Secrets of The Phoenix Project…
The Phoenix Project was an idea floating around in my head for 10 years before it finally saw the light of day. All the characters, locations and events were gradually built upon to become what they are today. So here are some of the early influences on the novel.
When hunting through my old notes from the very early versions of the book, I found these pictures. I cut them from magazines when I was around 18 years old and for years they were the perfect images for my characters. My ideas have changed somewhat (especially for Khan, who looks far too sweet here!), but the main ideas remained the same.
Alexia (top left) Khan (top right) Kiri (bottom left) and Seraphia (bottom right)
I even tried drawing some of my characters years ago! I have absolutely no talent in drawing so these are not very good – but they allowed me to get a better idea of the characters early on. Alexia (left) Raven (right).
Raven has also been a mixture of various people – both real and imaginary. I was working on the same character for a long time and he grew and developed into both Vincent Wilder from the Light and Shadow Chronicles, and Raven Kennedy from The Phoenix Project. Therefore, much of Raven’s character is from him. However, parts of him have been based around the following people:
Raven has always had dark hair and intense eyes. The first person I saw in a movie that really looked like my image of him was Billy Crudup as Tommy Marcano in the film ‘Sleepers.’
Then I watched ‘Sunshine’ starring Cillian Murphy, and I loved the intensity of his eyes, and the haunted look he always has about him!
Another good model for Raven is Aidan Turner – especially in ‘Being Human’. I like the darkness of his eyes, (though I think he may be a bit too ‘pretty’ for Raven!)
The closest I’ve come yet to an actor who looks a lot like my image of Raven is Santiago Cabrera as Isaac in Heroes. As a character that deals with mental health issues, Isaac reminded me a lot of Raven and that brooding intensity he has is just perfect!
So, what do you think? If you have read The Phoenix Project why not drop me a line and let me know who you pictured when you were reading the book. Maybe your idea of Raven (or any of the characters) will be very different to mine, but I’d love to know!