A lot of times when I start a story I have the image of the hero in mind. Then I rush to the internet and search until I find a match so I can place it on my desktop beside my open Word program. It really helps me to have pictures to visualize the characters. For me, the right face makes the story flow from my fingertips.
So this is another vampire story. The mortal heroine (tentatively titled Lark) was once married to a vampire slayer who was tortured for a year and a day by vampires, then returned to her after they'd bitten him. He begged her to stake him because becoming a vamp is the worst of the worst. She did it (not without much angst). So now she's vowed revenge in her hubby's name by killing one vampire for every day they tortured him. I saw this pic of Angelina Jolie and it was all in the eyes. Some kind of cold, calculating look there. Emotionless, and yet, the hint of compassion if you look real close. She immediately became Lark.
Yeah, I could see her wielding a stake.
Now the hero is a vampire who was captured by werewolves and forced into the Blood Games. It's what the mean werewolves do. They capture vampires, starve them, keep them under UV lights (inducing UV sickness which causes burns, extreme light sensitivity, stripped veins, and a bunch of other nasty stuff), and after a month or so, they pit these tortured vampires against one another in a battle to the death. The hero, Domingos, survived for six months and he's, well...he's a little bit insane after it all. I knew right away who he would look like.
You can't really see what he looks like, but he could be really scary under that hat and shadow. Is he smirking because he's going to kill you, or because he's remembering when life was sane? When the heroine first meets him he's bedraggled, tattered, yet focused, set on a quest to kill all the werewolves who drove him insane. (Yeah, I know, this story is heavy. Lots of torture going on. I think he's my most tortured hero—literally—so far.)
Two opposites that don't belong together, but need each other desperately. The heroine plays violin to escape her crazy world, and she will discover the hero was once a cellist, but music sets him off now, spinning him into an insane tirade. I think music will eventually bring them together. :-)
Here's another pic of the hero (he is Perttu Kivilaakso of the cello-rock band Apocalyptica). Sigh... Musicians are so romantic (especially the ones with fangs).
So tell me, when you read a story do you envision the character in your mind? As an actor or famous face? Or do you create your own hero and heroine?
Thought I'd put Apocalyptica's latest single here so you can see it. Beautiful imagery. And you can glimpse my hero in action. ;-)
I've got three copies of my ROGUE ANGEL: THE BONE CONJURER I want to give away! I'll draw 3 names from today's comments.
Also, I'm debuting my January cover over at my blog today. Stop by and give me your thoughts!