My long-time mental image of my Shahkara sidekick (read: your average rich-but-tormented boy next-door) splintered into pieces and was sucked into the Bermuda Triangle. How can you compete with the Greek-god magnificence of a young David Boreanaz? I mean, Bones‘ Special Agent Seeley Booth is more than a tad too old to play my Max, but now I’m remembering him as Angel…
It’s the wind-down to our monthly What If meeting. We’ve laughed and gossiped over pizza, even critiqued a few stories. The moon’s perched high in the dark sky and it’s time for them to head home. Still, they remain chatting on my doorstep, reluctant to return to normalcy after another delicious night of spec fic. Our discussion of all things dark and fascinating bubbles over like a witch’s cauldron – and my ego feeds on the delight of Reece suggesting that my lead character is as hot as David Boreanaz.
“You mean, Boreanaz 15 years ago?” I clarify. When he was the brooding Angel, tortured vamp with a soul? Seeley Booth is still too sexy for his own good but – finally inching towards middle age and sporting a haircut that, well, really, doesn’t do a Greek God justice – he doesn’t exactly encapsulate my Max, two weeks’ shy of eighteen in the opening pages of Shahkara.
“Yeah.” Reece nods his head. “When he was younger.” It’s not surprising that Reece, our resident weapons/army/martial arts geek latched on to the image of DB. After all, he’s an avid fan of Bones and Castle and believes Nathan Fillion rocks (my hubby agrees). I rather like the idea of Max looking as hot as David Boreanaz (if he were eighteen again). When one thinks about it, there are pinches of geek inside Seeley Booth, even though he disparages “the squints” on Bones.
Reece’s comment led us to thinking about the people in our books and who they look like in relation to actors, other story characters and people from our own lives. When I create heroes and villains, it’s their personalities and the power of their stories that come alive in my head, not their physical descriptions. I don’t think any of my characters are any one person in particular, but reflect aspects of myself and my family and friends – as well as traits from every loosely-imagined villain and monster that I hid under the sheets from as a child.
Pretty much all my heroes have a little bit of the geek in them, probably inspired by My Muse (and very geeky husband), Shane. Geeks make gorgeous heroes and are highly undervalued and under-rated. After all, who doesn’t love Big Bang‘s Johnny Galecki as he lounges in bed, bare chested and no spectacles? Much to William Shatner’s surprise, Leonard Nimoy became a heart-throb to female fans everywhere after he journeyed through frontiers where no man had gone before, and are we really as compelled by MacGyver when Michael Shanks is on the same Stargate screen?
My hero Max doesn’t realise his compelling story. Taunted by his father and plagued by his mother’s and brother’s deaths, Max is as lost as Angel when his story begins. His dreams are dead and he no longer wishes to exist – until one incredible woman changes his life.
An exiled princess on the verge of womanhood, Shahkara is smart and sassy. She wields a sword as well as any warrior and she can rip out a demon’s heart faster than you can order take-away. And despite her dark brunette looks and no cheer leaders in sight, Shahkara reflects many of Buffy’s greater qualities. They both share similar dreams, longings, fears and courage.They are both compelled to save lives and save the world – through slaying yet another demon or dark god.
Shahkara and Buffy both want that normal life they were promised at birth but there will always be another quest or apocalypse. Shahkara is now on the quest to end all quests. She needs to destroy the heart-thirsty Taloners once and for all – and it will take all her strength, all her smarts and all her training to achieve it.
Fortunately, if a hunky, smart earth boy on the side can help her achieve that goal (without him ending up a corpse), then it will be a very good way to end the day. David Boreanaz, eat your heart out.