Tag Archives: Characters

#MFRWauthor Blog Challenge. Character profiles

I’ve talked a great deal about how much of a people watcher and relationship voyeur I am in previous blogs on my website.  I have to admit, people watching is the best way for me to develop characters. Watching how strangers  act, listening to how they talk and treat others, how they speak, the gestures they make, all go toward making a character more life-like on the page.

But what happens once I see and know the character I want to write about? Well, then I do an indepth profile of them using a worksheet developed by ONE STOP FOR WRITERS and authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. One Stop is a paid membership service to their on-line support system which lists thousands of characteristics inherent in the human personality. Many of you may have heard of their breakout book THE EMOTION THESAURUS.

I own this book in print and believe me when I say it’s dog-eared, yellow markered up, and used almost daily. I also own an ecopy of it so I can always have it with me when I’m working and not home. To go along with this book I also have copies of the others in the series:

      

Each of these books is an excellent, must have reference book when writing anything emotion-worthy and characteristic-driven about your characters.

I also have a Book Bible for each book I write that lists all the characters, their physical characteristics, their relationship to one another, and their GMC’s. Because I write so many book in series, this is a fabulous way for me to ensure I never give a character green eyes in chapter one and brown eyes in chapter 8. Plus, if I’ve killed off their beloved cat in backstory, I can’t show them petting the cat in chapter 2. My mind is so chockfull of “stuff” that trying to remember each detail is just a wee bit of  a hardship for me. Having it readily available at a few taps of my fingers is paramount in keeping everything flowing smoothly.

Character profiles have come a long way since the times when just listing the physical details was the only thing important. Readers are invested in their fav characters and series and have looooooooooooong accurate memories when it comes to the minutia. If you have any doubt of that just ask anyone who is a long time soap opera watcher about the backstories of any of the main characters. They will give you chapter, book, and verse in major detail. Why do you think it’s called a “show Bible?” ( see what I did there? Bible…chapter, book, verse?)

Heehee.

Since this is blog hop, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

AuthorBlogHop

Looking for me? here I am:

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and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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Am I getting too personal?

Week 3 of the 2018 #MFRWauthorBlogChallenge, and it’s another good topic: How much of myself is in my writing. In all honesty? A shitload!

Let me ‘esplain, Lucy.

That old adage write what you know only gets you so far in fiction. I could write tomes about Nursing, Parenting, the psychological ramifications of divorce on children. Truly. Tomes. But’s that’s non-fiction. In fiction, I’d only get about 2 books out of all that first-hand knowledge and personal angst. So writing what I know for fiction isn’t going to cut it.

But….

I’ve written characters who were lawyers, doctors, artists, Olympic athletes, chefs, and government agents. I’m not now, nor have I ever been, any of those things. Research into their professions, plus knowing a few people who are those things have helped. When to gets down to the meat and potatoes of the characters, especially my heroines though, well a lot of me, my habits and quirks, and beliefs are woven into their psychological makeup.

For instance. People who know me know I lovelovelove Diet Mountain Dew. Unhealthily so. It’s my drug of choice ( heehee). In A SHOT AT LOVE, I made my heroine Gemma Laine a DMD addict as the way in which she gets her caffeine hit. Just like me.

In THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, my heroine Moira Cleary is known as the quiet, calm twin. When she gets really, really angry, though, her voice and manner become deathly quiet. She doesn’t rant and rave like her mother and twin brother. Her verbal missiles obliterate and all the while her voice is as quiet as an empty church. I’m the same way. When my voice lowers, look out.

Another way there’s a great deal of ME in my writing is in the moral makeup of my heroines. They are all strong-willed women. Loyal, smart, and spiritual. They will fight to the death if someone they love is being hurt and when they take a stand on a topic, it takes a bulldozer to ever get them to change their minds.

Yeah. Kinda sounds like me.

I will never write a doormat heroine.

Or one who sees herself as a victim.

Being a victim is quite different than seeing yourself as one.

