Saturday, July 26, 2008


My readers ask me all the time about my protag's boyfriend, Buster. If you haven't read Wild Goose Chase (why not?),Buster is a tall, broad-shouldered, black haired, blue-eyed hunk. A homicide detective, he wears his hair short and his button-down shirts starched.

When people would ask me who Buster was, I'd lie. Up until now, that is.It's time to come clean.

This is the real model for Buster:

What? Want to see that again?

It's true. His name is Bo Bice and he was runner-up on American Idol, Season 4. Four years ago, I was writing the 200th draft of Wild Goose Chase and watching this rocker sing his heart out every week. I'd wait with girlish anticipation for the show to begin to see what he was going to do. It didn't hurt that he sang like a dream, really knew how to work the stage, and was easy on the eyes.

There’s a little Buster in Bo, and a lot of Bo in Buster. That's because underneath this tattooed, long-haired exterior is a Southern gentleman who loves his mother, has a silly love of puns and an innate talent that he’s passionate about sharing with the world.

There’s the nicknames. Neither one goes by their given name (Benjamin and Harold). There’s the guitar playing, although I’d admit Buster had never picked up a guitar until I saw Bo on American Idol. There’s the underlying sweetness that infuses their being.

But mostly it’s about following your dreams. Bo Bice was a guitar store manager, a bar band lead singer, when he went on American Idol. He came in second to Carrie Underwood. Since then he's put out two albums and traveled the country despite major health problems and starting a family.

I went to see Bo in concert this week, when he finally came to Northern California and was reminded how much he'd inspired me. Each morning before writing, I'd play me a little Bo Bice, just to get the creative juices flowing. His voice served to remind me about people who are lucky enough to realize their dreams.

So I gave Buster a little Bo to keep the dream alive.

One more. Just for inspiration.


Monica Ferris said...

Interesting where characters come from. And how they sometimes strongly differ from how readers perceive them. I once saw a photo of a model that looked so much like Kori Price Brichter (from my first mystery series) that I cut it out and kept it with a manuscript. A friend saw it and was amazed when I said it looked like Kori. "No, it doesn't, not at all!" she declared. A reminder to authors that your stories take place in your readers' minds, not on the pages you write.

Kathryn Lilley said...

I didn't have a specific person after whom I imaged Kate Gallagher, my protagonist, but I suddenly "met" her at a little designer shop in my beach city. She's the owner, and we've become friends. One time I was talking to her and I suddenly blurted out--ohmygod, you look just like Kate! She was very pleased, and now she's selling my books right next to the trendy high heels and spangle gear!!

Terri Thayer said...

You're lucky to have met yours. I saw a women in an airport who looked just like my vision of Dewey Pellicano. I sooo wanted to ask for a picture and never did.

Inspiration does come from the oddest places.

beckylevine said...

I had NO idea. I'm not sure I'll ever see Buster the same way again. Doesn't Dewey look like you?!

Dee Winter said...

Nope, Buster is blond and blue eyed with short hair and no beard. I can see him plain as day and Bo Bice is not him. That's the beauty of you writing and us having our own fantasies.

Betty Hechtman said...

When I was reading Wild Goose Chase I was sure you Buster was Jerry McConnell. I think that's his name. No, McConnell's is the name of my favorite ice cream. He's Jerry O' Connell. He was in Jerry McGuire and Crossing Jordan.

Bo Bice must be hot. My indoor cycling teacher was all excited because she and another teacher at the gym were going to see him the other night.

Kathy said...

Yes, Bo Bice is HOT! Paula Quinn based her romantic hero on Bo for her historical romance novel, "Lord of Seduction." Not only is Bo hot on the stage, but in person, Bo is is the most humble, nicest, sweetest guy you could ever meet.

Kim said...
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Kim said...

I just stumbled in here following a blog post from a Bo Bice fan Myspace page, and I had to smile - because Bo is my muse for my first novel which is sort of in the "formulation" stage right now. It will take place in Kashmir, Northern India (where I currently live)during the period of 1989/1990 as well as early 17th Century Kashmir, the era of Emperor Shah Jahan.

Quite honestly I have no idea what I'm doing, but just going for it anyway. I've done a lot of writing and have 4 completed novels but have never actually tried to get something published until this project. I'm so excited, and VERY happy to see that Bo has been an inspiration for others as well!

JamCam said...

Well, if Bo Bice is the inspiration for your "Buster" character, I want to read your book! How hot is this guy? For those of you that are unsure, try reading up about this incredible man ~ and I mean "man" in the truest form. After you learn about Bo, you'll jump on the Bice bandwagon...there is some room...I'll scooch over. Welcome to the ride! You're gonna love it here.

Risa said...

As a Bo Bice fan, I've just got to say . . . Terry, you rock!

Anonymous said...

You must have seen Bo at the Saddlerack! I was there that night...and I am a HUGE Bocrazy fan! Thank you for sharing your inspiration - he has inspired a lot of women, I know! Now I must go read your books!