1. Where did the idea of your main characters come from?
It was a mixture of things, really. Raphael is partly a spill-over from the main character of my previous release, Woman as a Foreign Language. There too I had this gender-fluid character, and I had done so much research for that, that I felt I still had plenty of things to say on the subject. Di is a partly autobiographical character, as many of my heroines are.
2. As you write these characters, do they take on a life of their own or can you impose your will on them?
Haha, I so can’t! They are really their own people. In this book in particular Hugh changed from a secondary character (and a bit of a dickhead) to a fantastically layered, deep, moving person, and my true voice in the story. It was completely unexpected and I became tremendously attached to him because he acquired so much a life of his own, and absolutely refused to be set aside for Raphael’s new love interest. It became clear that this book was not going to end without him being part of the picture and he broke my heart with his desperate and unexpected plea not to be left out.
3. What are their personality traits?
Oooh, tough one! Raphael is a very very sweet, kind man with a dark side. Maybe two dark sides. Or three. Despite his gentle, unassuming private persona, he’s a bit of “bitch” at work, he has a penchant for BDSM play, and has a feisty female self who’s trying very hard to come out, whatever the cost.
Hugh is a man who is scared to let his feelings take over… he distrusts love as a dark, destructive force. With good reason perhaps, because under his ironic, reticent exterior he actually hides an unparalleled capacity for deep, passionate love.
Di is a very strong woman who has been broken in body and spirit by an accident that deprived her of her former independent, capable identity and much of what she loved in life. This sense of being “damaged” dominates her personality now, and it’s something she has to overcome if she is to be happy again…
4. Do you think those traits appeal to readers? Are you striving to have people engage or identify with them?
I have no idea! I don’t usually write with readers in mind. I really do my own thing, write people who appeal to me and represent a part of me… then I send them out there and I hope for the best! It’s all I can do really.
5. Do you ever find yourself preferring the antagonist? Gritting your teeth in regard to the protagonist(s)?
I don’t often have antagonists in my books. I prefer the protagonist’s conflicts to be internal, emotional. But in my debut novel, Black Carnival, I became so attached to the villain that … well, no spoilers, but I had to do something about it
6. I personally write feisty heroines and alpha males but don’t want them to read the same as the characters in the next book. How do you keep your characters unique?
I can’t say I have a particular routine for it. They seem to come out that way! In part, perhaps, it’s that almost all my characters have a pinch of the autobiographical in them… and I have lived a pretty quirky life
7. In this particular book, Spice & Vanilla who are your main characters? Please share an excerpt that introduces and showcases them.
Raphael: “Hugh watched Raphael taking off his glasses and shedding his clothes with the same deep quiver of excitement and trepidation he had felt the very first time he had seen him at university. Hugh, who had wandered about here and there before starting college, was twenty-five. Raphael, whose whole rebellious period had consisted of a six weeks tour of Ireland on a bike, busking with a violin on the way, was twenty. A tall, skinny, lanky youth, with round glasses, an improbable head of white-blond hair, and the odd pimple still spotting his face. But whereas Hugh was scruffy and unmemorable, Raphael was naturally dramatic and striking, in a pale, wasted, Baudelairian way. Tourné vers le classicisme, nourri de romantisme.
And he moved like smoke dancing Ravel’s Bolèro.
And he had no—fucking—idea.
That was the amazing part.”
Hugh: “Hugh was a man of average height, with short, fuzzy, dark hair thinning slightly around a widow’s peak and a semi-permanent stubble (greying now) on his chin and jaw. He was neither especially good looking nor in any way unpleasant, and dressed rather shabbily at almost all times. He was in fact an entirely unremarkable man, except for a limited set of small tics that betrayed a rather more active and nervous mind than most. Which was why people would have been flabbergasted by the impressive set of tattoos that adorned his chest, shoulders, and upper arms. They were somewhat faded and partly obscured by the luxuriant growth of dark hair on his torso, but even so, they gave him a distinctly wicked look, absolutely at odds with his sarcastic but otherwise pretty harmless everyday manner…”
Di: “Raphael watched her laughing. Her face was transfigured. It occurred to him that it would not be a bad ambition in a man’s life, to make sure that she laughed like that every day. She had the purest features, and he had the feeling she would be almost unbearably beautiful with a more glamorous hair-do, some makeup, well-fitting clothes. Even as she was, mousy in plain jeans, a brown jumper, and a chunky knitted grey cardigan, it was hard to look away from her…”
8. Let’s see an image of how you visualize those characters!
This is a sketch I made of Paul Boche some months ago. He’s the gorgeous German model and actor model on whom Raphael’s stunning androgynous looks are based.
Di’s descriptions were based on Natalie Portman (she is so beautiful, and that smile!)
Hugh’s on Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock in Elementary.
Find Spice & Vanilla at Evernight: https://www.evernightpublishing.com/spice-vanilla-by-katherine-wyvern/
You can also find an exclusive excerpt on my website, here:
Thanks for stopping by today with your insanely creative talents! xo
See what Katherine is up to on:
Katherine’s Blog: https://katherinewyvern.blogspot.fr/
Katherine’s Website: http://meetingivory.wixsite.com/katherinewyvern
Or follow her on Instagram @katherinewyvern