Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What I Didn't Tell You by Brenda Whiteside

My favorite part of writing a book is character creation. My stories typically form at the same time a cast of characters arrives in my head. Occasionally, they've been based loosely on someone I know. Usually, they're strangers who arrive, and we get to know each other as the story forms. Almost always, everything I know about them doesn't make it into the story.

In The Art of Love and Murder, Lacy Dahl is on a quest to learn more about her birth parents. She owns a coffee cafe called The Lacy Latte. What didn't make the book?

She has a special closet just for shoes. She practices yoga twice a week and has recently talked her friend Phoebe into going to the classes with her.

Sheriff Chance Meadowlark plays opposite Lacy in book one of the Love and Murder Series. What didn't make the book?

He’s concerned about the next election and the man who will run against him. (Note: I figured he had enough problems without bringing this into the story.)

In book two of the series, Southwest of Love and Murder, Phoebe Anderson is our heroine. She's a
writer of murder mysteries with a free-spirited personality. She has a hummingbird tattoo above her breast. What didn't make the book?

The hummingbird was tattooed by a man she dated. The name of the pure essential oil she wears is Holland and Barrett Lavender. She practiced yoga with her best friend Lacy until Lacy moved away. It was the only exercise she did. She loves sweets and dates artsy types.

Mason Meadowlark is Phoebe's counterpart. He's a rancher. What didn't make the book?

He always placed first or second in his competition at the local rodeos, but lost interest when his marriage collapsed. He spent more time in bars and partying. He’s dated every crowned Rodeo Queen since. He’s an avid reader.

My characters are my pretend friends, and I'm attached to all of them. Yeah, crazy author stuff. Are there characters you've followed in series books who you feel like you'd like to know in the real world?

Don't miss book five of The Love and Murder Series. It's up for pre-order here:
Amazon Pre-Order

A vengeful ex-husband and a high-stakes, bloody fight for land threaten a love-struck couple’s happiness.

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Jannine Gallant said...

I love that you know your characters so well. I should probably learn more about mine before I start writing, but I never do. My books are always more plot driven, and my characters are just along for the ride.

Brenda Whiteside said...

There are all kinds of ways to tell a story. I've read yours and you're definitely doing something right!

Rolynn Anderson said...

I learn about my characters as I go along, although I write a general analysis of each major character before I start. Secondary characters pop in and I'm forced to figure them out. Some demand bigger roles; others become villains. Whim rules! And yes, they do become more interesting to me as I write. The fearless woman I'm writing about now, feels like a keeper!

Brenda Whiteside said...

That always happens. Characters don't always behave.

Margo Hoornstra said...

I'm like Jannine. Plot first, characters next. Although, for some reason, I always have their names determined initially, and everything kind of blossoms out from there. I'm following your footsteps and working on a RS series now too. Gotta take time to read yours so I can figure out if I'm doing it right. Best of luck with Book 5.

Andrea Downing said...

Interesting stuff, Brenda. As someone who writes character-driven books, I carry their background in my head. BTW, was interested in your Holland & Barrett Lavender--they're a British firm, if I'm not mistaken, I used to visit a lot when I lived in the UK--health food stores, so funny to see it turn up here.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hey, Margo. Yes, we all reach "the end" a little differently. However it works for us.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Andrea, who knows how I came upon it. I probably Googled scents or lavender oils or who knows what. But when I read about it, I knew it fit my character.

Leah St. James said...

I love character profiles, both creating and reading. I tend to think the best stories are character driven at heart, even if the author devises the plot first. I've read all four of your "...of Love and Murder" stories and love how you've connected the characters across the series. I'm really looking forward to reading No. 5!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thank you, Leah. So glad I've entertained you. My characters are like my grown up dolls I played with as a child...except they're in my head.

Diane Burton said...

Loved reading more about Lacy and Chance. I enjoyed their story and have just gotten into Phoebe & Mason's story. Always enjoy getting to know the characters better.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Diane!