could go on and on about Az, but I promised in the beginning that I wouldn’t play favorites, and there are more characters waiting for their turn in the spotlight.
Gianna Pirscht: Gia is a very interesting character. When I was making up her character, I wanted someone who could be fun in serious situations. During a conversation with a good friend, I realized that I had my very own Gia in my life. Gia is a lycanthrope who craves physical contact; she’s constantly hugging someone, holding someone’s hand, or just hovering close by. The funnest part about writing Gia was basing her off of her inspiration (Allie, to keep the two separate). Whenever I would write scenes with Gia, I would show them to Allie, whose general response was, “Oh my God, that’s such a me thing to do.” Gia, much like Allie, has the tendency to be more fun than serious. She pokes fun at other people and at herself, knows where all the best clubs in town are, and isn’t afraid to be herself. Gia’s background was interesting to write, because it was the one part of her that I couldn’t base off of Allie. Gia’s parents couldn’t handle her bizarre genes, and turned her out of their house at a young age. Despite her troubled past, however, Gia fits right in with the misfits in the Order.
Scott Kirby: Now Scott… There’s so much to say about Scott. Scott is based off of another good friend of mine; the pair of them match each other to a t, in my humble opinion. Calm, cool, collected, and has a tendency to withhold as much information as possible. This fact alone annoys Andy more than anything, as it’s annoyed me with my friend in real life. I love Scott’s character because he’s a dear friend without being stuck in the “friend zone”. I had originally intended for Scott to be Andy’s love interest later in the novel or series, but I liked their relationship much more as friends than as lovers. Scott’s a bit awkward and bit mysterious, but I think that’s what makes him fun. He’s the leader of the Order, and definitely acts like the mother hen with some of the members, Andy especially. He was actually going to be involved in a romance in the second book of the series, Existence Pending, but again, I decided that I liked him better as the friend. Poor Scott – always the bridesmaid and never the bride. I think his kick ass personality and sarcastic puns make up for it though.
Rache Arger: I’ve noticed that every group of friends always includes one of three people – the black kid, the asian kid, or the ginger kid. I’m not purposefully being rude, but it is something I’ve noticed. The Order, and my own group of friends at the time of writing this novel, was no different. Rache Arger is intelligent, knows tons of facts that no one has any use for, and is quiet unless he has something important to say; this is exactly like the person he’s based off of.
Alucard Drache: I like Alucard’s character much more in the second book of the series than I do in the first. There’s many reasons for this, and all of them are linked. The most important two will be mentioned at the bottom of this post, in ‘Extras’. Alucard is hot or cold – he is either seemingly apathetic, or extremely emotional. He balances out more in the second book, which is why I think I like him more as he developed. He has the ability to read minds, and I think I made the right decision by granting this character this power. His personality makes it more humorous than anyone else’s – yes, he can read your mind, and yes, he’s going to give you hell about it, but he does it in jest and out of love.
Tyrael Woede: Tyrael… Tyrael is an interesting character. He doesn’t play a large part in the book, just as his inspiration didn’t play a large part in my life. However, I thought they were the perfect match. The book needed someone that the readers could be ambiguous about – like Draco Malfoy. He isn’t an evil person, but he’s mislead. In the end, though, he ends up doing the right thing.
Emily Versteckte: Emily by far progresses the most in the series – but that’s mostly due to the fact that she goes from age seven to age seventeen between the two books. Her original self was based off of my own little sister, because it was easy for me to imagine how I would feel if my sister were in danger. However, her latter self, the older Emily, is a mix of myself and my sister (more myself, for obvious reasons if you’ve read the books). Her characteristics – her sense of fashion, the way she takes everything in stride, and the way she wrinkles her nose – is my sister. Everything else is myself, though it’s not something I realized until editing the book after it was finished.
Colleena Papillion: Colleena is a technopath, which was a different thing to write in the ‘cliche’ mythical creatures book. You have your vampires, your lycanthropes, your mind readers; it almost seemed like a technopath wouldn’t fit in. However, like the other characters, her abilities were based off of her inspiration’s hobbies. Colleena was very loosely based off of a good friend (and by loosely I mean unlike her at all). She’s quiet and sarcastic, but that’s the extent to which she resembles her inspiration.
- The man who inspired Tyrael actually inspires another character in the series, Matthew, who plays a brief role in Existence Pending. This may seem odd to readers – “But Matthew’s a dick and Tyrael isn’t.” There’s a reason for that, but it’s nothing I’m going into here.
- Every car mentioned with the exception of Andy’s Passat and Alucard’s jeep are the cars that the characters’ inspirations drove. They aren’t really important to the story, but I thought the way they mirrored the characters’ personalities were interesting.
- There’s a lot of alternative living in the books – homosexuality, smoking, drinking, rough sex, etc. These are things a lot of people see in their every day lives, whether because they themselves do it or people they know do. This stuff is real. That’s the whole point behind including this stuff – it’s real, and people can’t keep pretending it’s not.
- Alucard’s character is based off of one of the most important men in my life. At the time the first book was being written, Zachary (Alucard’s inspiration) and I had broken up. That’s why the relationship between him and Andy is strained in the beginning. When the second book was being (re)written, Zachary and I had gotten back together. Which is why I chose him as the main love interest for Emily’s character, and it’s also why Emily’s character became more based off of myself than my sister (can someone say weird?)
- Though it’s referenced briefly in the books, there’s a love-hate thing going on with Gia, Rache and Colleena. Before the books’ time frame, Gia and Rache had been an item (as were their inspirations). Colleena and Gia can’t stand each other because Colleena is Rache’s new squeeze (this is not based on anything, but it makes for interesting conflict).