When I started my NaNo project this year, I had a picture of my hero. Dr. Simon Oliver was a a goofy professor type – a man who studies the paranormal, but was kind of funny and doing prat falls while he rode in on his white horse to save the day. My placeholder? Nathan Fillion. I mean, who doesn’t live Captain Mal/Rick Castle? So I had a plan and a starting point.
But then one day I was driving in the car and there was nothing worth listening to on the radio. Little did I know what an impact crappy radio would have on my current work in progress. I popped in the first CD I could find, which happened to be a mix I recorded eons ago. I’d forgotten what was even on the thing, but soon found out I had a lot of Billy Joel, some Beatles (Blackbird always makes me cry), Blondie, Concrete Blond – my normal eclectic mix of everything from soup to nuts. And then a song came on I hadn’t heard in years. I’d forgotten about it, but the second it came on, I was transfixed. The singer’s voice was smooth as velvet and his face came to me the moment I heard him sing.
Suddenly had a new hero. He wasn’t goofy at all, but this completely implacable guy who could take anything my heroine (the crazy writer Evelyn Grayson – and she’s full of writer crazy) could throw at him with a grin and, eventually, affection.
I hesitate to share my placeholder images with you, because I like the reader to come up with their own picture for my characters. Heck, normally by chapter three, the character has changed in my mind’s eye, anyway. But not this guy. This guy is staying Hal in my head. Not that I know anything about the real Hal; heck, I don’t even own one of his albums. But the face, the voice – it’s all sticking. And the character who formed around him… all I can say is wow.
I like my male characters, don’t get me wrong. Kevin always makes me grin, Max made me want to hug him, David makes me want to go out and watch NewsRadio and Kids In the Hall (I mean who besides me bases a hero off Dave Foley?), but Hal makes me want to fall in love. I am obsessed with this guy, to the point when I think of him, I get a silly grin. Really. Me? An almost 40-something mother of three has totally got a crush. On a fictional character.
So Dr. Simon Oliver/Nathan is no more. As of this morning, my hero has a new name, a new background – hell, he’s a whole new guy. And his name? Hal, of course. Hal Buchanan. For now, anyway. He might change. But his character won’t. He’s as clear as day in my mind’s eye, and good God he’s a sexy Southern gentleman who just happens to chase ghosts for a living.
Oh, and the picture above? My new desktop picture. And yes, I grin silly every time I turn on my computer.
So tell me – ever had a crush on a fictional character?