If you've read Gideon's Dawn, then by now you are very familiar with the lead character, Gideon Dawning. And, most likely, you don't like him very much. Lord knows I didn't at first either. (He has actually grown on me quite a bit since his shattered beginnings at the university.) But even though you've come to know him over the course of the novel, and hopefully have come to have a sincere, if tentative, affection for the guy, one thing I continue to wonder about is the way he shows up in the video screen of your mind. I mean, just what does he look like to you? And does it come close to matching the image in my own head?
I know I describe his physical traits numerous times throughout the story--average build, close to 6 feet tall, blue eyes, and the infamous jet black curly hair. But that could fit a lot of people out there. I'm fascinated by the mystery of what shows up in your head.
I'll tell you a secret. When I'm researching a character for a book, I search online and other places for photos of people that capture for me the traits of the character. I don't actually look for the exact image of what the character looks like. Rather (and I confess a little oddly) I look for the image of an actor who comes close...i.e. who could physically play the character in a movie. Not exact, but close enough. The actor I chose for Gideon was Joaquin Phoenix (the guy in the photo).
I'm concerned about telling you this. I'm concerned it might completely blow the image of Gideon that lives inside your head. If so, I apologize--and please, stick with your own picture of him! That's the truer image. But I just thought it would be an interesting tidbit to share. What do you think?
By the way, I have actors chosen for all the major roles in the novel. Here, I'll throw out another, just for kicks. One of the actors I've chosen is Janeane Garofalo. No kidding. Now which character do you think I chose her to play?