Monday, January 20, 2014

Those Voices Inside My Head by Melinda Curtis

Recently, someone asked me how I create characters.  My gut instinct was to say, "I don't create them.  The girls in the basement do." Which is something Jennifer Crusie says about the creative process - leave it to your subconscious. Now, I don't know if I have girls in the basement, but when I ask myself a question about a character - if someone answers (see Cheryl Harper's post about blank pages) - it isn't a Greek chorus. More likely, it's something like this:

Me, to Flynn from Summer Kisses: What's up with your hair?  Shoulder length? Baseball cap?  Do you have dandruff?  Enough with the hat already - it's been two books now.  Let's give it to someone.
Flynn: Don't.  I look like my dad and I don't like it.
Me: Lots of people look like their parents -
Flynn: He went to prison for robbing a bank.
Me: Forgiveness, Flynn. That was a long time ago. Kathryn (my editor) doesn't like clich├ęd grudges.

I won't tell you what he said to that, but I was a bit shocked.  It was one of those I'm in the writing zone moments that you wish came more often.  That's when characters come alive.

Speaking of coming alive, I'd like to bring Flynn in the room for an in-the-moment interview for our Heartwarming fans (imagine a man with the charming smile of Prince Harry with longer hair - at least at the beginning of the book).

Me:  Flynn, talk about your holiday and any new year resolutions you made.
Flynn: I stayed in Harmony Valley. I know, weird for a bachelor to stay in a town where nearly everyone is over the age of 65.  Someday soon, I'm going to get a life and see the world.  But for now I like it here.  And, of course, I live with my Grandpa Ed, who's slowing down and needs some help.  He raised me after my dad...
Me (jumping in quickly): Readers may not realize you scored a big pay day selling a farming app.  What've you been doing with your days now that you don't have to worry about money?
Flynn: I've become the town handyman (shhh, don't tell my college professors).  I don't get paid and I don't usually charge anyone for materials either.
Me: I'm so proud.  Talk more about your work about town.  What's the oddest fix-it job you've had?
Flynn:  It's a toss-up between adjusting Mr. Mionetti's TV antennae so he can watch Dancing With the Stars - how old school is that? - and repairing Roxie's chicken coop.  Those hens are escape artists!
Me: You and Grandpa Ed have been trying to attract more people and businesses to Harmony Valley.  What's your pitch?
Flynn:  Besides being able to walk to work and a zero crime rate?  You can be yourself here and celebrate life.  We've got retired race car drivers and Broadway chorus girls, ex-spy masters and retired sailing captains. Life here goes no faster than Grandpa Ed in his walker, but where else can you find a beer belly serenade during Indian summer? Or pumpkin bowling to award the Harvest Queen crown?  I may want to see the world, but I know for certain I'm coming back here to stay!

And there you have it - my constantly smiling, Heartwarming February hero.  My thanks to Flynn for stopping by today (he talked to me in between plugging a leak in Agnes' bird bath and fixing a leaky faucet at Mae's house).  What do you think?  Is Flynn living in my basement?  Or is it "the girls"?
 
 

18 comments:

  1. I'm seriously in love with your cover, Mel...and now I've fallen for Flynn. I mean a guy who sticks around for his GP and does stuff for free...Sigh. And LOL at 'the girls in the basement':).

    ReplyDelete
  2. You sold me. I hadn't kindled it yet Pumpkin bowling.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You ladies are making Flynn blush.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great cover, You tweaked our interest just the right amount to read the story to see what Flynn does with his life, and of course to see how he ends up in love.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like Flynn! I think you are like me- you talk to your characters- or they talk to you. Sometimes I laugh out loud at what they say and sometimes they make me cry.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Flynn insists he's real, Karen. He's somewhat offended about the whole girls in the basement.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Flynn! Can you come and get us! Not sure where Harmony Valley is, but it can't be that far from Oregon. Sounds a lot like life here. My husband uses a walker and would love to hang out with your Grandpa and the dog and I can walk with you. I don't have 'girls in the basement' but I do have bats in my belfry! Glad you're among us.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Muriel, text me your address and I'll swing by for a visit with Grandpa Ed. Flynn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mel - I apologize for continuing to disrupt, but this is a message from my husband. He said to tell you he calls his walker 'Johnny.' Get it?

      Delete
  9. The story sounds great as does Flynn. Especially if he looks like Prince Harry. I used to think it was Prince William who got the looks, but as they got older, Harry definitely came out on top! Can't wait to read it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Amy. Harry still has his hair, which along with his attitude leaves him with that youthful charm (in my mind). Not that I don't love Mr. Curtis' friar...

      Delete
  10. Harmony Valley sounds like a lovely place with great residents!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I enjoyed Dandelion Wishes and getting to know the folks in Harmony Valley. Can't wait to read about Flynn.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I enjoyed Dandelion Wishes and getting to know the folks in Harmony Valley. Can't wait to read about Flynn.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I enjoyed Dandelion Wishes and getting to know the folks in Harmony Valley. Can't wait to read about Flynn.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I enjoyed Dandelion Wishes and getting to know the folks in Harmony Valley. Can't wait to read about Flynn.

    ReplyDelete