The Questions that Matter, #3: Where do they come from?

I’m sure that you’ve caught on that I’m doing a new series of entries on our blog.  Here’s a little background, just in case you haven’t.

We had a release party on Facebook for our newest book, The Parliament of Twilight Episode 2 and it was lots of fun!  We didn’t have many attendees (only 10 brave souls, if I’m being honest) but that was probably because I up and decided on Saturday to host an event on Tuesday.  I’d read a marketing article that said events were a great way to reach people with the new Facebook page algorithms making everything all wonky.  So, I thought, why not give it a try?

Anyone who is interested can still go and answer the two poll questions that I’ve posted to gather a bit of info about what to do for the next one.  Remember, Episode 3 will be here before we know it!

One of the things we did at the party was answer questions from readers.  That was so much fun for me!  I loved doing it when we did our blog tour back in 2013 (while we were still baby authors!) and it was just as awesome as I hoped talking to people and answering questions about our process and characters.  I’ve decided that I will post the answers as a series of blog entries over the next week or two.

This one comes from my sister-in-law, Jamie-lyn.  It’s one of those questions that you think authors get all the time, but I can’t remember ever having to answer it.  (Note: once again, this answer is copied directly from Facebook.)

Another question! This one is a good one too.

How do you guys come up with the characters?

For me, at least, it isn’t really like I create any of the characters. It’s more like they just show up with all their shit and take it upon themselves to move in.

Generally, the inspiration for characters come from things we watch or read, but more often than not, the character is an amalgamation of several different inspirations before they ever show up in the stories. But once they have been written, they take on a life of their own, growing past the original idea to become entities in their own rights.

For example, it’s well known in our inner circle of friends that Jacob Kruez’s original inspiration came from Zak Baggins of Ghost Adventures. Nevi and I were watching the pilot episode one night and we started talking about how cool it would be to see a story about an exorcist was wasn’t all serious and stuffy. We wanted to have someone who, like Zak and his friends, was sort of a frat boy ghost hunter. That person became Jacob.

But we weren’t done there. We layered in more and more, drawing on so many things that we loved (like anime and reality TV) until we had a 40-ish addict with a serious attitude problem who hated that he was an exorcist and hated the people he worked for even more. Throw in a contrived, totally fake day job as a TV ghost hunter and now, we had Jacob Kruez. In the telling of his story of redemption and falling in love despite his heavily cynical attitude, he’s grown and is becoming something amazing that no longer looks anything like his original inspiration.

Wow, I can really go on! Hope that answered your question!

That’s one of my favorites from the party.  I really enjoyed the feeling of being a “real author” answering “real author” questions!  It was a surreal feeling of realizing for the first time that I’m all grown up and living the dream I thought was impossible when I was a kid.  So very cool!

Did you have some questions that you never got answered?  Don’t be shy!   You can message me, Dani Hermit, through our Facebook page or via email at with the subject “The Questions that Matter submission” and I will post the answers in our blog!

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