Tag Archives: painting

#WW KC Event and Character Interviews

21 Oct

Poster_Small_V - Book shop signingTonight I’ll be at Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri for a paranormal chat and book signing. We’ll be discussing local folklore that went into The Timely Death Trilogy, and having great coffee and tea while doing so. I’m even bringing some Halloween goodies for you to take home, so come on out and say hello.

Since I’m rather busy today, I thought I would do something fun on today’s blog post. Below, you’ll find two character interviews, one with Eric and one with Jessica, the protagonists of The Timely Death Trilogy. I’ve never posted something like this before, but I hope you’ll enjoy it!

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Eric’s Character Interview

 Destined to fight to the death at age eighteen, you’d think Eric Welborn would be a jittery mess sitting in front of us, waiting for questions about his impending doom, but he’s as cool as can be. You wouldn’t even guess he has six months left before his final battle. In fact, you’d probably assume he was a regular high school kid, wearing just jeans, a white T-shirt, and…headphones, which he loves, dearly. We practically had to beg him to take off his headphones.

“The music I listen to varies—mainly because I’m generally using it to tune out the small noises I can hear no matter what form I’m in—but I do love it. Right now, I’m listening to Bohemian Rhapsody. If I had the time, I think I’d be a musician.

This last sentence sparks our interest. “If you had the time?” we press, only for him to nod and list off his daily activities. Early morning jog, half day of school, three hours of training with Urte (known as George Stone to some), dinner, and probably more training. It’s amazing he has time to sleep, so we had to ask, “If you had a choice, would you give up being a shade to have a normal, human life?”

“For me, that’s a tough question. If I already had a normal, shade life, it probably wouldn’t be tough.” We’re quickly reminded that Eric isn’t normal in either of his lives. “Not really being human is tough enough, but also being a descendant in my shade form?” He shakes his head. “It’s definitely been a lesson.”

He recalls the moment he found out he wasn’t just a shade, but a descendant, and how it shaped him among his peers as the odd one out, even if it did mean he was also worshipped. “That’s why I found peace in Jessica. She didn’t know who I was.”

We swoon at the reminder. “Where would you take Jessica on your next date?”

He laughs, but it doesn’t hide the fact that he has blushed. “Oh, I’d like to take her everywhere.” We even see a light in his eyes that wasn’t there when we started. “Anywhere we go together is an adventure.”

When we ask if we can tag along on their next adventure, he confesses to wishing for more alone time. So, before our hearts melt entirely, we shift away from his current love and ask him for others. “Who is your celebrity crush?” We also promise not to tell Jessica.

He takes a moment before answering, “Robert Duvall. The Judge is a movie everyone should see.” He elaborates and tells us films from the heart matter most. He wants to feel something when he’s done.

We agree to watch it and ask him for one last favor—to answer fan-submitted questions. He smiles, nods, and says, “I don’t mind at all.”

Perfection.

The first one is from Katie Harder-Schauer from Just Another Girl and Her Books. She wants to know. Chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies? Eric prefers chocolate.

Melanie Newton from Nerd Girl asks, Favorite superhero? What super power do you wish you had? This one was difficult. Eric was on the fence between Gambit and Deadpool. As for powers, he thinks baking is a superpower, and he wishes he were better at it. Until then, he hangs out with his stepmom, Mindy.

Ojan Borot asks, Assuming that you could just pack a suitcase and leave town. Where in the world would you like to go for a vacation, and is there one thing specific there that you’d like to see? Eric explains that he doesn’t know if he can leave town or not—he’s never tried—but he would love to take Jessica to Paris or Spain so she could study her painting further…and to eat dessert.

When we ended the night with a huge thank you, he ended it by disappearing right in front of us, leaving only a plume of smoke and our hearts behind.

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Jessica’s Character Interview

She once thought she was ordinary girl with an ordinary life, but that all changed when she moved back to her birthplace. Adopted and moved away from her hometown as an infant, Jessica Taylor didn’t expect anything when moving back to Hayworth, Kansas, but it certainly changed her life forever.

“Moving wasn’t hard. I’m used to moving. My family has moved a lot,” Jessica explains as she offers us tea with honey. We gladly accept, and she takes a moment to sip hers. “But I suppose this move was different. It was a move back, and my heart told me I had to find out what I could about my parents while I was here.” She laughs like it’s a silly thing, now that she knows what she does. “No one could’ve guessed this. No one.”

She surprises us by telling us she revels in surprise. In fact, she describes her last six months as an adventure, one she hopes hasn’t ended yet. “No true adventure ever ends,” she adds before saying it’s the artist’s heart in her that enjoys mischief, mystery, and magnificent madness. We applaud her on her alliteration, and she laughs at all the school subjects we ask her about.

