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Sunday, October 10, 2010

GetToKnowTheBook: Author Sherry Gloag 'The Brat'

Getting to know your book is a bit like finding the jigsaw pieces and putting them together. But, unlike a jigsaw, the pieces don’t come ready-made or ready packed. To add to the confusion, you don’t even know what those ‘pieces’ look like.

My jigsaw puzzle today is a romance named The Brat.

Authors are often described as ‘plotters’ or ‘pantsers’. They first plot their stories in detail before they start writing, while others work from an ‘idea’. I fall into the latter category.

So how can a pantser possibly ‘get to know their book’?

Even they have to have a few basics on the table before they start. What kind of book do they want to write? If it’s a romance they then have to decide which sub-genre they are aiming for. And by association what kind of reader they want to attract.

But that’s not enough.

When a reader picks up a book they expect to be drawn into the story. They want to experience that personal connection with the main characters.

To ensure the reader will keep turning the pages the author must create well rounded, believable characters that are fully developed. People the reader can relate to, whether they like your characters, or hate them, if they can say ‘she/he reminds me of…’ then you have reader connection with your characters.

To do this the author must ask themselves three basic questions.

1) What does my character want?

2) What is obstructing their goal?

3) How will the characters solve their problems?

That on its own will not hold your reader, so you have to add action and suspense.

You have to find a plot that has more twists and turns than the most dangerous mountain switchbacks. But, and there is a but… the conflicts you put in your characters’ way must be believable.

This does not necessarily mean gunfights, murder and mayhem or shouting matches between your hero and heroine. Especially not the shouting matches. Nothing will turn a reader off more than a book-full of constant bickering.

Your action and conflict can be internally related. By that I mean something in their past influences the moment you open the first page of the book. The action and conflict must draw the reader in so they forget the real world around them. All conflict requires balance to hold the reader.

Even a pantser has to keep these criteria in mind when they write. They have to know their book.

The characters in The Brat seemed to know this instinctively. For the most part they ‘told’ their own story and used me as their ‘go-between’. On the occasions when they, and I, forgot the rules we found ourselves backtracking that involved some major re-writing.

An author can’t help but get too close to the action when writing a book.

To them there characters are real people, with real problems. They are the jigsaw pieces that complete the puzzle. The only difference is the author must know their puzzle/book inside out before putting each piece of the puzzle together in the correct order.

Then, and only then, when they have that knowledge, can they start writing!

~ ~ ~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ ~ ~

Gina Williams is a 35-year-old famous children’s author, who also writes detective mysteries under the name of George Williamson.

She was robbed of her childhood when aged ten by the late mother of the hero, Ben Kouvaris.

When he was ten-years-old his mother sent him to her ex Theo Kouvaris, multi-millionaire, who lives in Greece. When he returns to her funeral he is haunted by the beautiful woman who organised the funeral.

When his father orders him to marry he thinks of Gina Williams.

They have to overcome the horrors of the past and forgive their parents for their betrayals. Will their past destroy their future?

The Brat – Excerpt Three - Pg 99

“I guess life diverted your dreams.”

The earlier light-hearted banter between them vanished. “Yes.” Ben signalled the waiter, passed over his credit card, and rose.

She leaned forward to pick up her bag just as her phone rang. Without checking the caller ID she took the call.

“You think I don’t know what you’re up to?”

The last time she heard that voice the Inspector had walked into her house seconds later. The phone almost slipped through her fingers, and she swung away from Ben’s perceptive stare.

“Who are you? What do you want?”

“You won’t deny your family’s existence for much longer, I promise you.”

The dial tone buzzed in her ear. Dear God in heaven, what did that mean? She’d never denied her family! They’d deserted her.

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  1. Thanks for hosting me here, I appreciated it.

  2. My pleasure, Sherry! Welcome to Romance Alley.