So, how did I come up with the original idea for The Guardians? I wish I could say it was something profound, or even something interesting like it came to me in a dream. But the boring answer is that it came to me while I was watching the TV. I don't remember what it was, but it was definitely something actiony. Something like James Bond or Mission Impossible. It was one of the scenes where the good guy is fighting all these nameless bad guy minions, just the ones who pop up on screen for a second to point their gun at James Bond only to get shot and forgotten about seconds later.
As usual, my over active imagination went to work, and I began to think about these minions who were getting killed off. Because I mean, it wasn't like they were born minions. They must have had a mother and father. Maybe they even had a family of their own? Wives, kids? Someone to mourn them? So my mind wandered off and I started to think about what it would be like to be told a story from a minion's point of view.
And that's basically how Gable came about, except obviously she didn't end up being just a regular old minion. She evolved as the story planning went on and turned into the sassy, bitchy girl she is today.
As for Nicky, I wanted an insight into the good guys and how they worked, which is why I needed a character like him to introduce us to their world and the world of the Outcasts. I always knew he was going to be a bad guy on the road to redemption and that he and Gable would have once been high school sweethearts, though I did originally plan on their reunion being a lot more romantic. That was before the character of Sacha was created. Sacha was originally supposed to be older, more of a father/uncle figure to Gable, but obviously THAT didn't happen. As I created his character, it became obvious to me that he was clearly in love with Gable, and that she was dealing with feelings of her own and suddenly I wasn't so sure about which direction to take her in – Nicky or Sacha. Honestly, I'm STILL not sure which direction I want to go with that. I guess we'll see how it goes as the story progresses.
The rest of the characters just kind of fell into place, almost like the story was choosing them and not me – which is something I'm sure many writers out there understand. I wanted my good guys to be flawed and maybe kind of annoying, and I wanted my bad guys to have human sides, the ability to love just like anyone else. Some of my characters, Cadby for instance, ended up having much larger roles in the story than I first anticipated. I originally only intended for Cadby to be in one small scene at the beginning, just someone there to show Nicky some of the different aspects of the Outcasts, but I ended up liking him too much and he came back. I might even give him his own short story one day.
So there's my explanation. It's a lot more rambly and a lot less explanationy that I meant it to be, and it probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But there it is :)