In order to write believable characters it is always good to have pieces of you, in each character. To people who know me, it is easy to see what parts are me and what parts are contrived. It is good to have characters that vastly differ from one another, gives the story texture. But no one I know is safe really, I’ll take pieces of people I know and incorporate them into characters throughout.
*Each position on the team is associated with a color and a gem stone that is applied to a team’s mascot pin.
Na’tan is the typical controlling personality with a bit of an anxiety disorder. Everyone knows someone like this. Either a parent, a spouse, or sibling that takes on the role of a leader trying to protect everyone and stressing out on “what could happen”. This makes Na’tan a perfect Captain for the Peregrine Falcons.
I guess I do have a bit (LOL) of a controlling attribute but not the anxiety. Na’tan also has a superiority complex, an arrogance that I know I appear to have sometimes. And the feeling that I must always be in control and try to imagine every possible scenario-yeah that’s me.
Na'tan not only has a keen understanding of the smaller parts to a bigger picture, but can see how the bigger picture can influence the universe, which again, makes him an excellent Captain. Over time Na’tan had to learn, and still struggles with, letting go of controlling others. He has a tendency to blame himself if anything goes wrong, and internally beats himself up, until it is almost considered an mental disorder. Thankfully everyone on the team can hear his internal thoughts and can stop him before he goes too far.
Kealin is a girly girl, which I am not. But she is also driven to never being nailed down to anything, which is me to the hilt.
Freedom in all things is beyond important to me, freedom of belief, thoughts, even being tied physically to a place or title.
Yet, Kealin’s avoidance of anything new, is a friend of mine. Kealin will change drastically over the series of the books. Right now, she lacks confidence in everything, especially herself. In her teenage passive aggressive way, she does fight against the concept of being a part of this team because of her trust issues. Again, being forced to be on the Peregrine Falcons goes against her personality, so trusting a group of people and their abilities is currently a bit of a reach for her. But in time, she will come to trust them, and even rely on them. She is also naive and believes that everyone has a loftier goal at heart.
Cornac is that guy that knows he’s gorgeous and has no problem flaunting it and using it to influence people. Everyone knows a guy like this, the hot quarterback, the confident guy who has no problem swaggering into a room full of people, because he thinks everyone in the room either wants to be him or know him. His charisma can be construed as conceit, but let’s face it, guys like that usually get what they want. Cornac and his crude thoughts are without a doubt me. But he enjoys pushing the boundaries and finds life to be amusing. He’s very relaxed and doesn’t stress because he believes life is short. When you gotta go, then it’s time to go, so might as well try everything full throttle until then.
I suppose that is my belief as well. If you don’t try things and push your boundaries then what’s the point of living this life. But I have to say, a part of Cornac is my cat. He knows he's gorgeous, and that he can get whatever he wants with one look.
One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was write for Nicholas. He is considered the most intelligent and manipulative on the team. Being an Intelligence Information Officer makes it his prerogative to be this way, though I do not get into his craftiness in this book. He has to be able to subtly, psychologically, manipulate alien societies/beings to complete his team’s objective. Nicholas is required to know all the players and their culture. He appears to be the quiet contemplative type who tries to discover all sides to a theory, or person, or situation. Generally IIO are the most intelligent and use more of the brain power than the rest of their teammates. Their memory capacity is beyond measure and for good reason.
I suppose my characteristic that I add to Nicholas is I do know how to manipulate people and situations. Like I said, I didn’t get into the manipulative aspect of Nicholas in this book, I only get into his intelligence and drive for knowledge. But it is difficult writing about a person smarter than yourself. Very difficult. I know what he does-thinks-sees, yet to get it down in words that are a fair representation of Nicholas, is difficult to say the least.
Henry and his blinded belief that everyone has good intentions, has a hard time understanding those who are evil. He is compassionate almost to a fault. Henry cares deeply for everyone, not just his teammates. The only time Henry loses his temper is when a teammate willfully jeopardizes their health. But he continually tries to placate opposing personalities with his gentle disposition. He is a nurturer but finds being on a Fathis team invigorating and a testament of testing his limits as a healer. Henry is the Falcon’s moral compass and is the loving father figure everyone can rely on.
Henry is possibly the character that is least like me, but I know several people that emulate him.
Hands down my favorite character is Ray-cause he’s such an ass. In the first book he hates Kealin. In the second, he does a 180 and becomes overprotective of her. You get a feel for his extreme personality. Ray is always misinterpreted and appears to look at things in a black and white manner. He blatantly speaks his mind (his “filter button is broken”). “Tactless” would be a good word for Ray. And he fully embraces his OCD’s. Everything in his life/world must be perfectly in-order, and anything that seems chaotic and unpredictable (Kealin), he shies away from. His ego is ridiculously enormous. You may love him, you may hate him, but he is who he is, and Ray’s changing for no one. He would share similar characteristics with Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory on CBS, except Ray knows how to physically fight. All his pent-up frustrations and anger, is funneled into his fighting skills, making him as lethal as a martial arts expert.
Being misunderstood is something I can relate to. Many times something comes out of my mouth is misinterpreted completely. So many times... And people always seem to believe there is an ulterior motive, but 98% of the time it’s just their suspicious mind over-thinking what I’ve said. Matter of fact, if I say something and you don’t “feel” you’re being misled, is when I am misleading a person :) (That is where my "Nicholas characteristics" comes out) And again people do seem to believe I am tactless at times (I'm just being truthful). And when I was young I used to think Sesame Street was demeaning. I couldn’t stand watching it. Of course, I didn’t know the word “demeaning” at the time, but there ya go. That is a very "Ray observation".
Thatcher is a loner with an eccentric disposition. In the past he struggled with being different, but came to the healthy conclusion that he is who he is, and he shouldn’t care if he fit-in with his fellow Engineers. Soon, he learned to embrace his differences, making him more confident yet more reclusive. Thatcher is very relaxed and has a certain boyish charm, though can appear strange to people outside his team because of his habit of saying incomplete thoughts. Thatcher could spend days absorbed in a piece of equipment and not even realize days have gone by. Usually his emotions are so strong that they affect him physically. And he shows little interest in anything beyond his technical universe, making him appear lazy.
I can be a bit of a loner. I could spend days without talking to anyone, and it doesn’t bother me one bit. And I have gotten tunnel vision where time, doesn’t seem to exist.
Many of these characters is an extension of me but there are also pieces of people that I know. Who do I relate to the most, would be a toss-up between Na’tan and Ray.
Say I place a food order, I want this food to be “just so” (Na’tan). I like to eat one item on my plate at a time (Ray), but every so often I like to mix things up just to screw with myself (Cornac). My construed splitting of my personality makes the characters come alive in Fathis: Birth of a Falcon.
Mint Chip Ice cream, Krispy Kreme donuts, homemade pizza, pralines, Chinese chicken salad...mmmmm!