I’m not a very visual person so I don’t include much physical description of my characters in my books. To be honest, I’m not completely sure what they look like. But I know them when I see them.
Maybe it’s because I don’t have a clear picture of the characters in my head that I’m able to spot them out and about in real life quite often. I’m flexible about what they might look like. In the past I’ve seen a few girls who remind me of Catherine from Loving Richard Feynman. They don’t all look the same physically, it’s just a vibe.
The other day my cousin sent me a photo of a girl busking at a market. The girl was playing the violin and recorder (not at the same time, I think) and she had a sign saying ‘I am saving to buy a horse!’
She seemed exactly how I imagined Stevie in Stay Well Soon, except Stevie would probably just play the recorder not the violin. Even her drawing of a horse on the sign was perfect.
The shyly smiling, pony-tailed, jeans and boots wearing busker looks nothing like the girl with blonde flat-hair and a floral top peeking out from behind a curtain with one sad eye on the cover of Stay Well Soon. But they both look like Stevie to me.