I originally wrote Jaya’s story Beneath Your Beautiful (formerly Nobody Not Really) back in 2014. At the time I had just started working with an editor on my first novel Lumiana and she said that I needed to describe my protagonist’s appearance in more detail. So while I was on Google trying to find a guy who resembled my character Johnny Graham, I stumbled upon a picture of a Canadian model (pictured below), who back then looked just like how I envisioned him. I checked out the model’s Instagram (I didn’t even know what that was at the time); Noah Mills is his name, in case you’re curious—last time I checked he’s also an actor now.
I consider myself an open-minded and tolerant person so I’m ashamed to admit that while I was scrolling through his Instagram pictures (again this was back in 2014) I caught myself thinking things that were critical of his career choice and what it represents. And that’s how the idea for Beneath Your Beautiful was born: What happens when you pair a sociologist (which used to be my job in real life back then) with a supermodel?
Before you think this is fanfiction about me and Noah Mills, it’s not. The only thing that Noah Mills and Noah Santino have in common—at least that I know of—is the way they look, the first name (because it just happened to be one of my favorite names) and their love for basketball. I’m also not Jaya, we’re both sociologists and novelists and love the color red, but that’s about it. I did end up having another thing in common with her, but I don’t want to spoil the plot twist. That goes to say, if you’re a writer yourself, be careful what you write about because it just might manifest itself in real life. Karma, maybe, if you believe in that sort of thing. 😉