It’s a fabulous feeling. There’s no other like it. My new book, Dream a Little Dream, is just about ready to be sent into the lovely Choc Lit team. A whole day ahead of deadline.
It’s like end of term, birthday and Christmas all rolled into one. I’m now entering a wonderful period, when the book is finished but the edits and revisions haven’t yet arrived. But I have a mega ‘to do’ list, waiting to take my attention: student assignments, competition entries, three columns for Writers’ Forum, do my bookkeeping for 2011 because my accountant has already written asking where my books are, update my website, write some guest blogs, judge my share of the Choc Lit short story competition, get my invoices up to date, write my Q&A column for Romance Matters, and buy new curtains for the landing. I also have several events to attend, at least two of which are thinly disguised meals with friends, and have new author pix taken. Oh, and pick up my new glasses.
But, yeah, even with that mammoth list, I’m still in a happy place! Dream a Little Dream is complete. It’s a Middledip book and my other Middledip books, Starting Over and All That Mullarkey have drawn a lot of positive feedback, recently, so I hope that everyone who enjoyed those books will enjoy Dream, too.
And I can’t end without a little boast – All That Mullarkey is number 42 in the Top 100 paid Kindle chart, and has spent 72 days in the top 100, in total. I think I feel a glass of wine coming on, this evening …
In the last post, I asked about your heroes and, via the Comments, Teresa asked me about the origins of some of the heroes in my novels.
Martyn Mayfair, from Love & Freedom, is easy. I stole him from a single shot of actor and musician Jared Leto. Jared doesn’t always look like this, but this is the image I had in my head.
Starting Over’s Ratty is less easy because he came from watching Kevin Kline in the 1983 production of the Pirates of Penzance. I’m no opera (or operatta) buff but I love the Pirates and watching KK as the pirate king, leader of his gang, doing things exactly his own way, I mentally stripped off the Errol Flynn moustache and gave him blue eyes. And Ratty was born. For a flavour, see this clip.
Justin, from All That Mullarkey, is definitely a pastiche of a young Bryan Brown and motor cycle legend Carl Fogarty. You have to scale both of them back age-wise, but I can do that …
So, any of these images resonate with you?
When I write a book, the hero’s crucial. In my head, he’s clear from early in the process. I suppose that what I do is create a man I could fall in love with. And it’s amazingly satisfying when someone sends me a message to say that they have fallen in love with one of my heroes,too. (Thank you, everybody who has!)
I’m not even certain how writing a hero works. I mean, just because I fancy someone, it won’t mean you fall for him, too. I might go for a toughie and you for a smoothie. Me for tall and you for cuddly. So how does the alchemy work? How can what’s in my imagination transfer to someone yours, and become a man you’d get gooey over?
It must be that the reader’s imaginary hero is just right for the reader. It doesn’t matter if I say he’s tall, if the reader prefers cuddly, that’s what he becomes. To them. I’ve been through this process myself, as a reader, and been quite surprised to note, part way through the book, that the hero has blond hair – because I’d simply seen him as dark. That’s how I’d pictured him, ergo, that’s how he was!
The writer’s imagination didn’t come into it.
So, how about you? Do you think you share a writer’s vision of a character? Or do you identikit your own?
Who’s your hero? Is he conventionally phwoarrrr! or do you go for someone different to the fancy of all your friends?
Do you like to fall between the covers of a book with an adventurous rogue, but married a boy-next-door accountant?
Do tell me. (I won’t tell anyone else …)
Happy New Year, everybody. I wish you all a contented, healthy and prosperous 2012.
I had eye surgery in mid-December. It was an amazing success and the only regret I have about it was that I didn’t have any photos taken when my eye was a funny shape, one part of the white was scarlet, and the pupil dilated to almost the full extent of the iris. I looked wicked and weird, and I would love to have shown you.
Instead, I thought I’d bring you a few photos of me doctored on Photo Booth on my iPad. I’ve had (and lurved) my iPad for some months, but it wasn’t until I had to take an extended Christmas break that I took the time to ferret into programmes I didn’t really know I had a use for. So here are the results:
This is particularly fetching, I think. A weird eye quite pales, in comparison!
Is this how your hangover felt, too?
In a negative mood ...