My characters are not only imaginary, they exist in an imaginary fantasy world. But they still have real-world prototypes or examples. Although I thought them up on my own, I’ve found some real-world examples of what they might look or be like.
My main country in The Zemnian Trilogy is, of course, Zem’ (“Earth” or “Land”). But it does have some non-Zemnian characters. Most notably, Susanna from The Breathing Sea is sort of “Georgian,” as in from the country of Georgia. But it was only after creating her that I became fascinated with Georgian folk music. While tootling around on YouTube, I stumbled upon videos of the group Trio Mandili, all three of whom, but especially the girl in front, look pretty much exactly how I imagined Susanna to look:
Later, in The Dreaming Land, we meet Susanna’s great-grandson Amiran. Although relations between Avkhazovskoye (my “Georgia”) and Zem’ are considerably more cordial than they currently are or have ever been between the real-life Russia and Georgia, Amiran is still a fierce patriot of his native land. In The Dreaming Land II: The Journey (which you can snap up for free in the Summer of Love Giveaway), he describes its beauties, which look something like this:
The stereotype of Georgians is that they’re beautiful, high-spirited, fun-loving, and sensual, which is something my “Georgian” characters certainly are, and that this extremely charming promotional video emphasizes:
Now you want to go to Georgia, don’t you?
But why should the Avkhaz/Georgians have all the fun? I promised you sword dancing, and there will be sword dancing! Valya, in The Dreaming Land, is a kind of “Cossack” and an excellent swordswoman, like the women in this (home-made, wildly propagandistic and nationalistic, FYI) video of Cossack women performing sword dances:
This video is dedicated to the women who aren’t afraid to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with their men.
In The Dreaming Land I: The Challenge (which you can pick up for free in the Otherworldly Creatures Giveaway), Valya demonstrates her mastery of the art of sword-fighting in the training yard, as well as her superiority in fighting with her feet. Kind of like these guys, although as a woman she has higher kicks and better reach 🙂
Boys, boys, boys…
In The Dreaming Land II: The Journey (another place to pick up a free copy is the 9 1/2 Weeks Erotic Fiction Giveaway–my book is the one with the swordfighter on the cover, instead of a naked man), Valya meets up with Tanya, another fierce warrior woman, whom I imagine as looking kind of like the singer Pelageya, shown here performing a Cossack song with the Kuban Cossack Choir backing her up:
This version is a little more professional, perhaps, but this is the kind of thing Valya and Tanya would sing while riding on patrol
So now you know! And I’m sorry if I’ve sent you down the YouTube rabbit hole and you’re now going to spend the next two hours watching Russian and Georgian folk/rock music videos (which is how I’ve spent my morning!).
Links to the books again if I’ve whetted your appetite:
The Breathing Sea is available on Amazon, and is free on Kindle Unlimited, here.
Free Advance Review Copies of The Dreaming Land I: The Challenge are available in many giveaways, including the Daring Damsels and Warrior Women Giveaway.
And free ARCs of both The Dreaming Land I & The Dreaming Land II are available in the Summer of Love Giveaway.