Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Feature - Steven

I have a break in my Friday Feature - Author Spotlight. Not sure how that happened, but it's all good. We'll be back next Friday with another author. S,o I thought I'd get into characterization just a little bit, my way.

When I actually began putting Diamonds Aren't Forever into a story, it was already 30-40 pages long and had been a file in my documents for about a year. I was stumped with my first novel. The editing wasn't working, so I took a step back and thought a short story would help.

As I said, the book was already in progress. Characters, Peyton and Steven, her ex-husband, were well on their way to becoming the focal point in the story. But of course, I had no idea of their last names, nor did I have Sebastian and Thierry or the secondary characters.

About that same time I had another story, which will be book 2 in this series about a woman who steals a green tear drop diamond necklace, called The Dragon's Tear. It too had some pages with it. Mainly the setting, the storyline as I've noted just above, but the characters weren't working. The female lead had visions, had originally stolen the necklace of the man who she'd been meeting at local restaurants, etc. Just ideas of ideas.

However I realized that piece was lacking as well, and so I rummaged around in my files for something to latch onto. I had a manuscript titled: Diamond Lust, which later became Diamonds Aren't Forever. Anyway, they had enough similarities that I combined ideas and Diamonds Aren't Forever took off.

The book began to write itself, Sebastian and Thierry came to life. Thierry took the prominent role in the brothers when I originally planned it to be Sebastian. But that worked out as well. Diamond Malloy was always part of the plan, but I was surprised to find he and Amalia were married. And then along came Shelbie and Arabella, and so the story progressed.

But the one character that is close to my heart is Steven. I couldn't think of the a last name. And the name Hawking just kept popping into my head. It finally dawned on me, after I had released the book, that I got that name form a sitcom. Oops. I never meant to do that.

But on with Steven's character. He is based on my husband. His personality, really. Because of course Steven is tall, which my husband is 5'9". Steven like to dress flashy, where my husband works with his hands, wears jeans, and is a sheep farmer. But both men have black wavy hair, like this guy, but with blue eyes, and both have oodles of charm to sweep a girl off her feet.

So you're thinking, does J. L.'s husband have tendencies of a thief a gambler? Not entirely. In fact that was why my husband made the perfect Steven. In the book, Steven isn't a good thief at all. In fact he's out f the business because he's so bad at it. My husband's moral compass is firmly in place. He wouldn't take something that belonged to others.

As for the gambling, every farmer takes a risk on the market, so yes, my husband is a gambler in some respects. He's just cautious about it. I remember when we were first married his animal of choice was hogs. He'd call and get the market report for futures on hog prices.

Hubby is 63, so you do the math. In fact, it's only in the last three months that my husband opened his first email account. His daughters went crazy, posting it all on FB. And his sisters couldn't believe it. But back to my story. So I asked him one day when after he'd checked prices for the next 3-6 months, "why not buy futures?" Futures is a speculation of how the price might be in a few months. He was shocked. He blubbered about not knowing what to do, how much a risk it was, he could lose too much. He went on and on that it was too much of a gamble.

I listened calmly until he was done, and I asked one simple question. "Isn't that what you're doing with the animals themselves?" Silence, sweet, sweet silence. Short lived. He said, "but they're real." I told him the concept was the same, and went on to explain he was gambling that when he took a hog to market that the price would be favorable to him. Buying Futures was the same thing, but just on paper, and a lot less manual labor. We had about 300 hundred pigs at the time.

Needless to say, he didn't bite. But he really helped me out on Steven in the book. So thanks again, baby for coming through.

Enjoy you're Memorial Day weekend.

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