It’s Groundhog Day! Once again Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow and we are lining up for six more weeks of winter, if you believe Phil that is. As you may know, the celebration dates back to Ancient Rome and their usage of hedgehogs as predictors of foul weather. And now, here we are, two millennia later, still taking advice from small, burrowing rodents. What a world.
In other news, we had two more lucky winners in the monthly draws. You can find out all about them here: https://katieberry.ca/audiobook-winners/
Sadly, I have not had any entries in the ‘Search for the Easter eggs in Book 3 of ABANDONED contest, so that prize goes unclaimed. Remember, I didn’t say you had to list them all, only that the reader with the most correct answers will receive, an autographed copy of ABANDONED Book 3: Chaos and Corruption in the mail. So we’ll try again for next month and see what happens.
In writing news, ABANDONED Book 4: Deception and Deliverance is coming along very nicely. I should have it in your hands by the end of March and am hoping to get it out to the ARC team about a week before its release in order to get more timely reviews posted on launch day (we’ll see how that goes).
And now, I will answer another couple of questions from the survey, for those of you curious about me and my writing:
Question #1: What do you draw on, how do you build the individual characters and how difficult do you find it to maintain interesting and consistent personalities for each of the characters?”
This actually consists of three questions, but I will try to answer it as one. I draw on my life experience as I write my stories. Everything in your life can serve as inspiration for a character. These characters are something I try to establish before I start the novel, although, sometimes a character comes along out of the blue as I write and they take the story in an unexpected direction. But generally, I try to flesh them out first. A great thing to use is the Proust questionnaire (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proust_Questionnaire). That is something that is a lot of fun and can really help flesh characters out. Interesting and consistent personalities are something that can be a challenge since you don’t want to have all of your characters act and sound the same way. I try to get to know each of them a bit through this Q&A before I write them and it really helps a lot (see questionnaire above).
Question #2: “How do you come up with your characters, they become real people to me as I read your books. What is your every day like? Are you married, and have a family and of course a dog or cat.”
This is similar to the first and thank you for the kind words. My every day is like this: I awaken, usually by 5:30 each morning, and sometimes earlier depending on my fur baby, Mimsie. If I am not up by then, she taps me on the nose with her paw to wake me (no claws, she is gentle). After morning ablutions, I make my first and only cup of coffee for the day, then check how things went the day before regarding sales, social media, etc. After that, I go for a half-hour walk (if it’s not too cold and icy). Yoga and breakfast come next (usually an egg and cheese sandwich) and then it’s off to work at my computer to come up with more exciting tales for you to enjoy (along with a couple of cups of tea). An afternoon or evening walk rounds things out before dinner, and I usually end the day with a mix of playing my piano, watching Netflix and a bit of light reading as well (but not all three at once). Regarding family, I have an amazing son, the light of my life and apple of my eye, who is graduating high school this year. And as for myself, I am currently single, but content. My writing fills my life, and ‘is’ my life, and I consider myself blessed to be able to do something each and every day that brings joy not only to myself but to you as well.
I will see you all again next month with another contest update, writing update and more questions answered. Till then, good health and great reads to you all.