Character development! Have you ever read a book and half way through you realize that you still don’t ‘get’ the hero or heroine? I love reading how other writers give you insights into the characters and have you fall in love with them. I was talking to another writer last week, actually, and after reading the first draft of her story I was talking to her about her lead female and I told her that unless the reader cares about that character in the first few pages of the book, they’re not going to care about the rest of the story, or perhaps not even finish it! I learn so much from reading other books by fantastic story-tellers…stuff that I totally missed before I started writing myself.
Jane Austen, without a doubt. Men were men and women were ladies! Call me old-fashioned, I don’t care, but I love the way she created these eternal characters. They will live forever.
Isn’t is sacrilege to change it? ;) BUT, I would have married off Mr. Collins to Mary Bennett. I was sad that Charlotte was saddled with him, even though Ms. Austen describes their pairing beautifully. And to be truthful, I was irritated that Mr. Wickham comes out relatively unscathed. I would like to see him roughed up a bit. ***wicked smile**
No, not yet. I’m looking forward to it though. I have a million and one character
I doubt she knew. I didn’t know what she was unleashing! Lol It was an amazing thing for me to become an empty-nester a few years ago. With both my kids gone I had to rediscover myself and I think that I was struggling to do that. As women, sometimes we feel guilty and selfish if we take time or resources for ourselves and I know for me, I had always come last on the priority list, and I’m the one who put me there!! I believe that writing was the answer to some serious soul-searching, some prayer, a need to find out what I really wanted to be when I grew up! Once I began, the stories just poured out of me, like they’d been seeking release for years.
I come from a family of six kids, so seven children seemed pretty natural to write about. The Lathem brothers are all physically similar, tall dark and handsome, of course. But each brother has a distinct personality. I hope that they come across that way! They are real people to me so writing about them seems natural, and easy.
|Buy First Class Hero|
Just one is safe? Lol Umm, probably Paul. He was a Navy Seal and served for 11 years and I couldn’t bear to have him survive bullet wounds and shrapnel and then die. It would break my heart.
I have it surprisingly easy to go from one story to the next. I think because they are brothers, and because the rest of the family pop up in each book, in some ways it is just a continuation of the story. With the exception of the first two books (NY and Portland) the books are stand-alone and one brother’s story comes to a close before the next one starts. I try not to think about the next book while writing but sometimes that’s hard.
|By First Class to Portland|
As I said, it takes me anywhere from 3-5 weeks to write a story. Then the editing begins and that takes a few weeks as well. I like to have a book wrapped up in 6-10 weeks total, and while I am working, my team works as well (marketing, graphics, cover design, etc.)
Well, that would be my son, Christopher. He is an amazing individual and an incredibly talented young man and he wears many hats for me. He is an editor, a proof-reader, my graphic designer, and takes my word document and turns it into a Kindle book for publishing. He has also created the paperbacks and formatted all the digital files for other e-book platforms (iTunes, Nook, Google Play) and built my website and maintains it. He is currently working on my new website ajharmon.com that will be up shortly.
Um, giving Matt six brothers while writing New York! Lol It wasn’t the plan to write a series when I wrote the first book. I knew there’d be two books but then viola! A series was born.
|Buy First Class Stamp|
I think readers really connect with the women in my stories. Yes, the books are about the Lathem brothers, but the women they fall for are women I want to be friends with…women we may already know…women who are flawed and yet we don’t mind…we come to love them right along with the men.
(Oh btw HERE's the grapevine)
Well, they’d be considered chick flicks (the best kind of movies, right?) and I can totally see them on the big screen! :-) Touchstone, Mirimax, any film company would be fine :-) But I think I’d like to see a woman director. The books are for women and the movies would be for women and a woman director would perhaps give the films the emotional touch I would require. ***smiles***
Absolutely! It is difficult to give away free stories on Amazon, so my short stories will end up on my new website. I want to give readers the opportunity to sample my work and then decide if they want to spend money on my books.
I have two pieces of advice.
- Write! Even if you don’t know what you’re going to do with it when you’re done, write! And finish it! And
- Get yourself a couple of people whom you trust completely and let them critique your work. I would never have published New York if I hadn’t let several people read it and tell me they loved it. But they also told me what was wrong with it and that I needed to fix it first, which I did. I am grateful that they were honest with me. Every writer needs a brutally honest opinion.
Where to find AJ:
Fabulosity Reads Book Shoppe.
I appreciate your support, it helps me do what I love best which is blogging about writers and getting their work out there.