I always read the author bios at the end of every book I read. Why? To get some understanding into the person who wrote the book I just read, hoping to get some information that tells me how that author was able to pull that fiction out of themselves and put it on the page. It’s the same reason I read authors blogs and interviews. More insight into the author and the process of writing a story.
When I read a Sarah Black story, I know that she is as familiar as her characters with the locations in her stories. And if she is writing about Marines, it’s because she knows them intimately. It is the same with Abigail Roux. She travels to the places her characters will visit so that it is authentic right down to the streets and bars located on them. Amy Lane knits and look at the knowledge that brought to her Knitting series, but just maybe that side passion instigated that series to begin with. The authors pour themselves into their stories, we know that. But how do they do it? Do the characters whisper in their ears, fully born or do they form slowly as character bits swirl into place, one at a time. How is a location chosen and why?
But RJ Scott lives in England and she has a wonderful feeling for locations she has never traveled to. And Charlie Cochrane? Well, needless to say, I don’t think she has promenaded down a street in 1900’s Cambridge lately but you would never know it from the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries series. In those books, England in the 1900’s seems as fresh as present day. So how do they do it? Research obviously but in such a way that it feels real and true instead of a visit to a library. Do they visit museums? Bribe their way into the inventories so they can touch and feel the clothes and artifacts of the era they are writing about? Hmmm, Charlie Cochrane, do you have a hidden list of museum back entrances and docents able to do your bidding? Hmmmmm……
Characterizations will either make or break a story. You can be a marvelous world builder and create a new universe or world full of inventive and wonderous minituae. But if it is then filled with one dimensional characters who all talk and act alike, then your story will lie lifeless on the floor. Characters are the heart and passion of any story, regardless of whether they are human, alien, or something totally different. And it’s the manner in which each author creates the people in their stories that fascinates me. An upcoming author interview with Sarah Black will talk about her process in building her characters. I am sure each author has their own methods to make their creations so believable that we lose ourselves in their lives and stories. I want to know how, how do they bring these beings to life with such force that I still think about them months, perhaps years later.
So, tell me what questions you would ask these or any authors if you had the chance. Is it about world building or characters or both? Do you want to know what a character reads or what bars they visit? How doe they chose what they name their characters? Does it help define the person when you know what music they listen to? I know it does for me.
So gather your thoughts and send me your questions. I will add them to mine in time for the next author spotlight. I am hoping you will be there when the next author spotlight rolls out.