I will never write a heroine who does something morally repugnant and unforgivable. I wouldn’t know how to make her sympathetic with those qualities.

My tagline for my books is that I write about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. You will always know the makeup of my heroines based on that line. Always.

And because of that, you will always know a little about me, too.

Let’s hop on over to some of the other authors in this challenge and see how much of themselves they put in their writing.

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Strong Women

I’m the visitor today!

Join me as I talk about characters and writing stuff over on friend, writer , and award winning Casi McLean’s blog today. Stop by and leave some love. Here’s the link: Writing about Characters

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Story inspiration; #MFRWauthors #BlogChallenge Week 14

 

Everywhere I look I find inspiration for stories. It doesn’t take a great deal of action or thought on my part, actually. I’m a naturally nosey person and I tend to eavesdrop on conversations that don’t involve me; watch strangers interact with people when I’m shopping; I even pay attention to how people react with one another when I’m on line in the grocery store. Little snippets of conversation, a careless wave of a hand while someone is speaking, and I’ve got a story jarring to be told shooting forth from the back of mind.

Like I said, I’m nosey. Not in your face ask you a million questions nosey and annoying, but I’m the kind of person people – strangers – talk to. I’ve got “that kind of face” I guess. Really, I could talk to a rock if I needed to. And it would probably answer back. This makes me sound like a harpy or a gossip, but I’m not. I don’t go forward and seek information from people – it is divulged to me willingly and without my asking. And just BTW, I’m that gal who people trust with secrets. So…just saying.

So, my writing process starts with people. I see people ( Now I sound like an M. Night Shamylan movie!), I watch them, and I build stories around them. Character always always always comes first. My husband has commented – frequently, I’ll add- that I tend to stare at people when we’re out in public, like at a restaurant or when we’re traveling. Some of my most influential character descriptions have evolved from watching how people behave when they’re on an airport check-in line. Think about the last time you traveled and were waiting….waiting…..waiting on that check-in — and then the security — line. You will see all kinds of human behavior just chockful of character insights.

So. First I see a person, imagine them as a character, then give them an imaginative ( my imagination) background. From there, a plot will form.

Here’s a quick example – and this really did happen. I was mall shopping one day and decided to have lunch so I hightailed it to the mall Pizzeria Uno. Love their grilled chicken salad. But I digress… As I was waiting for my lunch to arrive my eyes took a tour of the other lunch patrons. I saw this: 3oish man and woman across from me. Their body language said they were involved in some kind of an argument – he kept drumming his fingers on the table, she was looking down at her drink, a scowl on her face. They were dressed in business casual, so I assumed they were on a working lunch break. Here’s the snippet of conversation that drifted my way once my salad came:

Him: you need to deal with this. Today. Don’t waste any more time.

Her: Stop pressuring me. I’ll get it done. Just back off, will ya?

Him: Stop being such a bitch about it and just take care of.

So. What did I learn from this conversation? Nothing, really. But my mind went into hyperspace and overdrive at all the options available. Was she a whistle blower? Was he a corrupt banker? Was she pregnant and he was her baby daddy and her boss? Her married boss? Were they doing something illegal? Immoral? Unethical? Dangerous?
See? This is how my mind works.

Now, in all reality, they could have been a young married couple who were still waiting to get their cable television system installed and he was getting mad she hadn’t called the cable company to light a fire under their installing asses. Who knows?
My point is, this is how my writing process works: see a person, imagine them as a character, devise a back story and then a plot for them.

Easy peasy, right?
Yeah…not so much. But it is fun people watching!

 

Since this is a BLOG HOP, click on the titles/names of the authors below to find out what their writing process if like. You put 1,000 writers in the same room and you’ll get 1,000 different responses!

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Strong Women

Saying goodbye…

I’m usually not sentimental when it comes to leaving something or someplace. I’m not one of those people who take forever to say goodbye at gatherings. You know the kind I mean: just like that character from the old Saturday Night live routine The Thing That Wouldn’t leave!! So not me. When I say my goodbyes, I leave. Exit, stage right. Follow to the Egress. Jaeger, out!

