Tag Archives: author interview

Whirlwind Blog Tour Starts Today!

The Unread Reader

Missie has some great questions for me today

Today kicks off  two weeks of outtakes, excerpts, interviews, reviews and giveaways on the Whirlwind Blog Tour. Follow along with me and you could win a free copy of Whirlwind!

Our first stop is at our host site, The Unread Reader. Missie, the wonderful force behind this site recently discussed hero Jason McAlister on her “My Book Boyfriend” meme. Did you see the HOT pics she chose for Jason?

Today, she interviewed me about Whirlwind, and asked very interesting questions! Be sure and check it out, and while you’re there, enter to win an eBook edition of Whirlwind.

CLICK HERE TO START THE TOUR!

Mark Your Calendars for the Live Chat on June 18th

On Saturday, June 18th, we will celebrate the conclusion of the Whirlwind Blog Tour with a live chat hosted by our host, Missie of The Unread Reader. We’ll be chatting on a service called TalkShoe, and you can either call in or listen and type in your questions. I recommend creating a free TalkShoe account – that way I’ll be able to see your name, not just “Guest 8” :-). Also, you may need to disable your popup blocker for TalkShoe to work best.

Link to the chat here

I look forward to chatting with you on the 18th at 8:00pm EDT (5pm PDT)!

Meet an Author Monday

Check out what other authors are chatting about today. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, there’s a lot of great stories out there!

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

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Combining Characters

Cover of "Water for Elephants: A Novel"

Cover of Water for Elephants: A Novel

I have a confession: As I work on the draft of my next book, I’m finding there’s just too many characters. I love them all, don’t get me wrong, but the last thing I want is a reader who has to make a set of crib notes to keep track of all the people who jump in and out of the story. Many in this cast are bit players – they come in, move the plot along, then exit, never to be seen again. So how do I thin down the cast?

One way is to combine similar characters into one persona. This happens a lot when books are converted to movies, and can be a very effective way of keeping the plot elements, and even character traits, but streamline the story. A very recent example of combining characters can be found in the screen adaptation of the book, Water for Elephants. I’ve seen the movie, read the book (loved it), and am now a even bigger fan of the movie. No, the movie is not identical, but it’s very true to the book. But two prominent characters in the book became one in the movie – in what I think was a stroke of genius.

Water for Elephants is primarily a story about a train circus in 1931. There’s danger, love, betrayal, and one fantastic elephant named Rosie. In the book, the main character, Jacob, jumps a circus train and becomes their vet, and eventually their elephant handler. The circus is run by two powerful and evil men, August and Uncle Al. Jacob falls for August’s wife, Marlena, but you’ll have to either read the book or see the movie to hear that part of the story.  It’s August and Uncle Al I want to talk about.

In the book, Uncle Al owns the circus and has a habit of throwing men off his moving train who cross him or are unproductive. His solitary motivation is the dollar. His role is important, but he’s a relatively minor character. August, on the other, is key to the story, the violent, schizophrenic equestrian director. One second he’s kind, the next vicious. Jacob encounters both throughout the book, but it’s August’s wife Jacob falls for.

Now, to the movie. In the movie, there is no Uncle Al (or I didn’t notice him, if he was there). August is both the psychopath and the owner – which blends into a character even more frightening than the two in the book. Is it the same? No. But it is extremely effective, and wow does it convey how dangerous a world Jacob has entered.

So back to my conundrum. Seeing how well the combining was done in Water for Elephants gives me hope that I can thin down my cast a little but keep all the key elements I need in the story. In some cases, it doesn’t matter quite so much who threatens the protagonist, just that they are threatened. I hope to take this to heart, and tighten up my story a bit more.

Readers: If you’ve seen the movie, what do you think? Do you agree that the movie August is as good as the August/Uncle Al in the book? Or did combining those characters compromise the story?

Writers: Have you had to combine characters before? How difficult was it? Were you happy with the results?

Click here to read the interview

Around the Internet: Bookish

The wonderful Evie at Bookish interviewed me over the weekend. She’s also giving away an e-copy of Whirlwind, so be sure and check it out. Thank you, Evie, you’re a sweetheart!

Share the Wealth Giveaway

Can you believe May is almost over? Let me know what you think about this or any of my posts in May and you’re entered to win. Click below for details.

Meet an Author Monday

Check out what other authors are chatting about today. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, there’s a lot of great stories out there!

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

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