I'm double dipping with my first Writing Romance author, as I'm also participating in her blog tour. Today, Karen E. Taylor is here for an interview while promoting her book, Hunger, which is due to be released this week.
Hi Karen! Thank you for joining me on Secrets of a Book Lover! I hope you don't mind, but I would really love some insight when it comes to writing your characters.
*I’m really happy to be here and am always thrilled for the chance to talk about my characters.
Deirdre was an interesting voice and I always find that a book takes on a more personal feel when it's told in the first person. When you start writing a story, do you already have characters created or do they create themselves through the story?
*As my main character, Deirdre was partially created. She had a face and a personality as well as a past. As I wrote, I learned new things about her and she grew into a more complex being. Some of my other characters, though, started out as just a name or as a character type (hero, villian, etc.) and evolved from there.
As I'm reading a book, I usually find myself playing a "movie" in my head of what is happening. I see the characters and the scene around them. Is this something that you experience as you're writing? Can you see the characters interacting with each other and what they look like?
*Absolutely. I have a rather theatrical mind-set anyway, so the actual physical aspect of a scene is very important to me. Sometimes I even get up from my chair and move around, practicing gestures or body positions that seem to fit the words or the emotions of the scene. I don’t visualize faces, so except for the basic features (hair color/style, physical build, etc.) the characters are always kind of shadowy. Although I’m not opposed to a little window dressing on occasion. When writing Blood Secrets, I used a word processor with a screen that only held 5-6 lines and due to its positioning, I could also see a faint reflection of my mouth. One night I was blocked and to get into the “mood” I ended up putting on a lipstick in a shade I thought Deirdre would wear. The next morning, my ashtray was full of cigarette stubs with smears of lipstick and my husband questioned me. “They’re Deirdre’s,” was the only answer I could give him...
What is the most difficult part about creating your characters?
*It can be hard, especially with minor characters, to get their motivations right. For any character, really, it can often be difficult to see her point of view, and if her motivation is too far out of my comfort zone, I tend to flop around a bit until I touch on the one fact that rings true for her. Finding that one core truth that helps define a character is tricky.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an author?
*I’d have to say self-doubt. I tend to second (and third) guess a lot of my writing. I’m my own worst critic. I’m also incredibly prone to distractions, especially when working on a deadline. I use my own personal writing mantra as a screen saver. “Don’t panic. Believe. Keep writing.”
If you had one piece of advice to give to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
*Read everything you can. Whether you read good books or bad books, it doesn’t matter. Just read. Then sit down in your chair and write. And keep writing!
Thank you so much for joining me today!
*Thank you again for inviting me!
And to kick Writing Romance off, I'm offering a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader! All you have to do is be a follower (GFC, RSS or email subscriber) and share the news about Writing Romance with your friends. You can tweet about it, blog about it or put our button on your blog. Just share! You'll get one entry per share method, up to 3 entries. Once you share, be sure to fill out the form to enter
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Don't forget to stop by Reading Between the Wines where Crystal is featuring Marie Force!
Good luck and happy reading!
*Giveaway is open internationally and will run until 11:59 pm EST on July 15, 2011. Winner will be drawn using random.org and will be announced on July 18, 2011. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to reply at which time the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be drawn.