Angie, what fun to be invited to share my thoughts on writing here at www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot . And, I hope readers here check out Angie Dobson’s blog on this topic for this week at www.christinelondon.blogspot.com. I’m honored to be among such a collection of authors that deal with in-depth character studies.
As I checked out the books represented on this blog, it became apparent to me that the week four Best Summer Reading Blog Tour topic – when we meet our characters or who was standing at the foot of my bed last night; characters that haunt me or why readers like to have these characters show up in their lives and why - is a perfect discussion topic.
I moderate several writing technique workshops and one of the first things I tell the attendees is that, in my opinion, There are many ways that hooks/conflicts/resolutions can be used to entertain a reader. And the truth is that most stories have been told. While plot is important, the really good authors create characters that draw the reader intimately into the story. Most readers want to like, identify or fanaticize about a character in the book that they are spending their precious time in reading. It’s a lot of responsibility and like any product that you are selling; the real success is repeat buyers. The authors that I read, book after book, are the ones that give me characters that get into my heart and that’s what I strive to give my readers.
As I kid, I adored Hopalong Cassidy and all his western adventures. I once got to shake his hand and it still one of the highlights of my life. As a result, I have always been fascinated by the ‘cowboy’ era of nineteenth century. I can’t remember when the Farrells, four post U.S. Civil war Southern brothers, from my first novel After the War, Before the Peace weren’t in my life. Even at an early age, they began to tell me their story and it seemed important that I share their trials and successes during their quest for peace.
I’ve always been interested in outer space and also a loyal Star Trek fan. So when Captain Tom McConnell began to materialize in my imagination, I welcomed him and very quickly he introduced his world of family and friends.
Characters from some of my other novels were often a result of a prompt from a writer’s group or a friend who shared some details of a happening in their life. A character that is building in my imagination is kind of a ‘what if’ of something in my past that I didn’t pursue - a girl who joins the navy and becomes one of the first female astronauts.
I’ve enjoyed sharing these thoughts with all of you and hope it helps you to understand a little more about this wonderful profession called writing. Now, I’d like to treat you to an excerpt from my novel After the War, Before the Peace, available at Amazon.com in both print and ebook editions. These are the brothers that have been in my imagination so long, they are family.
After reading the excerpt, you can qualify to win a free book this week and get entered to win a $50 Amazon gift certificate on July 29th just by leaving a comment here on this blog with the answer to the following question. According to Jim, they aren’t country gentlemen from where?
Sharon Poppen ( www.sharonpoppen.com ) has won awards from Arizona Authors Assoc. and National League of American Pen Women. Her western novels After the War, Before the Peace, Hannah and Abby-Finding More Than Gold are available at Amazon Books, most web based book sellers and from her website. Her work has appeared in such publications as A Flasher’s Dozen, Desert Treasures, Skive, Offerings from the Oasis, A Long Story Short, Apollo Lyre and Laughter Loaf. Her workshops on Journaling, Short Story Writing and Blogging bring rave reviews. Sharon is a member of Lake Havasu City Writer’s Group. Her gay/sci-fi novel Regardless will be available in print and ebook the fall of 2012.
List of Published Novels
After the War, Before the Peace
Abby-Finding More Than Gold
Regardless (due out fall 2012)