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Ask the Author: Who’s Who? Charlie Sanders

Hello, book lovers!

Any author is lying if they tell you that their characters are purely fiction. Of course we draw from people in our past, and of course we do that more when a boy is involved. When crafting Charlie Sanders—the golden boy of the DEAD RINGER world—I took inspiration from five of the most memorable guys of my past.

Here (despite all my crazy nerves) are five of Charlie’s qualities and exactly who inspired them.

  1. Charlie Sanders, soccer star

My middle school boyfriend Jon was a complete soccer phenomenon. He played on a ton of traveling teams and eventually for a division I college. Soccer was the sport of fame in my community, so that made Jon a star. I wanted Charlie to be the top player in one specific game, so soccer was my obvious answer. (I should mention that my high school boyfriend and now husband were also accomplished soccer players… So yes, I have a thing for soccer boys.)

  1. Electric smile

One of the sweetest and cutest guys in my middle school class (who remains a friend today) was Tim, and he had/has a totally electric smile. He’s charming in many ways, but I swear it’s that grin of his that leaves a lasting first impression. I envisioned that being what draws Laura in the minute she meets Charlie.

  1. Charlie’s face (oh, that chiseled jaw!)

Confession: when I picture Charlie, there’s really one guy’s face that I see: Eric, a super brief flame from the summer before my sophomore year of high school (and by super brief I mean one afternoon and evening spent on the beach). He also had messy chestnut hair that I just had to give Charlie. I don’t know what Eric is doing today, but I always thought he should have been modeling and acting. I assure you—the rest of the girls in my hometown shared that opinion.

  1. Mama’s boy

In high school I dated a really sweet guy named Josh who had a loving relationship with his mom. To be clear, every guy I’ve ever dated has been kind and caring toward his mother, but Josh’s case was different. It was just the two of them, and their bond left a lasting impact on me. I wanted to show Charlie’s sensitive side, and that emulating Josh’s relationship with his mom felt like a beautiful way to do so.

  1. Smooth moves

Brace yourself for an aww. Charlie’s date-night tactics are totally based on my husband, Robby. When imagining what kind of swoon-worthy moments might hook Laura, I just thought about all the things my husband did for me when we were dating. Bringing a blanket for the convertible ride? Total Robby move. My husband also has those piercing, deep-brown eyes that Laura notices in Charlie on the very first day—and that I noticed in him on our very first date.

I can’t believe I spilled the beans, but there it is! I truly hope that all the guys from my past are honored to be small pieces of Charlie. I mean, it could be way worse, right? They could be part of what inspired his dark side.

But that, I assure you, is purely fiction ;)

-Jessie Rosen


Read DEAD RINGER to see Charlie’s “dark side” for yourself! Buy it on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo or direct from the Full Fathom Five Digital store (direct purchases give Jessie more royalties!).




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1 comment

  1. […] Want to know more? Read a guest blog post here about the bits that are fiction vs. reality and here for which real-life boys inspired my main character, Charlie Sanders! […]