The official character inspirations

(Photo-heavy post ahead, just so you know.)

So, I got brave.

And here they are.

These are the official character inspirations for my story “Cherchez La Femme.”

Just as point of reference, click this link to read the original post I did regarding the characters.

And just an FYI, before we begin: as I’ve been writing, I’ve added three new characters, just as a kind of balance.

Two of those new characters are Lyle and Terrence. Both of them are Sarah’s uncles – Terrence is the oldest brother to Sarah’s father (there are four Goeken brothers – Terrence, Tad, Thomas, and Tim – but you’ll only meet the three; uncle Tim is mentioned in a big way, though), and Lyle is the elder brother to Sarah’s mother.

The third new character is Anthony, Francine’s long-time personal stylist/makeup artist. I had mentioned in an earlier post that Angelica doesn’t use her last name in the profession, and neither does Anthony. He does have a last name, but he doesn’t use it and nobody, apart from his family, knows his last name, not even Francine. However, he does reveal it to Sarah during the story….and there is a good reason why he doesn’t use his last name…. Gonna be so funny.


It’ll all make sense, trust me.

Sarah Goeken:

~ Well, duh….


She’s partly based on me in reality, and partly an amplified version of me. Hard to explain, but that’s how it is. So I don’t even have a well-known inspiration. It’d be someone unknown. This might be giving something away, but Sarah goes from ugly duckling to beautiful swan as the story goes on. Or Cinderella – yeah, there’s a ‘Cinderella’ moment in store for Sarah. So, you know, she’s not supposed to be drop-dead beautiful, or model-skinny. She is who she is. So.

Francine Almay:

~ Keira Knightley, and no mistake.


Told you – a ‘well-known, real life British actress.’ Because when I saw the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie….I dunno, she just seemed like somebody I would like to be friends with. I still feel that way. Couldn’t tell you why. And I have been loving writing scenes between Francine and Sarah, imagining Miss Knightley and myself in the respective roles. It’s really lent itself well to the writing. So.

Thomas Goeken (Sarah’s father):

~ Well, I’m drawing inspiration from my own father, of course. But for a well-known inspiration, Tom Kenny.


Tom Kenny is primarily a voiceover actor, best known as the voice of Spongebob Squarepants. He just seems like he would be a really cool dad. So.

Lynn Goeken (née Birchard) (Sarah’s mother):

~ Well, I’m drawing inspiration from my own mother, of course. But for a well-known inspiration, Jill Talley.


Jill Talley is also a voiceover actress, and is the wife of Tom Kenny in real life. She seems like the kind of mom who is part no-nonsense and part nonsensical, yet entirely open-minded and caring.

William Almay (Francine’s father):

~ Robert Carlyle.


Originally, I had a different person in mind as William, a different well-known inspiration, but he passed away last year. Not that I’m glad he passed away, because I’m not. But, in a way, it turned out to be best for the character of William as, with Robert Carlyle as my inspiration, William actually works much better now than he did before. Remember when I said that, aside from Sarah and Francine, William is the most important character in the story? Yeah. That. For that very reason, Robert Carlyle is the perfect inspiration.

Helen Almay (Francine’s mother):

~ Juliet Stevenson.


Juliet Stevenson actually played Keira Knightley’s mother in “Bend It Like Beckham.” I thought they were a great mother-daughter team, even though they didn’t understand one another for most of the movie. Plus, I’ve just always admired Juliet Stevenson.

Stetson Taylor (Francine’s boyfriend/significant other):

~ Jason Isaacs.


I dunno why. Just the way he can be equally funny and deadly serious is just….somewhat captivating to watch. And I don’t mean as in, like, I find him attractive. I mean, he is an attractive man, but when I say ‘captivating,’ I mean ‘fascinating.’ You understand? And Stetson has turned out to be just that, especially in his serious moments.

Anthony (Francine’s personal stylist/makeup artist):

~ Boy George.


