Monday, September 28, 2009

Guest - D. B. Reynolds

Good morning everyone! Today's guest is author D.B. Reynolds who'll be talking to us about vampires (one of our favorite paranormal creatures). D.B. will be offering a giveaway prize to one lucky reader so make sure you read all the way to the end of her article to find out how you can become eligible.

Enjoy!

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ARE VAMPIRES REALLY DEAD?

It never fails. After a flurry of high-profile vampire activity, i.e., best-selling books and/or movies, there will be the pronouncements from people-who-claim-to-know that . . . wait for it . . . vampires are dead! Not dead as in bury that sucker already! But dead as in, the genre is tapped out. Readers are looking for something different. This year, it’s the very high profile Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and HBO’s True Blood based on Charlaine Harris’ wonderful Southern Vampire books.

So, are vampires finally stick-a-fork-in-‘em dead? No, of course not. People have been hungry for vampire stories since 1819, when John Polidori sat around a warm fire telling ghost stories with Lord Byron and Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The people who say vampires are dead only know about the famous ones – Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Anne Rice’s Lestat, Buffy and the gang, Meyer’s perpetual teenager Edward Cullen, True Blood’s Bill Compton, and my personal favorite the delicious Eric Northman. (How could anyone not want to read more about Eric??)

But true readers of the paranormal know the field is much larger than that. Most film and TV critics and/or those cultural commentators who make these pronouncements have probably never heard of J.R.Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood or Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters or Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark. For that matter, they’d probably never heard of Charlaine Harris either, until Alan Ball made an HBO series out of Sookie Stackhouse and company.

But as long as there are books, whether e or print, there will always be stories about bad boys. Because readers love ‘em. Those testosterone-laden, alpha male bad boys who can handle everything life throws at them and look great doing it, until the perfect woman comes along and knocks their socks off. We all dream about being that perfect woman, the one who brings all that muscle and attitude to heel and living happily ever after.

Not that all vampire lit is romance lit. There are plenty of vampire books out there in the horror genre, as well, and plenty that walk a line between the two, like Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt series or even Laurell K. Hamilton’s early Anita Blake books which were shelved with horror books for years in stores.

But in all of them vampires are the ultimate bad boys. There might be werewolves and witches and demons, but the vampires are always at the top of the food chain. They might share that top spot on occasion, but they never lose it.

I love reading these books and I love writing them. And there are plenty of readers out there who feel the same way I do, so I can’t see that dying any time soon.

My own vampires are strong, fast and immortal. Some of them are evil and we boo and hiss when they take the stage. But some of them, my favorites, are charismatic, powerful and sexy as all get out, with an immortal cherry on top. They’re protective of their mates and deadly to their enemies. They can charm the pants off a lovely woman, or stop a bad guy with a simple word. And isn’t that what we all want? Isn’t that why we read paranormal romance?

I’d love to hear what you think about this. Are vampires dead and gone for you? Or are you as anxious as I am for the next great book on my ever-growing TBR pile?

And speaking of TBR piles, I’ll be giving away a signed copy of one of my books this week. Anyone who comments on this post between now and Friday has a chance to win your choice of RAPHAEL or JABRIL. So, post a comment and say hello, and don’t forget to visit me at http://dbreynolds.wordpress.com for more information about my books and where to buy them.

DBR



D. B. Reynolds is the author of the VAMPIRES IN AMERICA series from ImaJinn Books (ImaJinnBooks.com). The first two books in the series, RAPHAEL and JABRIL are now available from Amazon and BN.com, as well as e-versions from Fictionwise.com. Book Three, RAJMUND, will be released in early 2010. D.B. lives with her husband in a coastal canyon near Los Angeles.




BOOK BLURB

Houston, Texas—Cowboy boots, baseball and journeys to the stars . . . right?
Wrong. Because Houston is also home to Jabril Karim, one of the eight powerful Vampire Lords who control all of North America. And as Private Investigator Cynthia Leighton will soon discover, not all Vampire Lords are created equal. For Jabril is the face of evil in the new world, a vampire who values no life but his own, who enslaves those he desires, steals whatever he covets and destroys anyone who stands in his way.

Running from L.A. and its seductive Vampire Lord, Raphael, Cyn sees the Houston job as a welcome refuge, a place to get away and heal her broken heart. But Texas will be no vacation. For in Jabril Karim, Cyn will confront a true enemy, one who will go to any lengths to satisfy his lusts, enrich his coffers and expand his power.

