Saturday, January 20, 2024

Look Beyond the Facade and Meet the Real People who Inspired the Characters in Hyde

The third book in the Dark Musicals Trilogy, Hyde, was inspired by the musical Jekyll and Hyde. In the musical, the Dr. Jekyll isn't the only one with two faces--everyone has a few secrets. As they say in their signature song, everyone hides behind their facade. Today I wanted to give my readers a chance to look beyond the facade and meet the real people who inspired some of the characters in Hyde.

Lord Justyn

If you've read the whole series, you've probably met him before, but the real Lord Justyn is definitely worth another mention.  It was his unique personality and remarkable acting abilities that inspired the series more than five years ago. Don't let the leather and fishnet fool you. Lord Justyn is one of the sweetest guys I've ever met and like his namesake he's super talented. An actor, a musician, and a writer, he has it all in one swoon-worthy package.


When I started writing Phantom, Carmen was supposed to be based on my friend Viv. That's where she got her ethnic beauty and her Cuban descent, but even in Phantom she started to develop a tough personality that wasn't anything like Viv, who I've never heard utter an obscenity. In Hyde,  Carmen got even tougher, and I think I was channeling another lovely Latina, my editor Tara. Carmen has the same grit and no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is attitude.


There are lots of new characters in Hyde. One of them is Fernando, who's based on my own stepfather. He owns the dinner theater where Rebecca and Justyn will be making their professional debut. In real life, he owns Duffy's On The Lake. If that name sounds familiar, it might be because the gang stopped there for dinner in the first chapter of Demon

Steve and Petya

You'll love to hate them in Hyde, but this real life couple are a lot nicer in reality than they are in my book. Meet Steve and Petya. They are servers at our family restaurant, but Steve is also an actor. The one true fact about them, aside from their physical descriptions, that you'll read in Hyde is that Steve really was in a few episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 when he was a teenager. He's hoping to play himself if the books are ever made into movies and he wanted a fun role, so I made him and his wife both have...colorful personalities.
Officer Weston

If you read Hyde, you're going to meet a pair of law enforcement officers. One of them is based on my fellow Pagan Writers Press author Andrew Paul Weston. He is retired now but was a cop in England for many years. Andrew helped me iron out some forensic details in Hyde.

Officer Cusella

And this is Officer Nino Cusella. He plays Andrew's rookie partner in Hyde. He was also my neighbor growing up. When we were kids, he helped me learn to ride my bike without training wheels and we used to try and catch to seagulls with homemade traps.  Today Nino is is patrolling the streets of our hometown of Wildwood. He helped me iron out the legal details of a few scenes in Hyde as well as appearing as a character.

Darlene & Matt

Darlene AKA Tempest, is Justyn's mother in the Dark Musicals Trilogy. The real Darlene was my High Priestess before she moved out of state. I also made her friend Matt into Justyn's hippie stepfather. While Darlene's personality in the series fits the real Darlene to a tee, the fictional Darlene also shares some of the traits of my friend Tempest, a professional Gothic belly dancer. Tempest is Darlene's stage name in the Dark Musicals Trilogy.

Sherry & Bruce

Sherrie is a little camera shy, so I don't have a photo of her, but I think I painted a pretty accurate picture in Hyde. She stepped into the role of Justyn's grandmother because her feisty Irish spirit, lust for life, and unique style seemed to fit perfectly into this non-traditional family. She is actually the mother one of my old high school classmates, and she's one of the wisest and most caring woman I know. She's has taught me many things, including he fact that your bra makes an excellent storage area. But with her flame red hair and her fierce protective nature, you can believe she's a force to be reckoned with if you get on her bad side. I also gave her husband Bruce a small part as Justyn's grandfather, and while I made his physical appearance similar to Darlene and Justyn, I stayed true to the quiet, conventional nature Sherry has always described when she spoke of her husband.


Last but certainly not least, there was a very special cameo appearance in Hyde. This little guy is Dash, and he is my publisher Angie's son. Of course, I had to age him a little to fit him into the story, but I  gave him his mom's red hair and a little of his father's personality.

Well, that about wraps up the real faces of Hyde. The story wouldn't be what it is with the help all of these wonderful people provided. This is their story as much as mine and I thank them all for the inspiration.  To get to know them and their alter ego's better, be sure to pick up your copy of Hyde while its on sale for $0.99.


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