I thought it would be fun to share the visual inspiration I used for the characters in Millie.
Gideon McBride and Millie Matlock are an unlikely pair. She is determined to run every last saloon out of town and Gideon owns one of the most successful saloons in Pendleton.
Yet, the attraction between them is there from the start.
He smelled like the fresh air just before a summer storm, mixed with a hint of something dark and dangerous.
That’s one of Millie’s early impressions of Gideon.
When I started writing the story, I knew Gideon would have hair that shone “like a new copper penny” mostly because the men in the Pendleton Petticoats series have black or brown hair (with the exception of Lars).
I wanted him to be devilishly handsome – so handsome that Millie couldn’t help but give him a second (and maybe a third) look.
And dimples *sigh*… I will admit I have a thing for dimples.
Liam McIntyre was ideal for Gideon’s character. Handsome, charming,
with a hint of rugged appeal…
along with dimples.
From past Pendleton Petticoats stories, we knew Millie managed the telephone office, that she was feisty and determined – but not what she looked like.
I pictured her with dark hair and a pale complexion (just because it’s such a striking contrast).
Here’s what Gideon thought about her after seeing her up close:
Eyes as pale as the winter sky gazed at him, rimmed with lashes every bit as dark as her hair, making him wonder how hard he’d have to work to bring a spark of fire to them.
Grace Phipps made such a perfect Millie. She’s just beautiful.
From the black hair to the pale blue eyes and incredible complexion, she’s exactly how I envisioned Millie.
With that smile, it’s no wonder Gideon was immediately smitten.
Although these aren’t character photos, here are a couple that inspired scenes in the story.
This photo makes me smile (and snicker) every time I see it. These women have done a bang-up job of appearing completely unapproachable in their temperance efforts. This photo provided the inspiration for a scene toward the end of the story. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know the one to which I refer.
And here is an actual Market Day advertisement from the 1908 Pendleton newspaper. Sounds like great fun, doesn’t it?
Those of you who know I listen to music on a loop while I write, I chose a fun song that seemed rather fitting for this story…
Drunk On Your Love by Brett Eldredge
If you haven’t got your copy of Millie yet, you can find her here:
And to those who have already read her and shared your feedback – thank you so, so much!