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But lately, it’s been a little more difficult to say goodbye to my characters when I’ve typed THE END in a manuscript. I’ve been living and breathing with them for several months and I’ve become devoted to them on so many levels, it’s maybe a little creepy. Well, maybe not creepy, but certainly unusual.  They are, after all, characters, not real people I’ve forged attachments to. But I’ve been in their heads,( okay, a little creepy!) showing their emotions, giving their dialogue a platform on the page to express themselves. I’ve been their mentor, creator, best friend, bon-vivant, encourager,  and chief comforter. And now they have left me…. I feel sad and restless and like an empty nester all over again.

Yeah, okay, I’ll admit it does sound like I need to get out more and be around real, live, people.  You’ve got me, there.

But hear me out. These characters, my babies for lack of a better word, are as close to me right now than my actual loved ones  are – maybe even closer – because I see the world through their eyes, hear their voices through my ears, and experience their crush of emotions through my limbic system. In the purest sense of  written form, they are me and I am they.

Okay, so now creepy and a little too science-fictiony for my sanity. But I think all the writers out there know what I mean. Here are a few pretty literary types explaining it much better than I am.

Cartoonist Berkely Breathed put it this way: “I will go to my grave in a state of abject endless fascination that we all have the capacity to become emotionally involved with a personality that doesn’t exist.”  Writer Teresa Mummert  says, “Sometimes I scare myself at how easily I slip inside my mind and live vicariously through these characters.”  But my favorite quote is from G.K. Chesterton: “I wish we could sometimes love the characters in real life as we love the characters in romances. There are a great many human souls whom we should accept more kindly, and even appreciate more clearly, if we simply thought of them as people in a story.”

So, that’s my rant for today. I’ll deal with saying my goodbyes to my most current characters much as Scarlett O’Hara did: “I’ll think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.”

scarlett

The newest characters I’ve had to say goodbye to live in THE VOICES OF ANGELS, available from The Wild Rose Press and my local Toadstool Bookstore.

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Available here: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me //Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Friends, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A funny little thing about dialogue…

So my new editor ( and don’t I still love saying that!!) sent me an email asking me to change a few things in my next book. No worries. Her suggestions make a ton of sense and I know I can pull them all off successfully. One of the things she asked me to do was turn up the sensuality level a little. Usually, this wouldn’t be an issue for me. I can write sensual. I like writing sensual. It pleases me to write sensual.

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Here’s my problem. Without giving away the plot, the hero is someone totally forbidden to the heroine, or so she thinks. These two would never have sex. EVER, EVAH!!! Not until the revelation scene would she even consider it. So. How can I turn up the heat level without, you know, them doing sensual and sexual…. things?

Well, the best way I’ve found is to  amp up the dialogue between them. Flirty, innuendo-filled speech will certainly spice up a scene or two, no? Especially when my girl is so conflicted about the whole thing. She is trying to fight her mounting feelings for the guy because she really truly believes he is forbidden fruit in every sense of the term. You will see why when you read the book!! No spoilers here AT ALL!! Words have a great deal of power and our spoken words to one another can do wonders for a scene.

Hidden meanings, hidden agendas, using terms in a different way in which they are supposed to be used can all increase the tension and the sensuality in a scene.

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So, today I wrote 27 pages of mostly dialogue. I won’t use it all, heavens knows. But most of it is pretty good and serves the purpose it was intended for. At least I think so. Hope my editor does, as well.

Until this new one is released into the book reading world, here’s my newest for your enjoyment!

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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The last thing Carly Lennox is looking for as she sets out on her new book tour is love. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine show based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is an ambitious man-and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else, and as he tells her, he’s a patient guy. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. No. Carly is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him- may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Available here:

Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

Find me:

Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me //Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Literary characters, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with Author Joanne Guidoccio

Today, Author Joanne Guidoccio is my guest.  She has new book coming out this week that promises to be a winner! She’s also having a giveaway – read on down to the end for a RAFFLECOPTER chance at an Amazon gift card.

