Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How true should you be to your characters?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself for several months now in light of a new project I’m working on. You can read the first four chapters by clicking on the link in the sidebar. A Familiar Evil is undoubtedly one of the toughest stories I’ve attempted to write. My main characters are not Christians and are currently separated in marriage. I don't want to offend my readers, but at the same time I feel (after careful prayer and consideration) that I must be true to my characters. So there are a few minor curse words used sparingly. The plan is to make this project into a series about Kate and Sam, using people around them to draw them into a personal relationship with Christ. That’s the plan anyway. If you’ve read any of the story so far you know that Kate had a very traumatic childhood, and is still dealing with the demons from her past. Now the monster that nearly destroyed her is back and all those painful memories have resurfaced and she’s basically a powder keg ready to blow.

While struggling with the decision to write the story as it presented itself through the characters, I visited with some other authors and my pastor about my dilemma and received some very sound advice. What it all boiled down to is I kept remembering a passage in Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’ where he said you should to be true to your characters. So, I hope you will bear with me in this venture and may the Lord use this work to enrich the lives of others.

In other news, I did my first live interview in front of an audience Saturday on a local talk show. To be honest, I couldn’t have been more nervous if I was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. This event was one of the speaking engagements I landed from my book signing on the 22nd. Even though I was a nervous wreck, it turned out to be kinda fun. The host, Preston Peine, was great and once the other guests joined me on stage I wasn’t quite as nervous.

After my interview I sped off to the lake to join family for a weekend of camping. We had blast, despite a brief thunderstorm on Sunday. It was good to get away, and I actually got some reading done. I did have some serious withdraw pains from the internet though. I hope all of you were able to spend time with loved ones and enjoyed your long weekend too.

When I arrived home on Monday and began sorting through my vast assortment of emails, I found two, wonderful, five star reviews for Lethal Dreams and Reservations for Two. WooHoo! Here’s a snippet from the Lethal Dreams review by Gail at GoodReads: “This psychological mystery has more ups and downs and twists and turns than a roller coaster. The characters, who are involved in the medical profession, the high stakes game of football, law enforcement and the ministry are intriguing. In addition to the mystery / romance there’s a wonderful spiritual message, because Logan, a strong Christian, gently nudges Erin, who is struggling with her faith, back into her belief system. I highly recommend reading this suspenseful book, which reminded me a bit of the Hallmark series Mystery Woman.”

I particularly like the part, “more ups and downs and twists and turns than a roller coaster” because a lot of the times that’s the way I feel when I’m writing and my characters zip off into directions I never expect. If you want to check out my newest reviews, I have them posted on my website.

I’m also thrilled to mention that my May release, Out of the Darkness is this month’s Publisher’s Pick and is listed in fourth place as a best seller at Champagne Books. 

Okay I’m going to shut up now and get off of here. Be sure to drop back by Friday. Science Fiction author T.K. Toppin will be joining us here for an interview.


Nicole Zoltack said...

Great post!

Btw, there's an award for you on my blog. :)

Crystal Ennis said...

You've been busy, girlfriend. Congratulations on all your success. You deserve it. Your books are great!

Anne Patrick said...

Aw, thank you, Crystal. I really appreciate your kind words and support!