Sunday, February 24, 2019

And Now for Some of My Other Characters

© Can Stock Photo / Callipso88
I get a lot of nice feedback about my characters and I love them too, but let's not forget my other characters. The nonhuman ones.

I love animals and I grew up around dogs and horses, so it stands to reason that some of my characters are dogs and horses. And while they may not be as cunning as their human counterparts, dogs and horses do what dogs and horses do, and sometimes it creates problems for the protagonists. In The Reunion, a black mustang named Miss Mollie puts Gillian in a real jam, while her dachshund, Duke, becomes the catalyst in a major life changing event. However, these animal characters can do good deeds as well, and some even end up being the unsung heroes in the story. Lurch, the lovable mutt in The Betrayalhelps save Emily's life, while Lucy, Shane's dog in The Stalker, becomes attached to Rachel, much to Shane's chagrin. My upcoming book, The Scandal, will also have a canine character. This time it's an English springer spaniel named Barney, who belongs to leading man Chuck.

Those of us who have pets will tell you they really are part of the family, and my two real-life dogs are no exception. Of course, they wish I'd spend less time writing and more time with them. In fact, if it were up to them, I'd dote on them twenty-four/seven. But lucky for them, they have a nice big cozy dog bed right next to my writing desk. Now, if only I could get them to give me feedback on my writing. Unfortunately, about the only words they really seem know are, "eat," "food," and "treats." 

MM






Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Are My Characters Based on Real People?

Photo by Gayle Martin
People are genuinely curious about what I do, and I often hear questions, such as are my books a series, and are my characters based on real people? Yes, a few of my characters have been inspired by real people I've known, such as lead protagonists Ian and Gillian in The Reunion. Others are villians, such as Martha in The Letter, and Craig in The Stalker.  

So what do I mean when I say a character is inspired by a real person? Does it mean the character is a clone of that person, perhaps with a different name? The answer is no, they are not. They are based on my memories of people I've known and I use those memories as a template to create a unique and fictitious individual. Ian, for example, was based on an old college boyfriend, and I incorporated some of his positive aspects into Ian, such as his desire to succeed. However, none of us are perfect, and my old boyfriend certainly had his faults too, but most of those characteristics were not part of Ian. Oddly enough, I've found some of his negative traits in antagonists in other stories, although I didn't realize it until after the book was published. Funny how our minds work.

Whether inspired by a real-life person or not, each character I create is fictitious, and each is a unique individual in his or her own right. And I must be doing a good job, because I've had some interesting feedback from my readers. Some truly hated my villians and were happy to see them get their comeuppance. Others shared their frustrations over protagonists making bad decisions. My all time favorite, however, came from a lady who told me she was reading one of my books in her apartment complex laundry room. One of the antagonists made her so mad she started cursing him out, then she looked up and saw other people in the laundry room giving her strange looks. Her story was the highest compliment a reader could ever give me.

MM

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

New Year New Kitchen

BEFORE
Photo by Marina Martindale
Sometimes life happens, and we writers get distracted. Such was the case with me in January. My house was built in 1965. I purchased it in 2008. Someone did a not so lovely kitchen remodel in the 90s, and it really looked dull and dated. And while I loved the idea of a new kitchen, I wasn't so gung ho on the idea of turning my home into a construction zone. So, I kept putting it off. And putting it off. But it had to be done, sooner or later. 

AFTER
Photo by Marina Martindale
So my kitchen went offline for most of January, with my appliances, dishes and cookware piled up in my dining room. And while I was able to do edits and revisions, I simply was unable to write. Funny how our minds work. When we're under a lot of stress our creativity just goes.

Thankfully, all things come to an end, including a kitchen remodel, and the end result was well worth it. As I loaded my dishes and cookware into the new cabinetry it felt like I was moving into a new home. So now that it's over I'm back at work on my latest novel, The Scandal, which I plan to release this summer. I'm also coming up with an idea for the novel after that. It's good to be back.

MM

P.S. I now have a newsletter, and each month my subscribers have an opportunity to win a free Kindle edition for one of my novels. To sign up simply scroll to the bottom of the page and fill out the form. Your information is kept private and will not be shared with third parties. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Remembering Rosamunde Pilcher

Photo by Marina Martindale
I was an avid reader long before I ever dreamed of becoming an author, and I'll always remember my mother giving me one of her books and telling me I had to read it. She said it was one of the best novels she had ever read. The book was The Shell Seekers, and the author was Rosamunde Pilcher.

As soon as I started reading I was instantly pulled into the story and I couldn't put it down. Such amazing, unforgettable characters. And even though it was a long book I was sorry when the story finally came to its end. Since that time I've read other Rosamunde Pilcher novels, and all were amazing. She truly was a gifted storyteller, and she has been and always will be an inspiration to me as an author. She will truly be missed.

MM