Joanne, I’m so excited to have you here today.

bannercountdown

4 More Days!!

Peggy, thanks for participating in the countdown to A Season for Killing Blondes.

I consider protagonist Gilda Greco to be my literary twin. She’s approximately 70 percent of me and shares many of my interests. As non-athletes it took us a while to find a preferred physical activity, but once we discovered yoga, we were hooked.

In my case, it took over three decades of yoga trials…

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March 1984

The blonde willow was out of her comfort zone.

As she removed a borrowed parka, four sizes too big for her perfectly toned size zero body, she sighed deeply and tossed her Farrah Fawcett curls. The California yogini was not impressed by winter in March and seven less-than-enthusiastic students in Sudbury, Ontario. She spoke eloquently about her personal journey, and then demonstrated her pretzel-like ability to contort her body in unimaginable poses.

Impressed and intimidated, we dreaded the short lesson that would follow.

She did not consider our beginner status. Instead, she continued with her favorite poses, and we struggled to follow.

Within minutes, I developed a tickle in my throat and started coughing uncontrollably. I quietly left the room and closed the door behind me. I had a drink of water, but my cough still persisted. I assumed the walls were soundproof, but I was wrong. I found out later that my loud and persistent bark was heard throughout the remainder of the short yoga session. When I re-entered the room, I received several looks of concern and pity. As for the blonde willow…she had transformed into a blonde oak.

Fast forward twenty years.

After sharing the usual advice about portion control, exercise and stress management, my oncologist urged me to take up yoga. Memories of the blonde willow/oak still lingered and I tried not to show my frustration. But my oncologist persisted and I agreed to give yoga another try.

I bought the clothes—sleek, black yoga pants from Roots and several Life is Good t-shirts—and signed up for a weekly yoga class with a very charming (and highly recommended) instructor. He gave each of us individual attention during the first class. At the beginning of the second class, he distributed business cards and chatted about his multiple sideline businesses. By the third class, the other students were writing checks for his wonder products. I was not impressed and did not return.

A few months later, I heard about a new yoga instructor who was offering classes in her own home. When I called, she assured me the course was geared for complete beginners with no previous experience. She sounded surprised when I asked if she had a sideline business and stressed that yoga was her main focus.

Reassured, I showed up and was pleased to see only two students in the room. Within a few minutes, an active and poorly trained Boston terrier joined the class. She eyed me with interest: I was the new girl, fresh meat. The dog spent a lot of time circling and sniffing me throughout the hour-long class. As for what happened during Downward Dog…I shall leave that to your imagination.

Three yoga trials. Three strikes. Yoga was out.

All that changed during the second summer after retirement.

I had just picked up Wayne Dyer’s latest book, Excuses Begone! and read the entire book in two sitting. I was drawn to his suggestion for practicing yoga and imagined myself having a conversation with the motivational guru.

excuses begone!

“You must give it another try, Joanne. I’ve been practicing ninety minutes every day for the past four years and I’ve noticed a lot of positive changes. I got rid of all those aches and pains I inherited from three decades of running and tennis.”

“That’s wonderful, but I can’t see myself doing yoga every day. For one thing, I would have to take lessons. I don’t like following DVDs or books.”

“Take a few lessons. What’s the big deal?”

“I’ve tried that before.” I gave him a brief summary of my three yoga trials.

He shook his head. “You have to give yoga an honest thirty-day trial.”

“Thirty days!” I couldn’t imagine lasting that long. “Do you know how expensive that will be?”

He repeated, “Give yoga an honest thirty-day trial.” He added, with twinkle in his eye, “You’ll feel better and you may just stop making so many excuses.”He pointed to the cover of his book.

I was skeptical, but I had to admit he was right. I had not given yoga a fair trial, and I had a tendency to make excuses. I decided to wait until the fall and then investigate the different yoga studios in town.

