"Have you got backstories on all of your original characters?" I was asked. I airily said, "Yeah..." It's only as you come to write the background on each and every one of them that you learn two things:
- You haven't got quite as much backstory as you thought you had on all of them;
- The information you do have is quite detailed.
It's been fun writing these though. Sometimes a little spooky too. I trawled through the stories and found all of those random bits of trivia about everyone. I then added all those disparate facts that have always been in my head. Then I thought I'd set about inventing the rest, unfortunately I couldn't over the sounds of all these characters lining up to tell me their stories. I swear they're real. I thought they lived in my head, but now I'm not so sure. <.<
Take the massacre which killed Mello's family. I was just checking that such a thing was possible in that time and place, when I discovered the Vocin Massacre. I read, I stared, I messaged Miyamashi (I've nicked Mello's backstory off her - she wrote about it in 'Twisted Religion'). She swore blind that she'd never heard of Vocin. If you look it up though, you'll find a story disturbingly similiar to our fictional accounts. Vocin happened on December 13th, 1991, Mello's 2nd birthday.
Then I had strange moments where I'd patently remembered something, but hadn't realised it. Take, for example, Neuron telling me that his parents were tourists, who were abducted in Egypt. The timeline of the story had already told me that this would have been 2008. I randomly chose September I dutifully wrote that down. Then, because I do try to make this as authentic as possible, I went to check the news archives for Egypt in September 2008. The papers were full of the news that 10-15 tourists had been abducted by Sudanese paramilitaries. I stared. I looked at Neuron. He smiled. Isn't memory a wonderful thing? LOL
Incidentally, I have occasionally taken liberties with reality. Stop looking at me like that. I meant specifically in the story. You will find fictional accounts interwoven with real historic events.
These character profiles are for those whom the denizens of MangaBullet suggested. I've been thrilled to bits as some of the amazing artists there offered to draw pictures especially for this. Miyamashi drew Lauren and Aimee; Spoiled Kitten produced a very sexy Century, Matt, Salvo, Mairoo, Luigi, Deontic, Jamboree, Jonny and Ann; Melissa gave us Lamond, Hollow, Nathalie and Chrissie; Rochelle gave us Mello, Near and Neuron; A-Pseudonym created Fenian; and Jenn was there with Linda. They all offered to do whatever was required. I love them so much!
Many of the characters also have soundfiles, recorded by native speakers of their language (excepting Mello, as we couldn't find a Croatian). Some are missing though. If you believe that you can contribute a missing soundfile, please contact me on MangaBullet.
Anyway, I've waffled enough. Enjoy the character profiles!