The hallway was always quiet at this time of the night, the hum of the florescent lighting the only sound breaking the endless silence. In the distance came a sudden, loud explosion, shattering the stillness of the night. Screams could be heard coming closer as muffled gunfire echoed through the halls. The overhead intercom system crackled to life, the static-filled voice tiny in the increasingly loud sounds of fighting. “Paging Dr. Sychak, Dr. Bret Sychak. You are needed in the lab. Bring security backup.”
Writing is fun, no doubt about it. When someone ticks you off, you can always make them into the bad guy in some twisted storyline, kicking their ass six ways from Sunday. And depending on just how messed up your imagination is (in my case, it would be a long stretch with serial killer Ashton Jones BEFORE he grew fangs and a conscience), those who have wronged you can either have a quick demise or a long, drawn-out and very painful time in the story. You get to make up worlds, rules, control everything and everyone in that world (usually, but all us writers know how our characters like to grow minds and opinions of their own and refuse to do what we tell them to do). You get to take readers on the most wondrous adventures, limited only by your own imagination. And for some of us, me included, those imaginations seem absolutely limitless.
There really is nothing like being a writer. For me, the majority of my characters are based in part from someone important in my life. The antagonist Sergeant First Class Steven Hall is a real person who really is a Sergeant First Class in the air force. He was a very dear friend of mine who I forever immortalized in the ongoing BTSR series. Ethereal is the name of a character I made up and used back when I was heavily into online RP games. The LeeLee character that will be introduced in an upcoming book in the series was another one of my RP characters. Her love interest, Akito, is based off of another online friend who also played in the games and is near and dear to my heart. The Vampire Stealth was coined in part after the wonderful Don Henrie. Because my characters are molded after real life people, they seem as real and are as dear to me as the people who inspired them. For me, these characters ARE real, as real as anyone else that I know in my day to day life.
Now I have decided to forever immortalize my mentor, Bret Michaels, into the upcoming novel IMMORTAL SINS, the next book in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series. I plan to write two different characters into the series, the first one using his birth name and made into a doctor, Dr. Bret Sychak. The second appearance made by Bret Michaels will be in a yet –to-be announced novel. I may even bring him into another novel in the BTSR series before it is all said and done. Bret is an incredible person and has inspired me in so many ways throughout the years that the very least I can do for him is to write him into a book, or maybe even two or three. And if I’m very VERY lucky, he might one day read all about those characters and all those characters that so many other people in my life have inspired.
Creating characters after those who have inspired me and then writing them into my storylines is my way of paying homage to them. It’s my way of saying “thanks” for all they have done for me directly and indirectly, for all their inspiration. It is a fun thing to do, and I do so hope that no one will ever become angry because of it. For writers, creating characters after real people not only help the characters feel more real, but it allows them to pay a great respect and a big “thank you” to these people in their own way.
So if you find yourself suddenly immortalized in an author’s novel, take a moment to realize that you have been greatly honored by the author, for they are paying you homage in the most sacred and special way that an author can. You touched their lives so greatly that they saw fit to coin a character after you – even if it is one getting his ass kicked six ways from Sunday.