When I was working on characters for The Cowboy’s Summer Love, I had an idea of what these characters looked like.
We knew from the first book in the series, The Cowboy’s Christmas Plan, that Travis Thompson looked like his two brothers. His hair was sandy brown. He was handsome with blue eyes, a square jaw and a strong chin. We knew he stood 6’1″. Due to his military experience as well as his love of the ranch, it was a good assumption that he would be muscular and fit. We also know he takes more after Trey than Trent both in looks and temperament. They can be brooding and quiet or fun-loving and happy.
As I started developing his character, I knew I needed a visual and for whatever reason, when I was searching online, I kept coming back to Channing Tatum.
He makes the absolute most perfect Travis.
From hair color to height to everything, this is exactly how I picture Travis.
Channing has so many different looks and faces, it was easy for me to visualize Travis throughout the book.
Travis’ love interest, Tess, proved to be a bit more of a challenge. In my mind I knew exactly how she should look.
With long dark hair and big brown eyes, she sometimes thinks of herself as plump instead of seeing the beauty in her generous curves. Tess is generally upbeat and friendly with a soft, approachable air about her that draws people in.
Yeah – try and find a picture of that.
One day, I was sorting through junk mail and was tossing a catalog into the garbage when a model caught my eye. Grabbing the catalog out of file 13, I flipped it open.
There was Tess!
Beautiful, soft, sweet with a certain element of kindness and innocence in her face, this was the perfect Tess.
Simply Be is the catalog where I found the photo. A quick trip to their website, and I had an assortment of photos of Tess to browse through and help me visualize scenes throughout the story.
When I got “stuck” in my writing, I would pull up photos of these two and think about what they would be feeling, thinking, saying, doing and it helped get me over the hump and back on track.
If you are a visual person and are working on developing characters, I highly recommend finding some photos that bring to mind your characters. Post them where you can see them when you need some inspiration.