Q : “The Power Vested in Me Trilogy” tells the story of five teenagers, Can you please tell us how you go about creating your characters ?
They are mostly based on people I know or have known. But sometimes I see someone on a train or in a shop and there is just something about them that makes me think, ‘I’m having that for a character’. One of the characters in this book is physically based on someone whose story inspired that story. It’s sort of a tribute to them. The character of Jan in the land of Aries is also a tribute to someone.
Q : How do you select the names of your characters ?
Some names I spend a lot of time selecting, Heidi’s name came from my school friend Heidi. The surnames Maclean and Harris came from people I used to work with. Pippa was from my favourite doll as a little girl because she was pocket sized and Pippa is little. I have asked some people to name characters for me, one person gave a character a first name but declined the offer of the full name so I just picked the first surname I saw when I went into Facebook and it seems to fit very well. My boss Rich has picked a cool surname for two brothers in the next book. Stuarts parrot was named by my friend Naomi after her motorbike and my friend Vanessa has named a character in my next book and the name she has picked caused me to change an entire storyline (which was a good thing).
Q : Who is your favourite character in the book, why and who are they based on ?
I don’t know if favourite is the right the word because I can’t stand him, but I probably have to say Farmer Bull. He is the Scorpio (who you’ll meet in part 2) opposite sign and Nemesis, so I had to carefully construct him to get him just right. For authenticity his personality is actually based on 3 Taureans (2 men and 1 woman). About 80% of one 15% of the other and 5% of the last (the latter was in fact just being photographed for charitable things and calling everyone bro). The first 2 however greatly wronged my family and ridiculing them in print has been very cathartic. But to be absolutely honest I knew all three of them 10-20 years ago, so before social media became so popular so the ‘King of the selfie’ title is a bit of poetic licence but I’m certain it is how they behave now.
Physically Farmer Bull he is based on 2 celebrities, one is ginger (and I’d never heard of this man before). When they saw the pic of Bull someone asked if it was Anthony Worrall Thompson but it definitely isn’t. I have to say that although the real Farmer Bull’s ‘misses’ doesn’t look anything at all like Raven I would happily describe her as a witch lol.
Q : Are some male characters based on women and some female characters based on men ?
Yes definitely. I keep telling people don’t assume all the male characters are based on men or the female ones on women. I just take aspects of people’s personality, but I find people are quite superficial and try and recognize characters from a physical description. None of the characters look like the people they’re based on for example the real life Starkey doesn’t have short spiky white hair, wear black clothes and a long overcoat, and the real life Cameron doesn’t have short blonde hair etc.
Q : Are you worried people will recognize themselves or other people in the books.
If it’s a good character, great and if it’s a nasty one then people seldom see themselves as other’s do and love is blind so someone is unlikely to recognize a loved one in a seriously flawed character, and if they do I can’t imagine they would tell them or anyone else. Some people have thought a character is based on them or someone else when they’re not at all which I find quite funny. Only one character has been recognized and lots of people identified this person so I must have got them spot on.
Q : You say there are lots of hidden clues in the book, can you give us a clue to some.
Mrs Smat story is full of clues, and Farmer Bull’s T-shirt is a clue too (I may regret saying that).