One bonus to writing fiction – all the people who have become part of my life.
In order to bring my characters to life for my readers, I have to know these people, and as I write they become very real. And once the book is released, they settle comfortably into my – mind? Heart? Soul? They don’t leave. I find myself seeing something, or someone, and it brings Melanie, or Krissy, or Eli … or any of them to mind. When I hear music that I know they love, I appreciate and love it even more because of their connection to it. I listen more closely to violin music because of Laura. I appreciate folk music more because of Niall. I admire a pianist’s nuanced playing because of Eli. I hear a tenor who reminds me of Jamie.
This was not expected. I would think all authors must feel this connection to their creations; because that is what they are, a creature that has grown from our conscious and subconscious. I try to learn everything about them I can. I know Krissy and Eli like scrambled eggs and rye toast. I know the entire Logan family’s wine of choice is Malbec. In his drinking days Niall preferred Maker’s Mark, but these days he sticks with club soda with a twist of lime. Krissy makes great lasagna but not much else. Laura loves Italian food and her favorite place to eat in New York is Puglia’s. In Vienna it’s the Café Vienna. She can’t cook. Well, she can scramble eggs. Eli makes great grilled cheese sandwiches.
Eli told Krissy he wouldn’t dance at their wedding, but his friend Jackie told him that wasn’t a choice, so Eli took some lessons from the dance instructor for whose studio he played. Jamie Logan may be an international opera star, but he’s a big Johnny Cash fan and especially likes “Ring of Fire.” After all, he grew up in Tennessee. Eli dislikes musical theater. He barely tolerates opera, unless his friend Arlene Golden is performing. Or he’ll go with Krissy to hear Jamie, as long as the opera is Tosca. Krissy loves musical theater … it was part of her high school experience. But mostly, she loves to listen to Eli play Rachmaninoff.
As my characters grow into three-dimensional people, I am sometimes surprised by the choices they make. At least, that’s definitely how it seems to me. Jamie wasn’t supposed to fall in love while he was an undergraduate music student in Tennessee, and certainly not with the person he fell in love with. I had another character waiting in the wings for him when he went to graduate school, but sadly, she never made it past the outline. He needed someone in his life sooner. Eli and Krissy let me know about their choice not to have children. I had wondered about that.
Now that Jamie’s Children is nearly ready to be released, I am getting to know some new people who’ve recently invaded my consciousness. Andrew and Jacob are brothers. I met them when they were very young. If you’ve read How I Grew Up, you’ve met them as well. It’s going to be quite a story.
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