The Elementals Universe comprises such an ensemble cast that you may ask whether I based any character on real people. Well, that depends. Let’s discuss.
The Elementals Universe contains four series, featuring Elementals of Nordica, The Terrian Chronicles, Chronicles of Rondure, and Sentrys of Terrene, with a fifth series on the way. Overall, the Marvel Cinematics Universe inspired the shared universe concept while influential works like Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Hunger Games fueled components of each book.
I also based many characters in the Elementals Universe on real people. In some instances, I based some on specific celebrities, in a tactic known as celebrity casting. However, most occurrences of my characters came in amalgams, or characters based on several different people.
Below, I’m going to give you a rundown as to which characters I based on real-life celebrities, people I’ve known from real life (without name dropping), and even fictional characters. As mentioned, most characters are amalgams, so be ready for a nice, little melting pot here. In Part I, the characters from the book series I’m covering below stem from Elementals of Nordica, Terrian Chronicles, and Chronicles of Rondure.
Characters in the Elementals Universe and their Inspirations
Elementals of Nordica
Sion Zona is mainly based on myself at a younger age, and many readers and reviewers have mixed feelings about my brash protagonist. Some liked his edginess, while others believed he came across as a jerk.
As the author, I can provide the most accurate depiction of Sion – he’s a jerk in Wind Wielder, but he has his likeable qualities.
Would I have been friends with him? Yeah, probably. But I also would have talked behind his back about how much of a second-rate human he can be. So basically, Sion is me, just me from my early twenties in about every aspect. Don’t believe me? Just ask people I went to high school with.
Originally, Tuukka was going to be this Darth Vader type of character, but it didn’t fit the plot line, so the Darth Vader/evil dad trope went to another series. I went with Keanu Reeves as his template. Nothing against Reeves regarding my picturing him as the primary antagonist. His face just kept popping back into my mind and he really resembled Tuukka in The Matrix Resurrections.
Years ago, I saw a photo of Manuela Kraller (I think I spelled her last name right) when she was with the symphonic metal band, Xandria. Manu, at the time had dark hair and red highlights, plus the lighting gave her skin an olive complexion. I took one look at the pic and said to myself, “That’s Raj, right there.” She became the first of MANY singers to serve as character templates.
Such as Skyra Beck, whose tall, rather lanky appearance will remind you of another former Xandria singer, Dianne van Giersbergen. Though I must say, Skyra’s shorter, no-nonsense, firm, yet friendly personality is rather a stark contrast from the down to earth van Giersbergen.
The Kakko Siblings
Timo, Hannah, and Erno Kakko are actually amalgams from those in my own immediate family, with Erno’s looks coming from three of my cousins, and Timo’s template is a cardboard cutout of my own brother, JC. Hannah is more resembling of my youngest female cousins, but she also looks like a few current and former friends.
The Core Four
The Core Four’s characters of Suzuka (Su), Lalisa (Lali), Rosalita (Rosie), and Jennifer (Jenn), were named after all four singers of the K-pop band, Blackpink. Lali’s last name, Must-Roosa, is actually Estonian for black-pink. Each character also boasts similar qualities pertaining to their real-life counterpart, but there are obviously stark differences.
Su speaks in broken Tamurish (English), which came from Jisoo’s non-fluency in English once upon a time. Though I must note her English skills these days are impeccable. Jisoo is also fluent in four languages, and it is noted that Su is in the same boat. Su’s full name, Suzuka, is a nod to J-pop/metal singer Suzuka Nakamoto.
In real life, Lisa may be the Maknae in Blackpink, but the fictional counterpart, “Lali,” is the bona-fide leader of the Core Four. Like Lisa from her younger days, Lali tends to color her hair often. She also wears a bob cut, similar to one of Lisa’s former styles. Unlike Lisa, Lali tends to lack in the self-confidence field, and is often thrust into leadership roles.
Rosie and Jenn are probably the least like their real-life counterparts. And I would say Rosie is the most obscure of the four, despite her clear mastery over the Earth element. Jenn, I’m kind of unfair to, as her shorter personality contrasts with Jennie’s. But if there is one distinguishing trait to MOST Blood Elementals, it is their short-tempered and somewhat morbid personas, making them rather dangerous when they team up with Fire Elementals.
There is actually a girl at my current gym that resembles Valkyrie to a T, though I created the character long before that coincidence. But Valkyrie’s looks are based on a few girls whose appearance resemble hers. I can actually say the same for Corra Eriksson, Mikko Siskonen (guys, not girls), and Shia Eaglesky.
