Tag Archives: character visualization

What do you click on? #MFRWauthor week 43

The prompt for this week’s blog is MY FAVORITE APP.

Until about 4 years ago I didn’t even know what an app was. I thought it was an abbreviation all the cool kids were using for appetizer or appointment. No lie!

Now I know what it means ( I think!) so I really am in with the cool kids. I will admit I had to email my daughter before writing this blog just to make sure I was getting the APP definition correct.

Hi. My name is Peggy and I’m tech-NO-savvy.

If you’ve ever read my blog posts – not just the MFRWAuthor ones on Fridays – you know I typically sign off with a cutsie saying and then this:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

I feel like I need a self-help group when I say that.
Me: Hi. My name is Peggy and I’m a Pinner. 
The group: Hi Peggy!
Hee hee.
Truly though, there is nothing more fun for me to do when I want to waste ( not a good word choice, peeps) an hour trolling through all kinds of celebrity pix, holiday themed gifts, DYI stuff, even book recommendations.  Recently, I took my mother to the hospital to have her first cataract surgery and I brought my iPad with me because I knew I had a couple of hours of waiting ahead of me. The entire time she was in pre-op holding, through the surgery, and until her ophthalmologist came and brought me to her room, I was pinning.
Here’s a secret – and I’m totally outing myself here: while I was writing this blog piece, I was scrolling through Pinterest boards looking for cute apron sayings for an upcoming book about a an InnKeeper. This is the board I was saving everything to: Maureen’s Aprons.
Maybe I really do need a support group: P.A. (Pinners Anonymous)
Hee hee
Let’s see what favorite apps the other bloggers in the group like best: MFRWauthor
And at the chance of being redundant: When I’m not pinning you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me
Hee. Hee.
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Why I love #Pinterest

When someone says they are obsessed with something I always take it to be a little over the top as a way of describing how much they like something. The word has been given a Kardashian-elevation in our current pop culture and like literally was a few years ago, the word has become cliched and, in my opinion,  annoying to hear.

The true definition of obsession states: an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.

Well…I’m going to eat that proverbial crow here because there really is no other word that can adequately describe how I feel about my Pinterest page. I am, ( sorry, peeps!) obsessed with it.

I discovered Pinterest a few years ago when I was looking for pictures to give an actual face to my characters. In the past I’d torn-up fashion and celebrity magazines in my attempt to find the perfect depiction for the  fictional person I was creating. I had scores of notebooks with taped-in cut outs from those mags filling my office. Along came Pinterest and my cutting-taping-hoarding ways were finished!

I’ve made Pinterest boards for all the books I’ve written since I discovered this gem of a site. For the three books coming out between 11.5 and 12.12.18, I’ve been going hog-wild with pins. Here are a few you can click on to see what I mean:

HOPE’S DREAM Vermont Series

DEARLY BELOVED ( this book has quite a few boards attached to it:) Izzy’s Shower  // Nanny Fee // O’Dowd

CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS Baked with Love

I was talking to someone the other day about microwaves ( weird segue, I know, but hear me out) and what we did before we had them, like putting a pot on the stove with water to heat a baby’s bottle, for instance, or to actually turn on the oven to reheat leftovers for dinner. With the advent of the microwave,  heating and reheating got so much easier, that now I wonder how we ever actually survived with out it.

I think the same way about Pinterest. It’s made creating vision boards so much easier. Yes, they are virtual vision boards, not the old fashioned 3-D ones that we made from cutting and taping, but they’re so much easier to create now. And they take up no space in your office at all anymore since they are on the computer.

So…

My apologies to all those people I silently made fun of and gave an-in-my-head-eyeroll to when they said the word obsessed. I understand what you mean when you say it about something now.

I really do.

You can visit my Pinterest page and all my other obsessive sites here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

 

 

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Filed under Author Branding, research, Romance, Romance Books

Why I need to see my characters before I write them

I love a good vision board – especially for one of my own books. Since my writing tends to fall out of a visual tendency, I make vision -or story- boards for each of my books. Knowing what the characters actually look like while I am writing about them helps me “see” the story as it unfolds from their eyes and viewpoints. For instance, here’s the board I worked with for my October 2017 release, A SHOT AT LOVE:

You can see how I envisioned Gemma Laine and Ky Pappandreos, plus how I categorized aspects of their lives, such as photography info for Gemma and law enforcement stuff for Ky.  I sent their pictures to Lyrical when I was asked how I “SAW” my hero and heroine looking. I think they did a great job with portraying my vision on the cover:

This is my working vision board for the third book in the series, tentatively titled CAN’T STAND THE HEAT”

This book has  few more integral characters, but the H/H look like Grace Kelly ( Stacy Peters) and Pierce Brosnan ( Nikko Stamp)

I’m currently working on 2 more books in this series. and the first one, (working title: IT STARTED WITH HIS KISS) looks like this:

You can see I don’t have too much filled in yet, but I will….no worries.

More about vision boards and how they help writers in tomorrow’s edition of PEGGYJAEGER.COM

In the meantime, did you know that COOKING WITH KANDY, book 1 in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES releases next week on April 4?? Here’s a little sumthin’ to whet your romance-reading appetites.

