Jennifer Estep Guest Posts plus Giveaway
While I read a book, I am always in awe of the author. It’s not the first time I tell you guys this and it’s not the last time you’ll hear me say it. One of the things that amazes me about authors is how they can take images from their heads and transfer them to the page, causing us to see exactly what they see. Of course, their ability to bring me into their heads also leads me to asking many questions. One such question is usually why? Why did the author decide to place the story in such a setting? Why did the author decide on that particular name for that character? Why did the author decide to give her heroine brown hair and gray eyes?
I am super excited to have Jennifer Estep here today! She has offered to help shed some light on my latter ‘why’, which is the ‘why’ I ask myself the most often. Take it away Jennifer!
Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Julie for having me on the blog again. Thanks so much, Julie!
So today Julie asked me to write about how I came up with the appearance of my heroine Gin Blanco and the other characters in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series.
With Gin and the other main characters in the series, I thought about how I wanted them to look and how their appearance might tie in with things like their jobs and personalities, especially when it came to Gin, since the books are all from her first-person point of view. As the assassin the Spider, Gin needs to be able to blend in with a crowd, so I decided to give her more neutral coloring – dark brown hair and gray eyes. Plus, I think giving Gin this sort of neutral coloring makes it easier for her to alter her appearance when needed. That’s also why Gin wears jeans and long-sleeve T-shirts most of the time – so she sort of just blends in with the background.
But if Gin is designed to blend in, then Finnegan Lane, her foster brother and partner in crime, is most definitely not. Finn is quite handsome, with his expensive suits, bright green eyes, and walnut-colored hair that he spends an inordinate amount of time on.
So why did I make Finn so handsome? Well, it just fit with what I wanted his character to be – this shameless, greedy womanizer who knows exactly how attractive he is and uses it to his advantage. Plus, I think you need to make your secondary characters a little larger than life so that they are just as memorable as your heroine is. Judging from the e-mail that I get, Finn is just as popular as Gin is – if not more so.
As for the Deveraux sisters, I knew that I wanted to do two sort of opposite characters with them. So that’s why Jo-Jo, the older sister, is more of a genteel Southern lady with her pearls, pink dresses, and perfect blond hair. Meanwhile, Sophia, the younger sister, has black hair and eyes and dresses very Goth. I just thought it would be interesting to have two characters who are sisters and so close to each other be so opposite when it comes to their appearance and their attitudes. Plus, it fits in with the opposite ways that they use their Air elemental magic – Jo-Jo to heal, and Sophia to destroy evidence.
However, I don’t plan out too much what my minor characters will look like, which I think is part of being a panster when it comes to my writing. When I need to add a minor character to a scene, like a bad guy that I know Gin is going to take out in a couple of pages, I usually go with whatever pops into my head at that moment. It’s just the method that works for me, and it allows me to move the story forward – and get Gin ready to face down the next bad guy.
So there you have it – a little bit about my character descriptions and how I come up with them.
What about you guys? How much attention do you pay to a character’s description? What are some of your favorite fantasy characters and books?
Thank you so much Jennifer! I think it makes total sense to give your assassin/heroine a more neutral appearance so she can blend in better. So clever…
Jennifer is offering ONE copy of her newest kick ass book Spider’s Revenge to ONE commenter. All you have to do to enter Jennifer’s giveaway is answer one of her questions in the comment section below and voila! You’re in. You must leave your comment by Monday October 10th 2011 11:59pm EST. Giveaway open Canada/U.S. only.
Thanks once again Jennifer for stopping by and for offering your wonderful book to a lucky guy or gal! You can find Jennifer pretty much everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Website, Goodreads.
And you can see my review of Spider’s Revenge here. I gave it 4.5 stars. It was GREAT!
Good luck to all who enter!