Brooke, the main character in The Clay Lion was loosely based on a family friend who served as the bone marrow donor to her sister and my own daughter. She has a lot of my personality traits (an author can never truly take herself out of her work!) but eventually she grows to become her own person throughout the course of the book.
Most of my characters find their personalities in bits and pieces of people I’ve known throughout my life. They are sometimes the people I wish others could have been in my life.
My characters develop gradually and it usually takes me a while to really get to know them fully. I’ll often go back several times after a book is finished and rework areas that don’t seem right based on the people my characters eventually become.
There’s a lot of me all over my work. My values, my belief systems, who I am as a person. I’ve worked through a lot of my own feelings and issues through my writing. It’s very cathartic.
I develop my characters by writing them. I always have to go back to those beginning chapters and revise because my characters aren’t completely fleshed out at that point, but I find the only way I can really get inside them is to let them tell the story and see the plot emerge through their eyes. I give them a lot of freedom when it comes to taking a story where they want it to go.
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This is were you get to read about what's going on inside my head. I apologize in advance - the place is a wreck.