Sunday, August 3, 2014

Forever Friends by Amanda Kimberley: The Characters and Book Giveaway

Over the course of the past three decades of writing, I have come to the conclusion that characters are just like people, we don't truly know them unless we are introduced and engage with them. I'm quite the introvert, and unless I can find a way to relate to a character right from the start, I will find it hard to draw them out in the book I'm writing.

Forever Friends was no exception for me. The book actually took 20 years to develop from the first idea to the actual publication because I was a young college student when the idea entered my head. At that time I thought I'd have, pardon the pun, forever, to develop it. As the years turned into a decade, and my life became full of growing children, pets, and aging parents and grandparents, I decided to put my idea on the back burner for a little longer because life was just too complicated.

Once the second decade came upon me and I was struggling with Fibromyalgia and the big 40, I decided that it was a good time to write Forever Friends as a structured distraction from my chaotic life. And once I came to that decision, I dove right into the characters. Some were very easy to develop, others were not.

Skye and Raine were the first characters that I wrote about in the book. They were pretty easy for me to get to know in the beginning because I decided to do what every writer does in the beginning, I wrote what I knew! The character Skye is a lot like me. She and I have OCD just as bad as Adrian Monk!

OCD is tough for me during my flares because I still struggle with trying to clean verses resting a Fibro Flare. In the book Skye is pretty anal about a clean carpet, never putting a wet glass upon a book or a magazine, and sitting a certain way so she wouldn't crease anything. Those character flaws might sound a little too far fetched, but believe me when I tell you there are people out there that think this way because I'm one of them.

Writing about myself, though, turned out to not be such a great idea. Skye hit too close to home and I lost touch with what I wanted to do with her because I was starting to like her too much. I couldn't just write her into a terrible situation! She was too nice for that-- you know? And she was most definitely too smart to fall for the silly horror movie cliches. That girl would NEVER go into the basement. She could get killed! EEK!

I knew I had to do something with her and I decided to give her the one personality trait that I lack, the ability to relax. Skye finds ways to calm herself so she can think clearly, or simply to be in the moment. It works for the book because if she didn't have that trait she'd probably never allow herself to fall for Raine, and THAT, of course, would be devastating!

After reading the book, Many Masters, Many Lives I really got into past life regression research in my early twenties. It was very fascinating to me to think that perhaps I may have lived before, and with possibly others that were in my life. This research sparked my interest in writing Forever Friends because I found that I had a lot of questions I wanted to explore.

Many of the questions were geared towards kindred spirits, or as some people mistakenly call them, soul mates. I wondered if one’s soul instantly recognized a kindred spirit, and if that was possible, would true lovers always seek each other out in each subsequent life. It was obviously a romantic thought on my part to think that a kindred spirit would do that very thing, and from that moment on, Raine’s character was born.

Raine was the first character I thought of 20 years ago and he stuck as a constant, something that seems to fit his character well. I had never thought of him with any other name. Raine just seemed to fit right from the start. The character grew as I started writing and I knew a couple of his features, specifically how his eyes could light up a room, even though they are dark. And how he also always had the right words to say at any given moment. It was almost as if he were saving phrases just for such special occasions. I also wanted him to be the opposite of Alec’s impatience to give a good dynamic between the hero and antagonist. Patience seemed to also be a fitting trait for Raine to have, given he was waiting for Skye to enter each one of his lifetimes, as well.

Here's how I picture Raine and Skye

Alec may have been a little hard for me to draw out as a character at first, but he was certainly the most fun. I really enjoyed drawing out Alec's impatience in the book, as well as, his many talents. A good antagonist has to be a worthy opponent and since Alec blames Raine for the loss of Obsidian after all of these years and lifetimes, Alec's talents have become pretty diverse so he can go up against Raine in battle.

But just because I had fun with the evil side, didn't mean that I neglected his soft side. I wanted and needed the reader to see that he was truly capable of love. I got to know Alec better by drawing out his back story. His gruff personality was the exact element needed to make him the vampire he is, and yet, when he is with the one he loves, he’s a teddy bear. He is a vampire at war with polar opposites within himself. And when he meets Morgan, it’s almost as if fireworks are exploding within him. I truly believe that’s something most vampires would experience when they first become fledglings.

Alec likes to talk of law and duty a lot in the book, but as a vampire, law and duty mean very little to him unless they suit his particular needs. As a human, Alec has a true sense of duty and responsibility to his family and you will see that in the next book Forever Bound.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know the characters of Forever Friends.

Love and Friendship,
Amanda Kimberley

Forever Friends is available on Amazon in both print and eBook format. 

Author Bio:

Amanda Kimberley has been writing for three decades and is a no nonsense nonfiction writer named Kimberley Linstruth-Beckom by day, who focuses mostly on the health condition known as Fibromyalgia, due to her own diagnosis in late 2005.
By night, she dons her bathrobe and enjoys typing out paranormal romances at her white marble desk. She likes to nibble on chocolate, nuts, and potato chips while drawing out her characters with music from her iPhone in the background.

Book Blurb:

Have you ever dreamed about finding your soul mate? Do you think you’d recognize him as, The One, the instant that you met?

Skye thought that Raine was her dream come true when she finally fell in love with him, but her dreams soon became nightmares when Alec, King of the Vlad Vampire Clan, wanted them and every other gypsy witch of Kersh descent, dead.
She had to find a way to stop Alec, end the war between clans, fight against the werewolves who turned her best friend Morgan, and keep Raine, her Forever Friend, by her side.

Book Synopsis:

Skye thought that her dream came true when she met her forever friend, Raine. But her dreams soon became nightmares when Alec, King of the Vlad Vampire Clan, wanted to avenge his lover’s death. He thought nothing of going after Skye and Raine, the heads of the Kersh Gypsy Clan, because they should have protected his Obsidian in The Were Rebellion. She was, in fact, kin.

In order for Skye to have her happy ending with Raine, she needs to learn how to harness her Gypsy Witch powers to stop Alec, end the war between clans, fight against the werewolves, who turned her best friend Morgan, and close the portal to the Underworld before the planetary alignment.  

Book Giveaway:

I'll be giving away 1 autographed copy and poster of Forever Friends and 2 autographed copies with bookmarks through Rafflecopter! Follow the link to enter!

2 comments: said...

The characters and book sound interesting. The quirks make the people sound more real.

Debby said...

Wow, that is a long time. I love the characters.
debby236 at gmail dot com