I've been thinking about this lately. How many authors "cast" the characters in their books? By that I mean some writers choose celebrities, or people they know, who they can visualize as they write their stories.
For KNIGHT'S CURSE, I first had an image of Katie Holmes as my heroine Chalice until I found out how tall she is. Uh, no, not going to work. Chalice is a petite 5'2", and Katie is a statuesque 5'9". She always looked shorter to me than that in the movies. Anyway, it was her dark, child-like features that could turn sexy in a heartbeat that made her ideal for my heroine. So I picked someone else just as perfect, though she's not an actress. She's the lead singer in the band Evanescence and her name is Amy Lee. In fact, she's even more perfect than Katie. That's who I see as I write Chalice's character.
My villain never resembled anyone I'd seen before. Still, I could picture him perfectly: older man, sophisticated, pale and silver-haired, tall and virile for his age, his visage bland and the man himself as cruel as they come. He was totally made up in my mind, but I could draw him if I had to. Like describe him to a police artist. Then one of my critique partners said that when she reads about him, she sees a demented David Niven. Aha! Perfect! Now I see a demented David Niven, too.
I have a secondary character that is villainous in her own right. She's a rather large gal whose name is Zeppelin, but everyone calls her Zee. I sort of picture her as the character Edna Turnblad in the movie Hairspray who's played by John Travolta, only with a big beehive hairdo. Ha!
I haven't seen anyone I recognize as my hero, Aydin. He has some unique features, which could be why. He's Turkish with Asian eyes that are the color of frozen jade. If you know of someone who looks like that, please let me know and direct me to his picture. 8^)
It's funny where we draw our inspiration. So the question is, who are in the cast of characters for your book? Celebrity or family relative? The neighbor down the street or your best friend's brother? That nasty clerk at the hardware store or the snooty teller at the bank? Or just totally made from the clay of your own imagination?