Cindy Holby

Creating a character

People often ask me where I get my ideas for characters. I have found that some of my characters take on traits of people I know without my meaning too. I look back on them and say, wow. he's exactly like my oldest son or my husband or my son's friend. And a lot of my characters are inspired my people I actually know.

The main character in Shooting Star, Ruben, came to life one day when I was helping out at my former job over Christmas. I was in the process of writing Stargazer, the first book in my star series. I had no plans for Ruben, other than the fact that I needed to get Shaun and Lilly off the swamp planet. But Dan, a college student that I worked with changed all that. We were cutting up and Dan walked out of the back and did this funky little dance move. I just shook my head and said "Someday I'm going to put you in a book." and he said. "Can I be a smuggler pilot type? And have this really cool knife?" And a character was born.

But the best part was watching Ruben grow. Not only was he convenient for advancing the story line but his personality took on a life of its own. I loved the part in Stargazer when the Circe drugged him and he thought he was going to have to seduce all of them. But then I started thinking about where Ruben came from. What made him the man he was? Did he have secrets? And what could I do to a man who was used to having what ever he wanted whenever he wanted. And thus came the story for Shooting Star. Ruben is a man with a secret past and those secrets finally catch up with him. Then I put him on a primitive planet with a beautiful slave woman who has a young son and things start to happen. Which led to the birth of another character named Boone. His story comes next. If I ever get it finished that is.