Wednesday, June 21, 2017

#AuthorLove Mia Jo Celeste #Romance

If you write fiction, you’ll probably agree with Robert Peck’s assessment that fiction is folks. He wrote a book by the same name. In it he suggests that before you type “Chapter One,” do your homework and get to know your characters thoroughly.
Many other writing experts give the same advice, but how do you do it? James N. Frey in “How to Write a Damn Good Novel” gives these suggestions:
  • Write a biography on your main character(s)
  • Have your leads journal—write about their life and how they feel about it.
  • Imagine you’re a psychotherapist intent on understanding the character lying on your couch.

“Find your character’s ruling passion,” Frey says. In other words, “what drives them.”
My critique partner, who comes from a military background, takes a different spin on the interview process. She imagines herself as airport security. She orders each of my characters to turn out their pockets and she runs each piece of luggage through high-tech scans. Then she and her virtual commandos escort “said character” to an interrogation room to discuss each found object.
“Explain the purpose of this object,” she commands. “You’re carrying it because?” Her grilling unearths a wealth of information. (I’m certain she missed her calling.)
In “GMC, Goal, Motivation and Conflict,” Debra Dixon recommends another interviewing technique. She asks her critique partner to interview her as she plays each character. Dixon says, “Spend time developing your characters beyond their physical aspects. Ask that important question: Who is your book about? She advocates getting your characters to answer these four core questions:
1.)  Who are you?
2.)   What is your goal? (What do you really want?)
3.)   Why do you want that goal?
4.)  What is stopping you from achieving it? 
When I wrote Other Than, a Gaslamp Fantasy/ Paranormal Historical Romance,
I spent a lot time interviewing my lead characters and searching their pockets.  I hope you’ll see the evidence in the blurb and excerpt.
He materialized in the inky shadow.
Or rather his apparition did. His ghostly frame hovered before her, sinuous and lithe. Against his shadowed form, the string glimmered like liquid silver. Slowly he unwrapped her, tossing the spectral bands to the floor until a coil lay between him and her.
Something inside her chest fluttered. “You followed me.”
An accusation.
He nodded. With a slight shrug, he spread his hands. “You shouldn’t be alone.”
She wanted to turn, giving him her back, but her betraying gaze remained fixated upon him. When he paced around her, she waved him away. “Don’t.”
He caught her hand and placed an insubstantial kiss in her palm. “Let me help you…please.”
A gallant gesture, perhaps, but her skin-slider sensitivity noted the rigidity of his stance, the twitch along his jaw, and the slight narrowing of his eyes. How could he think of helping her when he was in so much pain?
Ordinarily, she might be grateful. Might…if loss hadn’t hollowed her.
She ripped her cooling flesh from his spectral arms. “I don’t deserve kindness.”
“Good.” He gave her a rakish smirk. “Because I’m not kind.”
She shook her head, biting back the emerging smile that had no place on her countenance. She couldn’t be civil, couldn’t risk the involvement. “I can’t go on like this—stuck betwixt life and death.”
“You must. Don’t you see, sweet dove? You’re beyond both. You’re immortal. Like me.”
Back cover Copy
It only takes one drink from the Water of Immortality to kill Evie Woods—halfway. Trapped in undead flesh, the world’s last skin-slider wakens on an island purgatory where a cursed spring bubbles with immortality, and zombie cannibals crave living flesh. Her only hope of escape rests in the hands of the one man who would see her fail. Lord Victor Lowell, the man of her dreams and darkest nightmares. Contrary and intractable, Victor preys on others to maintain his angelic charisma and preternatural prowess.
Trapped in an ever escalating war they can’t stop, Victor and Evie fight time for a cure, but as the long days pass, blackness tears at Evie, ripping her thoughts from her one memory at a time. Victor will do whatever it takes to prevent her from deteriorating into a rotting husk, even if it means dooming himself, but Evie won’t surrender his soul without a fight.
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I’m Mia Jo Celeste and I’d love to talk writing or books with you. You can find me by following the links on this page. Thanks.
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  1. Thanks for having me on your site today. I love talking about writing and Other Than.