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

Excerpt:

“Clock stops at five-thirty,” she told him, spying the way he glanced at the empty desks. “That’s a rule I never break. No matter how busy we are, or what our deadline is, I make sure everyone up here is out by then.”

“Why? I would think in this business long hours are the norm.”

“Everyone deserves free time, time with family, time to wind down. I won’t have people working for me when they’re exhausted, or thinking about the soccer game they’re missing for their kid. No one’s productive then. I like everyone to be rested, fresh and on the ball. I realized early on it was the way to bring out the creative, productive best in people.”

“But you don’t adhere to your own rules.”

She leveled a gaze at him. “That’s because I’m the boss. I thrive on deadlines and do some of my finest work when I’m exhausted.”

The slow grin that spread across his face made her stomach muscles giddy-up again.

“I bet you give great holiday bonuses,” he said, rocking back on his heels.

Because it was true, she smiled.

“My office is in here.”

She pushed through another set of doors and preceded him in.

While he took in the surroundings Kandy wondered if he saw the room the same way she did. She’d chosen this space simply because of the windows. A corner office, it had full-length, floor to ceiling matted glass surrounding the outer perimeter of the office on three sides. Her view was of downtown Manhattan, an unobstructed visage of Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty.

The interior design was her own and she’d gone for comfort and ease in the furnishings. Three couches circled one another in the center of the room, and in the middle sat an impressive glass table, currently covered with files, paper, magazines, and a few fabric swatches. A grandfather clock sat, unwound, on the far wall, the hour hand stuck at nine, the minute hand at twelve.

A large, cherry wood desk faced the windows, not the inner room, complete with two computers, a laptop, and two printers on a pull-out stand next to the desk.

“Interesting.” Josh gazed around the room. “I assume the reason your desk faces this way is for the great view?”

She lifted her shoulders to her ears and then brought them down again. “Why waste it by having my back to it?”

“Good thought. What’s up with the clock?”

She glanced over at it. “That’s the exact time my first book went on sale.”

“So, what? Time stopped for you then?”

“No. The way I see it my life started precisely at that moment.”

His eyebrows rose. “Says a lot about what you expect and want out of life.”

“Don’t read too much into it,” she said, unaccustomed embarrassment washing through her. Without even knowing her he’d hit her personality right on the head. “The clock also has sentimental value. It was Grandma’s.”

Kandy moved to the couches. “Come on, have a seat. Let’s talk specifics.”

Josh sat opposite her, leaned back into the couch, crossing one long leg over the other.

“I’m going to say this once because I feel we should get it out of the way,” she started. “I don’t think I need a body guard, and I don’t think anything that’s happened recently can’t be explained away. I find this whole situation of having someone follow every move I make unnerving. I’m not used to it. Not used to working this way. I don’t want to have to stop every five minutes to explain where I’m going, who I’m going to be meeting with. I just go. I have too much to do in a day to worry about someone keeping up with me.”

When he nodded, she continued. “I’m willing to go along with the entire scheme until you prove there’s really no reason for it, which I think you’ll discover pretty quickly. But I won’t be hampered in going about my day in any way. Understand?”

Buy Links: Amazon //Nook // Kensington/Lyrical // Kobo // Apple // Google

available in e-copy and Print on Demand ( POD) fro Amazon and Kensington.

 

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

How do you “see” your characters?

My friend was sitting in my writing lair the other day and happened to see a bunch of index cards with color photographs of various head shots with written descriptions next to them. She asked me what they were. I admitted they were my cheater cards for characters. When she gave me that quizzical look we as writers can all describe: brown furrowed, a subtle squint in the corners of the eyes, I explained these were what I envisioned my characters in my current WIP looked like. I like having an actual picture to work from than simply a written description.

How do you see your characters? Are you like me and you need a visual prompt? Or can you simply see the person in your mind and bring them to life on the page?

Up until a few years ago I tried to paint the picture of what my peeps looked like in my head and then transfer it to the written word. The problem I encountered was I needed to keep going back to the original description if I mentioned eye or hair color again, because I would invariably forget how I described them. I got the idea to start using photographs of celebrities, or people I’d see in print ads, one day when the person I wanted to describe looked exactly like a very famous actor. I figured as long as I didn’t state he was dead ringer for my character, but describe his attributes instead, I would be okay.

And I was.

I printed out a picture from an on-line site and then went on to describe his features, including height, approximate weight and body type. From that moment on, whenever I needed to refer to a characteristic again, all I needed to do was look at my picture.

Then I had a divine inspiration: I not only printed the picture, I pasted it to an index card and then physically wrote down every description of the character I might need. Body type, weight, height, any physical ticks or quirks, eye color, hair color. For men, if they would typically sprout a five o’clock shadow by, say, 3 pm., I’d add it. If their chests were hairy, matted, or smooth got included so during the love scenes I wouldn’t have mistakenly “shaved” a guy with hair and made him smooth to the touch.

For the women, waist and bust size along with shapeliness or a lack of it was documented. Were their smiles full, sexy or sardonic?

You may ask isn’t this a bit much to fit all on an index card? No, it’s not.

This system has worked so well for me, I haven’t had a mistaken blue eye substituted for a brown one in years.

However you envision them, however you remember their attributes, whatever works for you is fine.

This is the easiest way for my rapidly deteriorating menopausal memory to deal with information that needs to be repeated.

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