If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


WWK's May interviews will be: 5/2--indie author Bobbi Holmes, 5/9--TG Wolff (aka--Anita Devito), 5/16--Chocolate Bonbon author Dorothy St. James, 5/23--Lida Sideris, 5/30--Food Lovers' Village (and multiple Agatha winner) Leslie Budwitz. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


Our May Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 5/5--John Carenen, 5/12--Judy Penz Sheluk, 5/19--Margaret S. Hamilton, 5/26--Kait Carson.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.


Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:


Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with the authors in this anthology on 4/14! Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.


In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Finding Characters



People often ask me how I get my characters for my writing. I tell them, just look around, they are everywhere.

For instance, in Home Sweet Home, my WIP, I have an elderly lady with dementia. My mom and an aunt had this and I can relate to the things my mom did. She blew up the microwave by putting in a can of soup, and burned so much food in the oven that I was asked to find her somewhere else to live. Somehow she managed to break the handles off cups, put them back into the cupboard with the handles against them, and of course when you reached for a cup all you got was the handle. Although some of the things she did weren’t funny at the time, when I write them now, I can find the humor.

I retired from Seminole State College several years ago, but return during registration to do orientation and advising. I meet a lot of folks who would make good characters in my writing. Recently I had a student who would make a perfect spoiled brat. He demanded my attention, taking his finger and pounding it on the book, and informed me in high school they “did registered us.” I smiled sweetly and told him now that he's grown up, he gets to learn how to do these things for himself.

 I had a fireman visit my office to see what classes he needed. Young, good looking, he had a nice personality. But he said his job wasn’t dangerous enough. I’d choose him to be a detective or PI, someone who enjoyed the thrill of the chase. Sort of like Castle on TV.

If I wanted someone to be caring, like for a doctor or nurse, there’s the young Hispanic man who told me how he worried about his grandparents. He was model handsome, which means he’d be a good doctor character for women to drool over.

The man from the mailroom was furious when the dean took his cart and gave it to me to use. He got to the point where he glared at me, and I asked the dean to return it. Older, short with spiked white hair, he would be a good character whom no one would suspect as the murderer of an advisor who stole his cart.

There’s always the sweet little old lady who no one would suspect of masterminding a gang of art thieves. Or the mechanic who smiles at you while ripping you off or disconnecting the brakes on a car for the money a woman or man paid him so they could be rid of their mate.

If you journal, start taking notes of people around you, their body movements, the twitch of the eyes, the way they move their hands or the way they smile. Is the smile real, fake, sarcastic, or evil. Also make use of the newspaper or TV for characters. In my WIP I needed a woman who would sell babies. Two weeks later a scandal appeared of a grandmother who tried selling her grandson. It turns out she said selling babies was a family tradition. 

Really!

Dee Gatrell

4 comments:

Pauline Alldred said...

You're right, Dee, characters are everywhere. One group I constantly return to--kids I knew in high school. Their characters and quirks are somehow burned into my memory. Since I've moved far away from where I went to school, I sometimes provide life paths for them. When I've finally met up with one of them, I've sometimes been shocked by how they've changed.

Warren Bull said...

What always amuses me is that none of the people my characters are modeled after ever recognize themselves in my work. Years ago I was told by a friend that the true test of an A-hole is that when you call him an A-hole he will think you're joking. Of course any resemblance between any of my character and any person, living of dead, is purely coincidental.

E. B. Davis said...

The grandmother sounds like a new entry in the "fact is stranger than fiction" file, which is one reason I try to keep reading about real crimes. I could never dream up the stuff that actually happens.

Pauline, I agree. High school students once known are great characters. Few people do we know as well as those we grew up among during our formative years and for a duration (at least in the US) of twelve years.

E. B. Davis said...

P.S.--LOL, Warren!