A few days later, the following ad appeared in a local paper:
Unlimited Yoga during the months of July and August for $160

I imagined Wayne Dyer laughing and whispering, “The universe has spoken. No more excuses.”

I planned to attend three classes a week and see how I felt by the end of the summer.

I was hooked after the first week.

The classes were small and the instructors were able to work with me on an individual basis. I test-drove all the instructors and then zeroed in on my favourites: Amy, the social worker from Newfoundland who had completed her training in India; Claudia, the young mother who offered a structured class that appealed to my left brain tendencies; and Lisa, the quintessential (and kind) willow.

It was reassuring to discover that all my body parts were working and reporting faithfully for yoga duty. I felt myself growing healthier and stronger with each stretch, breath and positive thought. And I didn’t feel pressured or frustrated when I struggled with a pose. I kept repeating Lisa’s mantra: A yoga pose is a journey, not a destination.

I still have my personal challenges, but I am less reactive and more inclined to let things go. Instead, I gravitate toward that beautiful place where I can step out of time and leave all my concerns behind.

Namaste

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                                     A Season for Killing Blondes

Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.

When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.

As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.

Trailer

Buy Links

Amazon (Canada) – http://is.gd/t0g1KZ

Amazon (United States) – http://is.gd/jADjPp

Amazon (United Kingdom) – http://is.gd/8mknFJ

Amazon (Australia) – http://is.gd/r843iX

Kobo – http://is.gd/BpO9gY

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http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/628069201/?

 

Meet Joanne:

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In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but it would be over three decades before she entertained the idea of writing as a career. She listened to her practical Italian side and earned degrees in mathematics and education. She experienced many fulfilling moments as she watched her students develop an appreciation (and sometimes, love) of mathematics. Later, she obtained a post-graduate diploma as a career development practitioner and put that skill set to use in the co-operative education classroom. She welcomed this opportunity to help her students experience personal growth and acquire career direction through their placements.
In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
Where to find Joanne…
Website: http://joanneguidoccio.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio

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What season do you favor?

I recently visited the Roses of Prose blog-site (http://bit.ly/1Rq2ph8) and talked about how Fall has been a big factor in my romance novels. It’s the season I love the most because of the beautiful changing patchworks of colors, the cool crispness in the air, and the notion the world is slowing down, getting ready to rest and hibernate for the winter months ( much like I do!)  I love the symbolism of falling in love in the Fall. It just feels good to me. This got me  thinking: what do the other seasons represent to writers?

Would the Legend of Sleepy Hollow been as good a read if it had taken place in the summer? I don’t think so. The symbolism of the darkening and shortening days, and the cold, harsh descriptions of the dying foliage add to the utter creepiness of the story of the Headless Horseman. It wouldn’t have the same effect on the reader if took place during an 85 degree day at the beach.

Does the children’s book How the Grinch Stole July 4th make any sense? No, it’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which takes place in the winter with it’s cold, frigid air – much the same as the Grinch’s tiny heart, and the joyous spirit of the season helping him to find his love and kindness again. It wouldn’t feel the same if the Whos were giving out firecrackers instead of Christmas gifts. That’s just wrong.

Think of other stories where a specific season was highlighted. Would the story have been as good or rewarding if the season had been switched? And in your own writing. Do you favor a season more than others? If so, why. What does that time of the year bring to your story that enhances it?

I’d really be interested in hearing responses to these questions,so please, feel free to comment and pass the link on to other you think might be interested.

 

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A visit with Angela Hayes…

Hi all.  Greetings on this lovely June day.

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Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Angela Hayes and I’m an author with The Wild Rose Press. My debut novel, Love’s Battle, a fantasy romance is available on Amazon at http://bit.ly/LovesBattle, Barnes and Noble at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/loves-battle-angela-hayes/1119985601?ean=2940149742493 , and on The Wild Rose Press website at http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=indexHYPERLINK “http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1103″&HYPERLINK “http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1103″manufacturers_id=1103 .

I’d like to invite you all over to my blog www.authorangelahayes.blogspot.com where Peggy has graciously agreed to be a guest.

