Sunday, December 28, 2014

12 Smart & Savvy Days of Christmas - Day 5 - Guest Post from Cora Cade

Hello, hello! Welcome to Day 5. Today I've got Cora Cade stopping by to talk about how she creates her characters and if she models them after real life people. Welcome Cora!

Day 1 |Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8


While I was prepping for this 12 Smart & Savvy Days of Christmas, I posed questions and topics to friends and readers, and someone asked me, "Do you model characters after real people?"

Ah, Dear Reader, this is a difficult question and the answer is multi-layered.   Basically, yes and no.

For instance our hero in MORNING LIGHT is Noah Harper, a former Army Ranger recently returned from active duty.  We know the type, clean cut military man- just how I like my heroes.  Isn't that kind of vague for a hero though?  Why, yes, it is.   

Off to Google.  And then I found him.  Our Noah.  I copied and pasted the picture into my character profile for him and Noah was physically built from an older photo of Chris Hemsworth, before he grew his hair out and bulked up for Thor.

Still of Red Dawn from FilmDistrict/UA Pictures
This image is a still from the film Red Dawn and pretty much sums up how I visualized our hero Noah.  Slightly rugged, but clean cut, with a killer smile.  In a round-about-way Noah is based on a real person, physically anyway.  The rest of Noah is pure imagination.  A wounded warrior with a gentle soul wrapped in a layer of military bravado.

But, I don't think this is the kind of answer my friend was looking for.  Physically basing a character off of a famous person or model  is pretty common and lots of writers acknowledge who their muse is publicly.  I think we all want to know if a writer uses the people in their lives as fodder for character development.

And, to some degree, I do.  I have never sat down and said, "Self, let's use our BFF in this book."  Or some variation of that weird internal conversation.  Sometimes little things can sneak in to your character, just simply because it fits with the character you've created.    It's usually so subtle you don't recognize it, but it's pulled from an experience, a conversation, or a moment in time that you shared with someone in your life.  So far no one has called me out on it, so I'm sticking with it's just subtle enough that even they don't notice!

For a chance to win a great custom tote bag, please leave a comment telling us what celebrity/stud/man candy you'd like to see as inspiration in a book!  And it's quite possible I might toss in a free ebook of Morning Light as well!

You can find me on Facebook at:  or you can check out my website at:


To enter the giveaway, answer Cora's question above and one lucky commenter will be chosen.

Note: All winners will be announced on January 6th.


  1. I think you hit it on the head with Chris Hemsworth. However some other good choices are: Chris Evans, Hugh Jackman, Robert Downey Jr., and Chris Pine

  2. I want a slightly nerdy Ryan Gosling!

  3. I would love to see a romance with masrk Harmon in it. I am enjoying some of the romances that have have middle aged couples in it.

  4. Hmmmm, Gerard Butler, Hugh Jackman and yep, Mark Harmon. Love Robert Downey Jr. too. Oh and better throw in David Tennant.

  5. I would like to add Jason Statham to Diane9596's list. Can't go wrong with any of them.

  6. Robert Downey Jr, Ian Somerhalder, Kit Harington, Alexander Skarsgård....all good choices. ;)

  7. I love how many times I've seen RDJ listed! He's my boyfriend and he totally needs his own book. I'm also a huge Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Pratt, and Duane Johnson fan. I actually used Duane Johnson as my muse for my hero in book two of the series. So, I'm slowly making my way through my list of hotties.

    Thanks for having me, Stephanie! Always so much fun to stop by your blog!

    1. Oooh. I like Tom Hiddleston too. :) RDJ will *always* be my boyfriend, though he doesn't know it. :)

  8. Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead).
    He's got that killer Brit accent too!

  9. James lAfferty and Chad Michael Murphy. Sorry if this posts twice my iPad keeps freezing up

  10. I am a huge fan of David Boreanaz, so I'd love to see him as a the man candy muse for a character. Oh my, yum!

  11. Adam Levine would make a good inspiration character.