Saturday, April 29, 2006

Deadline Dementia...

It's not even a countdown anymore because that's totally failed.  I've had a rough time with this book.  There are some very good reasons for that, but that doesn't matter a whit to my schedule.  Suffice to say, I'm 100 pages from done *before* the paper edit.  Not pretty.  I'm now facing taking time out of my next book's schedule to finish this one.  I pray the next book will flow faster...that there is less family stuff and writing related stuff that takes my creative muse and hammers her until she's comatose.  It's very hard to write when your imagination is in hiding, believe me - no matter how much you love a book.  And even harder when your character makes a choice you *finally* realize was not *hers*, but *yours* and you need to go back and fix that choice, fix the book and be true to the characters before you can go forward.
That part of me that makes my books better because she craves writing the best book with each new manuscript and is terrified of writing cr&*p sometimes slows me down.  But it's worth it if the book comes out a solid story with characters that truly live and breathe for the reader.
So, tell me...what authors really make characters live and breathe for you?
I've got a list as long as my arm, but lately I've been reading a lot of Christine Feehan.  (More on that in a later blog...)  And laugh at me if you like, but I re-read my royal trilogy last night when I couldn't sleep and remembered that Lucy Monroe's characters do that for me too and she's not such a hack after all.
Here's hoping Beth and Ethan agree... :)


Maura said...

LOL - you know you are one of the folks whose characters really speak to me!

(grooving on And Able right now!)

I also like Christine Feehan. Add in Sherrilyn Kenyon. I'm a huge Angela Knight and Morgan Hawke fan...

Arrgh - too many!

Now you know why I have fits trying to get this WIP finished and hoping the characters have the same effect on others that those of my personal idols do on me!

Kelley said...

For starters, yours! Like I said before I always love your heros and I end up falling in love with each and everyone. I'll think I've finally found my favorite and then I read you next book and fall in love with him as well. Another author that does that for me is Lori Foster. After I finished her visitation series I felt like I was losing friends! I knew I would miss them so much. Sounds silly, I know. That is what draws me in though. I love to forge a connection between myself and the characters I read. If a book can do that for me, its a winner in my book.

Michelle B said...

Sorry to hear about the issues with your characters and your muse. Hopefully things are back on track now:)

As for authors that make characters live and breathe...I agree with Kelley. Both you and Lori Foster definitely do and I'd add Shiloh Walker and Kate Walker to the list as well! I have plenty more, but right now my brain is in meltdown from studying for my final. I'll think on this some more...


lidia said...

Hope your muse picks us soon.

Books where the characters "live and breathe" for me are written by you, of course, Michelle Reid, Stephanie Laurens and some others as well. Loretta Chase has one book where the characters are still alive for me many years after I read it and that is "Lord of the Scoundrels" -- not all of her books are like that though. Recently I figured out why that one made such a huge impression. Even though it is a historical, the hero could be considered a true ALPHA (typically of HPs) and the heroine is rather strong willed (kind of unusual in those times).

Lucy Monroe said...

First, thanks to everyone for being so nice! :)

Second, I don't think it's any coincidence that many of your authors are also on my list. :) But I'm picking up some names I'll have to try. :)

Can't wait to hear from others on this one!

Stacy~ said...

Ah Lucy, sorry to hear Beth & Ethan are struggling. After finishing (and loving) And Able, I was happy to see Ethan was getting a story.

To answer your question, your characters fit that description. After learning about both Claire and Brett, and seeing how they grew up differently and how certain events in their lives made them who they are when they met, I felt like I was right there with them, watching them go through these events in their lives.

Suzanne Brockmann always gets a reaction out of me. I know many people didn't care that much for Gone Too Far (Sam & Alyssa's story) but we learn so much about Sam, how he grew up, that I just ended up loving him even more. SB is amazing.

Nora Roberts as JD Robb. Love, love, love that series. Nora uses few yet very eloquent words to paint her pictures. I totally get why so many people love her books (though I'm more of the Robb fan than the Roberts fan).

Sherrilyn Kenyon - those tortured Dark Hunters, especially Zarek and Ash.

Early Judith McNaught (because I admit to not having read her last 2 books). She is my all-time favorite historical author, followed by Lisa Kleypas, who also writes with a lot of emotion.

I know this sounds weird, but I love to read a story that is not only going to tug at my heartstrings, but also bring tears to my eyes. That's what these authors do for me.

Jennifer said...

How do I know when characters speak to me...I never want the story to end or I can imagine the characters being my friends, and the characters thoughts are similar to mine. I typically find these characters in your books, Linda Howard, Lori Foster, SEP, Leanne Banks, and Janet Evanovich.

Lucy Monroe said...

Stacy, Zarek was my fave dark hunter until we met Valerius...but no one tops Vane for me (though Wren came really close), but he's not a DH, but a Were-hunter. :) I've had so many people recommend Lisa Kleypas that I've got to read her sometime. :)

Jennifer...I totally know what you are saying. When I tell stories in my head about another author's characters, you know they've gotten to me. :)

Lori said...

I love to read Suzanne Brockmann, too - I dig her guys. I always just wanna wrap my arms around them. And, of course, your characters too, Lucy *g*. I also agree with almost everyone else's picks - most of the time.

2 other authors I want to mention that just floor me every single book with their characterizations are Sarah McCarty and Shelby Reed. If you haven't read anything by either of these authors, I highly recommend them!

lidia said...

I also love Lisa Kleypas' books. Her newest series is great! Andrea Kane used to write great historicals but now writes contemporaries only.

Lucy, you've got mail ;-)

Lucy Monroe said...

I am LOVING this discussion. Lori...I've never heard of the last two authors you mention, or if I have, don't know what they write...but now I'll have to find out. :) it. :)

Hugs to ALL!

Holly said...

I hope things are back on track for you now, Lucy. Sending you some cyber-hugs, just because sometimes it helps.

As for me, your books go on my list along with:

Linda Howard. She's amazing at painting a scene and making you connect with her characters.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Same as LH, but she's got so much humor in her books, there are times I literally LOL.

Lisa Kleypas. Talk about wrapping someone up in a story. You really feel like you're living in the book, which I love.

SK and CF are on my list, too.

Another author I absolutely adore is Hannah Howell. She's amazing at the characterization and overall storylines.

P.S. I'm reading And Able now, too, and loving it so far!

Lucy Monroe said...

Holly...once I finish this book and manage to get the next one turned in on time, *then* I have a hope of things getting back on track. :)

Loved your author picks!

Lori said...

Lucy, Sarah McCarty writes western historicals and has a contemporry and a paranormal out there as well. I highly recommend Promises Prevail, unless you are a series slut and have to read in order *g*

Shelby Reed writes contemporaries and paranormals - and I hate paranormals, which tells you how fantastic her writing is. I highly recommend Midnight Rose.

Both authors are available in print (I think all their books are available in print), but have gotten their start in ebooks. I predict that they will both be huge. You heard it here first.

Lucy Monroe said...

Thanks, Lori. :)