“I’ve always loved English. I especially love reading,” she says, “but painting is my favorite pastime. One day, I hope to turn my passion into a career.” In the meantime, she’s fighting lights to the death, but we wonder what the world holds for her after the war (if it ever ends).

She leans back and stares at the ceiling at this, a small hint of a smile on her lips. It’s no wonder Eric crushes on her. “I think”—she pauses—“if I can help people find their passion, and I can help them follow it, a teacher of sorts, I’d be very happy.” She shoots us a smile. “It’s the teachers in my life who’ve helped me the most.”

We ask her about her teachers, Ms. Hinkel from homeroom and her friend Jonathon, a painting mentor, and Urte, Eric’s trainer who has surely helped her, but she focuses on Eric first. “He showed me how to fight first, but most of all, he allowed me to be fearless, to show myself how to fight on my own. Independence as the foundation of coexistence is a beautiful thing.”

When we ask her if this is the definition of love, she blushes. “Love isn’t a definable thing, but it’s lovely, nevertheless.”

We agree, asking her about other parts of her life she loves. She brings up tea, and puppies, and friends like Crystal, and the way sunlight comes through the trees. She wishes to study painting more, to see more exotic places in the world, and she hopes to build a house one day. You know, because buying one isn’t as fun. She has many dreams—silly dreams, serious dreams, and dreams in between—but most of all, she tells us her life’s philosophy. “We should always keep dreaming.”

~SAT

Other announcements include the fact that the paperback of Death Before Daylight released! Finally! I sent out the news via my newsletter. In future newsletters, I’ll be looking for lucky readers to read my next publication early. If you’re interested in that, sign up here.

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Writing Tips: Hobbies & Talents

13 Nov

A writer has many goals when creating a story–one of which is making the characters as believable as possible. The main way to do this is making them relatable. I do not mean to say this in the sense that an author should make a character relatable to everyone in every way. What I mean to say is that an author often forms a believable character by adding qualities real people have; therefore, allowing real people to relate to a character on either a personal or “I know someone like that” level.

There are many ways to do this. Generally focusing on a character’s age, background, attitude, and physical looks come first. But what about digging a little deeper?

This post is about deciding on hobbies and talents–as well as why they are different.

Hobbies:

A hobby is something we do because we like to do it. It could be gardening or cooking or anything really. It generally gives people solace, time to think, and adds joy in their life. Having a character with a hobby can broaden the spectrum of their personality by showing more of what they like and possibly what they want out of life. It can also warp the way they look at the world. For instance, someone who really loves running will look at a hill differently than someone who like flying kites. They see the same hill that can be used in different ways. So knowing a character’s ultimate hobby (or passion) can be a fantastic way to figure out their personality, perspective, and goals.

In Minutes Before Sunset, Eric’s hobby is his love for cars. He loves reading about them, driving his, and hopes to have more in the future (if he can even consider the future.) I learned from this because driving is often a form a freedom, and Eric doesn’t have any. Driving is his only freedom. But I particularly love talking about hobbies because it’s a major theme in Seconds Before Sunrise, particularly with Jessica and Jonathon–also known as Pierce. (I cannot wait for the cover reveal Dec. 1) I love it when my characters discover more parts about themselves, and discovering their hobbies allowed me to learn more about who they are as a person and who they will become as an adult. It also allows them to see it for themselves.

Below is my personal example: I played a lot of sports in school. I played track and basketball in middle school and tennis in high school. I still have my tennis team’s photo, but I wanted to share it because I loved playing tennis. I wasn’t fantastic at it. But I still had a great time playing. It was a hobby rather than a talent, but it still shaped me, and I learned a lot from it:

I’m the glowing one.

I’m the glowing one.

Talents: 

A talent is something we excel in, sometimes with little to nor effort. It could be painting or education or even convincing people to listen to you. Yes, a lot of people’s talents are also their hobbies (or vice versa) but it can be really interesting to see a character who’s very good at something they hate. (Or really bad at something they love.) But I’d like to clarify that there is nothing wrong with someone having a talent and loving it at the same time!

In Minutes Before Sunset, Eric has a knack for lying. Does he like doing this? Not necessarily. Does he use it to his advantage? Absolutely. This “talent” became fun when Jessica decided to have a “talent” for knowing if someone is lying or not.

How to choose what hobby or talent to use:

Well, Discover A Hobby, of course! It’s a website dedicated to opening opportunities for informative learning on all kinds of new hobbies (even ones you might not have known existed.) I think this website is great for helping decide on hobbies as well as talents. Just to name a few on their website:

Soap-Making, Palm-Reading, Tai Chi, Wood-Working, and Novel-Writing. (See? Even us writers made it on there.)

Happy Hobby Hunting!

Do your characters have hobbies and/or talents? Are they generally the same or different? Did you learn anything about your characters when they choose that hobby or talent? 

~SAT

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