Character Inspiration: Donovan Circus Lookalikes (Lucy)

This week I’m doing something fun: putting real faces to the Donovan Circus gang! Now of course this is all purely for entertainment, but I think you’ll enjoy it. Plus, it might give you more “face to name” ideas of how I picture my characters, since I know everyone always has a few nuances with their imaginations. Keep tuning back cause I’ll be going through the whole list of characters you’ve met, including a few new ones from BURNED 😉

Today’s feature is of course our narrator and main circus freak, Lucy Sullivan. Lucy often describes herself as “the dreaded c word: cute” as opposed to beautiful. She’s a fiery redhead (long, straight hair), with freckles, hazel eyes, and average height and build.

Those of course are just her physical attributes. She’s a Firestarter, a female version no less, which is less than rare in the gifted world. That helps make her who she is: young and a bit naive, she has a lot to learn about her new world. She might get scared, but she is determined and loyal, fiercely protective of her family (blood or otherwise). A few readers have described her as spunky and I like that term a lot for Lucy. She might worry and whine, but when it comes down to it, she’s the first one in line to protect her friends.

So now that you know more about Lucy, let’s see who I’ve picked as her real life/celebrity lookalikes!

Photo by Leonard Gren Photography

Photo by Leonard Gren Photography

This girl. I don’t know who this girl is, but the Swedish photographer Leonard Gren took this photo and I have half a mind to write him to ask about her. There’s something perfect about this photo that captures the way I picture Lucy. She’s tough and determined, but there’s still a softness, even naivete about her because she is so young. The moment I saw this photo, I knew it was inspiration for Lucy.


Molly Quinn

Molly Quinn is a beautiful girl and I think would make a fabulous Lucy Sullivan. Plus it helps when you google her name, pictures of her in a Supergirl costume pop up, so clearly she’s just as nerdy as Lucy 😉 I’ve only seen the show Castle a couple times, but her obvious spirit is easy to imagine on the Donovan Circus grounds.

Zena Gray

Zena Gray

Zena Gray is an actress I’m unfamiliar with, but I think this above photo is definitely a great match for Lucy. This shot makes me think of a strong Lucy, someone who will do whatever it takes for her and her friends to survive. Plus, she’s beautiful but in a very natural way (as hardly anyone wears makeup outside of the actual circus show).

So there are my three real life lookalikes for my protagonist! Who would you pick out of these three for Lucy? Or is there someone else who might make a good match? Let me know so I can add her to my list!

For more character or Donovan Circus inspiration, be sure to visit my Pinterest board and see all the pretty things! Visual images are such a huge factor in helping me piece things together, so I love showing what I’ve found so you can picture it with me.

What Makes a Strong Female Character?

I’m getting ready to write a guest post for the wonderful Laura Howard and I’d LOVE your help. I want to know what makes a strong female character. While I’ll do my best not to bother including the book-with-sparkly-vamps-that-shall-not-be-named, I can’t guarantee it, but my focus is on what YOU, the readers, look for in a strong heroine.

For example, I think one of the reasons my main character from Gifted, Lucy, is strong because even though she doubts her abilities (despite everyone around her being impressed), she still does what she can to push herself. She doesn’t want to grow lazy or lose her talent, so she keeps at it, knowing she can’t depend on anyone but herself to get better. It’s not necessarily about being better than other Firestarters or proving her worth to others – more like she wants to grow as a gifted being, to do her very best even if it doesn’t make her the best. Does that make sense?

Another great example is, of course, Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series, but what is it about her that makes her a strong female character? Her intellect is sharp, sure, and she can do better magic than almost everyone else. But that’s something about her, I feel, that helps mold her into who she is. It’s who she grows into that makes her strong, her ability to stand up for what’s right, her passion to help others, the determination she has to help her friends. Anyone can be smart, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a great character.

I better save some characters and their quirks up my sleeve for the actual post, but what do you all think? I’d love to hear it in the comments so that I might include it in the post for Laura’s readers! (Plus, it helps give me great ideas on how to strengthen my own characters and make sure I’m giving you the best I got! See? It’s actually for purely selfish reasons.) It can be whatever you think makes a great female character. Name some examples of your favorites and why they rock!