Drawing My Main Character #Open Book Blog Hop

This week’s question from blogger Stevie Turner is this. “Do you draw your main characters so that a forensic sketch artist could put them on the cover, or do they belong to the reader?” With my visual impairment, I’ve never been good at describing people. I’ve come to the conclusion that character descriptions, like other aspects of a story, should be left to the reader’s imagination.

That having been said, I provide basic  character descriptions, i.e. eye and hair color, when they apply to the story, as you’ll note in the following excerpt from The Red Dress. For the book’s cover, which you’ll find below, my editor, Leonore Dvorkin at DLD Books, found a photograph online of a young woman we thought would match Eve’s description perfectly except for one minor detail. I’d originally written Eve’s hair as blond, and this model’s hair was black. Since I wasn’t sure Leonore could find another photo like that one with blond hair, I decided to change Eve’s hair from blond to black.

***

“Oh, Eve, don’t tell me you’re going to work on that creative writing assignment now instead of  going to the homecoming dance.”

In her dorm room at the University of Colorado, Eve Barry was staring at the blank piece of paper  in her typewriter, waiting for her poised fingers to produce something. She sighed and ran her fingers through her long, black hair as she turned to her roommate, Charlene Tucker, who was fresh  from the shower, clad only in a black terry–cloth robe, her dark, wet curls plastered to her head.

***

So, does Eve abandon her creative writing assignment and go to the homecoming dance? Read The Red Dress and find out.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy, and may you always have positive experiences.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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My Kind of Character #Open Book Blog Hop

This week, blogger Stevie Turner asks us writers what types of characters we like to read and create. I prefer characters who are down to earth and easy to understand. I also try to develop my characters as the book progresses.

Take, for example, Eve, the main character in my latest, The Red Dress. She’s a best-selling author with a husband and three kids. As the book opens, she’s spending more time with her writing and not always paying attention to her family. Laundry often falls by the wayside, and most of the meals she prepares are ready-made.

As the book progresses, Eve is forced to face her past after receiving a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and meeting her former best friend from high school by chance. She then realizes that her family is just as important as her work and that she needs to create more of a balance. In the following excerpt, she explains to her old friend how she is evolving.

***

“What’s this? Miss Independence let you make her lunch!” said Adele with a smirk after the teens  had departed.

Eve laughed. “I beat her to it. Greg and I got up and went for a run together, something we hadn’t  done in what seems like a long time. When we got back, while Greg was frying eggs, I made the  sandwiches and put them in the fridge so they’d be all ready to go. I half expected Julie to be  mad, but she surprised me by giving me a hug and thanking me.”

“That’s great.”

“I’m planning to make Jan’s meatloaf recipe tonight. Everyone loved it when I made it before. Jan  gave me a couple of other recipes I’m going to try.”

“You’re becoming quite the chef, aren’t you?”

Eve sighed. “Lately, I’ve been too busy writing and marketing my books, and I haven’t been paying a  lot of attention to my family. That’s about to change.”

“You just finished a book. Won’t that be a problem when you start your next one?”

“Not if I don’t make it one,” said Eve. “I just need to establish some priorities. My agent and  publisher aren’t too demanding. As long as I can produce a book a year, they’re happy.”

***

So, where does this conversation take place? Who are the departing teens, and where are they going? Is Adelle the former best friend from high school, and what ruined their friendship? Why would Julie be mad at her mother for making her a peanut butter sandwich? Who’s Jan? Read The Red Dress and find out.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, my latest book, The Red Dress, is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Organizing Characters and Plots #Writing

When I write short stories or novels, I’m what’s called a pantser. I don’t do outlines. I make up the story as I go along. I don’t worry too much about character traits until I’ve finished the story and am ready to edit.

I submit chapters of my work to a weekly critique group. When other participants make suggestions about my characters and plot that I like, I make a note of them at the beginning of the chapter. That way, when I go back and edit, I know what needs to be done in that chapter.

When I’m ready to publish a book, I try to find a cover that matches my main character. With The Red Dress, I had to do it a little differently as far as the cover was concerned. Originally, my main character, Eve, had blond hair. But when Leonore Dvorkin, my editor at DLD Books, found a picture of a lovely young woman with black hair, I decided to change Eve’s hair from blond to black.

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I believe my cover got more rave reviews than the book itself. By the way, The Red Dress, along with My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, are available this week absolutely free as part of Smashwords Read an eBook Week sale. Click here to download the books.

How about you writers out there? Do you outline your stories ahead of time, or do you fly by the seat of your pants? Thanks to Stevie Turner for inspiring this, and thanks to you, of course, for reading.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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My Amazon Author Page

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.