Readers develop a clear mental picture of each character in the fiction they enjoy, and I believe these images are always very personal. That is, it’s not likely that two people would have exactly the same idea of what a character looks like. Descriptions in the text sometimes help, but even the author’s vision of a character’s appearance won’t line up precisely with what the reader creates. And in my case, anyway, I’m more than happy to let each reader complete the pictures of the people in this book, and it’s written with that in mind.
That being said, a question I’ve been asked more frequently than others is, who does Jeannie Reese look like? Not what does she look like (there are plenty of clues to that question in the book), but who. (That should probably be whom, but let’s let it go.) So, rather than any of the other plot points and interesting background contained in Chapter 1, I decided to focus on Jeannie and her appearance, since this is where she’s introduced.
When characters are first developing, it’s sometimes easy to lose track of their individuality, the clarity that’s needed to bring them into coherent existence. With John, it helped me most to focus on the semi-magical apartment/environment he’d created for himself. But with Jeannie, I needed to remember how she looked. This is the photo I used to do that.
Now, I’m not saying that Jeannie looks like Elisha Cuthbert. I’m saying that to me, the actress Elisha Cuthbert (and her photographer*), in this particular photo, captured the essence of the young woman that I saw Jeannie Reese to be.
*I’ve searched high and low for information on who took this photo, and I’ve had no luck so far. Please contact me if it’s yours; I’d like to give credit where it’s due.