Friday, September 18, 2009

Fan Girl Love and Writing

The Pens Fatales are please to welcome Tawny Weber for our friday guest blogger. :) Tawny is usually found dreaming up stories in her California home, surrounded by dogs, cats and kids. When she’s not writing hot, spicy stories for Harlequin Blaze, she’s shopping for the perfect pair of boots or drooling over Johnny Depp pictures (when her husband isn’t looking, of course). In September ’09 Tawny launched Dressed to Thrill, a fun, four-author costume shop continuity with her release of FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME. And in January 2010, her novella, YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, is out in the Blazing Bedtime Story anthology. Come by and visit her on the web at

I’m an avowed and quite possibly obsessed Johnny Depp fangirl. I’ve had a deep and abiding lust for the man since his slick-haired 21 Jump Street days. I’m sure I’d have been a fan of his earlier work – Nightmare on Elm Street, but I covered my face about the time he was gobbled up by that bed.

But I’m not just in deep lust with the guy’s look – bad-boy-fashion-grunge – and his amazingly gorgeous eyes, his knife-edge cheekbones and that smile... OMG that smile!!!! Um, where was I? Oh yeah, it’s not all about the looks (although I could go on for awhile if I didn’t have a word count to stick to. Somehow, that’s always a challenge for me. Sticking with word count, I mean. Not babbling on and on and... Well, see what I mean?). A huge part of my fangirl adoration of Johnny Depp is his sense of humor, his ability to laugh and enjoy life. From all accounts, he’s an amazing father, the kind of guy who wears a beaded bracelet on the red carpet because his little girl made it for him. But he’s got enough of that wild bad boy thing still going on to keep him from being too sweet.

I also admire how he’s true to his beliefs. He takes roles that mean something to him – often roles that would be ignored by other stars because they don’t have enough ‘upward mobility’ in them –then he brings his own magic to them, and shoots right on up anyway. Looking gorgeous and sexy all the way.

So it’s not a surprise, given my well-documented fangirl adoration of all things Johnny (it’s even mentioned in my Harlequin bio) that I’ve been asked quite often how I’ve based one of my heroes on Johnny.

The answer? Never. I can’t base characters on real people. I know so many people who write bits and pieces of people in their lives into their characters. Or they use movie stars or roles as inspirations. Or even cut out models or photos of actors to use in character sketches.

I’d love to do that. I wish I could turn all those people who irritated me in real life into characters who ‘got theirs’ in my stories. That certain snotty in-law who always turns up her nose and insults my kids? She’d make a great villain. That obnoxious realtor who dropped the ball and made my July a living hell? Oh yeah, he’d be such a great character to get revenge on. The list goes on and on. So as much as I admire Johnny Depp, why can’t I write him into a hero in one of my books?

He just doesn’t mind that way. Real people never do.

Real people have their own motivations. Their own worlds and quite often, their own foibles and relationships. I can’t make them do what I want without taking all that into account – not even in my own imagination. If I tried to write Johnny into a hero, in the back of my head I’d always be thinking he’s cheating on my heroine (and me LOL) with Vanessa in real life. I think I’m too literal, but I just can’t find a way to combine my fangirl love of Johnny Depp and my writing.

The only exception to my not using real people? I do put some characteristic of my husband’s into every hero. It could be one of his cars, his hobbies, a song he loves. Some little thing so I don’t feel quite so much like I’m cheating when I write those hot love scenes with another man LOL.

How about you? Do you like picturing real life people when you read, putting them in the role of whatever hero you’re imagining? And if you could star in a romance with any hottie hunk, which one would it be?


danie88 said...

Hi Tawny!
ohhh I love Johnny Depp! he is sooo drool worthy! :D lol

Hmm if I could star in a romance with any hottie hunk it would have to be... James McAvoy... oh boy is it hot in here or what? :D

As far as picturing real life people when I read, a lot of times I do find characters that have similar traits or likenesses to people I know or even myself, but I don't picture them or me as those characters.

Juliet Blackwell said...

Hello Tawny, and welcome to PensFatales!
Rrrrrowwwrrr Johnny Depp is H-O-T HOT! (Just had to get that out of my system;-))
I once based a fictional hero on a real person, but that character developed on the page of course, and when I saw the "real" guy some time later I felt almost betrayed because he was so *not* who I thought he was anymore! Strange how these things go...we authors spend too much alone!!!

sophie Littlefield said...

hi tawny! i'm just a true fence sitter when it comes to that johnny dep. I guess on a slow day if there wasn't anyone else interesting around...but you know, I think i'll just leave him to you sisters who can really appreciate him.

Me, I think Liam Neeson. Yeah. With a gun. And a fierce expression.

Got a little distracted there. As for me, yes, I do often put real people into books, usually as secondary characters. But Goat Jones, the sheriff hero of my mystery series, is truly a real person, a charismatic man I met a couple of years ago who just fit my book perfectly. And next time we have a few beers together we can trade secrets and I'll tell you who he is! :)

Tawny said...

Mmmm mmmm mmmm James McAvoy. Now thats one hot hero :-) I'm still keeping dibs on Johnny, but yeah, I can see how James would heat up a story LOL.

I've heard both sides of the reader-quotient, some that see themselves as the heroine (must empathize with her) and some who see the story as a sort of movie playing out in their head. Do you fall in the latter category, Danie?

Tawny said...

Keep going, Juliet :-) IMO, there can never be enough odes to the hotness of Mr. Depp LOL

Isn't that intriguing how your character and view of the characters inspiration twisted together?

As for time alone... good point. But when I talk to myself in public, people seem to get weirded out by my responses *g* I guess alone is easier LOL

Tawny said...

S'okay, Sophie :-) All the more Johnny for me, I don't mind! Nice taste with Liam Neeson, for sure, though. Quite delish, especially if you add a few badboy toys like guns LOL

We need to have that drink and you can spill all the deets. Alllllll of them. I'm buying!!!

Unknown said...

Tawny--I'm with you on using real people. I just don't do it.

Funny story--one of my friends asked me if she read my book would she find herself in there. I responded, "not unless you're secretly a spy for CIA." *bg*

Tawny said...

LOL Lisa - wouldn't it have been cool if your friend leaned over and whispered "well, yes, as a matter of fact I am" *ggg* said...

I immediately put even the rude kid who bumped into me at the mall in my book and make him even ruder. Same for in-laws.

On the hot side -- if I'm not with the one I love, I love the one I'm with, OR, I be-fan the most recent hunk. Last night I saw "Incendiary" with Ewan Mcgregor, so he's it for today! He'll be replaced by Simon Baker when The Mentalist comes back, and so on ...

Rachael Herron said...

Rawr. Johnn Depp with eyeliner is my idea of sexiest man alive. Yummmmmmm. I couldn't base a character on hi, though... I'd get too distracted.... :)

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