We’re talking all about her new book, There’s No Place Like Home. You don’t want to miss out.

If you like what you see, be sure to follow me either by email or by Google to get the latest blog postings.

You can also follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/imahayes and Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/imahayes.

It was wonderful meeting you,
Happy Reading,

Angela Hayes

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Let’s have dinner…Who should we invite?

I saw this question on a blog recently:  what Literary character(s) would you like to have dinner with and why?

This is a great question to actually ask at a dinner party. Responses can be all over the board depending on how well-read your guests are and what age. I can see people in their very early twenties wanting to break bread with Katniss Everdeen or Ron Weasley. My literary tastes are somewhat more dated.

First and foremost, I’d like to sit next to Elizabeth Bennet, because I’d like to ask her to truthfully tell me, once and for all, did she fall in love with Darcy for Darcy, or for Pemberley? I’ve always been a little suspicious she really did love Darcy and that her opinions of him could change so abruptly just because he helped Lydia and the Bennet family. What, exactly, made her see him in such a different light, from the first time they were introduced, Pemberley aside?

I’d like to sit down next to Scarlett O’Hara and smack her in the head. What was she thinking? Here she’s got the original bad boy himself, Rhett Butler, all but drooling after he and she wants nothing to do with him. She pines for Ashley Wilkes, one of the most boring characters ever penned, and doesn’t see the hunkadoodle right in front of her pixie little face. What gives, Scarlett?

Breaking bread with Atticus Finch would be memorable. I’d really like to know how he came to be such a liberal thinker in a surrounding chock full of uber-moralistic and conservative viewpoints on race, color, and gender. I’d like to discuss his upbringing and ask about his parents. Did their opinions and beliefs help form him to be the man he was, or was there some internal moral compass driving him?

Sherlock Holmes is such a fascinating character that there are no fewer than three television shows devoted to him at the present time. In an age where police work was in its infancy, his brain and desire for truth at any cost can be viewed either in a positive light, or as the most simplistic narcissism imaginable. He truly believed he was the smartest man in any room, hands down. Humility didn’t exist in his vocabulary. I would love to discuss his toilet training, to discern where his total control evolved from.

Nancy Drew was the coolest character I ever read when I was 10. I wanted to be beautiful and smart like her, drive a Corvair, and just have everyone love me. She had the neatest dad, the handsomest boyfriend and the most loyal friends – in truth, she had everything I didn’t. I’d like to ask her how it felt to be so perfect. And I’d really like to hear her tell me she was far from it!

Jane Eyre. The original drama queen. Tragedy and misery follows poor, plain Jane everywhere she goes. A lousy childhood morphs into an oppressive adolescence that ends in a pitiable adulthood. Even the guy she pines for is a pain in the neck. I’d like to talk to her and ascertain if she’s one of those people who simply thrive on the drama. A day can’t pass without some sort of emotional deluge. 

Holly Golightly seems to be the girl you’d love to sit next to at dinner. Witty, bright and light conversation would abound from her and I’m sure if you were a man she’d make you feel as if you were the only one in her sphere. She is named so perfectly – go-lightly – which is how she flits through life, moving without stopping or settling down, flitting from person to person, relationship to relationship. I’d probably ask her about her toilet training as well. That fear of not holding on to anything or anyone had to come from somewhere!

Madeline. Ah, sweet Madeline. Never having attended one, I’d really like the low down dirt on what it’s like to live in a boarding school. You hear so many unseemly things about them, such as the abuse, the sexual escapades, the bullying. Did our poor, little Parisian girl go through any of these things? Or was life really how it was written for her – all unicorns, butterflies, and sunbeams? And what about Miss Clavel? There’s a hidden understory there and I’m just dying to know it!

Truly, if I sat next to any of the folks at a dinner, I don’t think I’d touch a bit of food. They’re all fascinating in totally individual and diverse ways.

How about you? Who would you like to break bead with if you could?

 

 

 

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