As a reader, I like to try and visialuze what the characters of a novel look like as the author intended. On rare occasions, the author will actually provide illustrations as a guideposts for the readers. On even rarer occasions, popular novels will get made into movies or television series, and then a professional casting agency will actually look for actors that resemble the illustrations. A terrific example would be this comparison from George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels versus HBO’s adaptation “Game of Thrones”:
As a writer, I visualize what my characters look like as I write about them, usually inspired by various celebrities, knowing that readers will interpret any descriptions. So, I would like to provide the sources I used for some of the characters in my novel…..
* André “the Giant” René Roussimoff
* Note: “Roussimoff was arrested by the Linn County, Iowa, sheriff in 1989 and charged with assault after he allegedly roughed up a local television cameraman.”– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_the_Giant
* Sally Field
* Note: Not only did she age well, and she could play a Southern Belle with aplomb, but most significantly she played Elsie Ethrington, aka Sister Bertrille, on the ABC sitcom “The Flying Nun” from 1967–1970!
Senator Vivienne Vissac – District 39 (Iowa City):
* Sharon Stone
* Note: I was totally mesmerized by her performance as Catherine Tramell in “Basic Instinct” (1992) and “Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction” (2006). Read “A Love Letter to Catherine Trammel of ‘Basic Instinct’”
Colonel Jameer Howard, 104th Cavalry Regiment:
* Wesley Snipes
* Note: “Characters in his films, usually his own characters, frequently quote the literary classic ‘The Art of War’, written by Sun Tzu around 500 B.C.E., which is widely regarded as the single best resource for training military special forces groups worldwide.” – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000648/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm
* William Zabka
* Note: “He was not at all experienced in martial arts prior to the filming of The Karate Kid (1984). He was actually an accomplished wrestler. However, in the years since, he has earned a black belt in Tang Soo Do.” – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0951420/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm
Of course, I wrote the novel between 2000 and 2010, so the references pre-date the period somewhat. If I was writing it now, I would use a different roster of celebrities, such as…
Food for thought.