Yesterday I was the guest blogger on Tales from the Sith Witch Blog. I wrote about how I came up with the character of Syd Jupiter, the enigmatic and powerful former NFL star, in Depraved Heart. Here is part of my post:
As a writer I have long thought that there is an alternate universe in which characters exist and where they spend their time trying to find someone—a writer—to tell their story. For several years I had this story percolating in the back of my mind and part of the story included a climax in which the hero rescued someone in a very dramatic way. Eventually, as all writers do, I began to make notes and sketch out characters and begin the process of shaping a story that I called Depraved Heart. One thing I knew for sure, I needed a very special and unique character for the hero.
I grew up in central Pennsylvania and, because I had a bunch of brothers, football was a big part of life. At that time the Pittsburgh Steelers were a pretty awful team but we loved them anyway. I went to Penn State and, while I was a student, our football team had a couple of really impressive players—one was named Franco Harris. I remember seeing him on campus—all the girls were crazy about him because he was so darn cute. After graduation from Penn State he was drafted by the Steelers and for the next decade or so the Steelers were the most exciting team in the NFL with players like Mean Joe Greene, Rocky Bleier, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Blount, and, of course, Franco. I was visiting my dad a few years back and he was watching a program on television called America’s Game. That particular episode was about the 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers and, as I sat there watching it with Dad, I thought, “A football player! That’s what my character needs to be, a football player! Someone like Franco Harris!” And in that moment Syd Jupiter was born. Read the rest at Tales from the Sith Witch Blog