Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Idol Hands Are The Devil's Workshop

Yes, I know the correct spelling for this blog title should be "idle", not "idol", but that would completely mess up the pun when blogging about Billy Idol, now wouldn't it?  :)

So why am I blogging about Billy Idol? Take a look at the photo at left - Billy Idol at age 50, on the cover of his 2005 comeback album, "Devil's Playground".

When I was writing the second book in the Nicki Styx series, A Match Made In Hell, I introduced a new character, Samuel B. Divine, a/k/a "Sammy", a/k/a His Satanic Majesty.  Yep, the Devil, in the flesh.  And now you can see, perhaps, whose flesh I chose to put him in, and why.

When the Devil's Playground CD came out I listened to it over and over again, marveling that Billy had not only kept his trademark growl and trademark sneer, but how - at age 50 - he'd kept his trademark sexiness. Take a peek at the video for "Scream", my favorite song on the CD:

All this over-the-top, drop dead sexiness was the perfect inspiration for the character of Sammy, who tormented poor Nicki for two more books (You're the One That I Haunt and Silent Night, Haunted Night) with his over-the-top, drop dead sexiness :).  He swaggered, he tempted, he threatened, he seduced, but as it turns out, good once again triumphed over evil when the ultimate bad boy fell hard for the girl who refused to give in to her dark side, and chose another man over him.

The character of Sammy isn't completely based on Billy Idol, though.  I wanted remove some of the rough edges, give him a wry sense of humor and some sophistication, and the perfect model for that seemed to be Simon Baker, who plays Patrick Jayne on the TV series, The Mentalist.  Those sexy blue eyes of his, slightly wrinkled at the corners, seemed to have that perfect "wise-beyond-his-years" look that I imagined Sammy might wear. Highly intelligent, a con man's con man, with a slightly wounded air and a mysterious past.  Oh, yes, Simon Baker got himself incorporated into the character of Sammy, as well.

For now, Nicki Styx seems to have found her happily ever after, but Sammy's story isn't over.  He's eternal, you know, and he's got a lot of stories to tell.  I decided to pick up right where we left off with DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE, which will be released in paperback and e-book form on May 31, 2011, and am thrilled to continue spending time in Sammy's world as I write the as-yet-untitled sequel, which will be released in the winter of 2011.

So, because I get asked all the time about where I get my inspiration, I thought I'd let you know.  When I envision the character of Sammy, he pretty much looks like this:

mixed with this:

Now you know.  :)


Brooklyn Ann said...

OMG, I love it! I pictured Billy Idol and Spike from Buffy when you described Sammy :) Johnny Depp is my imaginary cover model for my vampire twins Razvan and Radu Nicolae :) With maybe a little '90s Trent Reznor thrown in.

Maryse said...

Thank you so much for that! I just realized Simon's goregous face is very close to how I pictured Sammy... what a cutie he is!

Terri Garey said...

Visuals never hurt, do they, ladies? :)

Rose said...

Just the description of Sammy in the second Nicky Styx book made me think of Billy Idol, crossed with Spike from Buffy.So it came as a bit of a surprise when Sammy called Idol an "old punk"immediately after. Technically he IS an old punk but it seemed like an insult when Sammy said it