THE CREATION OF A BOOK
There is in every fiction writer’s brain some hotwired synapses that goes click when a plot or a character pops in. It happens to me and I cannot explain it. Sometimes it’s a heroine who sweeps first into my imagination, sometimes the hero. Once in a while, the characters come with a name, other times I have to search for a name that suits the character. Main characters need a supporting cast and oft times those are more difficult to find and develop because while sub characters have a role on page we cannot allow them to overwhelm the main characters. But, boy! Sub-characters try a writer’s patience. They’re like four-year-olds begging for attention: My turn! Mommy--Watch!
Other times a plot rears its head first and a writer has to people the plot and research where characters might intersect—all of which has to be sorted before the first word is put on page.
I usually write ordinary people like you and me because ordinary people and ordinary lives are what I know. I got the seed of an idea for Flaps Down-The Reluctant Hero upon discovering a crop duster parked beneath the U-turn of an overpass. On my way to the grocery store, the plane had been in the air, dusting Texas cotton fields. On my way home, there it was—parked, on the verge--a skilled emergency landing.
Later that evening I was reading our local newspaper and there was a small article asking the public for donations to fund air-fare for a group of hard-to-place orphans to attend a conference that brought together the orphans and prospective parents. I learned these kinds of conferences are sponsored by State Agencies but no funds are provided for orphans or the social workers who accompany them. I thought: What if…?
A pilot became the reluctant hero, a social worker the heroine and the orphans became the supporting cast in Flaps Down.
There’s more. It’s the details that make a story believable. A nephew came to visit and got a job at a small airport. He was personable and often invited to fly as a companion by a pilot that delivered mail by a small cargo plane. Yes, there’s the U.S. Mail system, UPS and FedEx—but the military accepts bids to haul APO (Army Post Office) mail to gathering points whence it is then delivered by military or civilian transport to U.S. Bases for distribution to servicemen and women and their families across the globe. San Francisco is one of the designated gathering portals for mail into the Pacific theater. Yep, I took a little literary license by changing the site of the orphan conference from Oregon to California.
The research out of the way, the fun began. I do not specifically plot my romance stories or the dialogue. I put the characters on page and let them go at it. Usually I can keep them in line. Sometimes I can’t—but it is always interesting. If my characters hold my interest, I think they have a chance to hold yours, too. The orphans in Flaps Down tried my patience and out-foxed me in every scene. I gave up and let them have the book and tucked the romantic elements in wherever I could find space.
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An award-winning author, Jackie Weger has been writing romance novels off and on for thirty years. When she's writing, she's anchored in a tiny room with a desk, a chair and a cat. When not writing, blogging or chatting with fans, she's traipsing around the Internet searching for recipes, but much prefers to travel the good earth by foot, bus, canoe, sloop, mule, train, plane or pickup--and let somebody else do the cooking.
Jackie's most popular book to date is The House on Persimmon Road. Since November 2013 more than 75,000 fans and new readers downloaded the Kindle Book. By popular demand, the House on Persimmon Road is now available in paperback.