Sunday, September 28, 2008

Holy crap! I am what I write

I received a lovely review of my book last night, and it made my millennium. Obviously I love the good reviews (I’m certain the carpenters will need to be called in to widen the doorways). I mean, who doesn’t? It’s that recognition that, regardless of what your job entails, someone felt you did an outstanding enough job to go the trouble to compliment you. This was special because it meant my reader wouldn't demand the bookstore return their money. How cool is that?

It got me to thinking about writing in general – particularly characters – and how pieces of us go into our characters. In my day job of editorial director, I’ve gotten to be a closet psychologist with respect to how closely our authors are actually parts of their books, and I’ve seen a real relationship between them and their main characters. Figures, since most of us write what we know. I guess that’s why the idea of meeting Steven King scares the crap out of me.

My character, Kim Donovan, is a renegade. If there’s a rule to break, she’s there with bells on. She’s not afraid to tell someone to go to hell if it’s over something she believes in, and she’ll fight tooth and nail to protect her beliefs. Admittedly, ol’ Kim didn’t fall far from the tree. I'm way too embarrassed to admit who Erik really is. That will require many mai tais. And probably money.

The reason the question popped into my head at all is because I was speaking at the Southern California Writer’s Conference this weekend, and I overheard a couple attendees ruminate about a well-pubbed author and what kind of man is he in real life. Having read his book and meeting the author last year, I could attest that he was one of the more mentally twisted people currently sucking air – as is his book
though he makes millions for himself and his publisher. If I want to know what kind of person the author is, I'm going to read their books.

For my next next party, I’m going to shun the usual gossip about the neighbors who walk naked in front of their living room windows and how Mrs. Overexposed has put on a few pounds. Instead, I’m going to play, “Literary Match Game” based on the assumption that the author and main character are soul mates. Given that, I can’t wait to get my hands on Dismas Hardy. I’ve had the hots for him for years. Sorry, Mrs. Lescroart, it’s over, I’m afraid.

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