I learned from my friend, Carol Carpentier, author of the wonderful family saga, the Who’s To Say Trilogy, that it can be a great help to use photos of real people to look at when writing a character. Carol sent me a folder of photos of her main characters, of the locations in the book, and the horses that are part of the story, and they became an inseparable part of my mental imagery of her story.
I had already completed my first drafts of Evolution Device before I set up my own photo collection. I had a good time hunting for photos of models and actors who had the looks I had in mind. I’m sharing them here, just for kicks.
Eddie Edmunds is who the book is about. He’s the founder and lead guitarist of the band Evolution Device. Eddie’s mother is Apache, his father English. I looked for someone with an exotic look and found actor Willy Cartier. He looks very French in some of his photos (because he is French) but in this photo he’s definitely Eddie. Yeah, I know he doesn’t look like the Eddie on the book cover, but I hadn’t found Willy yet when I did that artwork.
Lilith Torres, Eddie’s muse, looks like Eddie because she is part of Eddie. She was purely non-physical for all his life — until the opening scene of Evolution Device when Eddie’s magical call causes her to manifest into a physical body. I used FaceApp on a photo of Willy to create an image I thought could be Lily.
When I first wrote about Evolution Device’s vocalist, Suzy Savoy, I saw her as tall, skinny, not gorgeous, and with lots of carrot-colored hair. She kept flickering from that mental image to someone shorter and chunkier, because I heard Suzy with Janis Joplin’s voice. The day I went hunting for a photo of Suzy I firmly put Janis out of my mind and found Masha Radkovskaya, who is a Ukrainian model. Masha is a chameleon — quite beautiful but able to make herself seem plain for the camera. Suzy is like Masha that way. Suzy might be a person you wouldn’t look at twice walking down the street but when she’s onstage and begins to sing she is stunning. (Apologies to Masha for my colorization of her hair).
Gene Prideux, the band’s rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist, was born and raised on a French-influenced Caribbean island before relocating to London. He’s gorgeous, sexy, and his lovely accent is icing on the cake. He is also vain and egotistical. He sees himself as England’s own Jimi Hendrix. I found the perfect Gene in model Yassine Rahal, who is Moroccan in origin and who I’m sure is in no way vain or egotistical. I love that photo even though it’s not in color. It’s so Gene.
Bassist Laurel MacRae is a short, skinny, and black-haired Scot. I liked this professional model for Laurel, but unfortunately I couldn’t discover her name. She looks like a practical, serious person who doesn’t mess around when she knows what she wants, though, and that is definitely Laurel. The model is a brunette, but I used FaceApp to give her Laurel’s black hair. FaceApp doesn’t change eyebrow color, so I had to do that myself. Don’t look too closely.
Erik Amundsen was easy: Taylor Hawkins is one of my favorite drummers. Actually, John Bonham’s my favorite, but Bonzo is a brooding kind of guy whereas my Erik is happier — mostly because of Laurel.
But that’s another story.
I don’t like George Westfall, so I decided he looks like Ed Sheeran. I don’t like Ed Sheeran either, so I’m not posting his photo here. Hey, it’s my book and my blog, I can do what I want.