One of my favorite aspects of starting a new writing project is creating the cast – their darkest fears, greatest strengths, and quirks of character. I usually start with basic archetypes and how that person is going to be perceived upon first impression. I drew inspiration for Zack Goldman, the hero in COME HELL OR HIGH DESIRE, from three men in my life whom I love the most.
Upon first impression, I imagine people would perceive Zack as something of an enigma. He has this sexy, reserved, don’t-miss-a-thing aura that leaves people slightly off kilter. He’s not unfriendly, but you get the impression that you shouldn’t ask him any personal questions. A large dose of this edginess was inspired by my brother who is never not thinking, sometimes moody, and always fearless.
Once Zack starts to feel comfortable with you, he will start to show you the side of himself that was inspired by my first love, my dad. Optimistic and hardworking despite setbacks with a down-in-the-trenches humble nature, my father has always been my rock-steady supporter. Whenever I’ve needed him – even when I didn’t know I did – he’s been there. He’s got a heart as wide and fathomless as the sea if you’re in his circle. Same with Zack.
And finally, I modeled Zack’s calm and protective nature from my husband. I don’t know too many other people who can remain as unruffled as him in the face of high drama or emergencies. He has been a soothing force in my life for more than fourteen years now, and I am so grateful. The whole protective alpha thing blends with this to create an environment that beautifully balances out my creative, non-linear writerly spaztikness (yes, that is a word! lol), so of course, I had to infuse Zack with the same qualities.
What are some of your favorite qualities in the heroes you read?