Reality shows, such as ‘Top Chef’ and ‘America’s Got Talent’, take us into the hearts of many pursuing their dreams. In front of viewers, they perform under pressure, wait in agony to see if they will continue to the very end, never giving up, giving us inspiration and the thirst to know more on how a dream comes to life.
It is no different with writers.
I’d like to introduce you to five great ladies who did not give up on their dreams…
(Kay Rogal) Welcome, ladies. I have to ask…did your characters choose you or did you choose them?
(Mary Kate Gray) I’m normally more of a plot-driven writer. I develop the characters to work within the plot I have in mind. For ‘Small Town Secrets’, which releases August 13th, though, my characters came to me – especially Josh. He appeared to me in all his black-hair and blue eyed glory.
(Lynn Cahoon) I usually start with an idea or a setting, then I let the characters develop the story. So when I was writing ‘The Bull Rider’s Manager’ (the sequel to ‘The Bull Rider’s Brother’), I had a character I’d already developed – Barb Carico. Thinking about the hero, I wanted him to be modeled after a middle school crush – Ken. I was 10K into the story before I wrote Ken and Barbie…Ken is now Hunter, and he likes the name much better. But it took me until the end of the book before I had him nailed down.
(Alicia Dean) In ‘Soul Seducer,’ I chose them. I wish I were more character driven and the characters talked to me and told me their story, but I find characters that fit the plot I have in mind, then they come alive once I delve into the story.
(Galen Rose) In ‘A Place to Rest My Heart’, my heroine Laney, pretty much kicked the door in and would not let me rest until I wrote her story. My hero grew from her story.
(Katherine Bone) In ‘Duke by Day, Rogue by Night’, My characters choose me, sometimes to my chagrin, as well as delight.
(KR) How do you determine what type of personality to give your characters?
(MKG) The characters’ personality depends on their role in the story. Josh is self-assured (and more than a little cocky) because of his time spent behind the network anchor desk. Tara’s far more reserved, but that comes from some of the issues she’s had in her past. They balance each other out, and I think that’s important in real life as well as in fiction.
(LC) In ‘The Bull Rider’s Brother’ – I knew Lizzie was head strong and determined, but had been struggling, letting life get her down and in her way for too many years. I wanted her to find her old fire in the story, and boy, does she ever. I didn’t want her to say yes out of desperation, but out of completion.
(AD) It depends on the plot. For example, in ‘Soul Seducer’ I needed a heroine who had the courage to fight against death. I needed a hero whose job it was to bring death, and who could make us understand why he did what he did.
(GR) I’m a pantzer and my characters evolve as the story does. But I do a good bit of character background once I get going, so personalities grow from their history. I think it’s important to really get to know the main characters. Even minute details can have bearing on a story.
(KB) My characters play with me a little, at first. Then, when they know I can’t resist them any longer, they lead me to my name books. It’s strange because my characters’ names always jump off the page when I go looking for them. And once we’re properly introduced, I learn their backstories and what or who they’re up against. I adore the first meet, don’t you?
(KR) Every author has a part of them in their book, what part of your book is ‘you’?
(MKG) Our neighbor’s dog is actually a part of ‘Small Town Secrets’. During the years that we lived in our old house, Rosie became a beloved extended member of our family. It seemed natural to build her into the story. We might not live near her any longer; but by giving her to Tara, Rosie will always be with me.
(LC) In ‘The Bull Rider’s Brother’, it’s Lizzie’s fight. After letting the world dictate her decisions for so long, she takes her life into her hands. I hope I’m that determined about things that are important to me.
(AD) I love Elvis Presley and major league baseball. Both are mentioned in ‘Soul Seducer’, as they are in pretty much everything I write.
(GR) Wow, this is a great question! I’d have to say my heroine embodies a good bit of my snarkiness with a heart.
(KB) I would have to say the sense of empowerment a woman feels when she’s in love. Though I write historicals, I love the fact that women clung to the dictates of society, but sought to bend the rules as much as they could in the Regency time period. Every woman wants to love and be loved. In my mind, there’s no better way to experience love, then in a world where men were men and honor and duty were the rule of the day. I’m talking Alpha males, y’all! Knights in shining armor, dukes and lords with charming wit and a passion to protect what belongs to them…That would be little ol’ me.
(KR) What is your favorite indulgence after a long day?
(MKG) I’m currently trying to shed a few pounds, so I can’t say chocolate…which is my normal treat at the end of the day. I just bought a few tiki torches for our backyard, and my kids seem to really enjoy them. Having a “tiki torch night” with my family and the furry ones is a nice indulgence that I try to pencil into my family’s busy schedule once every week or two.
(LC) I’m on an ice cream kick right now. Horrible for the ‘diet’ I’m trying to maintain. If it’s not food related, then it’s a reality television show – like The Next Food Network Star or coming up Thursday – Project Runway!!!!!!!!! Yes, I am a contest show geek. LOL
(AD) A glass of wine and mindless, funny sitcoms.
(GR) Hmmm… dessert? I had to think about this one so maybe I need some more indulgences in my life!
(KB) Oh, this is a great question! I’m partial to a steaming cup of hot tea or hot chocolate, curling up on the couch with a cozy blanket and watching The Vampire Diaries. (Pirate!)
Thank you for joining us. Remember…Never give up your dream…It is what makes you…
We would love to hear your dreams and what it takes to follow it.
Molly Kate Gray / SMALL TOWN SECRETS / @mollykgray – Twitter / www.mollykategray.com
Lynn Cahoon / THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER -Crimson Romance-June 2012 / A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL -Lyrical Press- Nov 2012 / www.lynncahoon.wordpress.com