How am I like my character? Well, I'm like him in a lot of ways.
We are of a similar physical appearance. Both well over 6 ft, topping over 300lbs, both with shaved heads, goatees, and tattoos.
We have similar pasts. Both former bouncers. Both tattoo artists.
We have similar tastes. Blues? Check. Sushi? Check. Hotrods? Check. Guns? Check.
I wrote a lot of myself in the character of Deacon Chalk. I am not going to lie. I took "write what you know" and ran with it.
Some would levy the dreaded mary sue accusation at me.
And I do not care.
Here's why, dear reader. First of all, Deacon was born from one thought. What would it take to drive a man into hunting monsters, if monsters were real? I examined that question thoroughly, putting myself int he situation. What would I do if a monster slaughtered my family for no reason? The answer? I would lose my shit. I would go off the deep end and want to hunt that bastard down.
Okay, now what?
I would get killed because humans are no match for monsters.
Well, that's not a story. So from there spun out the basis for Deacon's origin story.
Now, writing the character I wanted to give him as much depth as possible, so I interjected a LOT of myself into him. That includes his appearance. There is a reason for this and it wasn't vanity.
It's hard to explain, but the world is different for someone who looks like me. I look like a thug. I am the biggest and scariest looking person that most folks ever meet. My cheery disposition doesn't matter, when I first meet someone, they usually feel afraid or intimidated. I have folks who get to know me tell me this all the time.
It was interesting to think about how someone who looked like me, who walks through the world often having to prove they are a nice guy, but being able to throw down the scary card if needed, how would they act going up against monsters who are not afraid of him?
That was interesting to me, and since I had the first hand experience of the reality side of it, writing the urban fantasy spin was fun and easy.
Now, there are some major differences between me and Deacon also. First of all, I have never lost anyone close to me. My father passed on years back, but we weren't all that close. I loved him, he loved me, but we were two completely different kinds of men and had very little in common. My wife and children are still alive and still absolutely wonderful. I can imagine the pain of losing them, but would never, ever want to.
I am not prone to violence. Deacon's first reaction to any given situation is violence. I am a very peaceful person. Yes I love guns, but that's just the redneck in me. Ask anyone who knows me in person and I am very chill. I don't get upset or bent out of shape, I take everything in stride. Deacon has a hair-trigger and is ready to go off at any moment.
I do not have a death wish.
I love life and will fight for the very last moment of it.
Deacon wants nothing more than to die and go be with his family. That is why he fights monsters. He's a staunch Catholic, he cannot take himself there and die, so he throws himself at monsters hoping, praying, that one day one of them is monster enough to kill him.
Plus, the charge of Mary Sue is a bit unfounded with Deacon. I completely kick his ass in these books. The Deaconverse is not a nice place to live. Things are bloody and violent. Deacon gets hurt. Deacon makes mistakes because of his tendency to violence and his stubbornness.
So there is a lot of me in Deacon Chalk, but he is his own man and makes his own mistakes.