Sunday, April 29, 2012

Doing it

Readers, when you read a romance, do you ever picture someone you know at the hero or heroine? What about you writers - ever base a hero/heroine on a real-life person? I've admitted there are pieces of me in every heroine I write, but what I haven't admitted until now is that my heroes are often people I know, have met, or would like to meet someday.

Yep, the physical appearances of ALL my heroes are based on real-life people. I just find it easier to describe what they look like when I have a real model before me. Much like a painter uses a person as inspiration for his/her work, so do I. Friends, relatives, even celebrities find their doppelgangers in my stories. 

Phillip Townshend, for example (Secret Submission, Submission Revealed and Services Rendered), is a dead-ringer in looks for my own wonderful husband. Jim in Hooked could double for Richard Gere. My current work-in-progress (still unnamed - augh!) uses Hugh Jackman as a model. And the magnificent Dom in Sahara Heat, which releases this week, looks suspiciously like a friend of mine.

Yet the personalities of each character are uniquely their own. Each hero might have trace elements of personality from this person or that, but mostly the guy gets his own due. He stands on his own and owes nothing to nobody. He is his own person who knows what he wants and who he wants it from. And we love him for it.

So what about it? Do you put the image of a real-life person into your head when you read or write?

Play safe, 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

How Much is Too Much?

It isn't easy for a new author trying to make a name for herself or himself. There is a lot of competition out there for readers' hard-earned money. And now with self-publishing becoming so popular where anyone can upload a book, it's even harder for an author to make those much-desired sales.

Which leads me to the topic of promotion. Authors will try whatever it takes to get noticed. It might be ads, blogging, requesting reviews. They might hand out cute little trinkets at conventions, something to hopefully make you remember them the next time you go shopping for books.

And then there's Facebook and Twitter. I doubt if there are many authors who don't have at least one of these accounts. I have both, but don't post much. I'm a full-time author, which means I'm home in front of my computer the biggest majority of my time. That doesn't leave a lot of chances to do something exciting, something I think is worth sharing with the people who friend or follow me.

Because I don't look at Twitter every day, certain tweets will jump out at me when I do sign in to my account. I see tweets from some authors that say the same thing over and over. I have to admit seeing the same authors posting the same tweets about their books gets old. I'm so sick of seeing the titles of those books, there's no way I'd ever buy them. I doubt if that's the result the authors want to get with their promotion.

I've always heard a person needs to hear or read something at least six times before s/he remembers it. Do you believe that? Should an author keep pushing the same type of promo in the hopes of finding new readers? Or is that same promo driving away the readers s/he already has?

How much is too much?


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The absentminded writer

As writers we try to kid ourselves that we remember everything from plot to character eye color. NOT! I can't tell you how many times I've read through the chapter I've written and find I can't even keep the name spelled the same the whole way through. Sad isn't it? You'd think that the constant use of the computer, the hand-eye coordination that's associated with typing and the fact that the story and the characters originated in my head would help keep me from forgetting the details. For me it doesn't work that way. And as for the coordination skills... those don't exist either. Just ask my Jazzercise instructor when I'm doing the miss-step in the back of the class.
Authors are normal people. We can't remember everything. At least I can't.
I have to keep a file on my computer when I'm writing that list every detail from the way the name is spelled to the eye color of a character. I also keep a detailed list of facts for the book so I don't change it by the end of the book. We don't want the character coming from Kansas at the start of the book and then returning home to Iowa by the end of the book. A reader will take note of the mistake and won't hesitate to let you know. It's their job to help keep you straight you know. LOL
I've begun to notice that I can't even keep the home life details straight. Maybe I should keep an open file on that part of my life as well. Do you think it would work? I could label a file for each of the aspects of my home life. One titled (PIA) for the hubby. One titled (PIA2) for the 18 year old daughter who can't seem to find the direction she wants to go in and is driving me off the deep end of the pier. She's getting a tattoo this month and shared the wonderful (not) news with me. Her father is gonna flip but that's a whole other issue. I've gotten where I look forward to going to work to get out of the war zone between them.
Can't wait to go to RT next week. Looking forward to seeing Cait Miller and relaxing.
I think I'll stop rambling now. Maybe next week I'll pop on and add a blog about RT and upload pics as I go.
Thanks for listening.