From almost the beginning of the Cut & Run series, people have asked me who I picture as Ty and Zane.
First of all, it doesn’t matter who I see, it’s who YOU see that really matters. Most of the pictures sent to me of people’s choices are… pristine? I mean wow, they’re pretty guys. And if that’s your Ty or Zane, then that’s Ty and Zane and that’s all there is to it. They’re your characters too. It’s your world too. Who you see is the man I want you to see, and no one, including me, can tell you you’re wrong. If someone tries to tell you the man in your head is not Ty or Zane, you can tell them to sit on it and spin.
But when people ask what I think, I tell them. When I write, Ty is Karl Urban, Zane is Eric Bana. Sometimes they morph into other people. Sometimes they’re no one, just this nebulous TYBOT or ZANEBOT in my head. But it never fails to go back to those two actors if I begin to stumble in my imagining. I find a photo. I find a gif. I watch a video or movie. I make myself find that one characteristic that sparked these people in my mind the first time. Eric Bana’s eyes. The roll of Karl Urban’s shoulders. And so on.
It all boils down to this; I don’t picture Ty or Zane as bombshells. In my mind they’re not pin-up pretty, they’re not airbrushed, they’re not perfect. While he’s good-looking, Zane will turn heads on the street because he’s tall and dark and striking, but not because he’s panty-combusting hot. Ty will garner attention in a room because, though he is handsome, his personality and charm are what truly shine through to kick him up to the next level.
My Ty and Zane have been ridden hard and put up wet their entire lives. They have scars and wrinkles and unique character to their faces. They have old souls that show behind their eyes, and pain and heartache that have left their marks. Ty’s real allure comes not from his face or his body, but from his swagger. Zane’s true assets are found in the silver in his hair and the crow’s feet around his eyes that mean he’s seen the world from the wrong end but still smiles at it every day. They’ve both been lived in, and that’s not an easy look to find.
That’s who Ty and Zane are to me. Whoever you see, whatever fills in those rough edges in your mind, then that’s who Ty and Zane are to you.