When Beta was originally published in 2009, I wanted to create some promotional material. Since Bogart’s version of Sam Spade is Mallory’s favorite character-she wears a similar trench coat and hat-I thought about putting a woman in his coat and hat. A little Photoshop work. I downloaded a picture of Bogie with a cigarette but I needed a woman to replace his face with. Since Mallory doesn’t smoke, but is into martial arts, I removed the cigarette and put in a pair of nunchucks. My sister agreed to let me use her as the face. The problem was, my sister isn’t blonde, so I had to lighten the hair. The book mark I created was okay, not the best, but it worked for the time. The bookmark below doesn’t show my sister in the image but the instructor I mention next.
In addition, I tried my hand at creating a power point video to market the book. I don’t know how many weeks I spent learning how to do it, collecting the images, and putting it together. My sister wasn’t available for this of I enlisted the help of an instructor use used to live in Minnesota. Barrie B. was the blonde I was looking for. Pretty, though not the right height, but in the video it doesn’t matter. She had to borrow a uniform denoting the correct rank (Mallory is a Fourth Degree and Barrie was only a Second of Third at the time. There is a black stripe down the pants on Fourth Degrees.) She had pictures of her doing some self-defense techniques against an ‘attacker’. One of the things I had to be careful of was the name on the back of the uniform was showing in some of the pictures and it wasn’t Petersen. Again, the video is okay and I think it’s still out there somewhere on YouTube.
So, I’ve seen a lot of women who give me aspects of Mallory. Since I’ve been writing about Mallory, digging into her character, her emotions, driving by the house where I’ve placed her residence, I keep adding to her personality, her quirks, her likes and dislikes, and trying to be closer to her by being in contact with some of the women, like I said, who remind me of Mallory.
Of course, I take from many women I know in martial arts and put into Mallory. There’s a Senior Master in Minnesota, I mentioned in Alpha (not by name) who is the epitome of Mallory’s techniques and strength.
There is a woman who was in taekwondo some time ago. She had the height, the physique, and although a different hair color, had the attractive features and the inner strength I relate to Mallory.
There is a woman at my workplace who has the height, not the hair color, but the absolute beauty and fun loving nature I can envision for Mallory. She would be the perfect Mallory should I want to have another model for promotional material, albeit with a bit of hair color lightening. Unfortunately, it can never be, but that’s a different story for another time.
I see Mallory in all of them…and I have been attracted to each of them at one time or another. Maybe it’s my attraction to Mallory or my desire to see my creation in real life.
Maybe one day I’ll find her. In the meantime, I can dream and keep writing about her.