This seems really odd to say, but today is the birthday I assigned the character of Sawyer in my novel, The Gods of Asphalt. His birthday features prominently in the book so I thought I’d answer some questions I’ve been asked over the past year about his character.
1. Why did you pick April 30th for his birthday?
I knew from the beginning he would wreck a motorcycle on his birthday so I needed it to take place during warm weather– but before his high school graduation. Research revealed that Nebraska high schools let out the first weekend in May so there was my time crunch. I wanted the added insult of him screwing up his life the instant it became his to own. Besides, Sawyer shares his birthday with someone pretty awesome.
Sawyer is sort of a default name. In my real life there is a real River, although he is nothing like the River character (I based the River character on someone elses life entirely). I always knew that I would name the character of the blonde older brother River, so I had to think of a name that was in the same vein for the younger brother. Thus Sawyer was born, and not Steve.
3. Why is Sawyer so tall?
Sawyer is tall because it allows him to be good at basketball. Sawyer needed a way out of his father’s life so I gave him basketball because it offers scholarships as well as being the perfect sport for a kid who lives on the road. Football requires gear, baseball requires a team, track requires good weather but basketball can be played anywhere, anytime with anyone. All you need is a ball.
4. Why do you describe Sawyer looking the way you do?
My kids helped with this one. My son Junior HATES being called pretty when compared to his good-looking, blonde older brother Prince Charming. I described Sawyer to my daughter and she instantly pulled up a television show called BIG TIME RUSH and said, “I think you are describing this guy.” In that moment James Maslow became my vision for Sawyer. I even wrote a little snippet in my book for him. I’m my daughter’s hero for that.
5. Why is Sawyer’s jersey number 13?
Because number 13 belongs to Steve Nash, my all time favorite basketball player.
6. How come Sawyer can sing?
Because I can’t. No, seriously; basketball was what Sawyer was good at, but music was what he loved and what his mother robbed him of.
7. Does Sawyer ever get Sarah?