Monday, July 23, 2012

My characters are part of me!

How real are your characters?

Some kids have imaginary playmates; I created whole imaginary worlds in my head and I'm still doing it. My characters become my friends and you know...I never really let them go. Not when the book is finished, not when it's finally in print...not even when I move onto something new. They're always a part of me. Just like, yes, definitely - I'm a part of them.

I've often been asked whether there is any of me in my characters. The answer is: How can it be otherwise? Amanda's (The Real Deal) initial sensual insecurity was very familiar to me when I first met my husband. Annabelle (Annabelle's Courtship) shares my interest in political issues, not to mention her propensity for getting into trouble because of her havey-cavy plans.

But the parts that are me? They're integral to a bigger whole, to a character that is more than a reflection of his or her creator, but someone who becomes very real to me. On occasions, too real...just ask my kids who no longer make the mistake of asking for anything they really want while I'm writing the black moment. When my characters are in pain or doing stupid things, I feel it. In any other profession, that might make me crazy - but as a writer, I sort of see at as essential to writing stories that are going to connect to my readers' hearts.

If I connect to my characters first, then hopefully, the link is there to be made and my readers will make it and through it, sometimes even a link to me.

I've also been asked if I model my characters after real people. The answer is a complicated one. Just like real life. :) I often recognize things in my characters that remind me of someone I know, but then that's true of living, breathing people too. How many of your friends have personality traits in common? Is it any surprise that my characters share bits of who they are and what they are like with the people that populate *my* world? However, I don't usually see these similarities until the book is in print and I'm reading it again with some distance achieved. I discovered that the lab tech Vannie in Satisfaction Guaranteed has a lot of my mother-in-law's feistiness. Simon (The Real Deal) shares a lot of traits with my husband, but I'll let you speculate which ones they are. ;-) Jillian (The Real Deal & Deal With This) exhibits a dichotomy of character as an actress I first saw in my baby sister.

I guess the reasons my characters are so real to me is that just like the people around me, they are layered and filled with personality quirks just like the rest of us.

Who is your favorite character from a book and if you don't mind come? Does he or she remind you of anyone you know or have met?



marybelle said...

I'm LOVING the mango color.

I have way too many favorite characters. They are ALL strong though, whether they be heroes or villains. Yes, it is possible to love a villain, or at least love to loath them.

Judy said...

Frodo is my favorite character of all time. Sometimes a HEA isn't the right ending, but the story has to be finished anyway and it's the right end for the character.

Amy McKinney said...

Amanda from The Real Deal. The Real Deal is my favorite Lucy Monroe book hands down. I love them all but I can identify so much with Amanda and her body image issues. I love that her hero Simon is a big, strong, sexy man and well as super intelligent

Lorna said...

I don't have a specific favorite character, but I have a favorite character type. I like the smart plucky heroine who may not be the prettiest character, but the hero can see her inner beauty. I really dislike stupid characters who can't seem to think for themselves (also don't like those people in real life).

I think your depth of feeling comes through in your writing and that is what makes you such a compelling author.

BTW, I just ordered Ready, Willing, And Able from Amazon and can't wait until they get here!!