Monday, July 20, 2015

My New Characters

I've been working ferociously on the new detective series (one story finished, two more started). It's been grueling because I'd like to get all of them written before the summer ends. Yeah, I'm a little crazy that way. (I also need to work on the new Regency series, but the new characters won't leave me alone.)

Anyway, I needed a break and decided to get some images for my characters. I'm a "visual" writer, meaning I can't write a character unless I have a picture of them in my head, and in my hard drive. I had several people in mind for the characters, but then I found two that are spot on.

Ed Harris
Meet Detective-Lieutenant Thomas Locke. He's tough, tender, has a loving relationship with his parents, has no baggage (except an old dog), and is polite, smart, funny, and sympathetic to the plight of the heroine's past issues. He's like the perfect man. Almost. He does have a few flaws, most notably his distaste for dressing in anything other than Levis and flannel shirts, and a propensity for making of fun of people who don't.

Dyan Cannon
And his sidekick, Mallory Pope. She's a stoner, hippie, has-been, who used to be a famous astrologer and psychic. She has a devastating past and severe physical limitations, which only lends to the anxiety Thomas has in working with her. He does like her, and she likes him, which leads to them both acting like they're 14 years old. It's kind of funny.

I'm having a blast writing this series, mostly because I get to go "home" again. I Google map Rhode Island and hit "street view" so I can get the feel of the place. I'm totally homesick these days because it's July and I'm not at the beach. I have some money saved up (for Monster's tuition) and it's eating at me because I could just as easily spend it on plane tickets and hotel/car reservations. What to do, what to do...

The beach where I used to live. 

Tell me -- Are you a "visual" writer? Do you have pictures of the people you want your characters to be? Do you wish you could go home again?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015


Author R. Mac Wheeler said...


Can't say I am. I struggle to go back during edit to add description. I'm more about what's in the character's head, and action.

I read yours today.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I do like to visualize what my characters look like. That's about as visual as I get. I don't post pictures of my characters, though. Mainly because I have nowhere to post them. Haha! As for going home... That would be Santa Barbara. Yeah, I miss the city. I miss the beach. But my kids are here in Ohio, so Ohio I will stay. Besides, it's WAY cheaper to live here anyway. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Considering I'm an artist, you'd think I'd use visuals of the people I write about, but ironically, I don't.

I think more about character traits than physical appearance. Their appearance comes a lot later.

re: home
Home is Chicago. Sometimes I miss the excitement of the city...and then I think of the traffic. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

No desire to go home again. I like spending a few days at the beach each year but I couldn't live there. Too much sand and wind. Glad the writing is going so well.
Susan Says

Anne Gallagher said...

Mac -- Yeah, I struggle in edit to add description too. However, it helps if I know who I'm describing.I figure if I have a picture, the hair won't change from blonde to black, and the eyes will remain green. You know.

Stacey -- Santa Barbara sounds nice. A place I'd like to visit someday. But you're right, it's cheaper living on this side of the Rockies.

Maria -- It's funny...when I have a picture of my character, I hardly "write" about their appearance. Which put off my CPs no end when I was in the middle of my Regency series. They wanted to know what my characters looked like. Like you and Mac, I'm more about character traits and their actions. I went to Chicago once.

Susan -- I don't know what I'd do without the beach. Truthfully, I'm not sure I actually want to "live" there anymore. I'm plagued with arthritis all over my body and in the winter I just shrivel up, but I'd love to be able to spend a month back home in the summer. Just knowing the beach is 40 minutes and not 4 hours away makes me happy.

dolorah said...

Oh my; a story for us mature readers. I'm already intrigued. Ed Harris will make a great muse for your hero, just love his leathery looks. Wearing jeans and flannel shirts is a flaw? Nah, character building clothes :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Donna -- Yeah, I'm at the age now where writing about debutantes and dandies isn't doing it for me anymore. I need to write about people my own age. Boomer babies. And yeah, Ed Harris. Yum.

Liza said...

This series sounds like a blast! Please promise me I can read! Especially so I can imagine Ed Harris while I'm doing so. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Liza -- Expect an email shortly.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi Anne. I haven't been around for awhile. Detective stories! Wow. You can't miss with Ed Harris in the mix. :)
I understand you missing the ocean. I no longer live in walking distance and miss breathing salty air and stumbling out barefoot on the sand whenever. But I can drive not too far to Puget Sound, and I have magnificent trees all around.

Anne Gallagher said...

Tricia -- Hey, it's good to see you. Thanks for stopping by. And yeah, Ed Harris is just about perfect. Oh yeah, the ocean is something I'll never get over not having around. Someday when I'm rich I'll find another house on the beach. It wouldn't be bad here if the water wasn't four hours away. It's just too long of a drive for a day trip.

Laurel Garver said...

It really does help to have pictures to work from for characters. I can much more easily describe their expressions and reactions when I have them really cemented in my imagination. I tend to find them in odd places, like clothing catalogs and decorating magazines, rather than TV/film (actors).

Your characters sound delightful. Good for you diving into a new genre!

Anne Gallagher said...

Laurel -- Your process is why I use pictures. If I know EXACTLY what they look like, it's easier to describe their actions. As for the new genre, it's a bit of a big step. I thought it would be easy, minimal research, contemporary language -- ha! I'm almost thinking it's even harder.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Your new series sounds intriguing.

No, I don't need a visual when I'm writing. The only character I ever really imagined as looking like someone was Pearl... and when I started writing the book, I imagined her looking like Jane Fonda. By the time I finished, Jane was a little too old for the role. HA!

I miss Baltimore at times, but I don't have any hankering to go back. Most of the people we cared about who lived there are dead now, so being there just wouldn't be the same.

Anne Gallagher said...

Susan -- I think Jane Fonda would have made a perfect Pearl. That's the beauty of my visuals -- I always find pictures of them when they were younger, or if I saw them in a particular movie. That way they can't age.