Today I thought I’d share a few things with you that are off the regular posts that you can find here. A bit more personal, although nothing too revealing (I hope). It’s about characters. And yes, I refer to the characters that appear in some of my books. More precisely the Hilda the Wicked Witch books.
In each book there are new adventures, so there are new characters. Many of them come from the depths of my mind, a place where many a thought dreads to go. At times however, I base a character on someone alive. Someone I know, more or less in person. Hilda herself, for instance, found her role model in a very dear person who stole my heart, many years ago. She did so again a while ago and now she refuses to give it back (does that sound like Hilda or not?).
If you have read Hilda – Lycadea, you may remember Maurizio Blunt. Maurizio is based on a Italian man I worked with, long ago, whose first name was indeed Maurizio. (Due to privacy reasons I am not going to divulge his last name.) Real life Maurizio was a very kind man, large of figure and boisterous of voice, and he was the perfect model for Moro Blunt.
Now we step to Hilda – Back to school. Many names and characters there are based on living people. Lesley the Looney, Carolyne and her pegasus, they are people I know and care about. Even Hepatia Strunk, the WIC, is based on someone I know, although I did change her name very much. If you have read the book and recall Irmgard and Cornelia, well, these are people I know as well. Good people with slightly different names.
The interesting and fun thing with modern means of communication is that it is very easy to have contact with fans of my writing, or should I say “fans of Hilda and William”? And some of these fans have asked if they can appear in a story as well. As I don’t know many of these people in person, it is difficult to add them into a good position, but so far I have managed it. For the new Hilda book, number 10, a new group of people will appear, most of the magical ones. I hope to fulfil many appearance-requests here; two positions are already filled up. I hope that “Ranee” and “Crystolyne” will recognise their names.
A nice little twist with names happened in the book which still has the working title Bristol Dream. I was talking to two ladies at the reception of the office where I work, and they both mentioned that they wanted to appear in one of my books. Again the problem that I don’t really know them, but in Bristol Dream I had a vacancy coming up, so I combined their names into one person. One of them already knows what I concocted and she loves it. The other lady has fallen ill, so I shall have to wait before I can bring the shock to her.
Finally, I shall address a question that has been asked several times: On whom is William, Hilda’s partner, based? My honest answer: I don’t have a clue.