Inspiration for an author’s characters come from the craziest of places. Photos of cover models, actors, that cute guy at the coffee shop – once our minds lock onto inspiration we get our pad and paper and run with it.
My original inspiration for my Irish hero in the Black Irish series, Sloan O’Riley, wasn’t some hunk that made my heart flutter. He was my grandpa, Donald Fannon. There was never a dull moment around him. He was Black Irish (just like Sloan!) with the infamous Irish temper. He would break out into Irish ditties at the drop of a hat out of nowhere. He gave me books of Irish stories and poetry to read when I was at his and my grandmother’s house. He was loud and never held back what he felt. He was strict but he always loved and protected his family. He was proud of his Irish heritage which made me proud to be of being Irish too.
In 2002, Grandpa Fannon died of lung cancer. I never realized how much I missed him until I started writing Black Irish. Seeing the traces of him as I built Sloan has been my way of sharing him with the world, of keeping him around forever.
Not all of Sloan was my grandfather. The dark, brooding millionaire with a dark past was inspired by another character, Jericho Barrons from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series (of which I am a huge fan!). But the important part, the Irish man, will always be Grandpa.
When you read Black Irish, I am proud to introduce you to my grandpa. I hope you will fall in love with him too as you fall in love with Sloan.