Frequently Asked Question: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeHi, everyone. It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time to answer a question from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. When I saw this month’s question, I was sure it had been asked before. Sure enough, back in September 2017, the IWSG wanted to know what personal information we had slipped into our characters, whether by accident or design.

Here’s a quote from the 2017 post, sharing one of the two examples I gave at the time:

eyeI was still an active equestrian athlete when I wrote In The Eye of The Beholder … which features a woman whose job at the Opèra Garnier was to ride horses in some of the mid-show spectaculars that composers put in their productions.  They were desperate to get opera-goers to look at the stage and not one another; in the late 19th Century, people went to the opera to see and be seen, not so much for the performance.  My experience in dressage allowed me to write intelligently about what those performances might look like, what kind of equipment was used, etc.

In The Eye of The Beholder is currently available for $1.50 (a 50% discount) at Smashwords. Click on the link above to get your copy today!


Frequently Asked Question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeToday’s question comes to us from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.  It’s one I’ve answered before. My favorite genre to write is historical fiction.

Here’s a quote from the previous blog entry, explaining why:

I think what draws me most to historical fiction is the glimpse into how people lived in other eras. I have always found that fascinating. Social mores, fashions, even food! I recently completed a course on royal food and feasting from the Tudor to Victorian eras.

I enjoy the process of researching a story, and I love the richness of detail that comes from doing that work. I’m one of those rare birds who treats research as a treasure hunt rather than a chore; the hardest thing I experience is limiting how much research I do, because it is far too easy to go down a rabbit hole and never do any writing!

Frequently Asked Question: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeToday’s question comes from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

When we’re little kids, we learn the rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

That rhyme is wrong.

I was bullied a lot through school. We didn’t have much money, many of my clothes were home-made, and I was on the free lunch program. In elementary school, the “class president” distributed the lunch tickets daily. Some of them did so discreetly, but others shouted out in front of the class. The shouters were all about humiliating the kids who couldn’t afford to buy lunch. On days that the cafeteria was serving something I didn’t like, I brought a box lunch from home.

By the time I got to junior high and high school, those on the free lunch program picked up their tickets from the office, so there wasn’t any humiliation.

Anyway, what I learned from those years is that the names you are called and the humiliations you endure at the hands of others have the power to control you. I went through a phase in about grade 6 where I tried to use that power to control others via bullying to “fit in with the cool kids.”

That was wrong, full stop. I’m lucky to have been able to make amends in adulthood for that behavior. I’m almost always greeted with some variation on “We were kids then, what matters is now.” Maybe that’s true, but I knew that there were apologies to make … and that it had to be okay if they weren’t accepted.

Nowadays, I try very hard to make sure that the power of my words is used to help rather than harm.



Frequently Asked Question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeToday’s question comes from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

I’m going to risk sounding a little snobby here: I wouldn’t do this. In fact, I think it’s kind of an absurd question. Part of creative endeavor is knowing that you will sometimes struggle, both with the work itself and with anxiety.

Having one wish to make one piece of anxiety go away is merely prolonging the inevitable.

It is my fond hope that next month’s question will be more realistic.

Frequently Asked Question: Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

Hi, everyone. I am still up in Oregon; my dad’s funeral is tomorrow. I will talk more about this trip when I get home.

In the mean while, here is this month’s Frequently Asked Question, which comes from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

I typically write from the protagonist’s perspective. I do historical fiction/romance for the most part, and it is the protagonist’s story. If I wrote thrillers or horror, it might be different … but I don’t do those.

I’m sorry for the brevity this time, but there is so much going on that needs more attention that my focus is not on my authorial work. Thanks for understanding.