Leah here: Please welcome Betsy Horvath, a fellow Carina author with her debut romantic suspense novel Hold Me.
I’ve read interviews with authors who claim to be visited by their characters. The author, innocently typing, looks up to find one or another of her characters lounging at her desk. Then author and character have a conversation, much as you would with a friend.
I used to think that was the way it should be. I would sit, staring off into space, using the massive power of my mind to force my characters to appear so we could talk.
“Appear, my creations,” I would cry. I would raise my hands while lightning crackled about me, yelling my demands to the heavens. “Appear to me! APPEAR! A P P E A R!!!”
But they never did. And I would go to bed with a headache.
I’ve been spending some time recently thinking about how I write. And I’ve realized that my characters are never separate entities when I’m working with them. I don’t see my characters the way I see another person walking down the street. It’s more like I’m looking at the world through their eyes.
I think that, for me, writing is rather like an extended dream. It’s one of those dreams where you jump into different bodies. In the dream you know the body you’re in is you, but it’s also not you. It’s someone else, but it’s you as well. You know what I mean. Right?
*tap, tap, tap* Is this thing on?
Anyway, I don’t see my characters outside myself. I think it might have to do with the fact that I’m a discovery writer. A person who works from a strict outline must have the character well-drawn before they start to write, so that would make it easier, I imagine, for them to see the character as separate. A discovery writer is learning about things at the same time as the character, so the character is more internal.
This is not to say I don’t see my characters or the action. I definitely do. Of course I do. How can you help the reader see something if you don’t see it yourself? But it’s not like I’m in the audience watching a movie. It’s more like I’m an actor in a movie, and I’m playing all of the parts.
I know it sounds like a mess. In a lot of ways it is a mess. But when it’s all working, when everything is clicking along on all cylinders, the characters come to life inside me. Then I’m just hanging on while they see and hear and walk and talk. Whatever they experience, I experience along with them and through them. It’s freaking wonderful.
Here’s an excerpt from a scene in Hold Me where the characters hijacked the train and sent it racing for parts unknown.
Her breath caught in her throat. She stared back at him, trapped by him again. Her hand tightened on his knee. His fingers pressed hers closer to the hard muscles under his cargo pants.
The hell with the whiskey. Luc was the one going straight to her head.
“You and David keep insisting I’m stupid,” she said, her voice breathless even to her own ears.
“Okay, you think that I’m silly then. Naïve.”
He shook his head once. “No.”
“Neither of you think I know my own mind.” That mind was spinning at the moment. The fire of the whiskey running through her system was nothing compared to the fire of touching him. “Neither of you think I’m smart enough, adult enough, to know how to handle myself. David spent the whole time he was here running interference—”
“Noticed that, did you?” Luc seemed to have shifted closer to her, even though she hadn’t seen him move. “He was trying to protect you from—” He broke off, looked away, then back at her. His gaze tracked down to her mouth and focused. Her lips tingled just from the force of his attention.
She licked them, and he actually shuddered.
“Protect me from…?” she murmured. She felt like she was looking at him through a soft mist.
“Me.” He breathed the word. The air stirred on her face, and she smelled the whiskey he’d just drunk. He was definitely closer now, filling her senses.
“Did he need to?”
“Yeah,” he growled. “Oh, yeah.” He smiled, just a quirking of lips, and she found herself as fascinated by his mouth as he seemed to be with hers. She wanted to taste it, to bite it.
“I don’t want David, Luc,” she whispered. The words floated out, and she saw him tremble when her breath brushed him. It made her feel powerful. It made her feel alive. It made her feel like a goddess.
“Who do you want?” His voice was strangled.
And she kissed him.
Welcome to my mind. It’s a little scary, but baked goods are provided.
Hold Me is available NOW from:
and anywhere fine ebooks are sold.
Katie McCabe’s life is going nowhere fast when FBI Special Agent Lucas Vasco jumps into her car at an intersection. Luc, his undercover guise blown, is on the run from the Mafia and expects to be killed at any moment. What he doesn’t plan on is finding himself attracted to the firecracker beside him. He feels compelled to protect her when her life is threatened, and insists she stay with him for her own safety.
After learning she has become the target of a psychotic hit man, Katie is whisked off to Luc’s house to hide. Once there, she’s shocked to discover that she and Luc have an unexpected connection; a connection Luc already knew existed, but withheld. Will their intense attraction reach flashpoint despite their misunderstandings and the pain of the past?
Betsy Horvath was raised on MGM musicals, old skool Harlequins, and Nancy Drew, so it should not have come as a shock that one day she’d be writing romance. The biggest surprise was that it took her so long to actually buckle down and do it. Hold Me is her debut romantic suspense novel.