Not just what’s in a name, but what creates a character? No matter how original your character is, they come from a blueprint of someone an author knows: self, sibling, someone famous, fifth-grade teacher-whoever, but definitely someone the author has met before.
When I was developing Anna’s character from the little voice I heard from her, I didn’t precisely model her after one person-she was modeled from the qualities I wanted to see in myself, and other qualities I admired in other people. She’s strong, been through a lot in her life, with dealing with her mother’s illness and a depressed father. That part of Anna is loosely based on my own childhood, since my father died when I was 9 years old, and my mother was never the same after that.
I also wanted her to have a job that you don’t read about very often, if ever. There are a lot of bookstore owners, cafe owners, corporate lawyers, etc in the romance world, and there is nothing, nothing, nothing wrong with that (I have a few of those character’s myself), so I wanted to give her a brainy-nerdy-geeky kind of job. And I wanted her to have eclectic music tastes, because I do as well 🙂
I wanted to inject her with a mildly sarcastic sense of humor, mixed with a bit of innocence to her, and I think it worked out well. Also, I didn’t want her to be a weepy where’s-my-man heroine; I wanted her to be able to take care of herself if she had too, but not be too independent that she would push Gareth away if he offered help. Also, she looks like Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic.