Sunday, July 7, 2013

How Did You Conjure Up These Characters?

If there is one common thread through all the comments I receive about DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, it is about the authenticity of the characters. “I love your characters. They seem so real. Are they based on people you know?” Well, the simple answer is that they are not based on actual people, except for one minor character. All the main characters (Elizabeth, Collin, and Hawk) are their own entities. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that as a writer I am all of my characters—the good, the bad, and the ugly, but there is a kind of magic that happens in the process of writing. The characters become themselves. Once you set them on the stage, they do not take direction very well. They defy their creator. They speak for themselves. They do what they want and they reveal the story to you. You do not give them the story. So as I writer, I try to unravel the mystery of the characters and what it feels like to look at the world through their eyes.

Of all the characters in my book, I find Hawk the most interesting. There would be no story without Hawk. He is the catalyst for everything that happens. He is handsome, strong, flawed, vulnerable, unpredictable, reliable, calculating, wild, wise, and foolish. In other words, a total enigma. I would have never finished writing this book, if he hadn’t kept nudging me.

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