1. Who is your character’s PB?
2. Which came first, the character or the PB?
The character came first. She came first as a voice in my head, then as an impression of a Scotswoman with dark wavy hair, of a certain height and build. The temperament and personality filled itself in first, then the actual face slowly came into focus. It really started to come together when watching the opening scenes of ‘Practical Magic’ about the Owens’ ancestor, Maria, accused of Witchcraft, standing there on a scaffold with a noose around her neck, it really started to coagulate. Alas, the actress who played Maria (Annabella Price) really didn’t have a great body of work to speak of, so I couldn’t make too many icons. That was frustrating, to say the least. I tried using Kate Bush, but the Muse sort of turned up her nose at that. The closest that came after that, and the one that Fanny approved of came in the person of Monica Bellucci.
3. Why did you choose this particular PB
Because she has those impossible good looks of someone who is part Unseelie Fae, she has the right stature and the sort of grace, and the sheer amount of work that Ms. Bellucci has done, and continues to do. The camera and the public at large has not been able to get enough of her it seems for nearly fifteen years. That lends itself to lots of icons in just about every expression and situation I could want.
4. How close is the PB to your character? What are the differences, if any?
Probably the closest that any human representation could come. There are times when Monica, like Fanny, will appear quite statuesque, and other times when she can appear almost diminutive. I cannot think of anyone else representing her, and neither can a great many other people. Other writers have tried to use the same PB for their character and invariably I end up hearing about it. I don’t worry about it. It isn’t like anyone else could ever be confused for Fanny, no matter what PB they used.
5. Have you modified the PB in any way to be more like your character?
No. I haven’t needed to. All of the things I need for my Muse are usually found because of the sheer number of images of Fanny’s PB that are available.
Ironically, some very early pictures of Monica Bellucci (prior to her breast augmentation and the launch of her film career) will be used to represent Fanny’s youngest daughter, Jocelyn de Rochefort (faedefrance when she matures. There was an innocence there, but definitely, it lends itself to being the spit and image of her mother, yet not quite the same.
6. Have you ever changed your character’s PB / would you ever? Why, or why not?
See above. I actually had someone suggest that I use a different PB other than Monica Bellucci because their particular muse, “just didn’t see Fanny that way.” Another person also suggested it since they were writing with a person who used that PB, in order to save confusion for them, I should consider choosing another. I thought that suggestion was a bit over the top, personally. But in spite of the suggestions, the Muse definitely refused to change it in order to merely be accommodating. She’s like that. I have to agree with her.
7. Where did you find icons of your PB, or did you make them yourself?
To begin with I would just google the actress’ name and pull the images from various sources. I also own quite a few of the movies that Monica Bellucci has been in and done my own screencaps, enhancing and manipulating them in Paint Shop Pro. Later I would find other icons from LJ sources such as and monica_dailyand artists such as sluga, silvertaste and others. These led me to monicabellucci.net and satanjewels.com. I have also commissioned some Photoshop artists to make Pb’s and manips for Fanny and her husband, etc. Chief among those are ones crafted by Athos’s scribe, jessierarr. I have done a few on my own which are ok, but by no means professional looking.
8. Is it important to have an appropriate PB for your character? Why or why not?
Absolutely. I think it definitely helps in the visualisation process so that you can sort of hold that imagery in the mind’s eye. We are a visual culture, and it helps not only the writer but the readers of what you are writing see what you are trying to convey. If the PB doesn’t work, for whatever reason, by all means change it. But the writer also, I believe, needs to have at least some sense of what their Character or Muse looks like in mind so that the selection of a PB can commence. However that happens, be it the Character comes first or the PB comes first, then that is how it happens.
However, I have to confess my personal inability to understand, for example, the need to change a particular PB for any given muse on a constant basis. This just sort of takes the attention away from the writing and especially for those who read it, in my opinion. It’s sort of like going to a bookstore and seeing a book that you have read and loved and you expect to see the imagery of one of the favourite characters in the book represented by a particular piece of artwork that you have associated with that character, only to find out that the bloody publisher decided to change the cover and now the representation is completely wrong. Stubbornly, we all tend to cling to the familiar and hate change, and so consistency is important.
9. Have you ever been favorably/unfavorably predisposed towards a character because you liked or didn’t like the PB choice?
Yes. Or I should say the Muse has been that way. She liked how that person looked, then checked out what they had to say and then decided if she would speak to them or not. Other times, it does not matter.
10. Have you ever had a character who was represented by text icons / no icon only because they were too difficult to find a PB for?
Not really. Although there are some phrases in the form of icons that I have found for my Muses that really do convey what they are all about. I keep a few of those on hand for each muse as well.