Thursday, August 16, 2012

Real Life Characters

Where do writers get their characters from? As the leader of a church book club I've been asked that question several times. I can't speak for everyone else but I'm guessing they come from the same place mine do--real life. Now we all know that we're creating fictional characters but the inspiration has to come from a writer's experiences to make them real.

As my editor at Martin Sisters Publishing was finishing up the last of the galley edits, she asked what I would like on the dedication page of In A Pickle. It was a no-brainer. Here's what I wrote:

For my mother, who always said she seasoned her recipes with marijuana when she really meant marjoram. 

While my character, Annie Pickels, is not like my mother was in many ways, the way my mother mixed up her words led to the what-if premise of the story. What if someone really did use marijuana, by accident, in her recipe for pickles? 

One of the other things I have to credit my mother with was her never-judge-a-book-by-its-cover philosophy. My character, Annie, looks past tattoos and metal piercings on a young man to see the potential and good in him. 

So I am wishing Mom was still around to see what I've done. She would have loved it. Her sense of humor and storytelling is still alive and thriving in the words from my keyboard.

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