by Kelly Daniels
Balthazar deWolf... What thoughts pop into your head when you see that name? Me, I saw a half vampire, half werewolf hybrid - so that's what I made him in my first paranormal romance, Be Mine (It's on sale at Amazon for $.99). I didn't get the name from some band or 'find your vampire name' website - I plucked it off my family tree.
Mystery still remains about my ancestors origins but I speculated that his roots were in Latvia for my character; intertwining fact and legend to create - what I hope- came across as an honorable, powerful man with a checkered mysterious past.
When I picture my ancestor Balthazar, I see a powerful man, much like what I created my character to be. In fact, the real man was once arrested for smoking his pipe on the street and was dragged into court. He paid the fine, walked back outside and lit his pipe up again. I love his rebel-may-care attitude.
When I am stuck for an idea I look to the past and it's checkered with characters like Balthazar. There's even a sheriff on one branch who refused to carry out a hanging sentence because he didn't believe in the death penalty (a story which may need to be written soon). And I have to add that I also love that I'm related to someone named Alinore leStrange. I like to pretend I could be connected to a certain witch named Bellatrix.
I highly suggest that you all start digging for your family secrets and legends. You never know what kind of stories you might find.