When characters come to life
We have the super fabulous YA author Mindi Scott with us today and she is talking about main character Coley in Live Through This and her real life doppelganger – and the fly video that features them both.
There have been four times in my life when I’ve encountered strangers whose faces I instantly recognized from my own imagination. Four times when characters I’ve created have appeared three-dimensionally in front of me.
Of course, I know that they aren’t actually my characters. But seeing these real people who so closely resemble them is always an exciting experience, nonetheless.
The first time it happened was when I was querying my (unpublished) YA novel, Faded As My Jeans.
“Bobby,” the love interest in that novel, waited beside me at a bus stop in downtown Seattle. The second time was when “Cat” (the protagonist in another of my manuscripts, Meow Sisters) sat across from me on the bus while we rode to Seattle Center. Then, just a few weeks after I started writing Freefall (my first published novel), the narrator, “Seth,” showed up for my commute home one day.
With these first three, we had our bus rides, and then I never saw them again. (And clearly, buses are magical places where my characters like to hang out!)
In the fall of 2011, it happened differently. I spotted “Coley” (the main character in Live Through This) on the sidelines at a high school football game. My character is on the dance team and this girl was a cheerleader. Whenever I saw her at the games that season, I was struck each time by the resemblance. Her smile, the way she moved. Everything about her appearance was exactly how I’d imagined Coley.
Now, fast forward to Summer 2012. My husband wanted to put together a book trailer for Live Through This. So, based upon the description of my main character and the cover art on the book, someone whom my husband met at his work recommended a friend to model as Coley. Imagine my shock when the model turned out to be the cheerleader from last year’s football games!
We did end up making the video, which was a lot of fun. Even now, I still can’t believe that it worked out the way it did. I mean, really! The one girl who would have been my first choice to play Coley happened to be the very same girl who volunteered.
Here’s that fly book trailer with “Coley”