I am not typically one of those authors who thinks of actors who could possibly play the parts of my characters. My characters are typically distinct to themselves, with one exception. When I dreamed up the character Samuel T. Towers for my book Born of Shadow, he immediately inhabited the pages with a quirkiness that reminded me of Johnny Depp, nerdster glasses and all.
For those who are not familiar with the book, Samuel is a character that has left behind the demands of a corporate job on Wall Street to chase his obsessions. He is a conspiracy theorist who is convinced that Atlantis not only exists, but that he can prove it as well. Samuel and his nephew Chris are in Egypt, chasing the trail of Thoth who supposedly brought the Emerald Tablets from Atlantis when they come into contact with Kami and her friends.
Kami doesn’t know what to make of Samuel at first. He is described in the book as in his mid to late forties. His hair is “a sweaty mop, ragged, unkempt and shoved aside like it annoyed him to have to deal with it, but it would be even more annoying to take the time to cut it. It stood up on one end, reminding (Kami) of an absent-minded scientist. A round pair of horn-rimmed spectacles perched on the end of his beaklike nose, and scraggly patches of scruff covered his chin. His shirt, only half tucked in, stuck to him like a second skin. It was covered in perspiration and food stains. She had a sneaking suspicion that he hadn’t changed his clothes for days.”
Samuel has turned out to be one of the most loved characters in the books, which I hadn’t been really anticipating. I’m not sure why he is so popular, but it’s been fun to see the reader’s reactions to him.
The story of how I came up with Samuel’s name is a fun one. Years ago, my husband wrote screenplays. Every so often he would speak to his cop buddy to get ideas, and in return, our friend told him to name a character after him. My husband never did end up naming a character after him, so when my quirky conspiracy theorist showed up, he suggested I name him after Sam. So that’s how he became Samuel T. Towers. Are we awesome friends or what? I bet Sam had no clue what he was getting into with that request.
For any authors who are reading this, I’m curious about the backstory of one of your characters. How did you come up with the name or characteristics? Did you base it on anyone? Please share!