Debbie Bar – Are your book characters based on actual players?
WARNING – SPOILERS FOR GOAL LINE AHEAD
RJ: Marc Andre Fleury talks to his pipes – there are awesome videos out there of him making all these weird noises, and patting them when they help him save a goal – I love that and it’s part of the crazy that is your average goalkeeper. Talking to pipes was very definitely part of the make-up of Stan, although Marc is French Canadian, and obviously Stan is Russian. I think what we do is take little parts of a lot of players to make up our guys.
VL: Yeah, I agree that our characters are probably a conglomeration of various players with a heaping helping of our own imagination. Going back to Stan, since he’s Russian we patterned his speech off of Evgeni Malkin’s when he first came to America, then we ramped it up and tossed in some of our own quirks to make him unique. Like the Elvis fanship.
RJ: As for Ten, he was modelled on a lot of the new guys who come into hockey as phenom’s. Like a young Sidney Crosby, or Connor McDavid. Incredibly fast, and skilled, and with so much talent you know that they are going to make their mark.
VL: Exactly. Ten was a lot of fun because of his youth and his vulnerability. He’s grown a lot, just as Sid has over the years and we’ll now be able to see how he handles extreme adversity since for most of his life, all the hockey stuff has come to him as naturally as breathing. Now, he’s going to have to work damn hard to get all that back.
RJ: Didn’t you use certain characteristics of someone as inspiration for one of our DMen?
VL: Are we talking about Adler?
RJ: Hmmmmm…. Maybe LOL
VL: Sorry, it’s early and the coffee hasn’t leached into my brain cells yet. If memory serves there’s a lot of someone in him but I can’t recall who.
RJ: You’re getting old, memory goes first… nods…
VL: Oh hush! I think it was Sean Avery, but Adler isn’t as uhm…controversial as Avery was. Avery was also the inspiration for one of my solo characters.
RJ: Which one?
VL: Victor Kalinski.
RJ: The Venomous Pole!
VL: Yep. Adler isn’t as toxic as Victor or Sean but he does have some of the same spirit. He says what comes to his mind without much of a filter.
RJ: Bryan in Goal Line has touches of the Pen’s Bryan Rust in him. Rusty has a stutter and always seems quite vulnerable in interviews, even though he’s not. Our Bryan doesn’t have a stutter – but they do share names! LOL. Oh, i know another one… in my short story Secrets, Benji is based on Connor Sheary from the Pens. Only 5 feet 7 but a scrappy fighter… reminds me of another short scrappy skater whose name i forget…
VL: Is he an adorable Norwegian winger?
RJ: No, he’s Zuccarello.
VL: That’s who I — oh never mind. Speaking of Zucc, when we were doing research for Ten’s accident, alot of our symptoms for Tennant were the symptoms that Mats experienced when he had a traumatic head injury while playing hockey. There are some heart wrenching videos detailing his experience and how his friends reacted to his injury. Very moving and extremely inspirational. After that terrible injury Mats came back to lead the Rangers in scoring!
RJ: Was that the year the team only score 5 goals?
VL: Ignores you.
RJ: Love you really. I must admit watching the Zucc videos was heart rending, particularly when Hags was discussing his reaction, and how he and Brassard cried when they first saw Zucc.
VL: Oh man, that was a terrifying time for everyone, his family, his friends and his fans. I remember it clearly as it was during a playoff game and the slapshot came from his own captain. To this day I cannot imagine how badly Ryan McDonagh must have felt. *sighs* But, Mats came back and I strongly suspect our Ten will battle back as well. With Jared at his side of course.
RJ: If Ten doesn’t battle back there are a hundred screaming Ten fangirls waiting for us on Facebook…
VL: With pitchforks and burning torches even!
RJ: Pretty much! So, I hope that answers your question, Debbie, we take inspiration from the players we watch, but all of the players we write are a mash up of lots of different men.
VL: Great question as always! And if anyone out there has anything they’d like to ask us, please feel free to drop your questions in the message box or over at the MM Hockey Romance Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1435505643222025/)