Whenever I write, I’ll sometime put a face of a real person to the character. I’ve done that with Canyons of Steel, putting Sam Elliott’s face to John Walker, and I did that with Black Mask & Pale Rider, putting Andrea Menard‘s face to Shani Wennemein.
“Who?” you might ask. This person.
Andrea Menard was born in 1971 in Flin Flon, Manitoba and is based in Saskatchewan. An accomplished actress, playwright and jazz singer, she has starred in many different Canadian television series, including Rabbit Fall where she played Constable Tara Wheaton of the Regina Police Services.
Did I mention she’s also a jazz singer? One of the films she was in was called the Velvet Devil, where she acted and sang. She has also released several jazz albums.
Menard is also of Metis heritage, and identifies heavily with her First Nations ancestry.
So this is the actress I think of whenever I’m writing Black Mask & Pale Rider and think of Shani Wennemein, the elven gunslinger.
So, you might be asking “well, that’s Shani, what about Pania” and you’d be correct in your inquiry. I do have a face for Pania Alow.
Most should know Miss Beckinsale a little better, having starred in such movies as Underworld, Van Helsing (I actually liked that movie), and Whiteout. She plays a wide range of roles, and would be perfect for Pania. She’s not blonde? Small matter that a wig or hair dye would fix.
As well as being an female action hero in movies, she’s also a model. She’s even let her politics be know, voicing her support for the pro-choice movement, and filming a Funny or Die skit satirizing the Republican’s “War on Women”.
So when I’m writing the adventures of the two elven gunslingers, these are the faces I see for the characters.