Real People Behind Characters? By Constance Phillips
Since Fairyproof’s release last week, I’ve been asked if any of the characters are based on real people. I can understand why someone would think that a writer would draw on the people around them, but the real truth of the matter is that each individual character carries traits of several people I know, and other traits of people I’ve only just met.
For example, let me talk about my heroine Monique. Obviously, I’ve never met someone who is really magical, or fairy, but I have met people who are dynamic. I’ve encountered people who have tried to get me to see their point of view with a wink and smile. In the beginning of the book, Monique is in a desperate situation, using what she thinks, at the time, are her best assets. To construct that character I had to think about the people I have known or met that had that kind of confidence. I then gave Monique bits and pieces from the handful of influences.
But sometime having those reference points isn’t enough for me. When I get really stuck as to how a character is going to act in a given situation or react to something that has happened to them, it’s usually because I don’t have a clear picture in my mind. The solution to that problem is just what you might think. I sit down with a stack of old magazines or start perusing stock photography sites until the blurry image in my mind comes into focus.
I had this happen while writing Fairyproof too. Early in the book, Keiran – Monique’s brother – appears to be colder than his sister. More calculated too. Because I spent the first part of the book writing him as guarded, I was having a hard time connecting with what was underneath. I also knew if I didn’t figure out a way to do that, my reader certainly would have trouble connecting too. It was only when I came up with picture shown here that I was able to imagine what he was really like…what the reader sees as the story develops.
So, while I may not have based any of the characters of any particular person, each one is a conglomerate of the people I know and those I’ve met and sprinkle in some images with my imagination.
Author Bio:Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, two ready-to-leave-the-nest children, and four canine kids. Her perfect fantasy vacation would involve hunting Dracula across Europe with her daughter, who also digs that kind of stuff. When she's not writing about fairies, shifters, vamps, and guardian angels, she's working side-by-side with her husband in their hardwood flooring business.
Constance is actively involved in her local Romance Writers of America chapter (MVRWA) and the Southeast Michigan chapter of the United States Pony Club. When not writing or enjoying the outdoors, she loves reality television or can be found at a Rick Springfield concert (just look for the pink Converse high tops).
Constance blogs regularly at . You can also follow her on or friend her on .