The Terrian Chronicles Has Some Inspiration from Fictional Characters Too
When you read my Terrian Chronicles Prequel, you will notice that Braden Hawk’s story is somewhat like Sirius Black’s, and this is no mistake. However, when you read Tarja Titan, you will also notice that Hawk’s childhood resembles that of Severus Snape’s.
So yes, Braden is a hybrid between Snape and Black, and his overall appearance resembles mine from my late twenties/early thirties. My current appearance at the time of the writing. I also infused many of Hawk’s interests in with my own, such as his love for Arizona sports teams – and before you ask, he will fall in love with one outlier, the Buffalo Sabres – plus his obsession with fitness.
One of Tarja’s character flaws, as some readers and reviewers pointed out, is that she is too Christ-like. This was actually intentional, but she can sort of be more of that (fill-in-the-blank) sacred heroic protagonist. Her gothic style of dress came from Jess Ballard, a character in E.E. Holmes’ World of the Gateway. As for Tarja’s physical features, she resembles no one in particular. I also named her after Tarja Turunen.
In Tarja Titan, Braden notes that Kira resembles Moa Kikuchi (Moametal), and her last name comes from Twice’s Mina Myoi. While I didn’t base her on any fictional characters or anyone I know personally from real-life, Kira is a constant target of bullying from other girls, reminiscent of Jess and Hannah Ballard’s situation in Spirit Prophecy.
Speaking of the source of Kira’s bullying, Stacey Peyton is basically no different from Peyton Clarke in World of the Gateway. She and her gang of girls enjoy close ties with the school trustees and they all come from economically affluent and influential families.
Some have compared her to Draco Malfoy, but Stacey has far more evil in her than Draco ever pretended to have in himself. Even more fearsome? Stacey, like those in her clique, believe their evil is a necessity to bring out good in the world.
She’s a far more dangerous and twisted person, like a young Dolores Umbridge, if I had to make a comparison to Potter. I also couldn’t help but notice she enjoys torture, also putting her on the same rung as Bellatrix Lestrange.
Tarja’s and Kira’s best friend and roommate, Floor Jetta is also heavily based, looks-wise on girls I’ve met in the past. Except these were the t-shirt and shorts types of gym girls. The kind whose cardio workouts involved playing soccer, ultimate frisbee, and pickup basketball before hitting the weights. They were high school and college athletes that dressed for comfort. Floor is no different, and she is never seen wearing anything overly formal. And yes, you guessed it, she’s named after Nightwish’s Floor Jansen.
Lenny is also heavily based on my immediate family, and his character is very reminiscing of Erno Kakko’s. However, while Erno is based on them from their early-twenties, much as Sion is based on my younger self, Lenny is the grown-up, more mature version.
Name and looks-wise, he is based on former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald. Ray also boasts several similar qualities to his NFL counterpart. One of which involves a thirst for knowledge. While it isn’t mentioned in Tarja Titan, Ray is a former thrashball player and a good one at that. He is also a huge NFL fan, though this isn’t shown until later on.
I had a lot of fun creating this character. He is a hybrid between my former tenth-grade science teacher, especially with his catchphrases. Saturn’s personality also strongly resembles Fiona’s, Jess Ballard’s mentor from World of the Gateway.
Chronicles of Rondure
Much like the Core Four in Elementals of Nordica, Mina is also named after a singer. This one being Mina Myoi. But clearly, Kira from Terrian Chronicles got the last name, so Hirai stems from Momo Hirai, who like Mina, is also in the girl group Twice.
There was a character named after a protagonist from a book I read in early 2021. Amiya got her last name after yet another member of Twice – Nayeon.
Grand Theft Auto III was THE GAME back in the early 2000s, and its legacy remains to this day. One character’s name was Asuka, who the game’s silent protagonist worked for. It’s also a name I was always fond of. The last name, Nakamoto, is another nod to Su-Metal.
Messiah is a character whose name was actually an inspiration. In Lawless by Tarah Benner, there is a character named Mother Mercy, so Messiah is the male equivalent of her, but He is even more sinister. The hit TV series Seinfeld had a sinister character named Newman, whose appearance inspired Messiah’s.
Rokko is another character who resembles Sion and Braden, and age-wise, he is about halfway between the two. That said, I once again used myself as Rokko’s physical template.
And that does it for all the characters in Elementals of Nordica, Chronicles of Rondure, and the Terrian Chronicles based either partially or entirely on real people. Next week, I’ll reveal the characters based on real-life counterparts in Sentrys of Terrene and Cymraeg Tales.
I hope you enjoyed this little rundown, and please come back soon.