Saturday, March 4, 2017

Where Do My Characters Come From, Part 2

As you may recall, I'm in the midst of a series of posts in which I answer questions that I commonly hear at author events. Last week, I talked about Harry Shalan. This week, it's his better half, Dee.

Dee is much more fictional than Harry. She's not based on anyone in real life, though she is probably very distantly inspired by my ex-wife, who is a redhead and a nurse who has a beautiful singing voice. But that's pretty much where the resemblance ends. While Harry's family is based on mine, Dee's is completely fictional. She has a family history of difficult pregnancies, which is nothing but a fiction for the sake of the story.

Dee is Harry's partner and equal in a lot of ways. He openly admits she's a better shot than he is, at least against paper targets. She's athletic, keeping up with Harry in the gym. She can more than hold her own in hand-to-hand combat, and she's got a quick, deductive mind. And on top of all that, she's a bit of a bombshell. So in that, she's not really inspired by any one true person. When I write her, though, I see Karen Gillan, who played Dr. Who companion Amelia Pond, minus the adorable Scottish accent, of course. If my books were ever made into movies, she would definitely be who I would want to play Dee.

Karen Gillan (
There is one part of Harry and Dee's life that is drawn from real life, at least in part. How they fell in love is inspired by the night I met my now ex-wife in that it is similar in nature, if not in the exact incident itself. Again, I fictionalized the event to fit the flow of the story, but I did hear Andrea before I saw her and fell in love with her voice. But in real life, it was literally the first time I ever saw her. In "Harry and the Redheaded Angel," they had known each other as schoolmates, but were meeting for the first time as adults.

So, while Dee has a tiny kernel of inspiration from real life, she's really just pretty much my dream woman. Does she have flaws? Yes, but they're flaws that come from loving too much. She's high maintenance, but in a good way. Her faith is important to her and so is her family. She's loving, affectionate, kind, drop-dead gorgeous but completely unaware of it, fun-loving, athletic, sexy, and she laughs at Harry's jokes. Who could ask for more? Oh, and did I mention the red hair?

Next week: Jenn Bezaleel Shalan


  1. I have always like Dee. Karen Gillan would be perfect as her.