Hello, dear friends! I’ve been painfully amiss in updating this website, busy as I’ve been with a couple seasons chasing tortoises in the desert, getting an agent (a completely amazing agent! Still so excited!), and writing my trilogy, Sex, Love and Rock and Roll.
Last you heard from me, I was writing a little story about a girl with sexual dysfunction falling in love with a nude model. I talk all about Jera and Jacob here. The thing about Jera is that she’s a drummer in a band, and the thing about me is that I can’t write a simple secondary character to save my life. So *surprised face* my stand-alone turned into a trilogy when the rest of her band members came to shouty, three-dimensional life and started demanding stories of their own, slick with sex and thumping with music.
Now I’m on the third book in the series, struggling through trying to explain the journey of a lead singer, Jax, who turns himself inside out to please everyone around him, but is crippled by his addictions. First to drugs and drinking, and later, to sex. He’s a billboard-worthy hearththrob who can’t stop organizing his kitchen cabinets for maximum efficiency, who just wants everyone around him to be happy and get along. But life is rarely so kind. He falls for another chart-topping musician, the chain-and-snake draped superstar, Ava. She too, wishes she were as perfect as the airbrushed images of herself in magazines, and she and Jax bond over the darker parts of themselves that they can’t share with their screaming fans. Let’s pause a moment for some sexy pictures of Jax and Ava.
The story is a great challenge for me, in writing two people so very different from myself, and over and over again as I write, I find myself scared that no one will like my characters. Will people just think Jax is a heartless slut with his only brain operating below the belt? Or will they see what he’s really like:
Will they think Ava is a self-centered diva?
Or will they see the side of her that Jax does, without me having to write it in bold letters and too-pointed dialogue?
Real people rarely unspool all their true selves at first meeting, and I want my books to be the same. I want to be able to SHOW my characters without forcing them to reveal all the cards in their hand at Chapter 1. But how to be sure that my readers are seeing what I’m seeing? How to be sure that I’m doing my best to turn so many strangers’ perceptions in the right direction?
This story is going to be a tough one for me, but I’m keeping my (well-chewed) nails on the keyboard, hoping I can do justice to these flawed, so very vulnerable characters that live in my head. I’d love to hear from other writers as I continue through this process, though. How DO you balance subtlety with clarity? How to make someone sympathetic, even when they’re not always kind?