3 min read

It's about fonts.

At the desk, 9:06 a.m.

I love fonts.

Honestly, I don't know what it is about fonts that I like so much. I just like them.

And, with digital printing and eBooks, I can put in as many fonts as I like.

I try to make sure that every character has his or her own font that matches, in some way, their personality. Character's handwriting is a subtle way to inform the audience about the character. We wouldn't think John Drayson, for example, was much of a doctor if his handwriting was as loose as Alex's, for example.

I truly spend hours striving to find exactly the right font for each character. I want to make sure the font fits their personality and reflects deeper issues they might have. I have a board at Pinterest where I collect fonts so can get some ideas at a glance. My friends often send me links to fonts via Twitter, email or Facebook because they know I love them so much. I try to select free fonts because they are the most likely to be available for both print, eBooks and the web. I also own a lot of fonts that I've collected over the years. It makes upgrading my computers a pain in the rear, but is totally worth it.

Here's a run down of some of the fonts I've used so far:

In the Alex the Fey thriller series:

Alexandra Hargreaves: Let's face it. Alex might be wicked smart, but she certainly didn't spent a lot of time in elementary school practicing her penmanship. Her handwriting is nearly identical to her twin Max's handwriting.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Dr. John Kelly Drayson, Alex's husband, is a surgeon, British, and hiding a lot of his background. I'd expect his handwriting to be controlled and a little... fancy.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Michael Scully, Sr of the Fey Special Forces Team was violent and wild, but he was also the Operations Sergeant for the team.  His handwriting has to show not only his exacting nature, but his rugged style.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Sergeant Dusty Cummings: Alex's assistant is a tough one. We know him to be exacting and smart, but he spent a lot of time on active duty in Afghanistan.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

The Queen of Cool, Lorraine "Lo" Downs's handwriting must be simple, like she is, but reflect her own tough style. You can imagine Lo also wasn't obsessed with her handwriting in the fourth grade.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

How do I embed the fonts on the web?

People ask me this all the time. Here are two easy ways to embed fonts into webpages.

1. Make sure you only use standard fonts. These are the relatively boring fonts you get when you get your copy of Word. These fonts are most likely to be embedded in people's browsers and computers so they resolve easily. I've chosen a couple of these boring fonts for decoration. For example, the F on rescued hostages shoulders, wrists and decorating the bottom of chapter is the standard font Vivaldi.  I used Edwardian Script for the Q in the Queen of Cool. This method is easy, but it's also a risk. You have to try the fonts in a couple of browsers and computers to make sure it shows up.

2. Google web fonts: Google has collected 501 fonts so far. Many of these fonts are donated by the creators as a way of marketing their skills. You can find some great, usable fonts there. And they are super easy to use. Simply pick your fonts and load the script into your header.

After I select the font and add the script (if using Google, this is how I indicate that I want to overwrite the regular font with something special.

1. To the CSS or Live CSS (depending on the theme): I add a line that looks something like: p.vivaldi {xx font-familyxx: Vivaldi;xx } (without the xx) This indicates that I would like to create a class of paragraph called Vivaldi.

2. After I've typed a sentence, I click the HTML tab and write: <xxp class="Vivaldi"xx> in front of the sentence. I make sure to close the sentence with a or the entire post will be in Vivaldi.  (without the xx of course)

Every time you see a different font on any of my websites, you can be assured that I've gone in and placed the font there. It's obsessive, that's true, and a lot of people tell me it's a waste of time. However I truly believe that every tiny detail informs the reader about who your characters are. We are subtle creatures and deep, realistic feeling characters need that kind of subtly.

What do you think?