Since my book, Three Christmas Kisses, will be out on December 15, 2008, I thought I should take this opportunity to share with you the idea behind the story, and a little bit about how I created my characters.
Last spring, we went to Sunriver Resort in Bend Oregon for a short two-week vacation. We stayed in a beautiful rustic three bedroom cabin. At the time, pristine white snow blanketed the whole area. Icicles hung from cabin’s eaves, branches of Cedar trees were heavy with snow and the nearby lake was frozen—perfect for ice skating. It was a romantic getaway.
Staying there, away from the city noise and crowd, was like being one with nature. I just loved it. I love nature period.
Years ago, I worked for a non-governmental organization, a foundation for the conservation of natural resources. I’ve been to different rallies against the government officials and their horrible connection to illegal logging and forest denudation. I was a tree-hugger.
My appreciation for the beauty of nature was what inspired me to write Three Christmas Kisses. I came up with a kick-ass heroine, an environmental lawyer, who cared less for her safety, so long as she could protect her beloved trees. And a hero, well, what could be better than a hero who hated the cold weather. Conflict huh? Perfect. What about the three kisses you might ask. Well, you’ll have to read the story for that.:)
I’d say in all of my stories, there was a part of me in it. In To Trust a Wicked Man, I struggled to find the middle of that story. So I placed myself in the heroine’s shoes. By doing that, I was able to relate to her emotions, her needs and read her mind. I felt her disappointments, pain, and the complexity of her situation.
I became her.
In Wicked Proposal, my heroine nearly drowned because she couldn’t swim. Here is a secret (Shhh) I can’t swim either. I hate all types of bodies of water, just like my heroine.
I am not an expert in creating characters, but over the years, I learned that in writing I have to tell a bit of truth in my stories disguised as fiction. What do I mean by this? My characters—once or twice—have crossed my paths. But, I weaved them into the story so if a relative read my book they wouldn’t recognize the character as so and so.
When I think about my character, I think of her as a person—breathing, with emotions, capable of making mistakes, full of life. You might say, ‘yeah right. I read your book. Your characters are flat as a paper.’ Well, don’t forget, I already claimed that I am not an expert in molding them.
Do you know of any other way to create a believable character? Have you read a book where a hero or heroine acted more like robots compared to C3PO and R2D2 of Starwars?