Fighting for the lives of two young sisters, Cyn’s journey will take her through the streets of Houston and back to L.A., where the human police are determined to bring Raphael down for the murder of one of their own. But the danger doesn’t end there. For Jabril has set his sights on Cyn, and he will stop at nothing to have her.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Susan Kearney


Multi-award winning author Susan Kearney knows what the publishing industry is all about (thanks in part to her Business Degree from the University of Michigan). She has sold books to Grand Central, Tor, Simon & Schuster, Harlequin, Berkley, Leisure, Red Sage and Kensington. Her publishing credits don't simply include paranormals, since she's published 50+ books that span through the contemporary, romantic suspense, historical, sci-fi and futuristic sub genres.

Susan is a New Jersey native, but now she's writing her 54th novel in a suburb of Tampa, Florida.

I've never had the pleasure of meeting Susan face-to-face, but I do believe she is a friend of a friend. Or perchance I think that because I've read so much about this fabulous lady from Liz Maverick. Either way, I know that I have no reason not to bow before this icon of the publishing industry if she does grace my presence...and I hope the folks at DragonCon knew who they were modeling for!

I think it's safe to say that Susan's star among the paranormal elite is firmly esconced, and I do look forward to her twist on Camelot. After all LUCAN has been deemed "exotic" in feel as the reader goes on "an excellent ride!" A Holy Grail mystery, extraterrestrials, and dragon shifters, oh my...that sounds like a splendid time! (I think I just might have found my honeymoon reading material as I lounge at Camelot By the Sea.)


Given the plethora of genres you've been published in, why does sci-fi/futuristic seem to be your go-to choice? As of late, what led to you revisit Camelot with your new Pendragon series?

I love sci-fi futuristics because the possibilities are infinite. I’m not limited to just Earth, it’s history, culture, biology and gravity. And I can write something new—yet still bring human hopes and dreams and problems with us to new worlds. In the end the story is always about the characters and how they react to their surroundings. I decided to revisit Camelot because I wanted readers to feel comfortable going into space, so I brought something familiar...a legend from Earth.


Out of all the book trailer videos you've had a part in, which is your favorite? Why?

I think I liked LUCAN the best. I didn’t have to make that one. I hired someone else to do it. I got to do the fun part, picking out the characters faces and tightening up the script. But for LUCAN I didn’t have to hire the actors, cast the actors, pick out the costumes and then help edit it for hours and hours!!!



If you had to pick one of your heroes to help you save Earth, who would it be?

I’d pick JORDAN, the hero in book three of the Pendragon Legacy. Who could be better than a man who’s lived over 1500 years? Who could be better than a warrior/scientist alpha hero? One who doesn’t know the meaning of the word—quit. A man who is loyal to his last breath. A man who won’t compromise—even if it means his life is at risk.



What is the one thing that makes your writing time/travel perfect?

When I travel I always have a book to read. As for writing—I like my La-Z-boy chair. I lean back, my feet are up and the keyboard is in my lap. Oh, yes, I still work in WP51—because it's so easy on the eyes.



With 53 books completed, what do you hope to accomplish in the future? What memory makes all the work worth every minute of toil and trouble?

I hope to enjoy every book I write—when I can’t do that anymore, then I’ll retire. Writing is a lot of work but I think the most rewarding thing is the friends I’ve made along the way. Friends who I can count onno matter what. Smart, interesting women who enjoy life.





If you'd like to learn more about Susan, read excerpts, watch her book trailers or enter her LUCAN contest, check out her website--
http://www.susankearney.com/.





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Monday, September 21, 2009

Guest - Kerri Nelson

Good morning everyone! Today's guest is Kerri Nelson, a terrific paranormal author. Ms Nelson has always been passionate about reading books but when she wrote her first poem in the second grade, she discovered her love of writing. At the age of sixteen, she became a columnist for her local newspaper as the high school correspondent for the weekly "Panther Tales" column. She won the Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award for her efforts.

After an education and career in the legal field, Kerri began to pen romantic suspense novels with a legal or law enforcement theme. She is a true southern belle and comes complete with her dashing southern gentleman husband and two little belles-in-training. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her baking homemade goodies for her family, feeding her addiction to blogging online or designing custom made book trailers. Kerri is an active member of Romance Writers of America as well as numerous Chapters including Southern Magic, Futuristic Fantasy & Paranormal, Hearts Through History, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.

