Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Living in a Make Believe World by Roseanne Dowell

I live in a make believe world. Okay, not literally, but vicariously through my characters.  I decide where they live, name their towns, or sometimes I let them live in a real city/town.  I prefer small towns, maybe because I’ve always wanted to live in one. I especially like towns with Victorian houses and apparently so do my characters, because I use them a lot.  I often say I must have lived during the Victorian era, probably as a mean old nanny. I’m sure I wasn’t the lady of the house, and by house I mean mansion. Queen Anne Victorian homes are my favorite. I love the round turrets, all the gingerbread, and wrap around porches. It was always my dream to buy one and restore it. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be and I’m past the point of wanting one now.
Back to my make believe world. I’d like to say I choose my characters, but truthfully, they choose me.  Although I do get to name them, but if they don’t like the name, well believe me, they misbehave until I change it. And, yes, that’s happened several times. Just because I like a name doesn’t mean they do. The last time it happened it wasn’t even a main character. She was only in the story for a short time, but boy was she stubborn. She refused to talk to me and anything I wrote was garbage, better known as dreck in the writing world.
As I’ve said previously, I write many different of genres, from Women’s Fiction to Romance to Mystery and even Paranormal. Most of my books are a combination of romance and another genre. As a reader, I’ve always favored mystery and romance, so it only made sense to combine them.  Mine would be classified as cozy mysteries. I also love ghost stories – not evil mean ghosts though. One such story is Shadows in the Attic and another Time to Love Again. I’ve always been fascinated by ESP, hence my story Entangled Minds – previously published as Connection of the Minds.
My character’s ages range from their mid-twenties to middle age and into their seventies. Yes, seniors need love, too. Geriatric Rebels is a favorite.  It’s fun working with different characters, and I especially like when they add a bit of humor. I really form an attachment to them. Once a character chooses me, I make a character worksheet. I need to know everything about them, not just what they look like.
I love creating them, picking their careers, anything from housewife, authors, teachers, floral designers and interior designers. Sometimes their careers play a part in the story, sometimes not. The character in my work in progress (WIP in the writer’s world) is a former teacher. It’s not a big part of the story, but it’s something I needed to know. She’s a real character in the true sense of the word. She came into being in a previous story, All in the Family. It started out with her having a small part, but Aunt Beatrice Lulu (ABLL) grew into a big part of the story. Once I finished that book, she popped up again and demanded her own book. Problem is, she takes fits and goes into hiding every so often, which is where she is at present. Sometimes she pops up for days of writing. Other times, I get a paragraph or two. I’ve never had a character do that before.
Oh, I’ve had writer’s block a time or two, but once I’m over it the writing flows. Not so with ABLL.
  It’s also fun describing my characters, their hair and eye color, height, even their weight. I usually know the beginning and end of  my stories. What happens in the middle is as much a surprise to me as it is to my readers. ABLL is full of surprises. What that woman doesn’t get into. So even though she goes into hiding, it’s generally worth it when she reappears. I’m not sure where she came from, but I’m sure enjoying working with her. Okay, I’ll be honest, a little bit of her is me, a little bit my sisters, and even my mother. She’s a combination of all the people I love and it’s so much fun living in her make believe world.