Sarah Kay, the main character in Ghostly Clues is apart of me. She has bits and pieces of me in her. She has apart of my childhood in her. That is how I came up with the character Sarah Kay.
Sarah Kay has red hair and she like her red hair. Her favorite color is purple. Which is my favorite color. She has a best friend Mary Jane. Which is a lot like my best friend when I was a kid. And like most best friends they share everything together. SK and MJ, they like to use each others intials for nicknames, are a lot like sisters. SK is an only child who has been raised by a single mother because her father died when she was only three. MJ has an older sister and divorced parents. SK and MJ love mysteries and ghost stories. But to see a real ghost is kind of scary as SK and MJ find out. But at the same time it is exciting to solve the clues that they discover.
As a child, I experienced a ghost. I remember it as a ghost hand that one night grabbed a doll off the bed while I slept. And the ghost hand I believe was from my grandma who had died recently. So I try to use that experience to show how SK and MJ react when they see a ghost. It can be very scary but at the same time exciting.
Most of my characters I use in stories are apart of me. But I also give them characteristics from other people. I like to observe people. Especially, kids. Kids now a days have been raised with technology. When I was a kid there wasn't as much technology. So to make my characters up-to-date I need to understand technology from their POV. I need to see the world through their eyes and not always through the eyes of the past.
Characters develop in my head before I even start to sketch them out on paper. Characters develope by observing people, kids. Then once those characters have developed in my head, I sketch them out on paper. Ask the what if questions that put the characters into all kinds of conflict and bad situations. Then my characters pop out of my head and have a life all their own.