Kerri is offering a free story to one lucky reader so read her article to find out how to enter the drawing.

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What’s your Fave Paranormal Creature Feature?

When it comes to paranormal characters these days, it seems they are as many and as varied as the authors who create them. I, personally, find it difficult to choose a favorite. I guess it all depends on my mood at the moment and the story, of course!

My new book entitled Soul Searcher which is now available from Whispers Publishing features a shapeshifting mountain lion. He’s the son of a Native American medicine man and a white witch who may have cast one too many spells in her time. This was my first paranormal book but I’ve written several others since this one. I have a retired witch book, a ghost story, and even a set of Christmas short stories featuring a dragon fantasy and a time travel romance (which are set to release in December from Whispers). So, even within my own writing, the characters and creatures are multiple and plentiful.

When we look at the paranormal industry, you can hardly turn an isle in the book store without coming across a paranormal book. Whether you’re looking at mystery, romance, sci-fi, or even young adult, the paranormal are out in full force.

Although, lately I’m hearing some agents say that they are tired of vampires and psychics. I can’t help but to consider vampires and psychics two of my all time favorite creations. Because, let’s just face it...vampires are hot and there are times when we’d all like to be able to read minds or see the future.

So, today...share with me your favorite type of paranormal creature and tell me why they are your fave. I’ll draw a winner on Friday from all the comments to this post.

What can you win? A free book of your choice, featuring your favorite type of paranormal creature, of course! So, share your faves for a chance to win your fave!

Don’t forget to check out Soul Searcher and stay tuned for more paranormal fun from me coming soon!

Kerri Nelson


Links for Kerri Nelson sites and Soul Searcher:
Website: www.kerrinelson.com
Blog: www.kerribookwriter.blogspot.com
Book Trailer for Soul Searcher:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMxp1omUdzo

Buy Link for Soul Searcher:
http://whispershome.com/whispersstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=101




Blurb for Soul Searcher (now available from Whispers Publishing):

Faith Harper knew her night was bad when she agreed to have drinks with the Devil. She wasn’t all that surprised at her late night visitor because when you have the ability to look at a person and see their soul, strange things have a tendency of happening to you.

The very next day, she stumbles upon a mutilated corpse in the woods, things rapidly go from bad to worse. Soon, she’s being followed by a sexy forest ranger who has a soul unlike anything she’s ever seen before.

Chase Commanche Phillips has lived most of his life in the forest. He works as the county’s Chief Forest Ranger and is more comfortable interacting with animals than with people but when the beautiful Faith Harper comes running out of the woods and into his arms, he has no choice but to get involved.

After Chase discovers Faith’s special gift, he knows that he must protect her at any cost. With the Devil’s minions watching their every move, Faith must uncover what they're really after before it’s too late.

Sometimes in order to save your soul, you need more than just a little faith.

Excerpt from Soul Searcher:
Faith ran faster and further than she could ever remember running. She closed her mind off to all the thoughts that were nibbling at her brain. She expertly maneuvered her way through the thick brush of the forest. She didn’t know where she was running…she just knew she had to keep moving.

She dodged branches that hung low. She hurdled rocks and fallen limbs with a grace she didn’t know she possessed. She felt motivated to get the hell out of this area.
Suddenly, she thought she saw the glint of the sun reflecting off something shiny in the distance. She thought it might be a window. She headed towards the reflection and hoped that whatever she was seeing held a person with a weapon. She wouldn’t feel safe until she was armed.

Just then, she heard something rustle in the nearby fallen leaves. She turned her head to look, but kept up her quick sprint. She didn’t see anything around her but her loss of focus caused her to miss a ditch that was covered by overgrown vegetation.

Her shoe caught in the thick weeds and she lost her balance. For the second time today, she was falling. This time thick, strong hands grasped her shoulders and caught her with ease. She looked up at the face of her rescuer and a ruggedly handsome face stared down at her.

