Jana comes from a lot of places. To begin with, her first name was that of a friend of mine from high school. The name was always one I liked, and I even considered using it as the name for one of my daughters. It’s not a common name, and something about it makes me think that a person who carries that name has built up a lot of confidence. If you think about it, every time you introduce yourself to someone new, you’d have to repeat your name, or spell it out. It’s not Janet, it’s Jana. I can just hear my character Jana and she’s stating her name confidently and extending a very firm handshake.
The personality of Jana partly comes from a friend of mine whose background was that of an FBI special agent. I’ll omit her true identity so she can enjoy her anonymity. She is tough, gutsy, athletic, and feminine all at the same time. I pictured her going through training with all the men, and one or two other women. And, when it came time for her graduation ceremony at Quantico, I attended. It was a privilege to be granted admission into that restricted facility, nestled deep within the Marine base.
And lastly, I can see the fingerprint of Jana’s identity splashed across my two daughters. They are so different from one another, yet elements of both personalities pull together to form this one woman. Jana Baker was born of those two people. Completely unique creations of God, both feisty, determined, confident, brilliant, creative, and beautiful.