Thursday, October 27, 2011
Guest post by Susan Helen Gottfried
When I realized that absolutely nothing could convince Trevor Wolff to stop being the lead character in my first four books, I had to take a step back and look at this rock star who had flung himself into my imagination, fully formed and raring to go. I was shocked to discover what a complex, multi-dimensional man he is. After all, he's a bass player. The cliches for bass players are nothing like the man Trevor turned out to be.
On the surface, he's perfect for us girls who love Bad Boys. Trevor is a king of Bad Boys, flagrantly flaunting every rule he can get away with. Trevor pushes every single envelope he can find, and he gets away with it almost every time.
Yeah, I know. Part of being a really good Bad Boy is breaking the rules.
So let me be more specific: it's the WAY in which Trevor does it that sets him apart.
Trevor Wolff and the phrase Carpe Diem are pretty synonymous. Trevor's all about embracing life, milking it for all it's worth. He's one of those people who's too busy living to repeat the famous phrase about how life is meant to be used up, sliding into home plate all beaten and bloody but screaming WAHOO all the way. You know the phrase, I'm sure. Trevor embodies it.
This gets interesting when you consider where Trevor comes from. He should be nothing more than trailer trash, abused by his father to the point where escape meant more than ending the beatings -- it came down to life or death (probably not in the way you're thinking). Trevor should be bitter, angry, and caught in the cycle of abuse.
Instead, he's happy-go-lucky. Carefree, even.
This is because he's resilient, our Trevor Wolff. Good thing, too, considering what comes at him during Trevor's Song.
Without meaning to, I wound up creating a character more complex and real than some real-life people I've met. Trevor can't take the easy way out. Ever. And so instead of sinking into despair and doom and turning himself from a Bad Boy into a Dark, Brooding Hero, he becomes something else. Flip. Brutally honest. And, underneath the insecurity and attitude, sensitive and happy.
Okay, maybe that happy part is a stretch. Trevor likes to be grumpy. It's part of the Trevor Wolff persona. But underneath hides a very complex person, someone who -- I'm told, because I'm entirely too close to judge -- transcends the stereotype of a Bad Boy and becomes something entirely his own.