Saturday, May 14, 2011

Character Inspirations: Toby

Meet the inspiration for Toby of Evie's Gift, a little mechanical beastie that can change shape (a la Transformers) from wrist watch to hair ornament to buckle to little itty bitty squirrel-type thingy.

Sugar Glider (Australian Flying Squirrel)

When I was writing Evie's Gift, I had my old college companion in my mind's eye. She was a Sugar Glider and happy to sit on the front of my baseball cap as I studied, her little tail curled down around my ear. She'd chirp little helpful things as I typed. She'd also take advantage of the safety of a hamster ball to run down my roommate's cat.


There's quite a lot of personality packed into those tiny little bodies. They're also predators, never forget it. They're so cute, many people think that's all they are. There are stories of people who have sugar gliders, and combine them with other animals. Unfortunately, if you combine them with something like hamsters, or even little quail, you may find that the sugar gliders have...invited their roommates for dinner. O.O

They do glide, by the way. They are like tiny furry kites. My Toby doesn't fly like the real thing, but he can leap impressive distances via steam power.


Another thing to know about these little marsupials is that they have opposable thumbs. They're little houdinis when it comes to escaping cages and those little thumbs allow them to manipulate the darndest things. Toby, the mechanical character, can do the same.

Because of Evie and her particular gift, Toby is finely attuned to Evie's biometrics, reacting to her moods and temperament. He plays an integral role in the story and I think readers might be surprised and entertained by the upcoming shenanigans of this miniature character in the upcoming sequel too. ;)

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