His dark eyes bore into her and her ragged breath caught in her throat. He had the exact same eyes as the lion.
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-- Lynda Again
Wow, what a great excerpt! I hope everyone enjoyed Kerri's column and that you enter her drawing by leaving a comment describing your favorite paranormal creature and why they are your fav's. Don't forget to check back on Friday to see if you've won.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Overextended


Currently I'm working to get a backup author for the Star Light, Star Bright Interstellar Interview so stay tuned next Friday.
__________________________

And I can completely understand why my e-mail went unrequited. The author is up to her eyeballs in work! She's juggling promo for 2 releases, promo-ing a huge sweepstakes, and working on getting in those next bestsellers on time. So there's no wonder my note was overlooked or passed over to follow up on later. In a word...she's overextended.

With less than a month until the wedding I can commiserate. Sleep seems like something I only get to dream about, or try to find while my mind is spinning from the whirl of all I have on my plate. My to-do list seems to be growing....or mutating like the problems that seem to morph daily. And no this is not a regularly scheduled Bridezilla moment. :0) It started with a bridesmaid that didn't like the dresses I chose, spawned in to addresses that almost didn't arrive in time, sprouted blue roses that matched the colors but screamed fake, became the never ending nag about scripture not being chosen, turned into the first time in 6 years my photographer had kept a bride waiting, ballooned into a double-booked rec hall, and the list seems to keep growing. But with each manifestation I keep beating them into submission, remaining a true storybook heroine, and keeping my wits about me. See...not Bridezilla. I'm hoping that these kinks will mean my wedding day runs smoothly, and that there is no BBM looming. I know that Fate has a way of playing jokes with even the most stalwart of loves, and superheroines...but I hope that I can create my HEA with an "I do." before the hors d/oeuvres hit the fan.

And part of my overextension comes back to not saying "No." I'd planned to take a hiatus from the chapter newsletter I edit, but I said yes to another year. Guess what? I finished 3rd in a national contest. Plus everyone loves the newsletter and waits expectantly every first Sunday to pounce on it like a cat with a new nip-filled toy!

Like most writers, I have a day job, and that means never saying no to your boss. (Except when she asks you to fly to AZ the day before your bridal portraits.) Now I'm ankle deep in a class that is quickly swelling to my waist with must read chapters, must do outlines and a picky workbook to complete. To say the least, it's getting deep in the boardroom and I'll be missing a week of class for the wedding and honeymoon. Yay for me, right?

And of course, there's the running. Since all characters, even those living in the real world, must have a goal that is slightly unachievable. The price of not killing over in my half marathon? 20 - 25 miles a week...which means the activity has to be penned into the daily schedule somewhere. And yes, I say penned, because pencil can be erased. The upside to dragging myself around the track is that everyone said those bridal portraits are gorgeous! Hmm... after the wedding I may have to post a cover pic from my love story. For now, check out this tidbit from my photographer:


All of this has made me long for my writing time! Even while I'm jogging around the park I'm brainstorming...and thinking of all the meetings I've missed to wedding must-dos. Though a true HEA does only come once in a lifetime...maybe because after you go through it once you secretly run to the Justice of the Peace!

How about you? Do you know when to say when? Have you mastered the art of saying N-O without hurting people's feelings?



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Monday, September 14, 2009

Guest - Kelly L. Stone

Good morning, everyone! Today's guest is Kelly L. Stone, who is a fellow author from Mundania Press. She's offering us a fascinating writing tool and, to one lucky person, a free copy of her book, Thinking Write. Read all the way to the Lynda Again section to see how you can enter the drawing. Don't wait, this drawing will end on Friday.

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Your Most Powerful Writing Tool

You have in your possession a writing tool that is more beneficial to you than all other tools combined, and it’s likely your most underutilized—your subconscious mind. Learning to use your subconscious mind will open up avenues of creative inspiration that can benefit your writing in ways you may have never thought possible.

There are three components to your mind, as studied and analyzed by Sigmund Freud, the father of modern day psychology. First is the conscious mind, the day to day thinking portion of mind. The conscious mind can only attend to one thought at a time, so you are limited in how much information is available to you using your conscious mind.

The preconscious mind is a layer between the conscious and the subconscious. It’s a very concrete, “all or nothing” portion of mind that often causes conflict and attempts to interfere with the goals of the conscious mind. I call this interference the “anti-writer.” I will give you a technique for dealing with your anti-writer later in this article.

