Ghost Horse Hollow ... because a Fantasy should last a lifetime!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Creating a Character

What makes characters come to life in a fantasy series? Is it their physical descriptions or their patterns of speech that spark the imaginations of curious readers? Perhaps we are enchanted by a character’s resourcefulness or bravery in the face of terrible odds. Our favorite personalities engage us in a single paragraph. The character of Miss Genevieve MacKennon caught my attention as a writer from the very first chapter. I fashioned many of her features and qualities after the actress Ellyon Elestial, who served as a young teen sounding board for the Ghost Horse Hollow series, as well as the model for our popular book trailer.
Panther MacKennon on Elestial's Opal Moon
Illustrated by Steven E. Lillegard

Many contemporary musicians also inspired me to create a character with grit, independence, graciousness, and intelligence. I listened to Avril Lavigne’s Let Go album, Green Day’s popular hit song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, the Jonas Brothers, and Jewel, while searching for a Middle Grade/YA romantic element to add to Miss Genevieve’s scenes. I always imagined the action in the book saga unfolding as if I were seeing a major motion picture, complete with a background score, unfolding before my eyes. Spending much of my life choreographing dances helped me with this process. The book trailer on Youtube features a terrific score by Nashville composer Jason Morant, whose work evokes the strength and courage of the twelve- year- old apprentice to Lady Titrimia, the Starlight Fairy Queen. One of my favorite movies that encompasses awesome musical themes, as well as startling characters, is The Lord of the Rings directed by Peter Jackson.

Filming the book trailer for The Holly King on location at Ghost Horse Prairie Ranch
Enjoy the video on our Youtube Channel!

Genevieve’s original name was Pheonyx. Shortly after I had typed four or more chapters of The Holly King, a friend casually informed me that J.K. Rowling had written another book in the Harry Potter series that was entitled The Order of the Pheonix. I thought the name of my heroine would then be considered too common, yet I felt inspired to keep the first letter “P” for my character. After much contemplation, the name Panther was born. Panther is a fresh and distinct young leader, with hope and a wild strength that blesses all she embraces. It is a delight to write her dialogue and to witness the exciting scenes in which Panther’s character triumphs! I greatly appreciated the support of the Kentucky Foundation for Women for assiting me with a grant to develop Panther's role-model personality.

Actress Ellyon Elestial as Miss Genevieve (Panther) MacKennon
Photo by Monica Bedsole
Creating a character is like meeting someone extremely special in your imagination and then introducing him or her to your favorite friends. Enjoy the adventures in The Fairy Lore of Ghost Horse Hollow!

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