Author has written 7 stories for Romance.
Figured some of you may be interested to see the lovely actors/models/singers I use as character inspiration. Here we go then (fp is quite annoying about posting links... augh delete the space before 'org'):
Noble Wolf: Ben postimg. org/image/49xhdis45/ ; Joy postimg. org/image/8zv2kpicz/ (couldn't really find anyone closer to the image in my head for Joy, but close enough)
Love Life: Alex postimg. org/image/nlm38yf5f/ (again, close enough); Randee postimg. org/image/ds8h1th4j/
The Wolf and the Witch: Dietrich postimg. org/image/72p7c1zod/ (a bit feminine, but rather close to the ideal); Witch postimg. org/image/l2b89msob/ (looks 7 years older than the character, same girl as the cover)
Flair couple is on the cover, even though I imagined Amy a bit different. Amy postimg. org/image/gn6ybxkyj/ (but with brown eyes); Eric postimg. org/image/vdtldo2ux/ (the initial inspiration); Astrid postimg. org/image/3xipnvm0v/ (to see what I mean by impossibly pretty); Brandt postimg. org/image/6hechz9kv/ (nevermind the photoshopping that went in here)
It's easy when everything's playing out in my mind. Putting it on paper - a whole different matter. I wish I could get those pills from Limitless...
A few points that have come up in reviews so far (not the actual question, but the matter at hand) I realize if I was a better writer, all those points would be made clear in the stories just by making the readers observe them, and not explicitly saying them. Since I find it in poor style to do the latter in the story itself, I bring you a bit of analysis right here. That way you have the chance to skip it, if you prefer to make your own conclusions :)
Why my female characters so far are virgins: When I decide that particular thing about my female character, I consider two things: age and background. While I'm pretty open-minded about sex and everything related, I still don't consider it healthy for girls to start before they're 14. And even that seems a bit young to me, but hey, teens get horny too. It is perfectly believable to me that a 17-year old girl can still be a virgin, if not quite normal. As for the characters' background - it has to do with their personality development, as well as opportunity to gain sexual experience.
Randee's case: Granted, not much is said about her background yet, but so far it's clear she's grown up in less than ideal financial conditions, and that she was bullied in school for a long time. Apart from the lack of opportunities to find a boyfriend in said school, it seems to me she has more on her mind than that.
Amy's case: She's the type who doesn't want to worry her parents, and feels that her having sex would put them in an awkward position. I also find it a common thing for girls growing up with a smart, if slightly manipulative mother, and a generally uninvolved in their upbringing father, to be a bit wary of males.
That said, not all the female characters in my head are virgins, so don't go thinking I have a thing for it xD. Also, I don't think I can do a good portrayal of a girl with lots of sexual experience and be believable. I will need to do a little more human psyche delving to pull that off successfully.
Cliche storylines: I have a thing for cliche ideas, however I get absolutely bored if they're handled in a cliche way. My reaction to reading something like that is trying to imagine how I would change the situations and outcomes, so it would be more interesting to read. A lot of my ideas for stories have emerged that way, so it's hardly surprising you recognize the cliche base - The Bet, Player vs Virgin, Rich vs Poor, and so on. What I'm trying to do is bring a little life into it; show that it can be done in a different and surprising way. I can only hope to achieve my grand ambitions with the limited capabilities that I have. If you've felt that the sories are a bit unusual to what you're used to see done in those cliches, then I'm happy enough :).
Typical female fantasy of male characters: I won't deny I've been brainwashed by this fantasy of high social standing, handsome, and popular guy with a great body. To my defense I'd say that females are allowed to explore this fantasy in books/movies/etc as much as guys have done it (just think of the Transformers female leads in contrast to the male lead and what that represents). It's fair to say that both males and females get attracted to pretty much the same things, and it's not a surprise to see it reflect in literature that targets a certain gender specifically. However, since women are more ashamed to admit their shallow likings, you can see that shame reflected in a lot of the older writings - the male character is much older, or not the best looking, or has some scar, or has a trauma, or has a bad personality, and so on. All trying to add some defect/s so as not to seem that they too want perfection. You can not find a perfect guy or girl in real life, but that shouldn't prevent you from enjoying the idea in fictional stories, most of which are there to entertain and not bring you some sort of enlightenment.
Good books/movies, or classics to call them simply, deal with human emotions in a very realistic way, in a very realistic setting. Think of East of Eden, Tale of Two Cities, and others that will probably come to your mind. I'll be honest here and admit that I feel depressed while reading such books. I think my desire to escape reality is too big.
That said, let me shed some light on my two male characters, and the bit of personality realism that I've tried to give them (since I simpy can't compromise with the fantasy).
Alexander's case: I try to bring out his character bit by bit, to make it a bit of a puzzle that gets solved each chapter, but what you can see so far is: he's grown up believing his importance, he's still like a kid who has to get his way, and reacts in a very childish manner if he doesn't. Why he's a 'player' - like any teenage boy he's healthily curious about sex, and he has enough opportunity to gain the experience. He's obviously interested in a connection with a girl, but hasn't found it. Perhaps he's looking for something he can't find in them. Or he's disappointed that their motives are different from his. I'll let you speculate.
Eric's case: Despite how much he denies it, he's pretty much a submissive character, who hasn't found any girl willing to dominate him and give him what he unknowlingly craves. This is his reason for going through girls without setting his mind on any, aside from the other reason that he can't give them his future. I find it pretty obvious that his desire to test the boundaries of his control, is a form of masochism (one of the definitions of that word is: the tendency to find pleasure in self-denial, submissiveness, etc.). So far we've seen Amy denying him even a kiss, manipulating him to behave as she finds comfortable, and giving him small rewards here and there when he obliges her whims. It's no wonder that he's dying to experience her sexually, since she might actually be able to fulfill that inner itch of his.
Are my female characters goody two shoes: Well I can only hope you see them that way, because to me they're far from nice, and my constant fear is that readers will find them awful and hard to relate to.
Randee's case: Very obviously a liar and manipulator. She has her reasons sure, she makes excuses about her lies in her head. In fact, she's even lying to herself to feel like a good person. This is the result of the life she's lived so far, so I don't blame her one bit. But obviously, I don't feel she's a good person in the classic sense. You might have noticed that she didn't immediately help Sandy in chapter 5, she even considered pretending not to see anything. As to why she helped, I'll let you speculate. Keep in mind this girl's always planning ahead.
Amy's case: Cold, secretive, and manipulative as well. She's close to the border of sociopath in fact. There are still things for you to see from her, so i won't say more :).