Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Gail Delaney casts the characters in Janus

John and Jenifer came about in an odd, organic kind of way. When I wrote The Phoenix Rebellion series, I had no definitive plans to write another series. So, when I decided I wanted to do another series I revisited the first for possible new stories.

John Smith XXXIV (yes, that's the thirty-fourth -- John says the Aretu of people of habit) of Aretu was introduced in the third book of The Phoenix Rebellion -- Gaining Ground. While he played a significant role, he wasn't a primary character. In my mind, John Smith was modeled after Christopher Eccleston, a British actor. For those of you who may be fans of Doctor Who, you may notice the 'double meaning' in his name. ☺

Christopher Eccleston isn't your usual hunky, good looking hero... but there is something about him I find very appealing. So, I played on that in Janus. John Smith is known across the planet as the Aretu Ambassador to Earth, and much to his chagrin, he's also considered a bit of a sex symbol. As Connor Montgomery asks his second-in-command (a woman). "So, is it the whole alien thing?"

If John was a secondary character, Jenifer should have been little more than a blip on anyone's radar. She appeared in two whole scenes in the first series -- at the end of book two -- Outcasts and the beginning of book three -- Gaining Ground. John and Jenifer have connections to each other, but never meet. That whole 'six degrees of separation' kind of thing.

My best friend and partner in crime, Jenifer Ranieri, was in a way inspiration for Jenifer. When writing the series, Jenifer asked me to write a total kick-butt heroine, even if she was there and gone, and name her Jenifer. So, I did. Little did I know she would be the perfect match for John Smith in another series.

As far as picturing Jenifer, I see Clair Forlani. She's beautiful, but there is something hidden deep behind her eyes.


  1. Love Mr. Eccleston. You're right, he's not what you call a pretty man but he's got charisma oozing out of his pores.

    And I love the Jenifer story. So fun!

    1. The picture I use here of CE is probably the best I've found to represent John, and it definitely highlights CE's attributes. :-) Though his prominent ears and nose are a bit of a joke at the beginning of the book.

      He's got a presence I like, which I tried to carry through to John.