Well, Anthony has style, attitude, and a wicked sense of humor. And Boy George has that, in abundance. It’s been fun to think on. Plus, I’ve admired Boy George ever since I was five years old (yeah, I know, way to make someone feel old, huh?), and I’ve always been trying to figure out the perfect character with which I could draw off him for inspiration. And Anthony it is.

Sally Birchard (Sarah’s cousin/Lyle’s daughter):

~ My cousin Gina, absolutely.


That’s Gina, in the picture above.

Otherwise, for a more well-known inspiration, Jodelle Ferland.


I’ve always admired Jodelle Ferland, as she perfectly balances her youth and precociousness with wisdom and grace and maturity beyond her years (just watch “Tideland” and prepare to be amazed). And Sally is that way.

Pauline Goeken (Sarah’s cousin/Tad’s daughter):

~ My cousin Melissa, absolutely.


That’s Melissa, in the picture above.

Otherwise, for a more well-known inspiration, Kristen Bell.


I’ve always admired Kristen Bell; she just seems so down-to-earth and feisty and wise. And Pauline is that way. Perfect.

Terrence Goeken (Sarah’s uncle):

~ Mark Hamill.


No, there is good reason for my using him as inspiration for Terrence. I needed to think about someone wise yet whimsical. From what I gather, Mark Hamill is that. So. That’s been fun to think on.

Tad Goeken (Sarah’s uncle/Pauline’s father):

~ Rob Paulsen.


Rob Paulsen is another prolific voiceover actor, best known (to me, at least) as the voices of both Yakko Warner and Pinky from “Animaniacs.” He just seems like, I don’t know, such a normal guy. And Tad is such a normal guy – no bells and whistles about Tad; he’s a smart guy, and he cares so much about his family. Rob Paulsen seems to be that sort of person.

Mary Goeken (Sarah’s step-aunt/Pauline’s stepmother):

~ Tara Strong.


Tara Strong is another voiceover actor, best known as the voice of Timmy Turner from “Fairly Oddparents” and of Bubbles from “The Powerpuff Girls.” Tara Strong seems so feisty and funny and family-oriented. She’s so cool.

Lyle Birchard (Sarah’s uncle/Sally’s father):

~ John de Lancie.


This was just a bolt-out-of-the-blue type thing. And, for whatever reason, he’s been working as the inspiration. So.

Laurie Higgins (Sarah’s friend/co-worker/band member):

~ Emily Perkins.


I was a big fan of the Canadian werewolf trilogy known as “Ginger Snaps,” in which Emily Perkins played Brigitte opposite Katharine Isabelle’s Ginger. Speaking of….

Julie Nichols (Sarah’s friend/co-worker/band member):

~ Katharine Isabelle.


Ta da! No, it was actually somewhat coincidental, that I looked to both Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins for different characters; didn’t really realize it until I was actually writing this post.

(Slight digression before we go on: a pre-“Orphan Black” Tatiana Maslany played the character of Ghost in the second of the three “Ginger Snaps” movies; go check it out if you’re so inclined. Okay, digression over.)

Ellen Wheeler (Sarah’s friend/co-worker/band member):

~ Stephanie Leonidas.


Stephanie Leonidas is perhaps best known for playing Helena/Anti-Helena in Neil Gaiman’s “Mirrormask.” Great movie, that is, by the way. And there’s going to be a surprise when it comes to Ellen. You’ll just have to wait and see.

Wilmer (Sarah’s friend/band member):

~ Jess Harnell.

at arrivals for SOFIA THE FIRST: ONCE UPON A PRINCESS Premiere, Walt Disney Studios Lot, Burbank, CA November 10, 2012. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

Jess Harnell is another prolific voiceover actor, with too many credits to his name, but he is perhaps best known as the voice of Wakko Warner from “Animaniacs.” He is also a rock singer; I used to have a couple of his/his band’s albums. He’s really good.

Leon (Sarah’s friend/band member):

~ Billy West.


Not only is Billy West another prolific voiceover actor (Doug from “Doug,” Stimpy from “Ren & Stimpy,” Fry/Professor Farnsworth/Zoidberg/Zapp Brannigan in “Futurama,” need I go on?), but he is also a musician in real life; I also used to have an album of his as well. He’s also really good.

