NOTES ON WRITING

Often, I am asked about my writing routine. Consequently, I examined what it is that I do as I begin a new novel. I set out a collection of sharpened pencils, a clean pad of paper, and a dictionary.  I want my tools to be at my fingertips. I keep note cards identifying every character I create in each novel.  I conduct a great deal of research for each story and keep those research notes handy for immediate reference. I like order when I work. When I get an idea, I run with it. Whenever I am not actually writing, I am processing and planning my next move.

In the beginning I spend a great deal of time thinking about the story I want to tell. In the thinking process I include the traits of a character who could pull off this story. For example, in my first novel Shadows of Secrets I considered the probability of someone being abducted and the abductor becoming incapacitated stranding the abductee. What kind of characteristics would a person need to survive such an ordeal? I think that, historically, people underestimate the strength of women.  Therefore, I tend to place a female character as the protagonist against an aggressive antagonist in most of my stories. Though there are many interesting characters in the novel, Brittany Holmes stands out as the fighter. I like her. She is what we hope to be should we find ourselves in dire circumstances.

In my second novel Unintended Sacrifices you will meet Victorie Morgan. She goes by Torie. As her backstory unfolds, the reader begins to understand what drives this woman.  She is the epitome of a mother bear. The trauma which I put her through in the novel is such that would break most of us.  However, Torie maintains her focus throughout her ordeal: she must survive to save her child. When she joins forces with Marco Summers, they become an unstoppable force. I love both of these characters, but only one will survive.

In the third novel of this set, Twist of Fate, readers will follow the struggles of Sunny Gardner who became lost to her adoptive family in the second novel. Sunny is barely out of her teens; everything seems to go against her.  She begins as a victim, but she grows as the story unfolds. She had to hide her natural strength until the time was right. Once she was on her own, she dug deeply into her soul to find the courage to continue her journey home. I think you will find yourself cheering for Sunny right up to the last page.

In the final novel of this set, A Second Chance (which is still in manuscript format), you will reacquaint yourself with several characters from the previous stories. Two characters will stand out: Marva Lortin, the recovering addict still working at Sweet Dreams Confectionary and Jimmy Carbone from an LA criminal syndicate, who disappeared with a deadly target on his back. They are truly an unlikely match, but fate will bring them together. Whereas Marva feels undeserving, Jimmy feels vengeful. The innocence of toddler Mitzi Gayle Marker unites these disparate people and sets them on a path of forgiveness. At times you may find yourself shouting at Marva to be cautious and yelling at Jimmy that he deserves what he gets. This story of redemption should warm your heart.

Bringing characters to life is one of the great pleasures of a writer.  There is a certain freedom and power in building lives and controlling the outcome of those lives. No matter the nature of my characters, I come to love them in so much as one can love that which is not real. I invite you to meet my literary family…my cast of characters.

 

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