Thursday, August 19, 2010

More Character Profiles

Helen and Michele got us started talking about their process for choosing what their characters look like. I wish mine were as specific. The picture I have of my characters exists only in my mind.

Why is that? Well, mostly because I'm not up on all the hot new actors out there these days. One of my fans informed me that my Jan. 09 book featured (he-whose-name-I-promptly-forgot) from One Life to Live. Or was it Another World? No matter. I didn't recognize the name (or apparently the soap opera.)

My problem is that when I picture a hot guy he invariably bears a vague resemblance to one of a handful of actors: Matthew McConaughey, Clive Owen or Goran Visnjic. And after 30+ books I can't keep picturing the same three men all the time!

My work in progress is a case in point. When I began the Mindhunters series, I never imagined the trilogy would turn into six books. Nor did it occur to me that the shadowy, enigmatic boss in the background of each story was going to command so much interest. Readers wrote to ask more about him. My editor asked for three more Mindhunters books, this trilogy with an overarching suspense plot involving Adam Raiker, the legendary ex-FBI profiler and head of Raiker Forensics. So here I am on book 6, Raiker's story and my uusal mix of go-to guys don't come close to resembling him. Perhaps he's a victim of his own mystique :)

What I do know is that he's in his early to mid forties, with dark hair and laser blue eyes. Raiker's last case for the Bureau nearly killed him eight years earlier. While tracking a notorious child-killer through the bayous of Louisiana, he was able to free the latest victim but ended up captured himself. He endured three long days of torture before killing his captor and escaping. As a result of the torture he has a hideous scar bisecting his throat; an eyepatch where he lost one eye; and he walks with a limp with the help of a cane, after suffering nerve damage in one leg. Scars crisscross much of his body, including the backs of his hands. After several surgeries he left the feds and began his own company, staffing it with the most brilliant criminologists and scientists in the country. They consult with law enforcement on particularly high profile and puzzling crimes.

You see what I mean. How do I find a guy who looks like that? An actor just doesn't convey the air of mystery surrounding Adam Raiker.

Oh, who am I kidding? Give him an eyepatch and a few scars and Goran will fit the bill nicely!

But I'm certainly open to suggestions! Do you have any names that you think might fit the bill? And does anyone want to hazard a guess at the identity of the guy in the first picture?


Virginia C said...

What a great post to start the day...or improve the middle of the day...or end the day : )

The top photo is Dermot Mulroney. A dark-haired hunky actor with blue eyes and an air of mystery would be Dylan McDermott, currently starring on TV in "Dark Blue".

KylieBrant said...

Virginia, you are correct! And I can't bring myself to lust after Dermot since I used to work with his aunt :) but...the man has a nice mouth!

McDermott...hmmm. His face is a little too full. I picture Raiker with a leaner jaw. But I did recently catch up on the first two episodes of Dark Blue (season 1) and it has turned into an auto watch for me. Great characters and story line!

lois greiman said...

I have the same problem, Kylie. I have about 3 stock heros sauntering around in my head. If he's dark and sardonic, he is, in fact, Goran, wow!! who I've put on my website as the lookalike for Jack Rivera. If he's big and burly he's a young Gerard Butler, and is he's fair and funny he look a little like Brad Pitt. And while this might show a lack of imagination I find I'm pretty content with the system. :)

Cindy Gerard said...

Can't wait to get my hands on Raiker's book, Kylie - and I don't even care what he looks like. Just luvs me a tortured man.

KylieBrant said...

Lois, too funny! I think I have such a vivid pic in my mind that at the end of the book when I used to have to fill out art fact sheets, it was an issue of finding someone to match the pic in my head, rather than vice versa. I'm sooo glad I don't have to send in pictures anymore :)

Cindy--tortured. Yep, Raiker is that, physically and emotionally!

Helen Brenna said...

I'll do you a favor and lust after Dermot for you, Kylie! lol

I have go to guys, too. I think it makes sense. It's what we're attracted to.

I think sometimes our heroes are just too larger than life for a single picture to do him justice. And Raiker sounds like that kind of guy. I don't think a typical "pretty" boy is going to cut it.

Someone hot, but not so perfect ... Mark Wahlberg, Colin Farrell. I'm sending you one of my fav picks of Wahlberg! hehehe

Christie Ridgway said...

I confess that my heroes are sort of blurry in the face in my mind. I can describe the features, but I don't actually picture a face.

Same with heroines, though I will look for models in magazines for help in that direction.

MsHellion said...

Yeah, not sure. But from the first part of description, I thought of the guy from Star Trek: The Next Generation (which is weird because I'm not a fan of Star Trek, but I did like Riker.) Then with the cane, I thought of the guy who plays House.

I think some characters defy celebrity similarities. They're just hot in their own way.

Michele Hauf said...

Now I don't feel so bad that half my heroines end up looking like Angelina Jolie. :-)

Love the description of the hero. A tough bill to fill, but I'd vote for Dermot up top, too. Something about his eyes.

KylieBrant said...

Gee thanks, Helen :) I'll start my very own 'hunk' folder to tap when I need inspiration!

That's interesting, Christie. Mine often start out that way but I find as the story goes on the face fills in for me.

MsHellion, you said it--sometimes they just defy any similarities we might find in celebrities. And Hugh Laurie's character on House does share some characteristics with Raiker--lean jaw, penetrating eyes, acerbic wit :)

Michele, I like that dark and brooding shot of Dermot Mulroney, too :)

Leanne said...

Kylie, great blog! I think I'm like Christie. The faces are blurry for me until I have to fill out the art fact sheets!:D

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm pretty much with Christie on the blurry face, distinctive features. Those features are part of building the character through the backstory. I don't remember sending pictures of faces with the art fact sheet, but I send pictures of details and settings.

Raiker sounds irresistible, Kylie. Can't wait to read his story!

KylieBrant said...

Leanne, it is my greatest joy that I don't have to do AFS anymore :)

Thanks, Kathleen I'm finding that his character is so big and has become sort of this enigmatic man of mystery over the course of five stories that I'm wondering if he can live up to the hype!

krisgils33 said...

Like you, I don't watch alot of TV or movies, so I'm not familiar with all the hottie actors out there. But thanks for the eye candy in your blog!

kristan higgins said...

Mommy likes! Thank you, Kylie!

KylieBrant said...

No problem, Kris :) They aren't hard on the eyes, are they???

Kristan, you probably already have a whole file of the eye candy. I remember the firemen story!

Anonymous said...

How about John Abraham for a hottie:

He'd look good with an eye patch.