The subconscious mind operates independently from your conscious and preconscious. It is like a giant computer system with multiple input sources, constantly recording all of the details of your life. The subconscious has some very unique characteristics. For instance, it is always alert; it functions even during periods when the conscious mind is asleep or altered in some way, such as surgery. It stores material indefinitely. All of the information that you are exposed to on a day to day basis is stored in the subconscious. Think about how gaining access to this treasure trove of material can impact your ability to write scenes and create characters. Last, the subconscious creates your reality. Many people have spoken about this truth before, such as Napoleon Hill, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar, and others—basically, what you think about all the time programs your subconscious mind to bring into reality. Learning to direct this power can help you achieve your writing goals.

Easy Ways to Work With Your Subconscious

Here are some easy ways to tap into the power of your subconscious mind.

Ask for a Dream Solution

Dreams are a spontaneous way that the subconscious gets information to the conscious mind. Robert Louis Stevenson is one famous writer known for using his dreams almost exclusively for material. He called his dreams “the stage” of his mind. He would go to sleep at night anticipating receiving the next chapter for his work in progress. He even credited his famous story Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde to a dream.

You can use your dreams in the same way by asking for what I call a dream solution. You do this by asking your subconscious mind a question before you go to sleep, such as, “Subconscious, what is the next scene in my novel?” or “Subconscious, would Agent X be a good match for me?" or “Subconscious, give me an idea for a new book.”

Some people write the question on an index card and put it under their pillow. The gesture is symbolic, but writing down the instruction seems to increase the chances of a dream solution.

Sometimes the answer may come to you first thing in the morning, other times it comes at an unexpected moment days or even weeks later. It takes time to learn how your subconscious mind provides you with the answer; some people experience hunches, others get flashes of insight, others get “feelings” that they should take some action. The more you practice with dream solutions the more attuned you will become to the unique way your subconscious communicates with you.

I have used dream solution work with my own writing. The night before I handed in the manuscript for Time to Write, I asked my subconscious mind to alert me to any errors in the copy. When I woke up, I got a mental picture of three misspelled words and found the errors in the exact sections that my subconscious had indicated they would be in.

The Hypnagogic State

The Hypnagogic state is a phase of sleep that occurs naturally before falling asleep and before fully waking up. It’s characterized by altered consciousness; some people see flashes of light, others hear their name being called, and ideas that under ordinary conditions have no association are perceived as being connected. It’s a period ripe with creativity. Mary Shelley got the idea for the classic novel Frankenstein while in this drowsy state.

One way to practice with the hypnagogic state without drifting into full sleep is to lay down and hold one arm straight up. You can learn to stay in the zone between sleeping and wakefulness just by balancing your arm up. When you feel yourself getting too sleepy, write down whatever was going through your mind at the time.

Beware Your Anti-Writer!

Everything that passes from your subconscious into your conscious mind must pass through the preconscious, which is where the anti-writer resides. If this anti-writer portion is not controlled, it can interfere with your ability to use your subconscious mind for maximum creative gain and thwart your writing goals. The anti-writer usually manifests in the form of negative comments you say or think about your abilities as a writer.

To combat your anti-writer, record all negative statements you say or think about your writing abilities in a notebook. At the end of two weeks, note themes or statements that are repeated more than three times. Next, write countering statements on index cards and say these out loud daily, especially when you have a negative thought. For instance, if your anti-writer statement is, "I just don't have the time to write with my busy schedule," counter with, "I know there is time in my day to write and I will find it." Immediately countering the statement will set up a habit of neutralizing these negative thoughts.

Your subconscious mind is your most powerful writing ally. Learning to tap into this vast creative resource will aid both your creativity and your writing career efforts. There are many more exercises in my book, THINKING WRITE, The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind, just released by Adams Media.



References:
Moody, Dr. Raymond: www.lifeafterlife.com
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, third edition. Henry Colburn and
Richard Bentley, London, 1831.
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Across the Plains. Chattus & Windus, London, 1892
Stone, R. Michael, Counseling & Consultation Services:
www.unlearnsmoking.com



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kelly L Stone is the author of Grave Secret (Mundania Press, Sept
2007), a women’s literary novel which was called “powerful” and
“well-written” by RT Book Reviews, and two books for writers: Time to Write:
More than 100 Professional Writers Reveal How to Fit Writing Into Your Busy
Life (Adams Media, January 2008), which was nominated for The American
Society of Journalists and Authors Outstanding Book of 2008 Award, and the
just released Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind
(Adams Media). Kelly is a licensed mental health counselor with a master’s
degree in counseling from Florida State University. Visit her at
www.KellyLStone.com, www.ThinkingWriteBook.com, and
www.FreeYourCreativeMind.blogspot.com

- Lynda Again

Kelly is giving away one copy of her book Thinking
Write
. To enter the drawing for the book, please leave a comment AND email Kelly at kellystone @ kellylstone.com (no spaces)

Enjoy and good luck!

