Bia asked A.G. Howard:

On characterization, how do you do yours? I'm curious on how you crafted Alyssa, Morpheus and Jeb. They're tridimensional and sometimes, very accurate to what one really is. I'd like to know how you do your average characterization and what was your inspiration to create those three. :)

A.G. Howard Thank you!

First, I'll come up with a name. Sometimes the names have a meaning shaped by the role the character will play in the story (Morpheus, for example). Other times, I just hop onto internet databases and skim through baby names. Hard to explain, but my gut always knows which one is right.

In Splintered, Alyssa’s name is a variation of Alice, as is her mother Alison’s, and her grandmother, Alicia’s. Jebediah "Jeb" Holt, came about his name the way most of my character’s do. It just seemed to fit him. The name felt strong, but at the same time approachable and trustworthy.

Next, I shape my characters' personalities. They have to be fully fleshed out before I even start the actual writing. Every writer's process is different, but because I'm very visual, I need to *see* them to get a sense of who they are. So, I google until I find the perfect head shot and I put it inside a word document dedicated to the characters of the book.

Then finally, with a picture to look at, a name to guide me, and keeping in mind their story roles, I map out a character sketch for each one in the document. This includes some back story, their habits/hobbies, their flaws, their motivations, their fears and their hopes/dreams. Even some snippets of dialogue are added, so I'll know what they "sound" like.

Sure, they're going to develop and grow throughout the book, but this way I go in with them already feeling layered and real, which contributes to the multidimensional effect. ;)

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