Paul (Sarah’s friend/band member):

~ James Arnold Taylor.


Another voiceover actor, but I imagine he’d make an excellent musician. What do you think?

Mrs. Jaice (Sarah’s college teacher):

~ Jane Lynch.


Now, Mrs. Jaice is actually inspired by a real-life creative writing teacher I had in high school; this teacher was actually my most favorite teacher throughout all of my schooling (alas, I do not have a picture of her). But in terms of drawing off of a well-known inspiration, look no further than Jane Lynch. I never ever saw a single episode of “Glee,” but she seems as wise as she is cynical, and she seems very caring, very warm, very inspiring, and that’s the kind of person Mrs. Jaice is. So there you go.

Father Mike (the pastor of the small-town church):

~ Maurice LaMarche.


Now, the actual inspiration for Father Mike is the late Father Mike O’Rourke, who was the pastor of the church my family and I used to attend in Wisconsin. Maurice LaMarche is another voiceover actor, but he bears a passing resemblance to the real Father Mike. So. That’s why.

Louisa Andrews:

~ Heather Matarazzo.


Flippin’ perfect. And there’s really nothing more I can say about that.

Jacob Dreiser:

~ Jerry Trainor.


Loved him as Spencer on “iCarly.” He was so flippin’ funny, so dorky and all! He’s been the perfect inspiration for Jacob.

Tovey Jones:

~ Toby Kebbell.


He can all at once be the perfect jerk and the perfect gentleman. Which is what happens with Tovey over the course of the story.


~ Macarena Gomez.


Ever since I accidentally saw a little movie on the Sy-Fy Channel (back when it was known as the ‘Sci-Fi Channel’)….a little movie called “Dagon”….I have been interested in Macarena Gomez. Wish she did more movies here in the US; she is a big star in her native Spain (“Sexykiller,” anybody?). She’s been the perfect inspiration for Angelica.

Glenn Nottingham:

~ Nicolas Cage.


Yeah. There’s a big giveaway in there, now that you know that. But, you know, it is what it is.  That’s all I’m going to say.

Aiya Nottingham:

~ Aarti Mann.


She is best known for playing Raj’s sister Priya on “The Big Bang Theory.” And, from what episodes I saw her in, she was quite the subtle bitch. So. Interesting, that.

Nora Mueller:

~ Helena Bonham Carter.


Nora has turned out to be very mother hen in real life, but plays quite the terrifying villain as an actress. And who better to draw inspiration off of for a character like that then Helena Bonham Carter? Who, I gather, is much the same in real life. (Remember Bellatrix Lestrange? Yeah. That.)

Hector Reali:

~ Hugo Weaving.


Hector turns out to have a couple little secrets of his own, hidden behind an almost stereotypical image of a very suave gentleman….although Hector is anything but stereotypical. So in terms of an unconventional yet gentlemanly personality, Hugo Weaving fits that bill. And Hector also plays a villain in the movies within the story. And Hugo Weaving plays a good villain.

Bob Luckin:

~ Jonathan Frakes.


Okay, when he was on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” he was the straight-laced manly man Riker. But I’ve always thought there was a quirky side to him that would be fun to see. And Bob is going to be quirky in every way. It’s been very fun to think on. Plus, Jonathan Frakes is also a director is real life, which is why I think about him for Bob (as Bob is the director of the movies in the story).

Donald Lawrence:

~ LeVar Burton.

Michael Caulfield

And why not? I’ve loved LeVar Burton since I was a child, what with “Reading Rainbow” and then with “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” I’d said in an earlier post that you’re not supposed to like Donald. That’s sort of why I’m looking to LeVar Burton as inspiration – he is the polar opposite of Donald. Been very fun to think on, actually. With LeVar Burton as inspiration, Donald has become a likeable yet unlikeable character, if you understand.

So, that’s your official inspirational cast of characters.

Do you like them?

I find them to be quite the colorful mix of personalities myself, and they’ve been working out well on paper.

We’ll see.

Anyway. That’s that.

As always, I’ll try to do better next post.


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