Side note: Hi ya’ll! I wanted to let you know that I’ll be away for a bit. I’m having surgery today (eek) but, I’m grateful to all the awesome guests you’ll get to read from over the next week or so. I hope you enjoy their posts as much as I have. Have a fantastic upcoming weekend and don’t forget to check out more about Susan Rae and her books below 🙂
The Characters We Meet
By Susan Rae , author of TRUE blue, DeLuca Family Series #3
As an author, I am often asked if my characters are based on actual people, or do I make them up. The answer is always,“Yes and no.”Sometimes, a character I meet actually influences my writing so much that it pushes a book in a certain direction.
Usually when I create a character, I take a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and mix it together to get just the right person I need for the kind of book I am writing. It’s like choosing the ingredients for a cooking recipe. First you decide what you are going to make: a main course, a side dish, or a dessert. You gather the main ingredients: meat, flour, pasta, vegetables—whatever the recipe requires; add the spices; and mix it all together to get the perfect dish. With characters, what do I draw those ingredients from? Like most authors, I am always on the lookout for interesting people. I am an avid observer and listener. I study a person’s qualities, what makes him or her like other people, and what makes them different.
For my newest novel, TRUE blue, Book Three in The DeLuca Family Series, I had already created the characters of Andi and Joey DeLuca in my award winning first book, heartbeats. In heartbeats, Andi had to be a tough but compassionate cop as she as she helped her cousin FBI agent Drake McGuirediscover who targeted the heroine, Dr. Elizabeth Iverson for murder. I started with the idea of Andi, searched magazines and sales catalogues until I found someone I imagined her to look like, and then poured those qualities into her. Joey DeLuca, her husband, I developed similarly, but I put the responsibilities of the oldest DeLuca sibling on his shoulders as well. Coming from a family of six children, I knew something about that. As for the Italian part of the DeLuca clan, my husband comes from a large Italian family. No, I did not use anyone from our families specifically in the novel, but the family dynamics were there to pull from.
Sometimes, however, there is a person that impresses an author so much, that we know we just have to get that person into a book. That’s what happened to me with a character in TRUE blue. On a trip to Montana, I met a woman so fascinating and unique that I knew I had to include her in the novel. Of course, the character in the book isn’t the exact person, but rather the essence of her—her style and panache and take-no-prisoners attitude. Yes, I could have saved her and used her for a main character in another novel, but I thought it would be fun to use her as a secondary character. It was also another reason to get Andi and Joey out of Chicago and to Glacier National Park where they could meet a version of this fascinating woman. Readers of TRUE blue will no doubt recognize who I am talking about. (Hint: her initials are C. M.) This character also reminded me of a childhood friend of mine who I have lost touch with, which is why I gave her the name Candace. So you see, she is really a combination of two people—not the exact person, but a person with a feisty, independent attitude which I loved who I had to get into the book and who ultimately forced my decision to take the action out to Montana—that along with the beautiful scenery of Glacier National Park.
I’d love to hear about a person who has fascinated you and who you thought would make a great character for a novel. Please leave your comment below and you will be automatically entered to receive a free e-copy of ICE blue, book #2 in the DeLuca Family Series.
Thanks for spending this time with me. To learn more about my writing and my books, please visit me at www.susanrae.com.
Sometimes we must revisit the past to embrace our future.
Twenty-four years ago, the murder of a Chicago police officer changed Joey DeLuca’s life. He lost his best friend and first love, Meghan McConnell, when her mother whisked her out of town. Now, on the eve of another officer’s death, Meghan is back and about to step into his life again.
There is very little gray in Joey’s line of work as a Lt. Detective–it is either black or white, right or wrong. But Meghan’s insistence on finding answers to her father’s murder threatens those beliefs and throws his marriage to CPD Detective Andi, his career, and the entire DeLuca family in jeopardy when new revelations come to light.
Can Joey save his marriage, solve the murder, and keep his family together all at the same time?
Bio: I love writing romantic suspense because it allows me to combine a steamy love story with a gritty suspense tale—in my opinion, the best of both words. When I’m not writing, you might find me smacking a golf ball around the course while working out a pesky plot point; or traveling around the country with my husband and empty nest puppies, Ginger and Nikute, seeking out new settings for my novels.