I hear voices in my head. I imagine being chased at night by werewolves or if I’m lucky, a hunky guy. I’m not crazy or perverted. I’m a writer and that’s how writers roll. I wish I could say I see dead people, but I can’t go that far and besides, that line is taken.
When people ask me which of my books is my favorite, it’s akin to asking someone, “Which child is your favorite?” I just can’t pick. I spend a lot of time with my books. They don’t just flow out of me with a new one coming out every month, and I’m okay with that.
Like a child, a good book has a gestation period. I need to get to know my characters, sit with them awhile, learn their likes and dislikes. Even if their personality traits or preferences don’t make it into my writing, it’s still important for me to know how they take their coffee or what they’d wear to a party. Getting to know my characters helps me decide what action they’ll take when faced with the adversity that I’ll no doubt throw at them in my books.
Whether I’m thinking about my heroines or villains, I love them all. They surprise me, just like my own children. My heroines are flawed and my villains have redeemable qualities. I have imaginary conversations with them and some of those do make it into my writing. The most remarkable aspect of these imaginary friends is that sometimes they’ll introduce me to new characters, and voila, a book is born.
Hearing my characters’ voices and holding imaginary conversations with them helps me avoid writers block. Best of all, I know I can turn to any of my characters for a heart-to-heart when my own children and husband have decided to run out to the movies for the afternoon.