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Topic Overload

Today I'm keeping things short and sweet, just like authors think they should write...especially on deadline :0)

I've been seeing tons of posts from authors about the state of the paranormal genre...especially when it comes to vampires. Is having one in your manuscript now the kiss of death as it was before Twilight hit like a nuke? It seems that everywhere you turn every publishing and media company is pushing fangs..or in the case of New Moon, fur.

I know I'm anxious to see the werewolves, since I first saw Jacob Black on screen. As soon as he stepped into view I said, "Werewolf." Typically Native Americans seem to shift into majestic birds, large cats or weres. Atleast from what I've seen and read. I think it's because of the link between Mother Earth and their spiritual beliefs that makes the change believable.

Do you believe the market is too saturated? Have you started to grown when you walk by and see "just one more" vampire, undead or were story? I for one cringe every time I hear the radio promo for The Vampire Diaries on the WB. Everything about it says Twilight...but not in a good way. I'm thinking to myself, why not use the movie as a jumping off point, instead of trying to recreate the charcters--the way the look, the way they act, even down to the cadence of their voices--on TV? Yes, I know greed and power are huge motivators for the powers that be, but really...don't you think some people are Twilight-ed out?

So now, a discussion question: What would you buy if you were an editor with thousands of manuscripts at your fingertips?


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Friday, September 04, 2009

What's My Age Again?

Today marks my birthday. I'm now firmly ensconced in the thirty somethings...and today a friend said "You're getting close to 40." I laughed, cause I still have a few year before I reach that milestone. Heck, I still feel like I did at 30 or even 33!

With this topic on my mind, I wondered as writers do you pick out birthdays for your characters?

I can well remember a scene in one of my contemporary romances, PERFECTION NOT REQUIRED, where I outlined the hero and heroines birthdays by astrological sign due to the character traits. But I it's interesting to muse that a character can be defined by their birth date. What if their mother died on that day, so instead of being a joyous occasion it's always a day of infamy. What if a historical character was born on the day the constitution was signed, or during any of the big historical life changing days. Would that male have a heavier burden to bear to serve his family and country? How would it impact your characters if they weren't born in this century but far in the future? Would they mature faster as today's children have? What if, like me, the hero or heroine shared their birthday as a twin? What kind of circumstances could that create, or more likely conflicts?

Then I mused as a woman in my 30's, did becoming this age make my interests change? I'd answer certainly not my favorite genres to read or write. However I do find myself picking up books that I might not have tried at a younger age. These days I tend to lean toward "meatier" books instead of just a quick read. And I do think I'm more apt to draw parallels with a character if I'm the same age. Do you do the same as a reader?

As a writer do you always try to stay in the same age range, or does your character tell you their age? Generally I see my characters and can tell what group they fall in to--baby, toddler, tween/teen, 20 something, 30 something, fifties, elderly. Though sometimes I think the conflict that's inherent in the story can be tweaked with a slight change of age. For instance, what if you pited an 18 year old vs. a 21 year old? The younger is just out of high school, perhaps starting college and driving. However the other is firmly in college or perhaps even landing a first big job, has the pressure of life after being a student on his shoulders, and now is free to legally drink alcohol which can come with its own set of problems. See how a lot can change in just a couple years?

Now compare a 25 year old woman to a 35 year old woman. They would be at very different points in their lives. When I was 25 I met my now fiance and the future seemed vast with tons of possiblities. Now at 35 I'm thinking about financial security, hurrying to start a family, and the things I should've done when I was young and carefree. And when I look at my mom, who's in her 50's I now think, that will be me in a few years...though not the widow part.

The fabrics of our lives, much like our books, are threaded together with various blocks of fabric, but changing the color of the thread or even moving a peice out of alignment can through the whole quilt out of whack. I'm not saying don't try something new, cause then I could be a stick in the mud. However, when you're crafting your stories, be sure to think about the concepts of time and age. Giving even a little time to something that seems so simple can mean the difference between being believable and being off base, not to mention increasing or decreasing your readership.



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