Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ye Olde Mailbag

One of the best things about being a writer? The letters. I've received letters and e-mails from all over the world with questions and comments about my books. Some questions show up in many of the letters I receive, so I'm betting other authors get them, too. For today's blog, a few answers:

1) Are You Your Characters? Or Are They People You Know?

No. Characters--at least in fiction--are figments of the author's imagination (see your Merriam-Webster for the definition of "fiction.") Speaking for myself, there may be facets of people I've met in the characters I've created, or there may be snippets of conversations I've overheard worked into a character's personality, but that's the extent of it. If an author wants a career--that is, they want to write multiple books, year after year--then they need to create a variety of characters with a range of personality traits. It'd get boring writing (or reading!) about the same characters forever. Plus, wouldn't it be awful if authors WERE their characters? Think about some of Agatha Christie's murderers. Or Stephen King's demented villains.

2) Do You Design The Covers Of Your Books?

Nope. Folks with backgrounds in graphic design, art, and photography do that. The wonderful Amy Saidens does the covers for the romantic comedy line. She has talents most authors don't!

3) Why Did (Such and Such Character) Do Something So Stupid?

There are several answers to this question, so take your pick: a) Because perfect characters are boring; b) Because normal people make mistakes; c) Because it made the story more interesting; d) Because if the character hadn't made that mistake, they wouldn't have discovered XYZ.

4) Can You Name A Character _________ ? And Give Her A Boyfriend Named ____________ ?

If I do, it's coincidence. But thanks for the suggestion. (And hey, if you have characters and a story in mind, maybe YOU can write it! Why not?!?)

2 comments:

Skylarr said...

Woah... wait a second. The authors of the actual books that I read... and then re-read post blogs here. Not to mention my FAVOURITE author -Jennifer Echols- just posted. THAT IS SO AWSOME! EEEEEP -- Sorry, I'm caught up in the excitement :) I'm actually just in the middle of Something Borrowed by Catherine Hapka (very good by the way) and then on to my next book which I'm phsyched for - Major Crush. I just bought these like last week & when all of the new ones come out, im splurging! XD Wow... I just got virtually starstruck XD

Niki Burnham said...

Hey, Sklyarr! Thanks for visiting...and glad you're enjoying the blog!