Today I'm extremely pleased to have author Augusta Blythe take over the blog to talk to us a little bit about the characters from her young adult urban fantasy novels Winterborne and Ravenstoke. Welcome to Supernatural Snark Augusta!
On Plundering and Pillaging Other People or, in Simpler Terms, Character Inspiration
A friend recently emailed me after reading my latest book, Ravenstoke–“I can't help but play the who-is-this-character-based-on game." That comment definitely got me thinking about my characters from her perspective. She obviously saw some familiar folks lurking in the shadows of my characters. There was only one character I could think of that was a thinly veiled version of a person in my life. The character of Gran in Winterborne (Ravenstoke’s predecessor) was based on my own grandmother, who died in 2003. (As an aside, some reviews of Winterborne referenced the horrible and verbally abusive Gran and it made me laugh. Although the real Gran was quick with a tongue-lashing, her remarks were more entertaining than abusive.)
Well, Gran doesn’t make it into Ravenstoke so had I sucked the souls of people I know without realizing it? For the most part, Loie and Mia are their own people. There’s a little bit of me sprinkled into both characters. Otherwise, Loie is, in Winterborne anyway, a composite of all those awesome girls in the world with inexplicable self-esteem issues. The ones you want to throttle for not seeing how wonderful they are. New guy Cian was inspired by a blend of Darren Criss (Blaine from Glee), Flynn Rider from Tangled (sorry, but I have a 4-year-old daughter and I watch that movie a lot), and Hugh Grant’s smarmy character in the film version of Bridget’s Jones’s Diary. The character of Pippa (not Middleton) was inspired by a woman I read about in a home and garden magazine. And no, the actual woman did not keep a stockade of weapons in her secret cellar…that I know of. As for Mr. Winterborne, in one of the books I make reference to Orson Welles and that’s a true reflection of the inspiration. I picture him as this room-filling man, in spirit as much as size. His personality sucks all the energy out of the room and he feeds on it. He’s like a black hole. Secondary character Bethany Bright has a bit of Rachel from Glee in her, but without the Broadway aspirations and definitely without Lea Michele’s amazing voice.
That’s about it for plundering, pillaging, and inspiration. All the other characters are their own people. I guess I could ask my friend whom she had in mind, but I think her question is really a reflection of how and why we read in the first place. We like to get lost in a story, sure, but we also like to identify with or relate to one or more of the characters. As a result, we may see ourselves or other people we know in those characters and that’s simply the beauty of books.
Thanks so much for stopping by Augusta! More information on Augusta, Winterborne, and Ravenstoke can be found here:
In Winterborne, Loie and Mia's seventeenth birthdays brought more drama and surprises than they ever expected. Now, in Ravenstoke, they are adjusting to the aftermath and struggling to keep those newfound powers in check. When Andreas is called away to England under mysterious circumstances, a new guy is sent to Salcey Ridge in his place. Cian is smarmy and cocksure and Loie wants nothing more than to unleash a hellhound on him. Unfortunately, Cian isn't the only complication in their lives as the girls must also contend with the reappearance of Mr. Winterborne himself and Loie's most dreaded fear of all - a part in the school musical. Can the girls survive the rest of junior year unscathed?