Spark: Character Inspiration & More

September 2, 2013

Spark is story about Hugo Thorson and Kevin Magnus at two different times in their lives: their teens and their mid-thirties. Gladly, I no longer look like I did when I was sixteen, because it was the eighties and I permed my hair, wore more makeup than was good for me, and thought shoulder pads were still cool. At least Hugo and Kevin were teens in the nineties and missed out on mullets, but that did leave me with the opportunity to find two very different looks for both of my main characters.

I had a lot of different faces representing Hugo and Kevin at different stages, and I also had a lot of hairstyles as well. Kevin had longer hair in his youth; Hugo had shorter. As adults, they switched. I knew the overall look I was going for with both of my characters, even if I couldn’t always find the exact face to fit. I’d like to share a few with you here.

Hugo has blue eyes, pale skin, and dark hair that is almost blue-black. As an adult, he has very defined cheekbones, and the model, Miles McMillan really became Hugo to me. While Miles has hazel eyes, in my head I always made them blue.

I described Kevin as an all-American golden boy. And while his long hair in his youth made him look more rebellious than he ever was, his father hated that image. Kevin secretly loved that his father hated his longer hair, but as you can see by the photo on the right, he cut his blond waves off as he matured into adulthood.

I could look at photos of these men for a very long time and not tire of it, but I realize some people may not quite get the Hugo in my head being represented by these photos. The joy of reading a book is that we get to create our own dream man, so if the images that inspired me to write don’t work for you, make your own. I’d love to see those images, in fact.

I also made very good use of my Pinterest boards to keep track of other images I wrote about in Spark. I have locations, items used by characters, food, dishes, and even images that just give the feel of a scene or two.

Since I live within driving distance of most of the locations in Spark, I was able to take several day trips and photograph important places. I used some of those photos of where Hugo and Kevin lived as teens to help create a video while I read an excerpt. If you’d like, go here to see it. I know the production value has a lot to be desired.

Here’s another little taste of Hugo’s impression of Kevin that takes place right after the reading in the video. You can read Chapter 1 here.

Kevin’s hair was much shorter than it had been when they first met, now cropped along the sides and back with thick, long strands pushed back off his forehead. It was still the same golden-blond that had attracted Hugo so many years ago when they introduced themselves on Kevin’s first day working at Hormel. When Kevin had stepped into the room where a nearly sixteen-year-old Hugo was just starting to hand-wash the delicate blown-glass vessels used in research and taste testing, Hugo almost broke a large beaker which probably cost more than he made in a week.

Nineteen years prior, Kevin had silky blond hair just skimming past his shoulders, which he had pulled back to look more office appropriate, but wispy bangs escaped the binding, framing his eyes and dark-blond brows. His eyes were gray and piercing, ringed in blue so dark it looked like the color of the sky at dusk right before it turned black. He was beautiful, but not classically so. His lips were too full for a man’s face, too full for him to not be called pretty, at least. But his long nose, high cheekbones, and strong jaw gave his face masculinity, even if all those distinctive lines did were draw Hugo’s focus right back to those pink, parted lips.

Question time: In your youth did you have a regrettable hairstyle? I certainly did. Answer and I’ll enter you in a drawing for one of three free eBook copies of Spark.

I can be found a number of other places too. My websiteFacebook, and Twitter. My website has a listing of everywhere else I can be found.

11 Responses to “Spark: Character Inspiration & More”

  1. Judi P says:

    This book sounds so good!
    Thank you so much for the giveaway, please count me in~
    and oh yeah~ I most certainly did have a regrettable hair style… I had really short hair, above my shoulders, with bangs. Honestly… That was the most hideous hair style for me. Didn’t work. Long Hair at all times is the only thing that looks good on me I think. LOL..

  2. Trix says:

    I definitely sported one of those quasi-mullet “bi-level” jobbies a couple of times–sure, I was 8 or 9 and it was the ’80s, but even so…

  3. Posy Roberts says:

    Love it! I had the whole pixie thing going on for several years. I did it after graduate school where I’d gained a bunch of weight. I figured if I couldn’t hide behind my hair then I’d lose the weight. I lost 15 pounds, but I’m starting to think that was just how much my hair weighed now. ;) I gained it all back and now have long hair again. I love the whole ponytail/twist option that I live in.

  4. Posy Roberts says:

    My worst hair ever was int 4th grade. I went into get a spiral perm. I had gorgeous hair that was well past my shoulder. The woman who cut my hair must’ve thought I was 90 instead of 9 because I walked out looking like a great-grandmother.

  5. Jess1 says:

    I kept perming my hair for years which was a lot of trouble to maintain and didn’t look as nice especially when it started to grow out. Now, I wished that I just let it be more natural and straight though my hair didn’t have much body to it.

  6. Posy Roberts says:

    I remember in the 90s when my stylist suggested I go straight again. I was flabbergasted. It took a lot of time to get used to straight hair. A few years ago, my hair started getting wavy all on its own.

  7. Jess1 says:

    It’s funny that I wanted hair with more waves and curls, while other people with wavy hair wanted my straight hair. With wavy hair, you must have more body to it now?

    BTW, I adore the photos for the characters. I’m so bad at picturing characters in my mind.

  8. Posy Roberts says:

    I have waves on the bottom layer and stick straight on top. It’s crazy.

    I often have a picture in my head and then I hunt. I don’t always find a face. For my holiday story, I only know them in my head.

  9. Juliana says:

    It wasn’t technically a hairstyle but I once cut off half of my hair, a whole side of ringlets! My hair also became frizzy during puberty so there are some pretty bad yearbook pictures with me oblivious to how I looked… I wasn’t much fun in high school so the craziest my hair got was when I dyed it an auburn brown shade, I wanted to be a redhead but this was as close as it got. ;)
    PS: Thems be some sexy men in this post!!!

  10. Posy Roberts says:

    Like bald?!? Or just short? I tried to be a redhead too, but I look so bad as one. I look like I need to be admitted to a hospital for a transfusion or something; doesn’t work with my skin tone at all. And I’m very happy to see you think the men are sexy. I sure do!

  11. Juliana says:

    Haha, it wasn’t very consistent, I was little but all the pics show the shortest spot about 2-3 inches from my head. Not even but not bald! My mother just shortened the other side a little & let me be lopsided until it grew out!

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