Friends and family? They know me pretty darn well and saw right through Vivian's gruff exterior and laughed their asses off at me. Before I got sick, I took the lead on many parties, projects, meetings, groups... you name it. I never assumed I should be in the lead role, it was usually thrust upon me or thankfully handed over by my busy peers. I quickly built a reputation for getting things done, being organized, loyal, and someone you could always count on to follow through.
It taught me a lot. The experience showed me how to lead without being bossy. How to encourage without giving a direct order or negative feedback. And when to realize butting heads with someone does not mean either one of you is right or wrong, you just clash and don't agree. Then, to maturely face the fact you probably never will and move on.
I've read in several places Laurell K Hamilton wishes she hadn't made her popular main character, Anita Blake, look like herself. I always found that kind of funny. It's done, so move on. No need to worry about what you can't change.
I feel that way about Vivian. I hadn't intended to pour so much of myself into her. I did intend to make her a powerful, ruthless woman with control issues, and one who may not win friends because of her actions. I wanted her fair, logical, passionate, and slightly paranoid. She is kind of like me on small things, but more of her own as the story evolves-- and thankfully my friends agreed, saying they quickly forgot the comparison and were able to enjoy the story.
In real life, I don't say all the snarky stuff Vivian does, I just dream about it. I don't hang from the basement rafters and have gymnastic-like sex. There has never been a time in my life where I have been chained to a wall and spanked with a crop -- and I can promise there never will be.
And, as much as I wish, I don't have the relationship she has with her spouse. I'm blessed with a good marriage to a man I admire and love. A man who is also my best friend -- but he is not Rafe by any stretch of the imagination.
As writers we're told to "write what you know". We need to make realistic characters and for new writers, like me, that means drawing on yourself and those closest to you. I've grown in my writing abilities and have been able to make up main characters nothing like me.
My erotica novellas require a different type of experience level ;-), and I can weave those elements in with completely unknown characterizations. That's where having a great imagination comes into play.
Sure, most of us may incorporate bits of ourselves into the stories we create. But isn't that what helps the story come to life? What do you think? Have you written about someone who looks, talks or acts like you?
I'm running a unique pre-launch promo contest. I plan to give away ten signed and numbered copies of The Hunt (numbers 3-12, 'cause I'm giving my brother the first two). They will be mailed to winners one week prior to the book going up for sale, which is slotted right now for June 30th, 2011.
Here is how you enter: You comment on any blog I do for the next six weeks. I will notify readers when I post on my Facebook business page, and I will Tweet about it. Each comment counts as one entry (only one entry per post, but you can comment more if you'd like). The comments must be made within the first 48 hours of the post going live, and I will post a "closing" comment when the entries for that day are closed.
All entries will be tossed into a drawing, and the participants with more entries have a higher chance of winning.
BONUS!! Every entrant who comments on at least six blog posts and does not win a signed print copy will receive a free ecopy when the book goes up for sale.
Let the games begin!!