Friday, October 12, 2012

Retreat Guest Blogger Monica Burns

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An award-winning author of spicy historical and paranormal romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today.

Her historical book awards include the 2011 RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice Award and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Heart of Excellence Award for Pleasure Me. She is also the recipient of the prestigious paranormal romance award, the 2011 PRISM Best of the Best award for Assassin's Heart.

From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it's possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.



Buy the book
What a treat it is to be here at Lucy’s online home. I always love coming to visit, and for such a grand occasion. An online readers convention! Only my wonderful friend Lucy  could think up such an amazing event.

As I sit here staring at the screen, I’m trying to think of what I can blog about.  I suppose I could blog about heroes, nah, you’ve already read a host of those type of blogs. Heroines? Nah, they’re all over cyberspace too, and honestly, most of us want to talk men anyway. Hmm…what about heroes that haven’t been written yet? Now that might make for an interesting post. I could write about how I go about creating a hero from scratch. It’s really easy. NOT.

Okay, maybe it’s not that difficult, but there is some planning that has to go into the development of an awesome hero. First, you have to have an idea for a story. Something like, a guy who’s had a dark past. The problem is; you don’t know what sort of darkness is driving the hero. A writer’s brain is much like an ocean filled with ideas, but like fish in an ocean, they’re slippery little devils. We might catch a great idea, but not all ideas are perfect for the story we’re looking to tell. When all else fails, I fall back on eye candy.

The minute I have an idea, I start planning my hero. I always make my heroine for my hero. I like my heroes tall, dark and handsome like a lot of readers. So I sift through dozens of pictures to create an “image” of the hero in my mind. I have an archive of pictures that I use. Sometimes I’ll even use the same man in this book or that, but each time there’s something different about those men.

By different, I mean that the hero’s personality determines which photo to use. For instance, I might use a picture of Christian Bale, but I have more than a dozen of Bale in different poses and moods. That allows me to match a photo to the type of hero I’m writing.  For instance, when I have a hero who is a bookworm I might use this picture of Bale. There’s a reflective nature to his face here with just a hint of a smile. When I want an arrogant male, I might select Bale again as an image of the hero, but it’s a different photo that reflects the hero’s arrogance.

Then there’s the hero who  uptight, restrained and all business. This particular image of Bale reflects all of that. Even the serious part, or the look of someone who’s going to ask, “You’re joking, right?”

The image might be of the same man, but as you can see there are three different moods and demeanors expressed by these pictures. Once I have the right image to look at, I can now flesh out the unique traits that define who my hero is for the story.

Those traits might be a man’s who reflective and thinks before acting.

He’s an honorable man who cares about people. But he might be afraid to show his feelings because his emotions run so deep. No matter what the trait, each picture I use helps me visualize and create a hero that is needed for the story I’m writing.

While I don’t create my heroes based on pictures, the images I look at give me a frame of reference that help me write physical characteristics that make for a unique hero even if I’m using different images of the same man. A hero is more than an image. He’s a character of my own making. He’s a hero worthy of the heroine I create for him. The rest of the hero’s features, characteristics and inner conflict evolve in the story itself, and that is completely out of my hands because at that point, the hero is in the driver seat, and I’m just his voice. Perhaps that’s the best thing of all when it comes to writing a hero. I get to listen and share his inner turmoil, rejoice in his successes and see him earn his HEA, because after all that’s what it’s all about. The happy ending.



A FREE gift 

Before we chat, I want to give each of you who visit this blog a free gift as a Thank You!  Click on the link and download from Amazon for FREE!

Let's Chat:
Leave me a comment below, I'll be stopping by to chat with readers.


27 comments:

joder said...

Oh my, the gorgeous Christian Bale! I LOVE him! He can play any character and make it believable. I'm sad that he's done playing Batman since he was perfect in the role. Thanks for the eye candy....and book freebie too!

gogi1_2 AT yahoo DOT com

calstephanie said...

Hi Monica,

Great post. Thanks for the book! :) I loved Christian Bale when he played Jack Kelly in Newsies. :D Definately a complete opposite of his Batman role.

Linda Henderson said...

Christian Bale is very hot so he makes a great hero in a book. When I'm reading a story I tend to visualize in my head what I think they look like. Thank you for the free book.

brandi said...

Thanks for coming to talk to us! Thanks also for the goodie!!!

Lorna said...

Don't have a Kindle, but it was very nice of you to offer!! I'm going to add you to my reading list.

How many times did your work get rejected before you sold your first book? How did you keep your spirits up and be brave enough to submit your work again?

brandi said...

Lorna, you can download a free app for a smartphone or computer for the kindle.

Donna said...

Thanks for the book. I too like my men tall dark and handsome.

Christine Mead said...

Hi Monica,

I just wanted to let you know that I love your books!!!

Lorna said...

Thanks Brandi! I never thought of using my IPad!

Jan Douglas said...

Hi Monica!
I love your books! And your heroes!
It was a pleasure reading Pleasure Me. :) I have Kizmet on my TBR shelf.

Charlene Beverly said...

Monica, thanks for the blog, and the book!

flchen1 said...

Ooh, thanks for the treat, Monica! :)

Shadow said...

Hi! Great post! Thanks for sharing and thank you for the book! ;)

Monica Burns said...

Hi everyone, sorry to be late here, but my virus software wouldn't let me in here until this morning. I don't know whether to curse it or bless it sometimes.LOL

Monica Burns said...

Joder

Isn't Bale dreamy! I don't know that his acting is all that, but I do love to look at him.

Monica Burns said...

Calstephanie,

I hope you enjoy the book, and I never saw Newsies, must check Netflix. No wait, bad idea. I get sucked in there and lose writing time. LOL

Monica Burns said...

Linda, Yes he does make for a great hero. And I've always done the same thing when reading a book. I don't look at the cover except when I'm buying the book, then I forget the cover model and fashion the hero into my own making while read. Enjoy the free read.

Monica Burns said...

Brandi,

Hope you enjoy the free read. Morgan is one of my favorite heroes. Just sorry I'm late to the party.

Monica Burns said...

Lorna, You don't need a Kindle to read, you can read on a Nook too. Just visit my website and download the book.

monicaburns.com

If you don't have an eReader, you can still download the NOOK or Kindle reader apps to your computer to read.

Monica Burns said...

Donna,

Hope you enjoy the read

Monica Burns said...

Christine,

Thanks so much! I love hearing readers say they enjoy my books ! :-D

Monica Burns said...

Lorna!

OMG I read on my iPad more than I do on my NOOk. I have a Kindle, but an old one, and the monochrome just doesn't suit my eyes. But curled up in my chair with the iPad on my knee reading either Nook or Kindle is an awesome experience.

Monica Burns said...

Jan, I hope you enjoy Kismet as much as you did Pleasure Me. And thank you so much for reading!

Monica Burns said...

Charlene, I hope you enjoy Love's Portrait. It's extremely sexy, so if you blush when reading, expect to get deep red. LOL

Monica Burns said...

fichen Hope you enjoy the freebie.

Monica Burns said...

Shadow, So glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy Love's Portrait.

Monica Burns said...

I think I got everyone, but if I left someone out, my apologies! Have a great weekend everyone.