A Picture is Worth 1000 Words


I’ve created a person. A man. A cop. The hero of the Adam Kaminski mystery series is a good man who wants to help people. He is thoughtful, well read, considerate, a little emotional at times. He exists in my imagination and that of my readers. But what does Detective Adam Kaminski look like?

Novosad’s thick gray hair surrounded a weathered face that had seen many changes over the years. The face of a man who had learned to adapt to change, not fight it.

Describing my characters is always a challenge for me. Catching that element of their person, their personality and their physical appearance, that best lets the reader imagine them. Put a face to a name.


Adam Kaminski has been one of my biggest challenges when it comes to descriptions. Part of the challenge is how he’s grown over the course of the series. From his first trip to Poland to his most recent visit to Galway, Adam has become a more serious, perhaps angrier, man.


Part of the challenge is that Adam exists not just in my mind, but in my readers’ minds as well. I’m reluctant to put too fine a description on him. Haven’t we all had that experience of seeing a movie based on a book only to be confronted by a hero that looks nothing like we imagined based on the text?


With each book, I find new elements of Adam’s personality that I hadn’t quite captured before. Different ways of looking at him, of seeing him, of describing him. It’s frustrating at times, sure. But it’s also a pleasure, in a way. Seeing my character grow and change.

What do you think, do you prefer to have your literary characters described in physical detail so you can picture him or her the way the author intended, or do you prefer to get a little leeway to imagine a character just the way you want him to be?

If you’d like to meet Detective Adam Kaminski, now’s your chance: sign up now for the Goodreads giveaway of A Blind Eye. Giveaway ends on July 1.

Learn more about Jane Gorman and the Adam Kaminski mystery series at janegorman.com


2 thoughts on “A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

  1. Excellent post. In my mystery books I do keep the descriptions a bit cryptic but in the romance books I write I try to put a good likeness of the hero on the cover so the reader knows what to expect on the inside. Great descriptions!


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