Characters… Let’s face it, when you’re writing anything, be it a short story or a full-length novel, you have nothing without characters. Characters make us care… they draw us into the stories and allow us to live it through them.
When I created the Kate Gardener Mysteries, the characters were very much at the center of the whole. The stories are important… engaging mysteries meant to thrill and intrigue… but the characters, the way they interact and react with each other… that was what made this world come to life, and allowed me to bring it to you.
When it comes to peopling my worlds with, well, people, I am essentially a casting agent. I’m one of those people that finds actors and actresses for the roles I read in other people’s books, and my own are now different. So, with book 8 coming out tomorrow, here’s a look at the inspirational figures for the main cast of KATE GARDENER MYSTERIES.
DS Jeffery Doyle… Doyle as a character has existed since the very first day this series was born. In the beginning, though, he wasn’t a cop… and he wasn’t a very good guy. In fact, he was kind of a crook that carried on an illicit affair with Kate (!). But time morphed his character into something very different, though the attraction between the characters is still hinted at when he appears. As a cop, Doyle retains that rough, street appearance, walking with swagger and charming all with a wink and a roguish grin. And who but Charlie Hunnam could properly pull that off?
Jimi Khan… When Jimi was first created, she… was a HE. But a subtle suggestion following a BBC review that the cast wasn’t diverse enough led me to taking a look at this character and seeing what I could do with it. Jimi not only became a woman (ideally portrayed by Parminder Nagra) but also a bisexual woman and the “bestie” of Kate. It was amazing how the character blossomed once I added those elements. She’s become a favorite character of series fans.
Jerome Wilkinson… Way back when this character was created, he was very different. Posh, stuffy, Caucasian… Wilkinson couldn’t have been more different. Then I saw a show called Ultraviolet and discovered Idris Elba, and he was immediately cast as muse for the role. I still picture him to this day.
DC Paul Owens… This is the one character that has not changed since he was first created way back in 2002, and the casting hasn’t changed either. I first saw Sean Biggerstaff playing Oliver Wood in Harry Potter and cast him immediately. If this were ever produced, I still want him asked to play the role.
Clive Reynolds… Reynolds was always one of the vaguer characters, casting-wise. I had a stronger view of the character itself than of what he looked like or of his presence. I just couldn’t find someone who worked and had that youthful vibe without being too young; someone that looked like he could be a Crown Prosecutor and still listen to acid rock from the 70s. Then I found a picture of a graying Jack Davenport and I said, “Eureka!” (I might have actually said that, too, LOL And so Reynolds was cast.
Doctor Diana Monaghan… The original muse for this character was Dame Helen Mirren, but as the character’s background took shape in my notes, I wanted a figure that not only had a strong, powerful air about her, but also was taller and could bring that bearing physically. Enter Janet McTeer. After seeing her in a mystery program, I knew nobody else could bring what this character needs to the table.
Det. Supt. Douglas Hagen… In the beginning, Hagen looked a lot like John Nettles of Midsomer Murders fame. Okay, he WAS John Nettles of Midsomer Murders fame LOL. There’s still some of the dry wit and sparkle that came from that association, but Hagen is a written a bit more physical and with a slight edge to him now, and my muse for him as I write now is the one and only Jason Statham.
DS Richard Pierce… Now, this guy went through a number of incarnations, inspiration-wise. In fact, for a long time the person I pictured in this role was Jack Davenport LOL. He did start out, though, as an Dublin-born Irishman, as played by Karl Geary. Many years later, a new muse was found and now I really can’t imagine anyone else as “Rick” but himself, Aidan Turner.
Kate Gardener… this was a tough one become basically Kate is me LOL But if I was able to cast a production of this series, I can’t think of anyone better to play this part than Emma Stone. She epitomizes the smart, sassy, sexy vibe of the character, and she looks the part, too.
What do YOU think? Is this how you picture the cast?
Curious about the series? Want to check it out from the beginning? You can find all the books right HERE